Director of Studies: Dr Zoe Jacques

Number of students admitted each year: 2 to 3

We welcome applications for Education at Christ's. This page contains the following information:


Course introduction

The Education course at Cambridge is a rigorous and rewarding inter-disciplinary 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 three “tracks”:

  • Education, Psychology and Learning focuses on education from a psychological perspective; exploring human development and education in a variety of social and cultural environments. Course details.
  • Education, Policy and International Development enables you to consider historical and contemporary discussions concerning these areas, and education’s role in economic and social change. Course details.
  • 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. Course details.

In the first year, you take four papers, including two compulsory Education papers (Critical Debates in Education, and Language, Communication and Literacies) and two further papers determined by the track you are following. First year education students attend 4-6 lectures a week and also have one or two hours of small-group supervision. 

You're assessed at the end of each year. Depending on the papers you've studied, this will be through coursework, written examination, or a combination of both. In third year, all students also work on a dissertation. 

What is the study of Education?

Education - with the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge at its heart - is one of the most important and powerful cultural currents of change and growth in the modern world. These key characteristics are reflected in the structure of the Education Tripos, a diverse and intellectually exciting course which opens up a wide range of employment opportunities and careers in educational research, policy-making and teaching in the UK and abroad.

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 ongoing 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.

Student Profile

Mira has just completed her final year of Education here at Christ's College, Cambridge. She has written about her experiences of studying Education in this student profile. If you would like to read more accounts from Christ's students, please see the student profiles page. 

How to apply for Education at Christ's

Details and a timeline for the application process can be found on the how to apply page. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and school types, all over the world. If you will be applying from outside the UK, we recommend that you also read our dedicated section for international students.

You make a UCAS application for Education, then on your SAQ (or on your COPA if you are applying from outside the EU), you will be asked to select one of the three "tracks": 

  • Education, Psychology and Learning 
  • Education, Policy and International Development 
  • Education, English, Drama and the Arts 

Subject advice

Applicants for Education should take at least one A-level or IB Higher Level subject that is relevant to the track that you wish to study. 'Relevant' subjects might include social science and/or essay-based subjects, e.g. English Literature, English Language and Literature, Sociology, Psychology and/or History.

The most important thing to demonstrate in your application is that you have a genuine passion for Education and for your chosen track. We encourage you to explore your own interests within Education and to find issues that really interest you.

Written work

When we receive your application, we will ask you to send to us two pieces of work that you feel accurately reflect your abilities and interests. This should be work which has been prepared during the normal course of your studies and has already been marked by a teacher. We recommend that you keep a copy for your own reference as it may be discussed at interview. Full written work guidelines including how to send your essays by email will be provided as part of the current applicants section on this website (published by 20 September each year).

Pre-Interview Admissions Assessment

All students applying to the University of Cambridge for Education must sit a pre-interview admissions assessment called the Arts-Humanities Admissions Assessment (AHAA). This will take place in your school, college or local testing centre on 30 October 2019. The same assessment is used regardless of which College you have applied to. The Arts-Humanities Admissions Assessment examines your academic abilities, knowledge-base and potential, and forms part of our holistic admissions process: there is no set score that we are looking for. When applying, it is important to be aware of the registration and assessment dates:

  • All Education applicants applying in 2019 must be registered to take the Arts-Humanities Admissions Assessment by 18:00 UK time on 15 October 2019. See how to be registered.
    Please note that open centres may set an earlier deadline for accepting entries, and it is your responsibility to check if this applies at your centre.
  • All Education applicants applying in 2019 sit the assessment on 30 October 2019.

Information about the assessment including example questions is available on the University Admissions website from March each year. Note that Education is administered with four other subjects within the Arts-Humanities Admissions Assessment question booklet. Section 1 will have identical questions. Section 2 will have subject-specific questions. Please ensure you answer the appropriate question or questions for Education in Section 2.


Christ's Education applicants selected for interview in Cambridge will have two interviews in early December, and you may be given a piece of text to study and prepare a short time ahead of one of the interviews. Further, more general information about interviews (including two useful films) is available in the Cambridge interviews section.

We also hold interviews in a number of locations overseas. If this may be relevant for you, please see the international students section


Christ’s College has no fixed quota of places for Education. We would normally make a conditional offer of grades A*AA at A level or 42 points overall in the International Baccalaureate with 7,7,6 in your Higher Level subjects, or appropriate equivalents in other systems. The international students section has further information about typical offers for other qualifications.

If you will have already finished school when you apply, please see the page for post-qualification applications




Careers after an Education degree

The career options for graduates are extremely varied and Education students find employment in a wide range of occupations in the UK and abroad. As well as further study and teaching, Cambridge graduates 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, and international development. 

For those interested in further study, the Education degree 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. For those intending to teach, the course provides a foundation from which to proceed to some initial teacher training courses (e.g. a PGCE). 

Further Information

More detail about the University course can be found on the Cambridge Admissions website and on the Education Faculty website. If you are able to come to a College Open Day, we will be glad to tell you more about the College and the course in person. If you are not able to come, we will be happy to answer any queries you may have that are not covered by the normal literature. Please address any such enquiries by e-mail to

Undergraduate Admissions main page / Back to the subject list / How to apply / Why choose Christ's?