Childhood Studies BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
ABB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Children in group

This exciting, interdisciplinary degree offers a broad approach to understanding childhood and youth – supporting you in pursuing a wide range of careers including teaching, social work, child and family law, and youth and community work.

You’ll be taught by experts in education, anthropology, psychology, sociology and social policy – key disciplines in the study of childhood and youth – and will examine some of the fundamental issues concerning childhood and youth in the UK and internationally.

The programme takes a child-centred approach, encouraging you to consider the rights and perspectives of children on all matters that affect them, and you’ll benefit from opportunities to apply your theoretical knowledge while gaining practical experience of working with children and young people.

Studying in the School of Education

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Course details

Our BA Childhood Studies degree is designed to provide you with an in-depth understanding of children’s lives in diverse social, cultural and educational contexts.

Teaching is based in the fields of anthropology, education, psychology, sociology and social policy and you’ll examine how key concepts from these disciplines 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:

  • 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?
  • How are children and young people’s health and wellbeing conceptualised in the UK and internationally?

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars and workshops that use a range of learning resources including media and digital technology.

In each year of study, you’ll undertake core modules designed to build your knowledge base, complemented by optional modules that allow you to explore topics that suit your interests and future career plans.

In your final year, you’ll also plan and undertake a piece of independent research relating to childhood and youth for your dissertation. This will allow you to put theories you’ve studied into practice, gain further expertise in an area of interest to you, and to gain experience carrying out a real-life research project with or about children and/or young people.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Childhood Studies BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Becoming a Practitioner of Learning 20
Children, Young People, Families and the State 20
What is a Child: Social Construction of Childhood 20
Children's Rights and Social Justice 20
Psychological approaches to Education 20

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose up to 20 credits of optional modules in the school.

Module Name Credits
Second Language Acquisition and Learning 20
Contemporary Issues and Debates in Education - Level 1 20
Building a Career from Education Studies 20

Year 1 discovery modules

If you do not choose an optional module you will choose up to 20 credits of discovery modules.

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Research Methods 20
Health, Well-being, Childhood and Youth 20
Psychological Approaches to Understanding and Supporting Children's Learning 20
Inclusive Education 20

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose 20 to 40 credits of optional modules in the school.

Module Name Credits
The Practice of English Language Teaching 20
International Perspectives of Pedagogy and Practice 20
Students into Education 1 20
Educational Policy and Politics 20
Science Education: Issues and Challenges 10
Managing Classroom Behaviour 10
State of Emergency: Social science and the COVID-19 pandemic 20
Violent and Sexually Offending Young People 20

Year 2 discovery modules

If you only choose 20 credits of optional modules you will choose 20 credits of discovery modules.

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Critical Debates in Childhood and Youth: Research 20
Final Year Research Project 40
Children, Families and Cultural Diversity: Philosophical Perspectives 20

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You will choose 20 to 40 credits of optional modules in the school.

Module Name Credits
Children's Literature in Education 20
Supporting Learning in Children with Additional Needs 20
Mathematics Education 10
Technology-enhanced language learning 20
Child Welfare and Young Children 20
Students Into Education 2 20
State of Emergency: Social science and the COVID-19 pandemic 20

Year 3 discovery modules

If you only choose 20 credits of optional modules you will choose 20 credits of discovery modules.

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our 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.

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 may also have the opportunity to attend lectures and seminars in the areas of childhood studies both within the School of Education and beyond.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


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.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB not including Critical Thinking.

In general we expect applicants to have two ‘traditional’ academic subjects at A-level. See our accepted subjects document to see which subjects we accept.

When an applicant is taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) this can be considered alongside A-level qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A-levels, this would be BBB at A-level and grade A in the EPQ.

GCSE: grade 4/C or above in English Language, or an equivalent qualification, or an appropriate English language qualification.

Other course specific tests:

DBS check

Should you wish to work with children or vulnerable adults, for example, whilst undertaking Placement as a component of our optional Students into Education modules as part of your degree, you will need to have a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or equivalent by 30 September in the year you start the module, paid for by the School. You will be sent a form and related guidance once you have expressed your interest, which you should complete and return with the appropriate documents.

Find guidance on DBS checks and equivalent checks for international applicants on the DBS website.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Complete 60 credits with 45 credits at Level 3 including 30 credits at Distinction and 15 at Merit or above.



Cambridge Pre-U


International Baccalaureate

34 overall (6,5,5 higher).

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)


Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AAABB overall (BB at advanced level).


We will consider applicants with the following T levels at grade CACHE A, as well as GCSE English at 4 or above:

  • Education and Childcare
  • Health

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer:

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, we offer a foundation year for UK students who meet specific widening participation criteria. Learn more about the BA Social Science (foundation year).


We accept a wide range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Education undergraduate admissions team.

International foundation year

If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:

- University of Leeds International Foundation Year (IFY)

- Northern Consortium of UK Universities (NCUK)

- Study Group Leeds International Study Centre (LISC)

If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £22,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our admissions guidance for common queries, information on how we will process your application, and advice on personal statements.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Education

Contact us

School of Education Admission Team


Career opportunities

The BA in Childhood Studies equips you with a firm theoretical base and the methodological skills to address the experiences, lives and education of children within a globalising world.

It offers a sound basis for various career paths and popular graduate career destinations include roles in pre-primary care, primary school teaching and teaching assistant roles.

Many of our students have also chosen to pursue postgraduate study in the School of Education after completing their undergraduate degree, for example, on MA Childhood Studies or MA Special Educational Needs courses, or through teacher training with our School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) partners, Red Kite.

Throughout your studies, there will be opportunities to strengthen your CV. For example, you will gain practical insights into how professionals work with children and young people through modules allowing you to 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 regularly visit the School of Education and run drop-in sessions for BA Childhood Studies students.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s 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 about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners 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.

Work placements

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.

Students into Education
In your second and third year on this course, you’ll have the opportunity to spend 35 hours over two semesters working in a school or other educational setting alongside established teacher and education professionals. You’ll be supported to apply your knowledge and skills you’ve developed through your modules in a practical educational environment, where you’ll have the opportunity to create, develop and use your own materials.

You’ll attend regular seminars which will enable you to reflect on your experience, allowing you to focus and evaluate the theoretical and pedagogical underpinnings.

Work placements are a great opportunity to apply and develop your knowledge, broaden your skill set and gain valuable experience to pursue a career in the education sector and beyond.

Student profile: Pratichya Gurung

Childhood Studies offers a holistic approach to understanding children and young people and the future career possibilities with this course are abundant.
Find out more about Pratichya Gurung's time at Leeds