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BSc Education / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course description

BSc Education draws upon psychology, sociology and critical policy analysis to help explain and understand teaching and learning processes, the mechanisms of and solutions to global inequalities both within and beyond education, and how such issues are affected by government policies on education.

You will study the psychology of education, the sociology of education and policy analysis in order to foster critical insights into the key problems facing education in a global world. You will study:

  • key issues in education;
  • childhood development;
  • the brain goes to school;
  • social justice and global inequalities in education.

In Year 2, you will have the option to select one of three specialisms to focus your studies on a particular career trajectory. This is not compulsory and you are welcome to tailor all your optional units to your own preferences instead. The three optional pathways are:

  • Primary/Early Years Education;
  • International Education;
  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

The course is ideally suited for those who wish to:

  • begin a career pathway towards Primary or Early Years teaching (e.g. through PGCE Primary);
  • begin a career pathway towards professional psychology training routes, with an educational focus (e.g. educational psychology);
  • enter into other education-based vocations, with a specialism towards pastoral responsibilities and/or special educational needs;
  • enter into a career in Teaching English as a Second Language and/or Non-Government Organisations (NGO) focused on community education or adult learning both in the UK and overseas;
  • prepare for a research career within the public sector and/or private industry.

A key feature of the course is its `Learning through Research' approach, which enables you to develop skills relevant to employment in a range of professions (including teaching but also civil service, third sector, NGOs, and educational psychology). These include:

  • the ability to collate and analyse data, information, evidence;
  • critical analysis of contemporary global problems in education;
  • written and oral communication skills.

This is supported by a research placement in an appropriate organisation (e.g. a school) in Year 2 and the opportunity to undertake a substantial piece of research in Year 3.


The aim of the BSc Education is to provide you with a broad-based, inter-disciplinary programme of study, underpinned by research at the cutting edge of theory and practice.

It will equip you to contribute to improvements in the quality of education for students, their families and communities in educational settings throughout the world.

Through the provision of carefully selected specialisms that reflect the research strengths of the Manchester Institute for Education (MIE), the BSc Education also provides the opportunity for you to develop specialist knowledge, whilst simultaneously developing employability skills targeted at relevant careers.

Course content for year 1

Year 1 provides an introduction to the research and study skills expected of students accessing a first year University course. 

This includes effective and efficient skills in obtaining relevant literature sources, abilities in the critical evaluation of information, effective inter- and intra-personal skills, and independent and sustained motivation in the pursuit of autonomous learning.

It also provides grounding in the core disciplines that underpin education for example, sociology of education, development and childhood and key issues in education.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Developing Academic Writing and Digital Study Skills EDUC10631 10 Mandatory
Understanding Research EDUC10642 10 Mandatory
Key Issues in Education EDUC11100 20 Mandatory
Development and childhood EDUC13022 20 Mandatory
The Brain goes to school EDUC13031 20 Mandatory
Sociology of Education EDUC14051 20 Mandatory
Education in a Global Context EDUC14082 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

Year 2 places stronger demands on students to think critically and evaluate information and evidence. 

There is a greater emphasis on the application of theory to key educational problems through a research placement in an educational organisation.

You will continue to build and deepen your knowledge of the course's core areas, but you will also have the opportunity to choose a specialism in either primary and early years education, international education, or special educational needs and disabilities.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Planning for a Research Project and Employment EDUC20730 20 Mandatory
Psychology of Learning EDUC21740 20 Mandatory
Social Justice in Education EDUC24051 20 Mandatory
Teaching and Learning of Mathematics EDUC22002 20 Optional
Teaching & Learning Literacy EDUC22012 20 Optional
Cognition & Learning: implications for school EDUC23022 20 Optional
Intercultural Learning EDUC24062 20 Optional
International Education Systems and Policy EDUC24072 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

In Year 3, you are offered the opportunity to deepen and apply your skills and knowledge, particularly in your elected specialism (if you have chosen one) or to select from a broad range of optional units. 

The application of theory to practical educational problems is further developed through the Year 3 research or literature based Dissertation.

Scholarships and bursaries

We are committed to attracting and supporting the very best students from all backgrounds to study this course. You could be eligible for cash bursaries of up to £2500 to support your studies.

Find out more at Funding opportunities .

What our students say

What stood out for me about the course at Manchester was the opportunity to choose a pathway in second year, which for me was special needs education.

Bethany, BSc Education first year student


BSc Education is taught by the Manchester Institute of Education (MIE), which has trained more than 5,000 teachers in the last 15 years and has a strong heritage - education has been a field of study at The University of Manchester since 1890.

You will benefit from studying within an environment that has a national and international reputation for quality in teaching, scholarship and research in this field.

We pride ourselves on close staff-student relationships and guided, one-to-one supervision.

The Institute promotes equality and diversity, and you will study in an environment that embraces values of cultural diversity and is fundamentally committed to equality of opportunity, regardless of race, disability, religious or other beliefs, sexual orientation or age.

MIE provides opportunities for progression to taught and research master's degrees as well as our Ofsted `outstanding' Primary PGCE.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: