BA (Hons)

Childhood (Psychology)

Primary students learning
  • UCAS code(s): X393
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information


Do you have a strong interest in supporting and working alongside children and their families? If so, this degree could be for you. You will engage with a broad knowledge base concerned with children and society, which will open up a wide range of opportunities in education, social and health services, community work and other diverse support work.

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.

This degree provides a solid foundation in the understanding of childhood and an introduction to the psychology of childhood. It will explore aspects of human behaviour and interaction, and help you to understand why and how children may behave as they do.

Why study Childhood (Psychology) 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 2016-17)
  • 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
  • Many 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
  • Excellent facilities and experienced and enthusiastic tutors.

Childhood degrees

There are three degree options enabling you to deepen your focus within a particular field of enquiry. These include:

Each degree has a number of shared modules.

What you'll study

Explore how children learn and develop through their behaviour, cultural perspectives and the effect of the environment.  As you develop and broaden your understanding of childhood, you will undertake research enquiries and placement opportunities, enabling you to reflect critically on perspectives of childhood.

In each year of the course, you will further develop your understanding of child psychology. You will study the cognitive processes of children, social psychology and its effect on the development of a child, as well as the range of therapies and psychological interventions.

The broad range of modules available within this course gives opportunities for you to develop both personally as a learner and professionally by incorporating the world of work and global perspectives into your studies. Key transferable skills are embedded in the modules, and are reinforced whilst working alongside experienced practitioners.


You will undertake a placement in Year Two. Placements can be in a wide range of educational settings, locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. You may find yourself working with disadvantaged children at a local authority provision or educational and support provision in a hospital context, or supporting the provision of activities for children / young people with a range of disabilities and additional needs at a local charity.

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.

  • Year One

    Professional and Academic Skills

    You will be introduced to the themes of academic skills, reflective practice and professional / transferable skills and how these areas can be developed in order to be successful.

    Ethical Research with Children

    An introduction to the process of research and how research is conducted into practice when working with children. This module will enable you to identify how practitioners support their practice and how they work ethically with children to acquire and link theory and practice.

    Including all Learners

    You will explore inclusion and the meaning of inclusive practice to support children’s learning and development. You will consider a range of approaches to create inclusive environments to support all learners from 0 to 11.

    Learning and Pedagogical Approaches

    You will explore the ways which young children (0 – 11) learn in a variety of contexts while developing your skills as an educational practitioner.

    Children’s Rights and Identity

    You will explore how childhoods have changed over time and through different social contexts. This module will enable you to look in depth at children’s rights, how they are understood and their influence on a child’s identity, learning and development.

    Cognitive Psychology and Childhood

    This module will teach you to explore and analyse different models of cognitive psychology in childhood. You will apply these models to different cognitive processes and link these processes to children’s education, learning and everyday life.

  • Year Two

    Enriching Learning

    Explore specialist professional and academic approaches in relation to supporting childhood learning and development from across a range of education-based disciplines.

    Becoming a Researcher

    You will work within a team on a piece of research to develop your understanding of all aspects of research design, including research methodologies, approaches and methods.

    Global Childhoods

    You will explore and evaluate a range of approaches to children’s learning and development in society from a global perspective. You’ll also engage in individual investigation in an international or UK placement experience.

    Social Constructions of Childhood

    You 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.

    Social Psychology, Development and Interaction in Childhood

    This module will introduce you to a number of fundamental concepts in social psychology. In addition, it will enable you to develop a detailed and critical understanding of children’s development in the social world. Through focusing on current research and theories, the module will examine the role of peers, the family and the outside influences on children’s social learning and development.

  • Year Three

    Research Dissertation

    You’ll use your experience of the course so far to construct a dissertation that enables you to acquire and link theory and practice that supports your development as an informed educational researcher and reflective practitioner.

    Leadership and Management

    Consider a range of theoretical models in leadership and management: their currency with regards to children’s services and provision in the children’s sector, as well as the range of tools used to measure the effectiveness of an organisation.  You’ll also reflect critically on the relevance of this to your own professional attributes and employability.

    Children’s Mental Health and Well-being

    This module will teach you how to support children with mental health needs using relevant strategies and approaches. Learn about the holistic development of children through the theories, research and policies related to mental health and measures of well-being.

    Sustainable Childhoods
    This module will enable you to gain an understanding of what is meant by a ‘sustainable childhood’ and consider a range of theoretical models and underlying viewpoints which underpin the notion of sustainable childhoods.

    The Psychology of Educational Support and Therapy in Childhood
    This module will support you to explore and analyse different psychological interventions and therapies which may be used in a range of childhood contexts. You will critically compare these different interventions / therapies and consider their relevance for the child.

Course specification

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

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:

  • lectures
  • seminar discussions
  • practical work
  • project work
  • and workshops

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.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (100%)
  • Year 2 coursework (100%)
  • Year 3 coursework (100%)

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

Careers and employability

Your career development

What skills will I develop?

A Childhood 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 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 Childhood degree 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 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 degrees.

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.

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 third undergraduate year (subject to places being available).

Terms and conditions apply:

  • Applications can only be accepted subject to sufficient allocation of places from the Department for Education 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.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

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

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

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.

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

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.

Diversity of our students

We are committed to promoting a diverse and representative body of teacher trainees. We welcome applications from under-represented groups, such as male applicants, applicants from BME communities, mature applicants and those with disabilities.

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.

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!

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

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.

Fees and funding

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

The above fees are for 2019 entry.

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 (Psychology)£13,900

The above fees are for 2019 entry.

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