BA (Hons)

Childhood Studies

Teacher in classroom helping pupil
  • UCAS code(s): X390
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2018
  • Course duration: Three years full-time

FIND US ON

"There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in."
Graham Greene

Ideal if you have a strong interest in supporting and working with children and their families, this Childhood Studies degree provides the broad base of knowledge and placement experience necessary to pursue a diverse range of careers.

With a broad subject area covering 0 – 11 years, this course can open the door to a variety of careers with children and young people. Whatever direction you choose to take you will have the solid foundation of knowledge and understanding employers are looking for.

Why study Childhood Studies at Nottingham Trent University?

  • 97% of our education and teacher training graduates are employed or engaged in further study six months after graduating (DLHE full-time undergraduate leavers 2015-16)
  • If you complete your undergraduate degree, you are guaranteed an interview for a PGCE Primary teacher training course at NTU during your final undergraduate year (terms and conditions apply).
  • We are supported by over 600 partnerships with local schools, colleges and organisations, ensuring our courses meet the demands of the competitive graduate market.
  • Some of our students choose to take a placement overseas. Recent placements have been available with a cricket project in Namibia, an international school in Brunei, an orphanage in Mombasa and an English language project in Thailand.
  • tailored assessment and support with no formal exams.
  • excellent facilities and experienced and enthusiastic tutors.

What you'll study

You study the holistic development, education and experiences of children and young adults from 0 – 11 years, through early childhood to adolescence, and have the opportunity to undertake two placements.

In Year One the focus is on the child and its development, by examining their earliest learning experiences. In Year Two the focus is on developing an international perspective on childhood. You organise your own experience with other communities, either overseas or in the UK. In Year Three, these experiences are further extended through the taught modules and by undertaking a research dissertation focusing on children in a chosen setting.

There are eleven modules in the course. There are four core modules in Year One, four core modules in Year Two and three core modules in Year Three. All modules are either 20 or 40 credit modules.

The size of the module in terms of the hours required for study is reflected in the number of credits allocated. Usually this means 42 hours of contact time for 20 credit modules and 84 hours for 40 credit modules. Each module is situated within one of the three themes that spread throughout the course. These themes are ‘Active Learners and Communicators’, ‘Effective Practitioners and ‘Knowledgeable Professionals’.

  • First year

    Communicating with Children and Families

    This module will explore effective methods to communicate with children and families, through a range of perspectives, good practice and discussions relating to barriers and challenges to communication.

    The module aims to help you:

    • to develop an awareness of the importance of communication with children and families
    • to examine the theories, perspectives and pedagogical approaches underpinning the development of effective communication
    • to observe and engage with a range of perspectives in a discussion of possible barriers and challenges to communication
    • to explore and examine the significance of early intervention strategies, techniques and approaches supporting effective communication with children and families.

    Early Learning in Context

    This module explores the ways which young children learn in a variety of contexts, it will support the development of skills of an Early Years Practitioner.

    This module aims to help you:

    • to develop understanding of effective practice to support young children in a range of environments
    • to observe and engage with children and practitioners through placement opportunities
    • to begin to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes of the early years practitioner and of inter-professional working.

    Diversity and Inclusion

    This module will examine strategies to recognise and meet the diverse needs of children through promoting inclusion in a range of settings.

    This module aims to help you:

    • to develop an understanding of the key issues in diversity and inclusion
    • to examine how policy impacts on practice across a range of settings
    • to explore diversity / inclusion themes and begin to develop a reflective approach to them
    • to begin to identify strategies to recognise and meet diverse needs and promote inclusion in a range of settings.

    The Child, Policy and Professional Practice

    This module explores the ways in which children and childhood are affected by the wider contextual influences of society including culture, place, time and policy

    This module aims to help you:

    • to explore how different perspectives affect the way childhood, children and the rights of the child are viewed
    • to recognise how local, national and international initiatives and policy influence the experience of childhood
    • to begin to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes of the ethical professional working with children and families and of inter-professional working
    • to develop a reflective and critical approach to policy and practice through individual and collaborative research, understanding how this will inform future professionalism.
  • Second year

    Becoming a Researcher

    You'll develop your knowledge of research techniques and become a professional in all aspects of research practice.

