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Childhood Studies - Combined Subjects (Major, Dual and Minor) BA/BSc (Hons) - University of Sunderland

Course overview

Our modules in childhood studies will help you work effectively with children aged 0-11 years.

Modules include ‘Nature and Culture of Childhood’, ‘Health and Childhood’ and ‘Child and Family Transitions’.

Some of these modules are also available to students on our education courses. It is therefore not necessary, and not possible, to combine childhood studies with education.

A popular combination, particularly among people who are considering teaching, is childhood studies as a minor or dual combination with another subject that is part of the national curriculum. After appropriate postgraduate training you could become a teacher in that other subject – but with additional expertise in childhood studies that will give you an edge over other job applicants.

Another popular combination is childhood studies with psychology. This will provide you with a broad knowledge base for potential careers in educational psychology, child psychology or related fields. 

You could also combine childhood studies with any of the other subjects in the Combined Subjects programme. You can choose to spend a third, half, or two thirds of your study time on childhood studies.

The University provides a very supportive learning environment. According to 'Which University' ratings 2014, 97% of our Childhood Studies Graduates are either employed or in further study.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of studying a combined subjects programme at the University of Sunderland:

Course content

A major/minor combination involves taking two thirds of your credits in the major subject, and one third in the minor subject. With a dual combination you take an equal number of credits in both subjects.

If you take a dual combination with one subject that is a BA and one which is a BSc, the award of a BA or BSc is determined by the subject in which you complete your final project or dissertation.

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

Core modules for all routes

  • Introduction to Child Development (20 Credits)
  • Nature and Culture of Childhood (20 Credits) (not core for Minor route)

Year 2 (national level 5)

Core module for all routes

  • The Child and the Economic and Social Environment (20 Credits)

Core module for dual/major routes

  • Health and Childhood (20 Credits)

Core module for major route

  • Child Law (20 Credits)

Final Year (national level 6)

Core module for all routes

  • Equality and Diversity (20 Credits)

Core module for most dual/major routes

  • Child and Family Transitions (20 Credits)

Core module for major route (optional for dual route)

  • Research Project (40 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

Our teaching methods are designed to develop not only your knowledge but also skills that enhance employability. Methods include small group work, workshops, lectures, tutorials, computer-based learning, presentations and independent learning.

Assessment methods include essays, reports, group work, seminar presentations and self-evaluation. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your evolving skills in effective communication and presentations.

To find out more about modules, credits and how you will be assessed, please see the page How courses are taught. Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Key Information Sets

All UK universities and colleges display Key Information Sets (KIS) on their undergraduate courses. The KIS gives you a quick overview of some standard information about a course, and has a link to more detailed information on Unistats.

The majority of our courses display the KIS directly on the course information page, as an animated image. However, because there are so many possible Combined Subjects combinations, the KIS for these courses are held on another page - click here to see the KIS Childhood Studies Combined Subjects.

Facilities & location

Course location

The course is based at the Priestman Building on City Campus, just a few minutes from the main Murray Library and close to Sunderland city centre. Thanks to a major renovation programme, the Priestman Building provides state-of-the-art teaching space and resources as part of a vibrant and outward-looking learning environment.

University Library Services

We’ve got thousands of books and e-books related to social studies, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

Some of the most important sources for your course include:

  • Project Muse, which provides over 180 full-text humanities and social sciences journals
  • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
  • Lexis, which provides access to legal information as well as full-text newspaper articles
  • Professional Development Collection, which features hundreds of education journals and reports
  • Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Database, which includes full-text journal articles on topics spanning emotional and behavioural sciences, psychiatry and psychology
  • Community Care Inform, which helps professionals who work with children and young people to make, and evidence, their decisions
  • EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals

IT provision

When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in the David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s Library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.


Priestman Building

Albion Place, Sunderland, SR1 3PZ

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award). Read more on the new UCAS Tariff point system for 2017.

We accept a maximum of 6 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Additional Entry Requirements

Other acceptable qualifications

BTEC National: 120 points from a BTEC Certificate or Diploma.

Access Courses: We would require successful completion of an Access to Higher Education course that is accredited by the Quality Assurance Agency. We would also require a minimum of grade C in GCSE in Mathematics and English Language or the equivalent as part of your course.

Scottish Highers: Our typical offer is for 120 points.

Irish Leaving Certificate: Our typical offer is for 120 points.

International qualifications: Please call the Student Helpline for advice on other acceptable qualifications. The number from outside the UK is +44 191 515 3000.

Any other qualifications: If you have any other qualifications not listed here, you may still be eligible. Please contact the Student Helpline for advice: 0191 515 3000.

Returners to Learning: If you are a mature student, you may benefit from our dedicated Returners to Learning Progression Scheme. For further information email or call the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

If you wish to be considered for direct entry to a different year of a course, please contact the Student Helpline: 0191 515 3000.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Full-time fees

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK/EU
  • £10,750 if you are an international student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website. 

Scholarships and bursaries may be available to you – please see the Fees and Funding section of this website for more information.

Employment & careers

The knowledge and skills gained from childhood studies are very relevant to jobs in childcare, social care, education and health. They are also relevant to work with charities and voluntary organisations.

