Key facts

Average number of students offered a place per year


Average number of applicants per year


Education is one of the most powerful means for change and growth in the modern world. If you’re interested in the psychology, politics or social and cultural contexts of education and learning, you can study it on our Education course.

A Level: Our standard conditional offer for this subject is usually A*AA at A level or 41 - 43 points overall and 7, 7, 6 at Higher Level in IB.  All Colleges may modify offers to take account of individual circumstances.  Further information can be found here

For Education, English, Drama and the Arts, A level (or equivalent) English Literature is highly desirable. 

For Education, Policy and International Development and Education, Psychology and Learning, A level (or equivalent) subjects relevant to the track you wish to study would be useful.

For other qualification and equivalency information please see the main University admissions pages.

Links to the Education page on the main Undergraduate Admissions site:

Education at Cambridge

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’re taught by academics at the forefront of their fields and who specialise in cutting-edge research.

Further study and professional qualifications

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.

Alternatively, for those intending to teach, the course provides a foundation from which to proceed to some initial teacher training courses (eg a PGCE).

After Cambridge

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 and teaching, 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, HR, business and consultancy, charities and NGOs, and international development.

Course outline

In your SAQ you should indicate which track you’re interested in studying.

You attend four to six lectures and seminars, and one or two hours of supervision per week in the first year.

You’re assessed at the end of each year. Depending on the papers studied, this will be through coursework, written examination, or a combination of both. In the third year, all students also submit a dissertation.

 Year 1 (Part IA)

You take four papers, including two compulsory Education papers:

  • Critical Debates in Education – introducing major themes in education and Faculty research
  • Language, Communication and Literacies – exploring the social, psychological and material context within which spoken language and literacy are developed

Your two remaining papers are determined by the track you’re following:

  • Education, Psychology and Learning – Learning and Human Development, and Introduction to Psychology
  • Education, Policy and International Development – Education, Global Inequalities and Social Justice; and a paper from choices in the Human, Social, and Political Sciences (HSPS) or Geographical courses
  • Education, English, Drama and the Arts – Poetics, Aesthetics and Criticism; and either Drama Production or Literature and Culture

Year 2 (Part IB)

In Year 2, you take five papers. Two are compulsory:

  • Designing Educational Research - introduction to the knowledge and skills to undertake educational research.
  • The Emergence of Educational Thinking and Systems - examines the earliest forms of ‘education’ in pre-modern societies globally and charts the rise of modern education systems and the thinkers that impacted them.

You choose your third from several other education topics.

Your other two papers are track dependent:

  • Education, Psychology and Learning – Formal and Informal Contexts of Learning, and a psychology paper.
  • Education, Policy and International Development – International Issues in Inclusion and Diversity in Education, and a paper from a list provided.
  • Education, English, Drama and the Arts – two of International Literatures, Arts and Cultures; Theatre Practice and Production; an Education, English, Drama and the Arts dissertation; and one paper from a range offered in the English course.

Year 3 (Part II)

You take five papers in the final year. All students take at least two papers on particular issues in education and write a dissertation of 8,000-10,000 words. For the fourth, you can take another issue in education paper, submit a second track specific dissertation, or choose a paper from options in other relevant courses.

Your final paper is track specific:

  • Education, Psychology and Learning – Education, Neuroscience and Society
  • Education, Policy and International Development – Critical Debates in Education, Policy and International Development
  • Education, English, Drama and the Arts – either Children’s Literature, or Performance, Education and Society