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Education

infosheeteducation-226pxHow we learn

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Why Study Education?

We are involved with education throughout our lives. Education papers investigate how learning happens, and they identify and address patterns of success and failure in education.

Topics of interest are:

  • Educational psychology (how children, young people, and adults learn)
  • How education systems evolve and how they function
  • The role of education in the lives of families, whānau and communities
  • The historical influences that have shaped institutions of childhood and education systems nationally and internationally
  • The cultural, social, and political influences on the school curriculum
  • The study of gender, disability, Māori education, ICT, and research methods also feature in the undergraduate work of the University of Otago College of Education

The study of Education is diverse and inter-disciplinary. It equips graduates with a range of sought-after skills including critical thinking, problem solving, strong interpersonal skills, and both written and verbal communication skills.

Education at Otago

The Bachelor of Arts majoring in Education is a three-year degree programme.


In your first year, you will learn about the political, social and cultural dimensions of contemporary educational practice. You also will study lifespan development in its social context. This includes the studies of families, of cultures within New Zealand, and of disability. Beyond your first year, you’ll develop understanding of how people learn, ways of facilitating learning, and how education in New Zealand has developed over time.

We offer papers that allow students to focus their studies in the following areas:

  • Psychology of education
  • Sociology of education
  • Pedagogy of education
  • Equity in education
  • Disability Studies and education

Degree options

Students can study Education as a major or minor of a Bachelor of Arts. They may elect to do a double major or a double degree, such as a BA in Education and BSc in Psychology. Students find that Education papers are a useful complement to their other degrees including Arts, Physical Education, or Social Work and Community Development. Education papers can enhance any degree, as all professionals are involved in learning.

Career Opportunities

Students with a major in Education are able to apply for a diverse range of jobs. Education can be an especially useful background for careers in research, policy analysis, social work, the counselling professions and many areas of public service.
Educational processes are important in almost all settings and Education graduates can have a valuable role in most organisations.