Education Studies at Warwick
I’ve not spoken very much about the Education part of my degree. Mainly because I spend all my time is Psychology as I only take 2 modules from the department each year. However, it’s only fair that I introduce the Centre for Education Studies in my series of posts aimed at potential prospective students.
I wanted to give a fair representation of CES, from someone who really knows the ins and outs of and spends much more time in the dept. than I do.
Chloe Spencer-Dene has very kindly offered to answer some questions about her studies and experiences. Chloe is a BA Education Studies student, who will be going into her final year in September. She is also a peer mentor and SSLC representative in the department.
Before I get into the main body of the post, the courses based in CES (or joint with other departments) that are currently on offer are:
- BA Education Studies
- BASc Education studies & Global Sustainable Development
- BSc Psychology with Education Studies
- BA Liberal Arts (if you choose to go down the Education pathway)
With that said, let’s get to it!
Let’s start with getting to know about Chloe’s interests a bit more:
Why did you decide to complete a degree in Education Studies?
I have always been interested in understanding how a child develops and I felt that this course allowed me to learn about education in a way that did not restrict my career prospects.
There are 3 key pathways in the dept. (The Psychology of Learning, Social and Political Impacts of Education, and Education, Culture and Creativity. These can be found on the department’s website) – which is your favourite?
I don’t think I have a favourite. I like elements of all of them and I also like having a variety of modules. I’ve been interested in psychology and politics since A-level, so it is always interesting when I am able to link these topics with aspects of my course. I also love learning about how creativity and reading can play a role in a child’s development.
Moving onto some questions about the dept. itself:
On average, how many contact hours do you have per week and what is the majority of your independent study time spent on?
There tends to be around 9-12 contact hours per week, however in second and third year you have more choice over what modules you take, so you can choose to have more modules/hours in one term and less in another. I spend a lot of my independent study time re-writing up notes from the lectures to make sure I did not miss anything (and that they are legible!). I also spend a lot of this time completing the recommended reading for each module.
What’s the community in the department like?
I think one of my favourite parts of this course/department is that it feels like a real community. The lecturers are so friendly and approachable and I know that if I had any issues, whether its about an assignment or even something outside of the course, my lecturers would be happy to help. As the course is quite small (around 14-20 students in each year) we get to know our course mates and lectures pretty well which can be really great when trying to settle into university life.
What support/ resources are there for students academically but also in terms of pastoral support?
Our department has our own careers advisor who we can contact which can be really useful. We all have a personal tutor who we tend to see at least twice a term, but we can arrange meetings with them at any time if we need to. Your personal tutor, as well as most of the lecturers, can be there to provide support, whether academically or pastorally, and if they are unable to help, they will be able to provide information about other resources.
Does department offer any opportunities to help you explore career options beyond your usual classes?
The department sends emails about different events/opportunities that may be of interest to the students. Through these emails I was able to learn about volunteering opportunities (through Warwick Volunteers) that were related to education and learning. From this, I was able to volunteer for a term in a school helping children with their reading. There are other university-wide opportunities that I was introduced to by lecturers that have enabled me to be part of an international research conference (ICUR), in which I can present my own research from my second year project to students/universities globally.
Is there a strong student voice in the dept and do you think that there generally good communication between staff and students?
Yes, we have the Staff Student Liaison Committee (SSLC), which I have been involved in since first year. We have about 2 students from each year of Education Studies and occasionally Psychology with Education who meet each term and discuss any issues that students have voiced and any recommendations for the department. I think that students do have a voice that can be heard within Education Studies at Warwick because it is such a small course.
Things may be different given the current situation, but usually, what kind of methods of assessment can prospective students expect to complete?
Our assessments tend to be either assignments/essays that range from around 500-4000 words and exams (which tend to include writing 2 or 3 essays). Some modules also have presentations- either individual or group. Every student receives feedback on their assignments which can be really helpful when trying to improve.
Lastly, has your perspective of what Education is been changed since starting your degree?
I think I associated Education with being in school, learning a range of things that I was not always interested in. I now see education as an opportunity for children all over the world to learn and grow and societies to improve.
Any final comments that you would like to add?
Reading Education Studies at Warwick does not restrict your career path. Around half of the students go into teaching, many students go into research, the civil service and many other jobs that can involve leading and education. Education Studies is so broad and allows you to learn about aspects of education/development that you may have never realised you would be interested in. In second year, you also have a module that requires you to get work experience (which I chose to do with Ofsted). Work experience is so essential and can be hard to get while at university. The fact that you have the opportunity to gain experience, understand your strengths and potentially gain a better understanding of a career path that may interest you through this module is really great.
If you would like to know more about studying Education at Warwick, head over to the Warwick Virtual Open Day page. Here, you can virtually meet key staff members and catch up on talks that took place, as well as view that chat session where Chloe and Charlotte (who has just completed her undergrad in Education Studies) spoke and answered questions about their experiences.
The department’s homepage can be accessed here, and if you’re interested in what kind of module may be on offer see this page of the module catalogue as well as the main homepage. Please note that module availability changes year on year, and any module beginning with the code EQ9__ is not relevant for undergraduate study.
Any queries, look out for our Autumn Open Day arrangements or email the dept. (email@example.com).
Thank you very much to Chloe for her time and help 😊.