• Intake: 2
  • Typical Offer: A*AA 
  • Essential Subjects: Applications wishing to study on the Education, English, Drama and the Arts track should be studying A-level (or equivalent) English Literature/Language
  • Faculty website:


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

Education, as a major social science in its own right, explores the intellectual, social and psychological development of the child and young person from birth through to adulthood and the role of literacy, language and creativity in learning. It examines the historical contexts shaping educational ideas and movements and the underlying philosophical principles and political beliefs promoting notions of meritocracy, equality, social inclusion, poverty alleviation and human rights.

 At Cambridge, you will engage with these important contemporary themes and on-going debates, developing and applying a form of critical literacy suited to addressing the varieties of evidence generated and used by educational researchers, policy-makers and professionals. 

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. 

In your application form you should indicate which track you are 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 and 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 dissertaion; 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

Education at Queens’:  

  • Generally one supervision hour per week based on an essay

Director of Studies 

Acting Director of Studies for 2021/22 - Mr John Harding

Dr Tyler Denmead 

Current Interests: Childhood and Youth, Informal Arts Education,  Critical Race Theory, Critical Whiteness Studies, Arts-Based Educational Research