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Qualifications offered

BEd Honours

Contact: A/Prof Rudi Laugksch                       To apply                       Bursaries                   


The programme for 2017 (last updated 22/2/2017) is now available. In line with new government regulations the Honours programme is the direct route for educators who wish to pursue a more academic route in their careers and possibly go on to MEd or PhD studies. The specialisations of which candidates must select one that are offered for 2017 are:

EDN4501W Online Learning Design

This course prepares students to design, develop and formatively evaluate online learning interventions within a particular social and cultural context and to adequately explain their design assumptions. This course requires students to critically appraise various models of online learning design by examining their underlying epistemological (knowledge), psycho-social (learning theory) and pedagogical (teaching) assumptions and their associated learning strategies. Students are then required to design, develop and formatively evaluate a prototype online learning intervention using suitable technologies and defend their design choices in an electronic portfolio. (Convener: Associate Professor C Hodgkinson-Williams)

EDN4511S Learning at Work

This course explores current debates around the relationship between work and learning. It takes as its starting point changes in the organisation of work under globalisation, and implications of these for adult education and training. It reviews current debates around new forms of learning and knowledge; the shifting relationship between formal education and the workplace; education for the informal economy; and social inequalities in work and learning. Students will reflect critically on their own experiences, and design new possibilities for learning at work. (Convener: Associate Professor L Cooper)

EDN4512S Curriculum Theory, Research & Practice

The study of curriculum is the study of how dominant groups in society select and codify the knowledge they consider to be important for children to learn, the decisions that are made about how this knowledge is taught, and how it is assessed. The course focuses on issues of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment directly, as well as more broadly on the issue of social inequality and how this is reproduced or challenged through education. The course engages with a range of texts from sociological and educational literature, introducing students to major debates in curriculum studies. It moves from a macro focus on education and society to micro studies of curriculum, classroom pedagogy and assessment. The course also addresses the relationship between theory and practice, assisting students in moving between academic study and a consideration of professional practice. The intention of the course is to enable students to engage critically with curriculum reform in South Africa. (Convener: Associate Professor U Hoadley)

EDN4513S History Education: Theory, Research & Practice

This course aims to engage students critically with current theory, research and practice in the field of history education, and to develop their understanding of appropriate classroom practices for teaching and learning history in schools. It explores key challenges and opportunities for the history curriculum in schools. It explores different philosophical and methodological approaches to the history curriculum; different curriculum models and their implications for history teaching; assessment; and materials development for history classrooms. (Convener: Dr K Angier)

EDN4514S Language & Literacy in Schooling: Theory, Research & Practice

The course aims to develop students’ understanding of the language and literacy challenges in South African schooling; to develop students’ knowledge of conceptual resources for analysing and intervening in these challenges. This course explores key challenges in the field of language and literacy in schooling in South Africa. We focus on the complex possible relationships between language and failure in South African schooling from socio-political, socio-cultural and sociolinguistic perspectives. We examine the language of learning and teaching debate and the theoretical and empirical work underpinning this as well as the language policy and sociolinguistic context in South African education. In a second focus on literacy, we study writing and reading in education, developing the resources for understanding and intervening in key challenges around literacy in educational settings. We study literacy as sets of socially organized practices and skills and examine how aspects of social and linguistic diversity impact on the learning, teaching and assessing of the skills and practices associated with language, reading, writing and learning in education. We further explore dominant approaches to the teaching of literacy, analysing how reading and writing are conceptualised in these approaches. (Convener: Associate Professor C McKinney)

EDN4515S Knowledge for Practice in Mathematics Education

The aim of the course is to expose students to a range of theoretical and methodological positions in the field of mathematics education, concerned with aspects of the reproduction of mathematics in pedagogic contexts. Key areas of focus are: (1) the structuring of curricula for the teaching and learning of mathematics; (2) the reproduction of mathematics in curriculum texts, like textbooks, workbooks and software; (3) the teaching of mathematics and the notion of mathematics for teaching; (4) the learning of school mathematics. (Convener: Dr Z Davis)

