York is widely known as one of the best places to live in the UK. In my experience, there is no question about it! Moving to this stunning city has been a highlight of my time studying at the Department of Education. But really, it was the campus that drew me in. With everyone living close together, and all the facilities nearby – it’s perfect. It really feels so welcoming and uniting. Walking through Greg’s Place for the first time into the Department of Education, you really feel like you’re part of a family – a feeling that words cannot describe.
The Department of Education is situated in one of the best locations on campus (in my slightly biased opinion). It’s next to the Heslington Hall bus stop, right above Courtyard, and a 2-minute walk from Central Hall. It’s great! The convenience of its location and having our own study space within the department is so helpful. Especially if you’re like me and you live on Campus East. It’s great to have a place where you can spend a spare hour between lectures or seminars.
My lectures were also spread out across Campus West, which felt daunting at first, but now I’m honestly so grateful for this! It allowed me to feel comfortable across the entire campus and explore other departments and picturesque sites on campus.
Building your degree through practice and research
The modular structure of my degree allows you to learn about such a diverse range of topics, and tailor your degree to your interests or career aspirations. For me, I cannot wait until I get to choose my optional modules next year! I wish to teach at primary school level in the future, so I’ll definitely be choosing modules based on that.
The tutors and lecturers are amazing! They are very hands-on, actively researching and publishing studies within the areas they teach at the Psychology in Education Research Centre. Sometimes they provide students with the opportunity to be research assistants and help with their studies. I 100% would recommend for you to do a little browse on their website and look into their current research to see if there is anything you find interesting.
I’ve also found my modules to be very up-to-date and modern. For example, I learned about new educational policies and developmental learning difficulties, which are very relevant to my future aspirations. I’ve really adored the combination of psychology, sociology, politics and history in my degree. The diversity of the wider studies available to us really keeps me excited about my studies.
The classroom experience
The Education Department’s work with students in schools is definitely worth mentioning. As part of our university-run programme, students get termly placements within a school (mine was one afternoon a week) to engage with the practical applications of their studies. This way, students get a taste of the world of teaching. I’ve found this to be one of the best things to help me prepare and plan for my future. Although things have been put on hold for the time being, I really would advise all students to sign up. Regardless of whether you wish to work in a school or not, it is such a rewarding experience!
Activities outside of your Education degree
We often get inspiring guest speakers visiting the University and our department. There are always talks going on about different aspects of education, psychology and starting your career after graduation. These are remarkably interesting and definitely worth attending if they suit your interests.
Along with this, the Psychology in Education society (which is open to everyone) is also such a fun way of meeting people and finding out more about the topics you’re interested in. They also organise events with guest speakers, as well as casual meet-ups and discussions. At meet-ups, we often debate current issues in the education system or new findings within psychology. This usually takes place in a relaxed setting in Courtyard (one of the student bars in Derwent College) or during a café crawl around town. It’s definitely something worth taking part in!
The Department’s social media
The Department of Education is very active on social media, which is something I also adore! Their Twitter page is especially interesting and fun to engage in, along with their Instagram account. If you are considering coming to York, do check them out – they are great!