BA (Hons) Childhood Studies
In this Section:
This course offers you a broad interdisciplinary approach to understanding childhood and youth which will support you in pursuing a wide range of careers.
You’ll be taught by experts in anthropology, education, psychology, sociology and social policy who use their research to inform their teaching. You will critically examine current social and political questions and debates on childhoods in the UK and internationally.
The programme takes a child-centred approach, encouraging you to consider the rights of children and the perspectives of children on all matters that affect them. It has both theoretical and practical components – you’ll benefit from opportunities to gain practical experience of working with children and young people to apply your theoretical knowledge.
From the start of the degree you’ll study the key disciplines that comprise childhood studies – anthropology, education, psychology, sociology and social policy – and learn about what each of these disciplines can bring to an overall understanding of childhood and youth. For example, you’ll examine how key theories can develop our understanding of children’s development, health and welfare, their inclusion, and their peer and family relationships.
You’ll consider questions such as:
- How do children learn to read and how can we support their reading development, whatever their needs?
- Should children and young people contribute to decision-making in schools, and how do children’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) inform this debate?
- How far should the state determine how parents bring up their children?
In each year, you will undertake a series of core modules that build on previous years, complemented by optional modules that allow you to explore topics that suit your interests and career plans.
In your final year you’ll also plan and undertake a piece of independent research for your dissertation which will relate to childhood and youth. This will allow you to put into practice theories from across the disciplines you have studied, to select an area of interest to pursue and to gain experience of doing a real-life research project with or about children and/or young people.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- Children, Young People, Families and the State 20 credits
- What is a Child: Child Development and Learning 20 credits
- What is a Child: Social Construction of Childhood 20 credits
- Play and Learning 20 credits
- Introduction to Childhood Studies 5 credits
- Social and Cultural Worlds of Childhood and Youth 20 credits
- Children's Rights and Social Justice 20 credits
- Building a Career from Education Studies 20 credits
- Health, Well-being, Childhood and Youth 20 credits
- International Perspectives of Pedagogy and Practice 20 credits
- Approaches to Research: Theory and Practice 20 credits
- Psychological Approaches to Understanding and Supporting Children's Learning 20 credits
- Students into Education 1 20 credits
- Inclusive Education 20 credits
- Literacies and Learning 20 credits
- Supporting Families? Analysing the Theory and Practice of Family Support 20 credits
- Violent and Sexually Offending Young People 20 credits
- Critical Debates in Childhood and Youth: Research 20 credits
- Dissertation 40 credits
- Children, Families and Cultural Diversity: Philosophical Perspectives 20 credits
- Supporting Learning in Children with Additional Needs 20 credits
- Child Welfare and Young Children 20 credits
Broadening your academic horizons
At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
We use a range of teaching and learning methods, including lectures supported by workshops and seminars that allow you to focus on and discuss topics in greater depth. You’ll also benefit from our extensive use of online resources through the virtual learning environment (VLE).
Our lectures focus on research findings and how they can be used in policy and professional practice with children and young people. Lectures are often interactive, allowing you to discuss issues with your peers, and/or watch or listen to and discuss videos and podcasts. We frequently invite guest lecturers, esteemed experts in their fields, to share their research and professional insights with you.
In addition, independent study is an important element of the course, allowing you to prepare for lectures through reading or through researching an issue, and as you progress you’ll move towards more independent yet supported study.
Because there is so much expertise in this subject area at the University of Leeds, you’ll also have plenty of opportunities to attend lectures and seminars in the areas of Childhood studies both within the School of Education and beyond.
We aim to use a variety of assessment methods in order for you to build a core set of transferable skills in critical and analytical thinking, problem-solving, independent and team-working, synthesising information, oral presentation and in social and psychological or educational research. You’ll be assessed using a range of methods that allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding.
The type of assessment will vary depending on the modules you choose. Current methods of assessment include essays, reports, literature reviews, poster presentations, reflective logs, exams, and project work undertaken for your dissertation.
This degree will enable you to develop a multidisciplinary perspective on issues relating to childhood and youth, offering a sound basis for various career paths. These could include teaching, educational work in museums, educational psychology, youth and community work, play therapy, social work, speech therapy, nursing, child and family law, and working in children’s organisations such as UNICEF, The Children’s Society or Save the Children.
Many of our students have chosen to pursue further study in the School of Education, for example, on the MA Childhood Studies, MA Special Educational Needs, or teacher training.
Throughout your studies, there will be opportunities to strengthen your CV. For example, you could gain practical insights into how professionals work with children and young people through the module Students into Education, where you could shadow an educational professional and reflect on how the ideas you learn on the programme apply in practice.
Volunteering opportunities with children and young people are also formally organised by the University of Leeds and current students are regularly visiting and reading to children in hospitals or working with children in schools. Representatives from the careers service currently visit the School of Education each week and run drop-in sessions for BA Childhood Studies students.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.