EDN4516S Knowledge for Practice in Science Education

The course aims to consolidate and deepen students’ understanding of the thinking, practice and research approaches in the specialist field of science education and thus engages with research on instructional strategies, content representations, student understandings, science practices and habits of mind associated with effective science teaching. Topics explored include the purpose of teaching science in South Africa and elsewhere; inquiry-based learning and its link to the nature of science and practical work in science education; as well as students’ conceptual change. Gess-Newsome’s model of Teacher Professional Knowledge and Skill is explored as a robust and predictive way to think about teacher knowledge and action. (Convener: Associate Professor A Hattingh / R Laugksch)

EDN4517S Educational Management and Leadership

Through an examination of key concepts in leadership styles and managerial practices the course aims to focus students/practitioners on ways to improve teaching and learning in schools. There are two main areas of focus: 
1.    A consideration of different styles of leadership and how these might or might not contribute towards learner performance. 
2.    A focus on possible ‘managerial’ responses to improve this within the context of school culture and leadership. In particular, the course will examine learner performance in South Africa; leadership in challenging circumstances; the role that teachers as leaders can play, and the means to enact change. The emphasis here will be on examining what it is that schools and teachers can do rather than on what it is not possible to do.
(Convener: JD Gilmour)

Entry will normally be by degree and a teaching qualification only, but for 2016 at least candidates with diplomas may apply if they have an average of 65% in the 4th year of their diplomas.

Educators who are primarily concerned with improving their practice or who have 4 year diploma, can follow the PGDE route (offered from 2017/18). This also offers specialisation and provides a route to a professional Master’s degree or to the academic Masters route. However, until such time as the PGDE is implemented, all candidates may follow the BEd(Hons) route. 


First time registering students are required to take 4 courses, 2 of which are in a specialist area (including EDN4508W). All courses are 30 credits at level 8 and class contact time will be 12 sessions x 2½ hours unless indicated otherwise.

(a) Compulsory Courses:

As the timetable indicates, there are 3 compulsory courses all of which are available in the 1st Semester. These are: 

EDN4506F South African Education in Context 

This course addresses the foundations of education and professional studies in the South African context. It provides an overview of the education system and enables students to locate themselves within it, drawing on perspectives from history, sociology and policy studies. Within this broad framework, students will be able to deepen their interests in different strands of education theory and practice, covering Adult Education, Higher Education and different aspects of schooling, including classroom practice and educational leadership and management.

EDN4507F Learning and Teaching

This course investigates the interrelated issues of learning, teaching and cognitive change. It enables a deeper exploration of learning theories in relation to specific educational problems/challenges generated in the South African context, and in relation to broader questions of psychological change. It generates a view of learning and learners that negates the conventional isolation of educational issues from other psychological domains. 

The course is structured around three core issues: 
1.    Cognition: theories of learning
2.    Learning and identity: constructions of self
3.    Learning and development: possibilities for mediation 


EDN4508W Doing Research in Education:

The purpose of the course is to develop students' capacity to design research in their field/specialism with a view to preparing them to conduct and report on independent research. In the first part of the course, students are introduced to the logic of research design and associated methods, with a particular focus on the relation between a research problem, a research question, a literature review, theory, data and analysis within a coherent design in their field/specialism. In the second part of the course, students will conduct and write up a small independent research study under supervision in their field/specialism.

(b) Optional Courses in the Specialisations:

These are listed above and in the timetable


The 2015 (and earlier) course credit value was 20 credits per course and you need 120 to complete the degree. The new courses are 30 credits each and you will need to register for as many courses as you require to obtain the 120 credit minimum. Note that, as indicated on the timetable, there are a number of courses you may not be able to register for.

Programme Convenor: JD Gilmour

Room 5.05