    The module aims to help you:

    • to develop understanding of reflective learning, in yourself and others, in complex contexts
    • to improve your confidence and competence in taking a systematic inquiry approach to learning and professional development generally
    • to become more professional in all aspects of your practice
    • to explore your knowledge and understanding of research methodology
    • to develop your potential to apply new knowledge, skills and understanding through practical experience.

    Childhood as a Social Construct

    This module will explore how the concept of childhood is socially constructed by the times and places in which children live and with the individuals involved in shaping their experience. You will be able to examine some key themes, in the socio-cultural context of children’s lives, in relation to historical, legal and social perspectives using different types of evidence and materials.

    The module aims to help you

    • to demonstrate awareness and understanding of how childhood is socially constructed
    • to examine the experiences of childhood, through research, observations, practice and reading, to understand how changes in societies and contexts can have an impact
    • to demonstrate an understanding of current legislation affecting all aspects of the lives of children and how this impacts on services
    • to demonstrate a reflective understanding of the professional conduct, attitudes and responsibilities needed to constructively support children’s different experiences of childhood.

    International and Community Perspectives

    You will learn about children, families’ and communities’ experiences in the UK and a comparative country through critical comparative analysis on key issues such as educational policies, society's perspectives on children and childhood, child care provision, health provisions culture, history and politics. You will explore a range of countries’ approaches to children and society through a global perspective. In the module you may have the the choice of  investigating community or international projects that sustain family and community and you will participate in voluntary, charitable or self-selected experiences to support children, families and communities.

    This may include educational, welfare or health projects as far afield as Australia, South America or Europe. You may also be able to support a local learning and development project, opportunities include respite care holidays for vulnerable children in the UK or alternative education provision in the Nottingham Museum of Justice.

    You will engage in with a variety of research skills and investigations in an international or equivalent placement experience that offers a different cultural dimension and ethnic group. You will be encouraged to organise your placement experience to gain practical contact with observation of different cultural expectations of education, welfare, childcare and community

    The specific aims of this module are:

    • to develop an understanding of how childcare, welfare, education systems and community are
    • culturally specific and that the beliefs and values implicit in these systems are constructed within specific social, economic, political, historical and cultural frameworks
    • to develop knowledge and understanding to enhance professional capabilities by allowing the transfer and application of new ideas, policies and practices
    • to provide opportunities to work in communities and demonstrate professionalism which embodies critical reflection and self-evaluation.

    Enriching Learning

    There is opportunity to explore specialist professional or academic approaches in relation to supporting child learning and teaching from across a range of education based disciplines. You will have the chance to study a range of diverse approaches to engaging children with different approaches to learning, to enrich their experience, which will support aspects of the child’s holistic development. This may include alternative and augmentative communication, alternative education strategies, creativity and therapeutic approaches.

  • Final year

    Health and Wellbeing

    You will learn about the holistic development of children through the lens of health determinants and measures of well-being. You will explore the impact of external influences such as mass media, child public health, poverty, nutrition, diet, mental health issues and how they contribute to the development of children. You will learn how to plan health promotional activities to promote healthy lifestyles and well-being for children and families.

    The module aims to help you:

    • to examine the complex and multi-faceted aspects of child health and well-being through the rights of a child and recognise and evaluate how well-being can be measured and monitored
    • to develop understanding of the concept and theories of well-being and how it is manifest in children's lives through their physical, mental, social and emotional development
    • to develop awareness of the concepts of health determinants and priorities and how the family, environment and public policy impacts on children's health and wellbeing
    • to explore what 'being healthy' means for children and their families and be aware of health rights, interventions and promotion
    • to develop awareness of the need to establish early foundations for developing and sustaining healthy life styles and promote attitudes and practices which support this approach.

