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  • Explore both historical and contemporary educational issues from a variety of philosophical perspectives
  • Develop analytical and research skills in educational philosophy and theory
  • Discuss and debate subjects such as inclusivity, the curriculum, pedagogy, technology and the arts

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.


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 826247

Applications need to be submitted before the 15 May 2023. 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. The lectures and readings are designed to inform students of the latest developments in philosophy of education, and provide a foundation for addressing political, ethical, and pedagogical issues elsewhere on the programme.

Education and Social Justice 20

This module introduces students to theory and practice in relation to social justice and its significance for education. John Rawls’ idea of justice as fairness will be the point of orientation and departure for a number of concerns that intersect with and provide opportunities for critical engagement with the concept of social justice, including racial, gender, global and environmental justice. Engaging theory and practice, the module will draw upon policy documents in order to 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. 

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 question of moral responsibility from the points of view of various educationalists and philosophers.

Aesthetics and Education 20

This module examines aspects of the relationship between aesthetics and education.  The first part engages with philosophical perspectives on aesthetics to explore the complexity of connecting the arts to education. In the second half of the module, we explore the nature and significance of the personal response in aesthetics and aesthetic education as well as considering what the arts can reveal to us about education. Questions of taste and judgment– good and bad, the rational vs the emotional, high vs low (popular) art, the relationship between art and morality and the role of the imagination in education are all engaged with. We will think about what the arts and our understanding of the aesthetic can contribute to educational research. Is it simply a matter of how educational research is represented through the arts or can the arts provide us with insights into the nature of such research, insights into educational practice and the conceptualisation of education? 

Research Methods in Philosophy of Education 20

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

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 students to present a detailed and critical theoretical analysis of a study into a substantive area of education and/or philosophy.

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.

2024 Course Tuition Fees

UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

Full-time entry | £9,250
Part-time entry | £4,625 p/a

Total Cost | £9,250

International Students

Full-time entry | £10,725
Part-time entry | £5,362.50 p/a

Total Cost | £10,725


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. 


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