Childhood Studies BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2025
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 allows you to gain a broad understanding of childhood and youth, helping you to pursue a wide range of careers. These include working directly with children, working with young people and families, primary teaching, social work, local government and charity sector roles.

Our BA Childhood Studies examines different cultural constructions of childhood and youth and the impact on lived realities in different contexts. Taking a child-centred approach, we encourage you to consider the rights and perspectives of children on all of the matters that affect them.

You’ll have an opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding through four interconnected themes of study:

  • Research
  • Child Development
  • Children’s Rights, Social Justice and Policy
  • Sociology of Childhood

A choice of optional modules allows you to explore and discover your own interests. You'll also have the opportunity to gain practical experience of working with children and young people.

Course highlights

  • Study in our world-ranked School of Education alongside staff and students from across the globe.
  • Learn from influential academics who are experts in important disciplines including education, psychology, sociology and social policy.
  • Examine some of the fundamental issues concerning childhood and youth, both in the UK and internationally.
  • Gain valuable practical experience, with the opportunity to work alongside teachers or education professionals in your second and final year.
  • Prepare for your future with careers and employability support.
  • Get the opportunity to study abroad and develop an international experience or undertake a work placement to gain practical experience.

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.

Our teaching is based in the fields of education, psychology, sociology and social policy. 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 course is delivered through lectures, seminars and workshops that use a range of learning resources including media and digital technology.

In each year, you’ll undertake compulsory 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 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.

You can also choose our optional Students in Education module in your final year, which allows you to gain experience from real-life education settings, working alongside teachers or other education professionals. See Study abroad and work placements for details.

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
Psychological Approaches to Child Development and Education 20
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

Year 2 compulsory modules

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

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Work Placement Year 120
Sociolinguistics and Language Education 10
Final Year Research Project 40
Children, Families and Cultural Diversity: Philosophical Perspectives 20

Learning and teaching

This course takes an inclusive and active teaching approach to meet the learning needs of all students. A range of teaching methods are used, including self-paced e-learning and interactive face-to-face sessions.

Some of our methods include:

  • evidence-based reading
  • content such as podcasts, documentaries, media stories and controversies
  • discussion and debate
  • real world case studies
  • group work and individual reflection
  • independent reading and research

The course also features guest speakers from those working in childhood, allowing students to connect theory and research to practice and gain insight into potential careers. This helps you to explore and develop your own areas of interest, informing your career aspirations and improve your understanding of the skills you'll need for your future.

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 use a variety of assessment approaches throughout the course, so that the diverse skills and experiences of students are recognised and acknowledged. Assessments provide students with the opportunity to focus on areas of interest. This enables you to develop expertise relevant to future practice in your chosen careers.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB

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

D3, M2, M2.

International Baccalaureate

34 overall (6,5,5 higher).

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers; or B in Advanced Higher and AAABB in Highers or AABBBB in Highers.


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

Welsh Baccalaureate

Applicants offering the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (SCC) must obtain a grade A alongside AB at A-Level (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking).

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 a contextual 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 contextual 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).

BA Social Science (foundation year)

BA Social Science is a foundation year course for students who don’t meet the standard admissions requirements for an undergraduate degree.

If you feel you missed out on education and want to realise your potential, this course will give you a firm grounding in the social sciences and prepare you for one of our social science degree courses.

The course lasts four years. Your first-year acts as a ‘Level 0’ foundation year, which gives you the skills for studying social sciences at undergraduate level. It’ll also introduce you to key ideas in sociology, politics, crime, education and law.

You’ll need to pass this year to progress onto one of our three-year undergraduate degree courses in a related subject. These include BA Childhood Studies, BA Sociology, BA Social Policy, Sociology and Crime, BA Politics, LLB Law, BA Social Work, BA Criminal Justice and Criminology and many others.

Find out more about BA Social Science.


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

International foundation year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study a foundation year. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

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 this course.

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: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 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 UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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 both in-depth theoretical knowledge and practical skills. These allow you 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. These include roles in early years provision, social work, primary school teaching and teaching assistant roles.

Many of our students have chosen to pursue postgraduate study in the School of Education after completing their undergraduate degree (for example, on MA Childhood Studies) or through teacher training with our School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) partners, Red Kite. Students have also chosen to work in the charity sector, within local authorities and in the Civil Service.

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 specific modules. These allow you to shadow an educational professional and reflect on how the ideas you learn on the course apply in practice.

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 at the Careers website.

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.

Gain practical experience of working with children in your second and final years.

In your second year you can choose our optional Teaching and Learning in Primary and Early Years module. This allows you to build your experience of designing learning resources for children, and try them out in practical contexts.

In your final year you can also choose our optional Students in Education module. This allows you to gain experience from real-life education settings, working alongside teachers or other education professionals. You’ll explore a range of formal and informal education settings, consider the many places in which education occurs and reflect on different approaches to teaching and learning.

Your placements may be in mainstream schools, schools for learners with special educational needs or nurseries. Alternatively, they could be in education services such as Leeds Museums and Galleries, outdoor and environmental centres, or libraries.

You’ll consider the social, political and ethical aspects of working in education, and deepen your understanding of the relationship between pedagogic theory and practice. This also gives you an opportunity to extend your experience of workplace observation, and of preparing/gathering resources and activities for education.

The placement may provide an appropriate setting for your final year dissertation project.