    Leadership and Management

    This module considers a range of theoretical models in leadership and management, past, present and emerging; their currency with regards to children’s services and provision,and the range of tools used to measure the effectiveness of an organisation. You will investigate an organisation’s structure and ways of working using the literature to analyse the primary data collected.

    This module aims to help you:

    • to explore the theories and practices of leadership and management used in the provision of children’s services
    • to develop awareness of effective practice evidence in a range of children’s services
    • to develop understanding of the concept of community of practice
    • to examine the notion of effective, professional practice within context through research and study processes.

    Research Dissertation

    This module will use your experience of the course so far to professionally take ownership of the process of constructing a dissertation that enables you to acquire and link theory and practice that supports your development as an informed educational researcher and reflective practitioner .

    The specific aims of the module will enable you:

    • to develop research skills to use in a variety of contexts
    • to examine the links between theory and practice to become critical reflective practitioners whilst undertaking ethical research
    • to develop understanding of a different range of research methods and methodology
    • develop awareness of your practice as a researcher in a proactive in a professional setting
    • to explore the processes involved in creating a small scale research project embedded within literature and applied to a setting.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Further information on what you'll study

91% of Childhood Studies students would recommend their course to others (NSS 2017).

Take a three week UK or overseas placement in Year Two. You could work in schools or on projects as far afield as Spain, Thailand or Australia!

How you’re taught

We've introduced flexible and innovative ways of learning and teaching to develop your study skills and understanding of theory and practice. Methods include:

  • seminars
  • workshops
  • small group or individual tutorials
  • field study
  • presentations
  • directed or independent study tasks
  • small-scale research
  • eLearning.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be on your coursework and there are no formal exams during the course.

Academic support and guidance is provided through our tutor support structure. Regular tutor feedback is given on your work in order to help you improve, develop your skills and begin to plan for your future career.

Excellent placement opportunities

You have the opportunity in Year One and Two to take placements in a variety of organisations across the UK and overseas working with children.

In Year One the placement includes visit days and block weeks extending over several months, and takes place in an early years setting. You will have the opportunity to:

  • observe an individual child's learning and development
  • work closely with practitioners, observing best practice
  • reflect on opportunities and possibilities in environments which support young children.

The work you undertake on this placement will form part of your assessed submission for the Early Learning in Context module.

In Year Two you have a three week placement in one of our partner organisations across the UK or overseas, or may choose your own independent placement.

Many students go to voluntary projects where they have opportunities to work with a range of children of different ages. This may include educational, welfare or health projects. Some examples are:

  • working in a Safari Park with animals to aid the healing of traumatised children
  • working with street and prison children in South America
  • working in an orphanage in Morocco.

The purpose of the placement is to link into the module International and Community Perspectives where a comparative analysis is undertaken through primary and secondary research comparing another country to the UK.

Why take a placement?

Placements support both your professional and personal development so that you develop key skills that will make you more employable. They help you understand your subject and its application in real work, enhancing your cultural awareness of childhood.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (87%) and practical (13%)
  • Year 2 coursework (100%)
  • Year 3 coursework (83%) and practical (17%)

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (72%) and placements (7%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (19%), independent study (76%) and placements (5%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%)

The course appealed to me as it gives you an overall insight into children and I was unsure of what career path to take but knew that I wanted to work with children.

Alyson Robson

Careers and employability

Your career development

What skills will I develop?

A Childhood Studies degree develops specific skills and knowledge around the subject of how children learn and develop. You will learn about the history and culture of childhood, as well as the major theories of social, emotional and cognitive development.

You will develop key transferable skills, including:

  • written communication developed through writing essays;
  • oral communication skills gained through reasoned debates during seminars and presentations;
  • the ability to work as part of a team, though collaborative group work;
  • research and analytical skills with the ability to judge and evaluate information;
  • organisational and time management skills by prioritising tasks to ensure academic, social and work commitments are completed on time;
  • negotiation, informally with peers and formally with staff;
  • problem solving;
  • IT skills.

