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Childhood Studies BA(Hons) 2013-14

At a Glance

UCAS code:

Start date:
23 / 09 / 2013

3 years full-time

Places Available:
85 (this number may be subject to change)

Course Type:
Full Time

Entry Requirements
BBC or the equivalent of 280 UCAS points from:
•  A minimum of two Advanced GCE awards or equivalent
•  BTEC National Diploma (with at least DMM)
•  AVCE double award
•  A vocational A level
•  Completion of a Foundation course in early childhood or a related educational area
•  Pre-Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly Criminal Records Bureau) check
•  You must be able to communicate in standard spoken and written English

Before you enrol on the course we ask you to confirm (the pre-DBS check listed above) if there is anything which might bar you from working with children and young people during the course. After you have started the course, in the autumn term of the first year, we ask you complete a DBS check to enable you to continue on your planned course of study. You will need to pay for the check, which is currently (January 2013) £44. This enables you to take full advantage of the placement options on the course. Where the check gives rise to concerns about your ability to work directly with children or young people an alternative programme of study will be offered. We will also ask you to confirm your continuing suitability at the end of the first year of study.

Course Enquiries
Tel: 01484 478249

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The course

There is an old saying; ‘You don’t own the world, you are simply looking after it for your children.’ This is something you know instinctively to be true and your aspiration is to help children and young people achieve their goals, but may have not yet decided which professional path you wish to follow. This course is just what you need. It offers an educational programme that prepares you for a range of occupations and/or further professional training in education, early years work, social care, youth work, learning support and other occupations related to children, young people and families.

The course includes the study of childhood and the contexts in which it is experienced and will give you a broad knowledge of the main influences on children's development from diverse social and cultural backgrounds.

This course will benefit you because:
•  There are a wide variety of employment options
•  There are interesting placements with excellent preparation to suit your interests
•  There is the potential for dual qualification – a degree and a professional qualification if your interest lies in early years
•  There are interesting assessments which include the production of learning materials/poster presentations and class debates
•  We were ranked first for initial teacher training and academic studies in education in the National Student Survey 2011
•  We are second in the 2012 Guardian Guide for Education (for the third year and second to Cambridge)
•  We have excellent purpose-built facilities and extensive equipment

Please don't take our word for it - here, in the words of our current students and past graduates, is why you should choose this course.

And if you'd like to know more about what we get up to, we have a special 'news and events' section which we update with the latest news.

Course content

Development of knowledge and understanding of childhood and informal learning are central to this course. You will have the opportunity to study core aspects of childhood and to explore essential subjects such as safeguarding children and young people, working with families and ensuring children’s health and well-being. There will be opportunities for discussion and critical reflection of current policy issues and the latest research. You will be encouraged to develop your own particular interests by choosing some option modules.

Year 1

+ Theories and Strategies for Learning

This module will encourage the development of the academic study and communication skills necessary for success on your course. In preparation for an essay worth 60% of the module marks, you will explore contemporary issues and theories relating to your course of study. Through a portfolio of evidence supported by a brief, reflective essay on your own development (together worth 40%), the coursework will demonstrate a range of skills essential for successful study at degree level.

+ Perspectives in Learning and Development

You will be introduced to the theories and research that underpin development and learning for children, young people and adults and consider key concepts that explain the basis of development and learning. You will identify the cognitive, linguistic, social and moral dimensions of development and consider the transitions that children and young people make as they develop into adults. You complete two pieces of assessment, which involve the production of a display (worth one third of the marks) which demonstrates a perspective of the experience, learning and development of a child, young person or adult learner; and a timed test (worth two thirds of the marks).

+ Self Society and Welfare

This module develops your understanding of society. Firstly, it examines social issues in society, such as poverty and inequality, and how the state responds to them through ‘welfare’, as well as through ‘rights’ and ‘citizenship’. Your understanding will be examined through a timed test that represents 35% of the overall marks. You will then investigate the formation of identity and social differentiation by examining key sociological concepts such as social class, gender, the family, ethnic identity and ‘race’, sexuality and crime. You will be invited to explore one of these key topics in an assignment worth 65% of the total marks.

