Education is the study of human development and transformation in all its forms and contexts and is one of the most powerful means for change and growth in the modern world. Whether your interest is in the individual mind, the social and political processes taking place within communities, institutions and global networks, or the cultural encounters that shape ideas, beliefs and imaginations, our course allows you to explore these themes.
This rigorous and rewarding course crosses academic disciplines and allows you to develop specialist knowledge in areas such as psychology, international development, literature and theatre. Creativity, contemporary research and a global perspective are key, and the programme has a particular focus on nurturing independent, reflexive inquiry through the development of critical research skills.
The flexible interdisciplinary programme offers a broad, compulsory introduction in year one, followed by the opportunity in years two and three to select papers across a range of disciplines, or to focus more closely on a particular area you may be interested in exploring in more depth.
You attend approximately four to six lectures and seminars, and one or two hours of supervision per week.
You are assessed at the end of each year. Depending on the papers studied, this will be through practical work, coursework, written examination, or a combination of these. In the third year, all students also submit a dissertation.
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.
More details about the course, and the range of papers available, can be found on the Faculty of Education website.
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.
The 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 (e.g. a PGCE).
As an Education student at Magdalene you join a small band of enthusiastic and committed students. On average, each year we admit one or two students, who get together regularly in College and at the Faculty of Education. Individual meetings with the DoS happen three times a term, or as the student requests. The Education DoS (Professor Linda Fisher) is keen to ensure that you are appropriately supported in your studies, will review your progress and make sure that the workload is challenging and manageable. Our Magdalene Education students report being very well looked after and they flourish academically!
Education students have benefitted, not only from good library provision and College facilities in general, but have also enjoyed College financial support to explore a number of interesting course-related extra-curricular activities, such as visits to schools in South Africa to evaluate intervention programmes.
If you are a person with a wide-ranging set of intellectual interests and a commitment to the importance of education, then the Education Tripos may be ideally suited to you.
Perhaps your own schooling has led you to ask questions about the right way to educate young people. Perhaps you have started to wonder what education is like across the world and how it might be. As long as you wish to consider, both creatively and critically, why, how and about what we educate, then the course is for you.
The Education Tripos attracts students from all different backgrounds and many different parts of the world; there is no 'typical' Education student. Diversity is reflected equally in the Education course structure, where historical and philosophical themes complement the study of contemporary issues and ongoing debates. The course will suit you are interested in ideas and are enthusiastic about developing your critical literacy and research skills, such that you might understand how to generate the varieties of evidence used by educational researchers, policy-makers and other professionals.
Above all, we look for people who are excited by the prospect of learning about, thinking deeply about, writing and talking about how we do and should educate world citizens.
A typical offer is A*AA at A-level and for candidates studying the IB offers typically range from 41-42 points to include 7,7,6 in Higher Level subjects.
Magdalene does not require any specific subjects at A-level, but we do look for a strong and well-rounded academic portfolio, preferably including at least one essay-based subject, as well as clearly grounded motives for wishing to study Education.
Interviews, Written Work and Written Assessment
We ask candidates to send us a copy of two pieces of written work. This should be in essay format (not science coursework or a timed exam) and can be extracted from an EPQ.
Applicants invited for interview will usually have two interviews, each normally lasting about 20-25 minutes. One of these will be with the Director of Studies and another member of the Education Department, the second is likely to be with two teaching fellows of the college in relevant subjects.