How can I boost my career prospects?

Childhood Studies graduates that go on to further study tend to take courses that lead to professional status. The most popular option is the postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), as many graduates go on to work as primary or secondary school, early years or special needs teachers.

Other popular professional courses include nursing and postgraduate courses in social work. Employers are often supportive of further study and may support employees by providing funding or time off to complete coursework.

Your future career

A degree in Childhood Studies is an excellent foundation for careers working with children and young people in many sectors including health, education and social care.

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Early years teacher
  • Family support worker
  • Learning mentor
  • Primary school teacher
  • Special educational needs teacher
  • Social worker
  • Teaching assistant
  • Youth worker

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Child psychotherapist
  • Children's nurse
  • Community development worker
  • Counsellor
  • Educational psychologist
  • Speech and language therapist

Typical employers

Childhood Studies graduates enter employment in a variety of sectors with a range of employers including local authorities, local and national charities, state and independent schools, nurseries, and health authorities.

Sure Start Children's Centres and the National Health Service (NHS) also employ graduates from Childhood Studies degrees.

Average graduate annual salary after six months*

BA (Hons) Childhood Studies: £14,000.
All universities and colleges of higher education: £13,000-£18,000.

* Unistats website April 2016

Links with industry

We involve industry experts in our courses in a number of ways.

  • We consult with employers when we design and update our courses.
  • We ensure you are prepared to meet the demands of the workplace by continually checking the currency and validity of our courses with employers.
  • You will have the opportunity to have a work placement (if not already in paid or voluntary employment).
  • Employers may input directly into your course through guest lectures, projects, and other work-related activities.

See where this degree could take you with our careers brochure.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when travelling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Find out more about the University Language Programme.

Further information on careers and employability

Guaranteed interview scheme: teacher-training

One of the benefits of the course is the broad knowledge and experience you will gain. This experience may lead you to consider teaching, even if you have not considered this as a career before.

If you complete your degree, you are guaranteed an interview for a PGCE Primary teacher-training course at NTU during your final undergraduate year (subject to places being available).

There is always strong competition for PGCE courses, and places fill fast. Don’t miss out, and ensure you are ready to make your application as soon as UCAS opens in autumn. You should attend Routes Into Teaching events in your second year to find out about deadlines, applying and qualification requirements for the different routes.

Terms and conditions apply:

  • Applications can only be accepted subject to sufficient allocation of places from the National College for Teaching and Leadership for that year of entry.
  • Applications will be withdrawn and not be progressed to interview stage once all places are filled on relevant courses.
  • Interviews are subject to you meeting the essential entry criteria for the PGCE course at the time of application, such as GCSE requirements, degree grade and experience.
  • An interview does not guarantee an offer to study on the course.

94% of our Childhood Studies full-time graduates are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2015/16, first degree, undergraduate).

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BCC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • CACHE diploma at level C or above in a relevant subject area; or
  • 104 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade 4.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see our website or UCAS Course Search for more details.

Other requirements

You will also need to complete:

The UCAS Tariff

We’ve created this calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BCC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • CACHE diploma at level C or above in a relevant subject area; or
  • 104 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade 4.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see our website or UCAS Course Search for more details.

Other requirements

You will also need to complete:

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

How to apply

Please note that 2018 will be the final intake of this course.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

All applicants welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Mature applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications. All applicants will need to apply through UCAS.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Please note that 2018 will be the final intake of this course.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.  If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies.  If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Home / EU students
BA (Hons) Childhood Studies£9,250

All fees stated are for September 2018 entry. Fees may be subject to change.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on telephone +44 (0)115 848 2494.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.
International students
BA (Hons) Childhood Studies£12,900

All fees stated are for September 2018 entry. Fees may be subject to change.

Please see our fees, funding and bursaries page for more information.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

Education course enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460