Please note that the course does not lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). If you are interested in QTS please see courses such as Primary Education.


During your course you can extend your experience of working with children through voluntary work. Our Careers and Employability Service advertises volunteering positions in local organisations, charities and community groups. You can help other people while learning about your strengths and what you can offer. 

University Language Scheme

It is usually possible to take a module from the free University Language Scheme. This can be studied on top of your 120 credits or in some cases, can earn credits towards your degree.

Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements.

Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme: 

Study Abroad 

You can switch your studies in Combined Subjects to another country for one or two semesters during the second year. You can choose from over 150 universities in 20 countries, either English-speaking (such as Australia, Canada and the USA) or non English-speaking (such as Argentina, Brazil and Japan). This gives you an opportunity to get an international perspective on both subjects that you are studying.


The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience:

  • Work placements
  • Graduate internships
  • Studying abroad
  • Student Ambassador Scheme
  • Mentoring
  • Starting your own business
  • Student jobs and volunteering
  • Careers advice

For full details, please see our Employability page.

The Enterprise Place

If you have a good idea for a new business and have the dedication and motivation to make it happen, then we want to hear from you. The Enterprise Place, based on-campus at St Peter's Gate Business Centre, is the perfect environment for entrepreneurial students and graduates to turn their business ideas into reality. You will have access to free hot desk space, IT facilities, specialist advice and support and business mentors and networking opportunities.

To find out more about how we can help you start a business, please contact the University's Enterprise Team:

Tel: 0191 515 3751

Graduates Ashleigh and Laura talk about the support they received on their courses at the University of Sunderland:


Support from staff

You can expect stimulating contact time with teaching staff as well as significant amounts of time when you will be studying on your own. If you have queries or difficulties, you can book an appointment with your tutor to gain more in-depth support and guidance.

Students who are taking Combined Subjects have Personal Tutors. You’ll meet your Tutor at agreed times throughout each year of the course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development, monitor your progress and act as a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues that require more specialist services. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support. 

In addition, the Combined Subjects team provide a high level of personal help and support. We offer a daily face-to-face drop in service and we can also arrange out-of-hours appointments where necessary. If you send us a query, we commit to responding to it promptly. 

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers and Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

For more information about all the support services you will have access to as a Sunderland student, please see Student support and guidance.

“The University of Sunderland offered a large range of combined courses, which gave me the freedom to select two subjects I felt really passionate about, which were Dance and Childhood Studies. This combination of subjects is very rare when applying through UCAS, so I decided I would jump at the unique opportunity."

Elysia Byrne W5

Elysia Byrne - Graduate – Combined Subjects Childhood Studies and Dance

Primary PGCE course at Manchester Metropolitan University

“The University of Sunderland offered a large range of combined courses, which gave me the freedom to select two subjects I felt really passionate about, which were Dance and Childhood Studies. This combination of subjects is very rare when applying through UCAS, so I decided I would jump at the unique opportunity. The staff were also lovely and seemed very supportive on the open day, which helped give me the confidence to move far away from home.

“I decided to study childhood studies as part of the combined degree as I have always wanted to work with children either in a primary school context or in early years and this course had many modules such as: an introduction to child development, the primary curriculum, family studies, health issues and equality and diversity, which I believe were all important skills and knowledge to carry on into either of these contexts. I chose dance as I love being able to express yourself through movement; being able to develop simple ideas into a devised choreography that can express feelings. Certain dance modules also relate to national curriculum subjects in an exploratory manner, for example 'dance composition and performance’; throughout this module we explored different art forms such as: literature, paintings, fashion and music to create dance piece.

“The aspect of my course that I enjoyed the most was being able to gather expertise in both subjects, especially in third year where I got to create my own final project, which linked both subjects together. My tutors throughout both courses and my personal tutor, have always been very supportive, I felt like I could email them at any point and pop in their offices for advice, they were brilliant throughout the three years of study. The lecturers also worked very hard to engage us in lectures and seminars, to make our experience as valuable as possible.

“Since graduating I have gone on to study a Primary PGCE course at Manchester Metropolitan University, which I am thoroughly enjoying.”

Apply for this course

Interested in this course? Read our 7-step guide to applying to university, find all of the University of Sunderland's combined courses on UCAS and apply straightaway.


The UCAS Code will change depending on the combinations of subjects you choose to study. Download the UCAS codes combined subjects (.pdf) to see the offer from the University of Sunderland.‌

Want to know more about this course or the University of Sunderland? Download your personalised prospectus or come to our next Open Day to see the facilities and talk to academic staff:

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Thursday 23rd February 2017
  • Time: 3:00pm-8:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Science Complex, City Campus, Sunderland SR1 3SD

Contact Sunderland

Programme Leader:
Jane Johnson

Contact the recruitment team for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Recruitment Team
Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

The details

Course Name Childhood Studies - Combined Subjects (Major, Dual and Minor)
UCAS Code See 'Contact & apply' page
Classification BA/BSc (Hons)
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Undergraduate
Duration 3 or 4 years
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 18 September 2017
UK/EU Fee £9,250
Intl Fee £10,750

Entry requirements

120 points

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