- Number of students per year: up to two
- Typical offer: A*AA or equivalent
- Essential subjects: The only formal requirement is that an A-Level in English Literature (or equivalent) is essential for the Education, English, Drama, and the Arts track.
- Useful subjects: none
The new Education degree at Cambridge is a rigorous and rewarding interdisciplinary degree that allows you to draw on social scientific, humanities, and scientific knowledge and explore the new discipline of education research and practice.
What you'll study
In this exciting new degree, you are able to choose one of the three following tracks, combining an in depth study of educational and social issues within and alongside particular disciplines:
- Education, Psychology and Learning focuses on education from a psychological perspective - exploring human development and education in a variety of social and cultural environments.
- Education, Policy and International Development offers you the opportunity to consider historical and contemporary research and discussions concerning education's role in economic and social change.
- Education, English, Drama, and the Arts combines the study of English literature and drama alongside key debates around creativity, learning and culture.
See details of the content and structure of each track and the choice of papers on the Faculty of Education website.
Depending on which track you choose, you can engage with challenging debates about how to develop young people's communication and intellectual skills; you can learn about global and national concerns about educational justice and human rights and you can explore the creative and educative power of the arts and culture. You will also be fully supported in learning how to conduct research into complex and sometimes controversial topics within or across these themes.
Teaching and support
Jesus College has a long history of encouraging education as a field of research and professional study. We would like to admit students to all of these three routes. The College aims to admit up to two undergraduates every year to Education who are supported throughout their study by our two education professorial Fellows:
- Madeleine Arnot is Professor of Sociology of Education. Her research focuses on the role of education in relation to gender, race, and social inequalities and the promotion of democratic citizenship.
- Anna Vignoles is a Professor in the Economics of Education. She researches how we might encourage students from different backgrounds to go to university both in the UK and internationally, as well as improve our understanding of education inequalities and the resourcing issues facing the education system.
We will want you to identify your own interests within this degree so that we can help you select courses which reflect your present concerns and your future aspirations. The breadth and depth of study on this course allows you to continue with a broad mix of subjects and engage with a range of new humanities and social scientific disciplines, perhaps for the first time.
We provide you with an environment where you can develop high level skills in analytical writing, research methods, evaluations of practice, critical engagements with policy, and even dramatic productions, creative art, and music.
We have considerable success in helping our students achieve top grades in education by ensuring they have the best supervision in the core disciplines of education (philosophy, psychology, sociology, and the history of education), and in addressing fundamental questions about the aims and values of education and its relationship to society.
Studying Education at Jesus
At Jesus, we have built up a thriving UK and international education community which consists, on average, of some 20 students who are undergraduates, teacher trainees, and postgraduates. We often bring everyone together, for example for an annual Education Dinner attended by leading educationalists and other gatherings during the year.
Our undergraduates make a significant contribution to College life, running the Southern African Education Fund, and becoming student ambassadors to encourage widening participation from other school applicants. There is a Jesus Education Society which encourages academic engagement with visiting speakers and holds social events, as well as shared intercollegiate social events.
Given the breadth of each of the three tracks in this degree, students who take the Education degree will have a wide range of subject backgrounds and experience.
We're looking for candidates who are able to reach the high standards required by the degree and who are enthusiastic about the particular track they have chosen, aiming to excel in the variety of education and other disciplinary papers they choose, and willing to engage with the intellectual challenge of education as a field of study. They will be able to develop their skills as they progress through the degree.
Jesus College welcomes applicants from both the UK and other countries and will consider all combinations of subjects at A-Level or the equivalent for the three tracks within the degree.
The only formal requirement is that an A-Level in English Literature (or equivalent) is essential for the Education, English, Drama, and the Arts track. It's not essential to have a Theatre Studies, Drama, Music, Art or Language A-Level for this track but they will dovetail well with the course.
Students studying A-Level social sciences such as Geography, Politics, Sociology, Psychology, Law, or Economics might wish to consider the international development route, although these subjects are not essential. Those who enjoy Biology, Psychology, and the sciences might wish to consider the Psychology and Education route. However you need not have studied any such A-Levels to apply.
Conditional offers are normally made at A*AA at A-Level or equivalent level of international qualifications. We welcome applications from students with qualifications comparable to A-Level, such as Scottish Certificate of Sixth Year Studies, the International Baccalaureate, and other school leaving examinations. Offers are normally made for the International Baccalaureate at 40-41 points, with 776 at Higher Level.
In order to minimise COVID-related risks to our applicants, students and staff in the coming undergraduate admissions round, we are making plans to interview applicants this year without requiring them to travel to Cambridge in December. We will release further details about alternative arrangements as soon as we can.
You will have two interviews of around 25 minutes each. The first interview will be with the Director of Studies in Education and the second interview will be with another Professor of Education. They'll be joined by a Fellow or by a colleague from the Education Faculty who is an expert in a subject area that is relevant to the route you have chosen, for example, Psychology, Development Studies, English, or Drama.
You may be asked to take a written assessment at interview. You can find an example of this test on the University undergraduate Education pages. Click on 'entry requirements' and then on 'assessment format' to find the sample test with instructions. The test will change each year.
No specialist knowledge is required but it is valuable to explore your interest in education by reading around contemporary education debates in the news, and by reflecting on your own educational experiences, and those which you might have acquired helping others learn.
You don't need to submit any written work.
Deferred and post A-Level entry
We're happy to consider deferred applications and post A-Level applications from those who have achieved A*AA at A-Level or equivalent. If you choose this option, you'll go through the normal competitive process with the other applicants. We'll also consider second time applicants without prejudice.
Find out how to apply to study at Jesus.