+ Children and Young People in Context

This module explores concepts of childhood and youth and how psychology, sociology, history and philosophy contribute to understanding the experience of childhood. You will be assessed, firstly, on a practical element, based on your contribution to a class-based debate (worth 50% of the module marks). The second element of your assessment will allow you to reflect on your preparation for, and experience of, the debate through a piece of written coursework.

Year 2
Core modules:

+ Advanced Professional Practice

This module requires you to look back at your learning journey so far, then look forward to what you hope to achieve whilst you are studying the degree. Topics covered by this include setting SMART goals, current issues in education and professional development, using self-assessment tools, such as Johari Window, to identify areas for professional and academic development and writing SMART action plans. The assessment for this module requires you to write a 5000 word assignment in which you will initially set some academic and professional goals to be achieved whilst you are on the course, then provide an account of your personal learning journey so far, move on to discuss a current issue in your professional setting, draw on this information and your goals to undertake a skills audit that identifies your existing strengths and areas for development and, from this, produce an action plan to help you realise the goals you have set yourself (Course work 100% of the marks).

+ Languages and Communication for Effectiveness and Inclusion

This module develops your understanding of language development in children and young people, and language acquisition in adult years. You will learn about specific forms of language development (such as second language acquisition, language impairment and dyslexia) and engage in role play activities to model the effective use of language. You will have the opportunity to focus on an aspect of language development of particular interest to you through written coursework worth 60% of the module marks; and to use your creativity in designing a unique story sack (a practical worth 40%).

+ Safeguarding Children and Young People

This module will raise your awareness of current legislation, policies and procedures which exist to promote children and young people’s rights and to keep them safe from harm. It emphasises the knowledge, skills and qualities required to work with children, young people, their families and carers and other professionals in safeguarding contexts; and critically explores broader concepts of child abuse. You will undertake an online multiple choice timed test, worth 40% of the marks, and present a seminar paper to a small group of your peers, worth 60% of the marks.

Option modules, one from

+ Philosophical Approaches to Education

This module explores the impact of different philosophical systems on the way that education is conceived and put into practice. You will have the opportunity to design an ideal educational system based on your own unique philosophy and representing your own values and beliefs. Coursework will involve presenting your ideas to your peers in a creative media format of your choosing (50%) before evaluating your system in a paper worth 50% of the module marks.

+ People in Action: Work with Individuals and Groups

This module examines the theory, principles and practice of working with individuals and with groups. Exploring different individual, group and online responses to people and their needs, you will develop your understanding of professional practice. You will be assessed on coursework (worth 100% of the marks) consisting of two elements. The first is a reflection on an assigned practical group work task related to work with individuals, which you can choose to format as either a written or an audio presentation. The second, a written assignment, will consolidate your learning.

+ Communities in Theory and Practice

This module will develop your theoretical understanding of the concept of community as well as practical approaches to working in different communities, including neighbourhoods and communities of faith, interest and practice. Presenting you with the opportunity to engage in practical research on a defined neighbourhood or community of your choice, your coursework will include writing a community profile worth 50% of the module marks. You will also explore a current or historical community-based initiative through the creation of an individual wiki (coursework worth 50% of the marks).

Year 3

+ Major Study

This module allows you to pursue your particular interests and to demonstrate the breadth of knowledge, understanding and strengths that you have developed during your degree studies. You will be supported in the selection of a topic relevant to your degree, in the development of a proposal and at each stage of your study. Your coursework for this module will consist of a dissertation which may be literary (an in-depth study of theories, texts, themes) or empirical; or a combination of both. This module is your opportunity to bring together everything you have learned in a study of your choosing.

+ Research Methodologies

This module explores a range of research strategies and methods, preparing you to assess the value and significance of different approaches to data collection and analysis within your field of study. Your coursework allows you to develop your own research proposal (worth 50% of the marks). You will then have an opportunity to pilot an aspect of your proposal with your peer group and to write a report on the process (worth 50% of the marks).

+ Finding a Voice (Children and Young People)

This module is designed to improve your ability to respond to the needs of children and young people to have a voice and to enhance your understanding of different definitions, theories and models of voice. You will investigate an area of children or young people’s voice through coursework involving a conference paper worth 50% of your marks. You will also experience presenting a conference paper in a contemporary and creative format (as a podcast, video cast or poster), before writing a coursework reflection, worth 50%, on the process of developing and delivering a conference paper.

