BA (Hons) Education Studies (Foundation Year)

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply


If someone asked you to explain why we educate people, what would you say?

Education isn’t simply about the ability to read and write. It’s understanding how our minds, our families,
and our societies influence the way we learn. How education – and a lack of it – shapes our future.

In the School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies we offer degree courses that will give you an insight into the way in which our families, communities and societies influence our understanding of childhood systems that support their learning and development.

You’ll also explore themes from the history of education to constructing childhood, from the impact of gender and disability on our ability to learn, to the use of the arts to regenerate a deprived urban area, to whether play can help adults to learn. You’ll challenge theories, discover global views on education and social policy and investigate factors that may stop children from reaching their potential.

The Education degree with a foundation year provides a route onto a degree if you don't have the qualifications, or have not studied advanced level subjects sufficiently related to your course of choice, but have the ability to study for a degree.

Each foundation year is part of a specific degree course. You apply for four years full-time, including the Foundation Year. 

All foundation year students have access to academic and pastoral support from several sources, including a Personal Tutor, Foundation Year Guidance Manager and University Student Services.

To find out more about the degree content visit the Education Studies webpage.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Successful completion of the Education Studies Foundation Year guarantees automatic progression onto year one of your chosen linked degree.

As a graduate, you could develop your career across the education sector. You might work in prison education or museum and gallery education. You could also pursue a career in related areas such as education publishing or the local government. Or perhaps you’ll continue on to postgraduate study.

If you decide you’d like to become a teacher, you’ll need to complete a *PGCE or other training route (this is normally a one-year course). Depending on which units you choose at levels 2 and 3, you could study for a PGCE in secondary education, specialising in areas such as social studies or religious education.

*Whilst this degree course does not provide qualified teacher status, it can provide a good foundation to progress to a PGCE at a later stage. Those considering undertaking a PGCE should be aware of the specific requirements for this.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points/grades required

80 UCAS Tariff Points

80 UCAS Tariff Points at A Level or acceptable alternatives e.g. BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma, Extended Diploma at Level 3 (Grades DM or MMP).

Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with at least 45 credits at Level 3 with a minimum of 30 credits at Merit or equivalent.

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE English Language at grade D/3 or above. Equivalent qualifications will be considered i.e. Functional Skills.

IELTS score required for international students

IELTS 5.5 with no component below 5.5 taken within two years of course start date

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Additional Requirements

A Disclosure and Barring Service Check is required for all students. This will be completed through the University prior to enrolment.

Course details

The structure of the Education Studies foundation year is outlined below:

You will study 120 credits, which are divided into four, 30-credit units.

Teaching is delivered via a range of methods, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical workshops, PC lab sessions, online material and self-study time.

There are no formal examinations.

Teaching mainly occurs within the week, which allows you to network directly with students across all university disciplines and levels of study, and with external partners and organisations.

During the Education foundation year, typical units of study (30 credits each) may include:

  • Foundations of Academic Practice
  • The Learning Process
  • Education, Community and Diversity

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Foundations of Academic Practice

This unit acts as the core to the foundation year, and provides opportunities to develop both key skills (referencing, effective writing) and practices (such as criticality) needed to ensure successful progress through your undergraduate degree. Its specific content is negotiated, allowing you to develop and sustain your own specific academic skills and interests ahead of enrolment onto your linked degree.

International and EU students whose first language is not English and who have an IELTS score of less than 6.0 will pursue English for Academic Study in place of this unit.

The Learning Process

This unit interrogates 'learning' in a broad sense - considering processes which occur in formal and informal classroom and other educational settings, but also learning as a developmental process which runs through the life course.  This unit takes a strongly reflective approach, and enables you to draw on your own experience.

Education, Community and Diversity

This unit investigates the place of schools, colleges, children’s centres and youth projects in a wider society characterised by inequality and division at local and global levels.  It will encourage you to understand the experiences of diverse communities, and the ways in which schools, charities, community groups and social enterprises seek to enhance that experience.

In your second year, you will study four core units that are designed to introduce the key themes you will encounter throughout the degree, as well as getting you familiar with what’s required for academic study at university level.


Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Key Questions in Education

The unit will focus on key philosophical and sociological debates around the nature and purpose of education. Questions about the meaning, purpose and function of education will be raised. An exploration of the role of educational autobiography in our understanding of these issues will be a key feature. Consideration will also be given to different philosophical debates around the nature and function of knowledge and the curriculum. The relationship between knowledge, power and ideology will also be explored.

The Learning System

This unit will introduce you to current theoretical perspectives on teaching and learning and is based on a critical  approach to psychology, pedagogy and philosophy. It considers key theories and ideas about how people learn, discusses the role of the educator, and the factors that influence the learning and teaching process.

Learning in Places

This unit will analyse different settings where educational activities take place, including formal and informal settings, institutionalised and non-institutionalised, non-virtual and virtual. It will consider various perspectives including historical factors, the characteristics of the setting and the role of the educator and learner.
Settings may include: school, hospitals, prisons, Pupil Referral Units (PRU's), home schooling, museums, zoos, theatre and alternative approaches such as Forest Schools, Montessori and also learning in virtual spaces and `edutainment'. The unit will also examine learning within the workplace and the concept of lifelong learning. Through this unit, you will have the opportunity to visit some of these learning settings and there will be specialist inputs by a range of guest speakers from the field.

The First Year Seminar

This is a year-long sequence of learning in which you will choose a pair of seminars from a range of options, all of which follow a learning sequence that is designed to help you develop university level transferrable skills in argumentative writing and critical reading skills in the first term (FYS1) and library research and oral communication skills in the second term (FYS2). The unit also accommodates a range of optional seminars that introduce you to your specialist subject but which are also focused on enabling student choice.

In year three, you will study education policy and the politics behind it, exploring questions such as why schools become academies, where the current ‘British values’ agenda has come from and how teachers are trained. You will also learn about how to carry out educational research, in preparation for your final year project, as well as continuing to develop your academic and professional skills.

In addition to these, you will have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional units. These focus on a variety of themes, including global issues in education, inclusion and special needs, community education projects and the role of religion in schools. You can also choose to spend time getting some first-hand experience in schools and other educational settings.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Becoming Researchers

This unit considers the issues and questions that can be investigated in educational research, the methods that can be employed in a satisfactory investigation and how to generate ideas from such investigation utilising diagnostic and critical skills. This will be achieved through a consideration of:

  • The contested nature of social inquiry; competing paradigms of social research and methodologies, different strategies, and approaches to collecting and analysing data.
  • Contrasting ways of interpreting findings, effective planning, and team working.

This unit will require that you make an effective use of the Library and electronic resources (e.g. collaborative research tools or research software) and that you are able to analyse, reformat and evaluate information from a wide range of sources (academic and non academic). You will also demonstrate an understanding of the University’s ethical standards and procedures.

Policy and Politics in Education

This unit will introduce you to the contested issues that shape the provision of education in England, considering political and historical factors, major reviews of education conducted in the 20th and 21st centuries e.g. The Education Reform Act and the Plowden Report.

In your final year you will undertake an independent research project, with supervision from a designated tutor, allowing you to explore a set of questions or issues in education that interest you. You will also continue to develop your academic and professional skills.

In addition to these, you will have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional units. These focus on a variety of themes, including leadership and management in education, the nature of educational professionalism, comparative education and curriculum studies.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Research Project (ES)

The choice of topic and methodology used for the dissertation will depend on your particular interests within the degree. The individual research project may focus upon a single issue or, alternatively, it may draw upon a range of material from your programme of study. The research must be school-based or, alternatively, focused on another educational context, but will involve the collection and analysis of data.

Placement options

There are no formal placements, but you will be provided with opportunities to work with children and young people in a variety of contexts, such as schools, out of school initiatives and museums, and you are actively encouraged to work as a volunteer.

School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies

Our School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies specialises in teaching and research around education disciplines focused on children, young people, families and communities.

The department works collaboratively with communities, partners, local authorities and arts organisations on social enterprise projects, and has been at the forefront of developments in its field for over 20 years.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


Foundation Year students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £9,250 per year for the foundation year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £15,000 per year. When progressing from the pre-degree foundation year to the linked degree. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study)

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing. Total optional cost: £600


Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)


Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

All applications via UCAS

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
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