Childhood Studies (0-11 years) - PT BA (Hons)

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BA (Hons) Childhood Studies (0-11 years) will teach you about the way children learn and develop in a diverse society, and it's a springboard to a wide range of careers that involve working with young children.

This part-time course is taught during the day. You'll learn about a wide range of topics relating to child development, health, and learning, and put that knowledge into practice on experiential visits.

Why us?

  • The Childhood Studies team have a wealth of experience in working with children who have experienced loss and trauma and have hosted many national conferences on the subject
  • Almost 40% of graduates progress to postgraduate study/training

Course structure

As a part-time student you’ll study 60 credits a year, and you’ll attend modules during the day, with full-time students.

In the first section of this course you’ll study core modules relating to child development and early years care. There is also a mandatory experiential visit.

In the second and third sections you can choose to take voluntary experiential visits, and you will also focus on one of three strands: Family and Community, Policy, Provision and Practice in Early Years Care and Education, or Policy, Provision and Practice in Primary Education.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • The Nature and Culture of Childhood (20 credits)
  • An Introduction to Child Development (20 credits)
  • Child Development: Theory into Practice (20 credits)


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 2 (national level 5):

Core modules:

  • The Child and the Social and Economic Environment (20 credits)
  • Health and Childhood (20 credits)
  • Child Law (20 credits)

Strand Option modules:

1. Family and Community

  • Children and Families in the Community - Resilience, Welfare and Conflict (20 credits)
  • Contextualising Family Units and Diversity (20 credits)


2. Policy, Provision and Practice in Early Years Care and Education

  • Play and Learning in the Early Years (20 credits)
  • Observing, Assessing and Reporting Children's Learning and Development (20 credits)
  • The Context of Young Children's Learning and Development (20 credits)


3. Policy, Provision and Practice in Primary Education

  • Developing Learning within Childhood Curricula through Story (20 credits)
  • Local Study Project (20 credits)
  • The Nature of the Primary Curriculum (20 credits)

Final year (national level 6):

Core modules:

  • Childhood Studies Research Project (40 credits)
  • Equality and Diversity in Contemporary Society (20 credits)

Strand Option modules:

1. Family and Community

  • Children and Families in the Community - Supporting Family Units and Protecting Children's Rights (20 credits)

2. Policy, Provision and Practice in Primary Education

Effective Teaching and Learning in the Primary Classroom (20 credits)

The Reg Vardy Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,


  • You can access free Wi-Fi throughout the University campus, so you can work from anywhere. If you don't want to carry a laptop around, just use one of the University’s PCs or Apple Macs. We have hundreds of computers for you to use in the Murray Library, St Peter's Library, and the David Goldman Informatics Centre. If you ever have any technical problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

    IT provision
  • We’ve got thousands social science books and e-books, 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.

    Library resources which you might find particularly useful for Childhood Studies 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
    Library Services - childhood studies


You'll be based at The Reg Vardy Centre, situated on the award-winning St Peter's riverside campus. The location benefits from dedicated library services and has superb transport links with the city centre and City Campus.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is 120 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award).

We do not accept General Studies as one of the A levels.

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 you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

You must have a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check before you can start this course, and you will also need to complete a medical pro forma.

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

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is £5,000 per 120 credits if you are from the UK or EU.

This part-time course is not available to international students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

City Campus by night


BA (Hons) Childhood Studies (0-11 years) leads to a range of careers in children's services. Many of our graduates go on to work in health, social care, education, childcare, charities, and voluntary organisations.

This degree gives an excellent grounding in education, but please note that it does not lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). If you want to qualify as a teacher, you may find this course more suitable: Primary Education with QTS BA (Hons).

Centre for Applied Social Sciences

The University of Sunderland’s Centre for Applied Social Studies (CASS) regularly hosts visiting speakers, and it can be an excellent way to learn from the experiences of people who already have a strong track record in social policy.

CASS is the centre for applied social science research at the University, and you may find opportunities to collaborate with the academic team – particularly on areas relating to children, young people and families.


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