Option modules, one from

+ Employability, Leadership and the Critical Practitioner

This module develops your understanding of theories and processes underpinning reflective practice in services for children and young people. Whilst enhancing your employability, your placement will serve as the foundation for your coursework, a portfolio of evidence (worth 70% of the module marks) demonstrating the quality of your own practice. You will also explore organisational themes and leadership roles in a professional context through a poster presentation (coursework worth 30% of your marks).

+ Helping in Context (Counselling, Coaching and Mentoring)

This module develops your understanding of theories concerning counselling, coaching and mentoring. In doing so, it will improve your effectiveness in responding to and working with the needs of individuals in a variety of contexts. You will have an opportunity to develop your helping skills and evaluate the use of different helping approaches. The first part of the assessment will involve working in a trio to undertake a practical counselling skills, coaching or mentoring session (40% of the marks). The second part will allow you to reflect on the practical assessment in a written piece of coursework (60% of the marks).

+ Leadership and Management in Professional Contexts

This module will develop your understanding of theories of leadership, management and the organisation of professional practice. You will explore relevant theory and practical factors such as mentoring arrangements, developmental supervision, group structures, staff development and the management of change in professional practice. Coursework will consist of an annotated bibliography on a relevant topic of your choice (75% of the marks). For the other 25%, you will discuss management structures and leadership roles while exercising your creativity with a poster presentation.


As part of the course, we encourage you to gain skills to increase your future employability.
You take a placement in the second year of the course, with the option of a further placement in the third and final year. The placement involves a minimum of 120 hours and begins with a block week before taking place one day a week over one and a half terms.
We link you with a placement setting either individually or as a member of a small group. You could gain experience in schools, children’s centres, nurseries, children’s services in a local council, or in museum education.
You could be working with a mentor in areas such as literacy and numeracy activities, helping children’s communication and creative areas such as PE, dance, art and crafts. We ask you to reflect on becoming a part of the school community and staff team and your direct work with children or young people.
We also encourage students to identify a small project that benefits the placement setting and teach a project management approach to help this come to fruition. Current projects include developing a garden for a primary school and a video demonstrating teaching and facilities for the website for another school. See the ‘news and events’ section for details of recent projects.

Here's further information about our placements for this course, including links to the organisations you may find yourselves working with.

Career opportunities

94.4% - would you be pleased with a result like this?

We are too since this is the percentage of graduates from the course who got a job or took up further study within six months of graduating in 2011, the latest results we currently have.

The majority of students in employment are working in education or early years settings and there is a similar pattern for those continuing their studies.

Whilst many Childhood Studies graduates have gone on to PGCE programmes to enable them to teach in primary schools or in further education,others have drawn on other aspects of their learning on the childhood studies programme to undertake Masters courses in professional areas such as Play Therapy and Guidance. Childhood Studies enables you to consider a varied range of careers within the early years, social care and education sectors, including Children’s Centre workers or managers, teachers, youth and community workers, play therapists, Children’s Services managers or you could be your own boss and run your own nursery.

To quote our students, ‘Childhood Studies gives you a broad, but firm foundation in understanding what makes the little people tick and would stand you in good stead for any child led vocation. The teaching staff are exceptional and will do their utmost to help you if they can, and if they couldn't, they always knew of someone else who could. The tutors’ knowledge within their own field of expertise is second to none.’

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught in lectures, seminars, tutorials and interactive workshops. A personal tutor will be assigned to you throughout your degree to support your ongoing wellbeing and ensure that you have a positive learning experience at the University of Huddersfield.

The module assessments have been carefully designed to present a balance of both academic assignments and creative tasks. Examples of the creative tasks include a photo story presentation in the first year and a story sack in the second. These challenge you to demonstrate your creative skills and in applying your learning on the course through information and communication technologies. We recognise that all students have personal strengths, talents and preferred learning styles. Our assessments are designed to reflect this and offer everyone the opportunity to reach their potential.

We've included some photos showing you some of the student work, assessments and our superb facilities. Have a look here.

Who will teach me?

How much will it cost me?

At the University of Huddersfield, we have worked hard to ensure that we set a fair fee for undergraduate students that offers fantastic value for money. The University of Huddersfield is debt free, meaning every penny you spend on your education is re-invested in you.

