Why study Education?
Education is one of the most powerful means for change and growth in the modern world. Our educational experiences – at school, university, home and elsewhere – are fundamental to who we are and the potential of who we may become – as individuals, communities and as a society as a whole. The study of Education is the study of the processes and contexts in which the possibilities and limitations of this change take place. Whether you are interested in the psychology of learning, or committed to the politics of global development, or passionate about the transformative power of literature and the arts, you can study it on the Education Tripos.
Education Studies is not a training in teaching: the course at Cambridge is a rigorous and rewarding interdisciplinary degree. You follow one of three tracks, combining in-depth study of a particular field of interest with an examination of wider educational and social issues.
- The Education, Psychology and Learning track focuses on education from a psychological perspective; exploring human development and education in a variety of social and cultural environments.
- In Education, Policy and International Development you consider historical and contemporary discussions concerning these areas, and education’s role in economic and social change.
- Education, English, Drama and the Arts combines the study of drama and/or English literature with key issues in education, such as debates around creativity, learning and culture.
Facilities and resources
The Faculty of Education has excellent resources and state-of-the-art research facilities, including a psychology laboratory and a library that houses one of the UK’s best education collections. Active research forms the foundation of our teaching so you are taught by academics at the forefront of their fields and who specialise in cutting-edge research.
Further study and professional progressions
Our course provides excellent preparation for a wide range of Masters and doctoral research programmes, both at Cambridge – each track has close links to related MPhil programmes within the Faculty – and elsewhere.
The career options for graduates are extremely varied and they find employment in a wide range of occupations in the UK and abroad. As well as further study, our students have gone into research, educational psychology and neuroscience, publishing, and the Civil Service. Others now work in government policy and administration, the media, theatre, heritage and museum education, dramatherapy, HR, business and consultancy, charities and NGOs, and international development.
Alternatively, for those intending to teach, the course provides a foundation from which to proceed to initial teacher training courses in Primary Education and in English and Drama Secondary teaching.
More detailed information about the courses and the Tripos is available on the Faculty website: www.educ.cam.ac.uk
The historical connection between Homerton and Education remains strong – as is the geographical connection: the College is next door to the Faculty! Homerton has the largest number of students for the Education Tripos, and we have considerable depth of support for the course. We can offer teaching across the three tracks, including practical drama, and have Fellows with both local and international links in the Education sector. We also co-sponsor the Cambridge/Homerton Research and Teaching Centre for Children’s Literature – where some of the world’s leading experts in the field are based. Our library resources in these areas are second to none.
We have three Directors of Study in Education, as well as a long list of Fellows, Bye-Fellows and Emeritus Fellows associated with the Faculty and other specialist areas of teaching.
Our Directors of Study have research interests in the History of Education; women’s education; environmental education; post-colonial and international literatures; poetry and performance; children’s literature; devised and applied theatres. Students particularly benefit from their close involvement in the teaching and management of the undergraduate course:
College teaching is provided in the form of one-to-one and small group supervisions. Supervisors are drawn, where required, from across the University for their expertise and experience but the College is able to provide much of the tuition support
Application is the same as in all other subjects but the extra document Cambridge asks for, the Supplementary Admissions questionnaire, is where you would put which of the three tracks to this degree you wish to follow. Interviews in Homerton will normally be undertaken by subject specialists in Education and in the track chosen. Applicants will not be expected to have specific knowledge of the kinds of things found in the education degree as no one will have previously studied the subject. We're looking for some understanding of the current debates in education one might get easily from newspapers and other media, as well as an ability to reflect on the applicants' own experience of education.
Applicants will be expected to achieve A*AA, or the equivalent (the standard offer for Arts and Social Sciences in Cambridge). It’s useful (but not essential) for applicants to have studied one or more of the social sciences, e.g. Sociology, Psychology and History. For the track Education, English, Drama and the Arts we would normally expect English Literature A level or an equivalent, but may also accept English Language and Literature, or Drama and Theatre Studies if these are supported by wide and critical personal reading. There will be a pre-interview assessment to be taken in the applicant's own school (in most instances). The format of this assessment is one used by a number of Arts and Humanities subjects consisting of a shared Section 1 to test comprehension skills and a subject specific Section 2 which involves critical reading of a passage or passages concerning education and requiring extended writing, answering questions based on these. Further information and samples of this assessment are available on the university's online pages as below: