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*Subject to revalidation

  • Explore both historical and contemporary educational issues through a multidisciplinary approach
  • Develop analytical skills in educational theory, philosophy and practice
  • Discuss and debate subjects such as inclusivity, ethics, and the arts

Philosophy of Education at Winchester enables you to develop your knowledge of educational philosophy. You explore theory, policy, and practice as they relate to your intellectual curiosity and/or your current and future professional roles. You are introduced to a diverse range of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches, and encouraged to enhance your analytical and research skills.

The philosophy of education is about asking the most important questions that inform educational debate today: What is education? What are its aims? What kind of education do we need? For whom? Can education make us into better individuals, or cure societal problems? This course examines the ways in which a variety of philosophical ideas and resources can be drawn upon to evaluate contemporary and historical educational concerns more profoundly. Along with an introduction to the field of contemporary philosophies of education, we consider questions of the social, ethical and aesthetic dimensions of education, drawing on canonical and present-day texts, as well as case studies, film, literature, and personal experience, to enhance our appreciation of policy and practice.

You will learn to demonstrate advanced skills in critically engaging with educational literature and research, and debate a wide range of topics such as inclusivity, ethics, and the arts. You are provided with one-to-one support in the production of a dissertation, which is a substantial piece of independent research of between 12,000-15,000 words. You also develop key transferable skills, including the capacity to manage multifaceted projects, the ability to communicate complex ideas to others with clarity, and proficiency at becoming an effective decision-maker.

The course is excellent preparation for you to pursue or advance a career in teaching and school leadership, or in professions related to care and service. It also provides a firm foundation for undertaking a postgraduate research degree.


The programme prepares graduates to pursue or advance careers in any profession with an educational component or context. While the most obvious examples include the areas of teaching, educational management and policy, disability and professions that involve care and service, the programme seeks to produce graduates who would be able to apply transfer their knowledge, skills, and understanding to a wide variety of sectors, including business, charity work, and arts & culture. The programme also provides a firm foundation for those interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree.

*Subject to revalidation

This course is subject to revalidation. 'Revalidation' is the process by which the University refreshes its existing provision. Revalidation assesses the quality and standards of the programme to ensure it continues to provide a distinct, high quality academic experience for students, enabling them to acquire the necessary academic knowledge, understanding, general and subject-specific skills required to pursue a graduate level career.


Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Learning and teaching

In addition to lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, students are offered opportunities to engage in focused group work. Students evaluate the contributions of theorists and educationalists, consider case studies drawn from empirical research and delve into the rich tapestry of their own experiences to reflect critically upon educational issues, policy and practice.

Teaching takes place:

Evenings (and some Saturdays for the part-time route) 


This programme is distance learning only


Each module is assessed through written assignments, usually essays, along with other forms of assessment. Assignment titles emerge from the context of each module, although there are opportunities for titles to be individually negotiated between students and module leaders. Students are provided with full, one-to-one support in the production of a dissertation, which is a substantial piece of independent research of 12,000 words.

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.


Normally a first or second-class Honours degree in a related subject or professional experience in the area of study.

If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent

Course enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234

Send us a message

International students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Applications need to be submitted before the 31 May 2021. Late applications can be accepted throughout the remainder of the application year, for more information see our How to Apply section

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Evenings.

Year 1 (Level 7)

Modules Credits

Introducing Philosophy of Education 20

This module offers a comprehensive introduction to the key themes, thinkers and texts of philosophy of education, exploring the field’s importance for educational thought more broadly, and issues of contemporary importance. Looking at the latest developments in philosophy of education, the module also provides a foundation for addressing political, ethical, and pedagogic issues elsewhere on the programme.

Education and Social Justice 20

Within this module, both theory and practice will be explored in relation to social justice within the context of inclusive education. The module will examine questions relating to the education and inclusion of a diverse range of students who are often socially excluded, including learners with impairments; refugees; asylum seekers; people excluded on grounds of sexual orientation; race; gender and social class. As the module draws upon policy and literature that address approaches to and understandings of disability, reflecting upon the inclusion and exclusion in and from education through the critical lens of sociological and philosophical thought.

Pedagogical Ethics 20

This module addresses the question of what it means to do right by learners as an educator. Could this mean simply providing them with the necessary information they require to pass tests? Does it mean setting a good example? or, Does it mean cultivating a specific moral attitude towards the world? The first half of the module considers different approaches to understanding what makes a ‘good’ teacher, whilst the second half considers the particular question of responsibility from the points of view of various educationalists and philosophers.

Aesthetics and Education 20

This module examines the relationship between aesthetics and education. It will examine aesthetic theory and philosophy, as well as the arts more broadly. Exploring how aesthetic philosophy and theory has and does inform educational thought and practice, the module will also look at how reflection on and experience of art, artistic practice and aesthetic spaces (e.g. museums, galleries, urban and rural spaces, various architecture) might help to develop educational thought, experience and practice.

Research Methods in Philosophy of Education 20

By the conclusion of this module, a student will be expected to be able to:

  • Reveal a systematic and critical understanding of a particular aspect of education theory
  • Have developed an advanced understanding of a substantive area educational theory in relation to their own intellectual curiosity and/or their current and future professional roles
  • Show advanced skills in critically engaging with educational literature relating to the area of educational theory they have selected
  • Engage critically with the idea that “the learner understands that education can help create a more sustainable, equitable and peaceful world” (Sustainable Development Goal 4)

This module will introduce students to a range of possible methodological approaches to undertaking and conducting philosophical research in relation to educational issues. The module will demonstrate how different methodological approaches can both facilitate the organisation of ideas in educational research, and reveal their complexities.


Applying Philosophy: Independent Research Project 20

By the conclusion of this module, a student will be expected to be able to:

  • Demonstrate an ability to apply philosophy and theory to issues of present and practical educational concern
  • Have developed an advanced understanding of philosophical approaches to educational issues in relation to their own intellectual curiosity and/or their current and future professional roles
  • Draw on research methods appropriate to their chosen area of research
  • Engage critically with the idea that “the learner understands that education can help create a more sustainable, equitable and peaceful world” (Sustainable Development Goal 4)

The independent study provides students with an opportunity to engage in a detailed and critical analysis of a substantive area of educational theory.  The study will be entirely text-based.


Dissertation 60

The dissertation enables a detailed and critical analysis of a study into a substantive area of educational thought.  The dissertation is an independent study of up to 15,000 words in length, which draws on skills and abilities developed in previous modules.

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Progression from one level of the programme to the next is subject to meeting the University’s academic regulations.

2021 Course Tuition Fees

UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

Full-time entry | £6,800
Part-time entry | £3,400 p/a

Total Cost | £6,800

International Students*

Full-time entry | £13,800
Part-time entry | £6,900 p/a

Total Cost | £13,800

*Please note, the tuition fees for students from the EU (excluding UK and Republic of Ireland) are yet to be confirmed by the University.


As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.


Printing and Binding

The University is pleased to offer our students a free printing allowance of £20 each academic year. This will print around 500 A4 mono pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing. Our Reprographics team also offer printing and binding services, including dissertation binding which may be required by your course with an indicative coast of £1.50-£3.


We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

Key course details

Full-time: 1 year Part-time: 2 years
Typical offer
Normally a first or second-class Honours degree
Distance Learning only