Department of Education

School of Health, Sport and Food

Welcome to our Department of Education

Thank you for taking the time to come and check out what we offer at University College Birmingham, the highest ranking university in the region as voted by students at the 2023 Whatuni Student Choice Awards. Our student support is award-winning too, as is our provision for international students.

If you are looking at joining us to carve out a career in teaching including early years, here is a glimpse into our student and staff community - along with an insight into the placements and enrichment we offer - to see if we are the right choice for you. 

Find out about our Whatuni awards

Rebecca Taylor
Head of Department of Education

Welcome from Rebecca Taylor

Congratulations on deciding that our university could be your future, you will not be disappointed. Winning the prestigious award of ‘University of the Year’ in 2022 and silver in 2023 was a result of students nominating us.

Our courses lead to a variety of careers and future study pathways. And our staff are subject experts within their fields, be that within early years, childhood education, special education needs and disabilities or primary teaching.

What really sets us apart from other providers is our personalised and supportive approach from the moment you join us. And there will be dedicated time within the teaching week where we focus on supporting you to be the best you can be. We look forward to meeting you in September.

*Rebecca has previously taught across the primary age range in schools and also has an MA in Coaching and Mentoring

Find out more about Rebecca

Professor Gill Brown
Executive Dean, Department of Education

Welcome from Professor Gill Brown

When I was growing up, I was hugely interested in why people behaved the way they did and had a particular interest in offending. I was glued to the latest crime-related film or documentary, trying to make sense of the factors at play in an individual’s behaviour, so studying psychology was one of the best decisions I ever made.

If this sounds like you and you have chosen this path or plan to, let me reassure you just how much you can do with psychology in terms of a career. With a psychology degree under my belt, I got to work with youth offending teams, community forensic services, the prison service, mental health inpatient community services and more before starting my career in education. So, so varied.

We as a team are passionate about helping you put theory into practice in the real world through practical opportunities, work-based learning and hands-on experience in the lab. We look forward to guiding you through your journey and challenging you as you progress, igniting your passion for learning as you go.

Find out more about Gill

Stephen Garvey
Deputy Dean (Teaching, Learning and Digital)
School of Health, Sport and Food

Meet Stephen Garvey  

My role is to ensure we stay at very forefront of progress across the education sector and across industry, building innovative technology and skills such as immersive virtual reality into your educational experience.

We are committed to providing face-to-face teaching as we know students value this quality time with their lecturers and fellow students. But to support your academic studies, we also have a sophisticated lecture capture system that provides accessible recorded lectures, where possible.

We are very proud of the exceptional and sustained record of teaching excellence we have in the provision of our vocational educational experiences, and the future-focused curriculum we have to offer you.

*Stephen is a registered dietitian with a background in research

Read more about Stephen

Our teaching and learning

Whatever education course you have chosen to study, our aim is simple - to turn you into a stand-out professional. Since we launched our degrees in this field, we have a earned a reputation for the highest quality courses and a learning experience that sets us apart from bigger universities.

Our degrees are designed to develop you personally and professionally, with graduate advantage, employability and enrichment sessions threaded throughout the curriculum, sitting alongside really interesting theory modules. Our partnership with the University of Warwick, a top-ranking Russell Group university, also brings extra opportunities including access to guest speakers and additional resources.


Our courses are developed and taught by experienced lecturing staff, who have worked across education themselves. This means they can draw on their expertise and years of experience to make scenario-based discussions, debates and concepts come to life, supporting the linking of theory to practice.

You will learn so much from our lecturing teams, who are passionate about their profession and eager to inspire and nurture the next generation of teaching professionals.

We also have many invited guest lecturers who participate in our courses, sharing their knowledge and experiences to enhance your learning.

Students also have a lot to bring and as a team, we will also learn a lot from you! We encourage you to share your perspectives and viewpoints, especially when reflecting on your own life and placement experiences.


Placements are key to success as employers want you to have real experience. We have excellent links with our education placement provider organisations across the region, from nurseries to SEND schools, so we can allocate you to placements in diverse settings.

This exposure to different learning environments opens up opportunities for you when you qualify. 


Our support is exceptional, so much so, our students voted to make us the winner of the Student Support award at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2022.

Throughout your studies, you will not only have a personal tutor, but a link tutor during placements and module leaders to support you through academic modules. And we have a whole range of additional support services available, providing you with as much or as little support as you need to succeed in your degree. Our smaller teaching groups enable all students to grow and flourish, with strong peer support and friendship.  

Our Learning and Teaching Strategy 2021-24 is key to how we approach the educational journey, focusing on three main pillars that set out our commitment to your learning and teaching experience while you are studying with us.

  • Pillar 1 – Provide accessible and inclusive teaching and learning across a wide range of vocationally-led courses
  • Pillar 2 – Develop next generation opportunities and skills through innovative, future-focused curriculum and pedagogy 
  • Pillar 3 – Shape local and global sectors, promoting sustainable futures and global citizenship

Read our Learning and Teaching Strategy

Education facilities

Our university facilities were shortlisted in the 2022 Whatuni Student Choice Awards and include our Early Years Simulation Suite, providing an outstanding learning environment for those going into early years education.

Five distinct learning zones:

  • Digital zone
  • Creative zone
  • Discovery zone
  • Imagination zone
  • Sensory zone

If you would like a refresher of our facilities, you can book on a campus tour

Find out more about our facilities

We look forward to seeing you on campus

As you prepare to join us, here's a refresher on some of the essentials:

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