In 2013/14, the tuition fee for students at the University of Huddersfield will be £7,950*. Your tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance, please see Fees and finance.

You can sign up to iHud here to make sure you keep up to date with the latest fees and finance information.

*In subsequent years the fee will be subject to inflationary increases. Please bookmark this page and refer back for up-to-date information. Information updated 22.1.13

Other information

Student views:
‘Good resources – approachable staff.’
‘I really enjoy the course, I find it interesting the staff are really friendly and easy to talk to.’
‘The staff are supportive and easy to get hold of when necessary…have different styles of teaching to suit everyone.’
‘Organised well, Good use of resources.’
‘The course is very interesting and enjoyable.’
‘I thoroughly enjoy this course and a big part of this is the quality of the lecturers they have all been a great support. I also think the range of modules covered is very interesting and varied.’
‘The tutors will and do go far and beyond to help the students. They always have a friendly approach.’
‘I have enjoyed all of the modules this year. Protecting vulnerable children is a module I found really beneficial. Assessments are varied and interesting and I especially enjoyed creating my story sack in Psychology of Language.’
‘Childhood Studies overall is a valuable course and contains good modules’. ‘Overall the staff are helpful, friendly and make what they are teaching enjoyable.’
Course evaluation, 2011

'The tutors are fantastic, presenting us as a group with interesting lessons which are also entirely enjoyable. Help is always only a knock away and their endless effort ensures we have great opportunities and experiences available.'
'I am so impressed by the level of commitment and support shown by the staff. They are so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their subjects.'
'I really value the opportunity to undertake work experience this year. I have enjoyed the assignments, and feel my confidence is building after each one.'
'Really interesting course with dedicated enthusiastic staff.'
'By learning on this course, I have improved my communication skills and I have more confidence. The course overall has been a good experience so far. The modules are well taught and lecturers are there if you need any help.'
‘The staff have been brilliant in terms of support and advice.’
‘A good range of subjects was covered.’
‘Tutors were always available. Help is there if and when you need it. Feedback was always timely, the comments were always helpful, giving us good feedback on where we went wrong and what we could have improved.’
‘I really enjoyed my time at University.’
‘Tutor support has always been of a high standard, they are always willing to take time to listen and help.’
‘Going to university has been one of the best decisions I ever made. It has built up my confidence ‘
‘Tutors have been amazingly supportive and prompt. Communications between students and tutors is as colleagues and feedback generally informative.’
Course evaluations, 2012

Further study

Teacher training (Lifelong Learning) PGCE full-time
Teacher training (Lifelong Learning) PGCE part-time
Action Research for Education MA part-time
Early Childhood Studies MA part-time
Leadership in Education and Public Services MA part-time
Teacher Training, Primary Education (Early Years and Key Stage 1) PGCE with QTS

The University of Huddersfield is working with the Early Years Teachers Northern Alliance to deliver the Early Years Teacher Programme. Current students are able to, alongside the final year of their degree and for a period afterwards, complete Early Years Initial Teacher Training. This is accurate as of March 2013 for students completing their degree in summer 2013 and 2014.


Huddersfield University voted best for overseas students

The Huddersfield Examiner has reported that the University of Huddersfield has received fantastic results in a survey of international students, the International Barometer.

Additional entry requirements for international applicants:

You must pass either IELTS with 6.0 (with no band score lower than 5.5) or TOEFL (internet based test) with 87 (with minimum Reading: 22; Listening: 21; Speaking: 23; Writing: 21).
There is no need to worry if you don’t quite meet our English language entry requirements – we have a range of courses that can help you to reach the standard set out above. Please see our Pre-Sessional English programmes (PSPs) for further information.

The University requires you to submit a minimum non refundable deposit of £4000 towards the payment of the tuition fees. You may wish to add further voluntary prepayments to assist with your visa application.

If your tuition fees are being paid for by your employer/embassy, you must submit a Statement of Financial Support which confirms you are sponsored to cover all fees for your named course of study.
Please note that other academic conditions may apply, however these will be confirmed once your application has been considered.

How to apply


Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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Last Updated: Tuesday 28 February 2012
Last updated Tuesday 28 February 2012
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