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Education

Cambridge offers a unique way to study education from a social science/humanities framework in one of three tracks.

The Education, Psychology & Learning track allows students to consider various aspects of psychology that are important for not only learning in traditional educational settings, but also how we learn from everyday experiences and informal settings. The course will include learning by children of all ages and adults. It is excellent preparation for those who might be considering a career in educational psychology as well as those who might want an inter-disciplinary experience in psychological science. This track benefits from the involvement of researchers from the Faculty of Education’s PEDAL Centre (Play in Education Development and Learning) - an innovative centre founded by a donation from the Lego Foundation that investigates the role of play and playful learning in child development. This track is currently under consideration for accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

The Education, English, Drama and the Arts track is the only degree of its kind across the whole of the UK. It provides students with the unique opportunity to compare the study of English literature or Drama with a social science view of education. This track benefits from involvement of researchers from the Faculty of Education’s Centre for Children’s Literature, which is an internationally renowned for high-quality and innovative research in children’s literature that combines literary, aesthetic and educational approaches within an interdisciplinary research framework.

The Education, Policy and International Development route provides students to opportunity to consider how educational policies in the UK and abroad affect social and economic conditions and how education can be leveraged as a force for social change and economic improvement globally. This track benefits from the involvement of researchers from the Faculty of Education’s REAL Centre (Research for Equitable Access and Learning) - a world leader in investigating national and international barriers to education, such as poverty, gender, ethnicity, language and disability, and promotes education as an engine for inclusive growth and sustainable development.

All of these routes are linked to exciting post-graduate programmes where you can continue beyond your bachelor's degree.

Education at Caius

The inter-disciplinary nature of the Education Tripos will attract students who have multiple academic interests. There are students in all Cambridge Triposes at Caius, affording opportunities to regularly discuss issues that are directly relevant to the course with students who are not studying the same subject. Caius has good-sized cohorts in the specific subjects related to these three tracks (eg English, Psychology, Sociology, Politics, Economics) and can provide high quality supervisions in these areas on borrowed papers. In addition, Caians are involved in a large number of extra-curricular events in the College, including drama societies and the student union. Some recent Education students have directed plays by the Caius drama society or written plays put on by the Cambridge theatres.

Education students might be small in number at Caius, but the Director of Studies (DoS), Dr Michelle Ellefson is directly involved with teaching and examination on the Tripos. In addition to being an active researcher in cognitive science and education, she meets with her students regularly and helps them navigate the many Cambridge opportunities and experiences, both academic and extra-curricular, that enable students to be successful in job applications and further study. Thinking about your academic progress is a key element of your regular meetings with your DoS, together with support for exploring ideas and careers beyond Caius. Our Education students have gone on to do fascinating and exciting things after graduation.

Gonville & Caius has an amazing library with excellent resources in the areas relevant for the three tracks. Students are encouraged to make suggestions to the Library (through the Director of Studies) for new items to add to the Library’s collection. Students have 24-hour access to the College library. Education Tripos studnets have full access to the Faculty of Education library - often rated as one of the best departmental libraries in Cambridge. The support offered by the librarians is regularly praised by students. The Education Library is open Monday-Saturday during term and has regular weekday hours outside of term. With the support of the Education Library, there are extensive electronic resources and readings available to students to facilitate working when not in Cambridge.

Although most students will only stay in Cambridge during term, the College is able to facilitate arrangements for students to stay on for part or all of the short vacations. This can be especially useful for students who need extra time for their studies or, when necessary, because of personal circumstances.

How to apply

We are looking for students from a variety of academic backgrounds for the Education Tripos. Students who want to apply to the Education, English, Drama and the Arts track will be likely to have studied English or Drama that is equivalent to A-Levels in order to be prepared for the university-level coursework.

With the removal of the AS exams, the University of Cambridge has started to pilot an examination scheme for applicants. The Faculty of Education is committed to widening participant and educational access and will not be giving an examination before the interview. However, as a way of developing a fair way to compare applicants, there will be a written assignment at interview that will be a critical response to a text or other stimulus such as a video clip. More details about the structure of this assignment is on the Cambridge Admissions Office site under Entry Requirements.

Applicants for Education are also required to provide samples of their written work. You will be asked to send in two essays already marked by your teacher(s). For the Education, English, Drama and the arts track these should be in English (literature), for the other two tracks they can be any topic. You are encouraged to send in your best work.

If you would like any more information about the course, please contact our Admissions Office on admissions@cai.cam.ac.uk.