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

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If you are applying for this course from outside the UK/EU, click apply now.

Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

If you are applying for this course from within the UK/EU, click apply now

Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

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Help give children the best start in life. Qualify for a lifelong career in a fulfilling field. Discover new abilities and capacities you didn't know you had.

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This course will teach you about the way children learn and develop in a diverse and evolving society, giving you opportunities in a wide range of careers that involve working with young children. You will learn about a range of topics relating to child development, health and training, and put that knowledge into practice on experiential visits.

Why us?

  • This course has over 90% Overall Satisfaction according to the National Student Survey 2018
  • 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
  • Our Social Work courses were ranked 1st overall in the UK in the 2018 UK Engagement Survey
  • Our Social Work courses were ranked 2nd in the UK for Assessment and Feedback, and 2nd in the UK for Retention and Progression in the 2018 UK Engagement Survey
  • 93.4% of our graduates are in employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers)
  • Our Social Work courses (which include BA (Hons) Childhood Studies 0-11 years) are in the top 25% in the UK for Organisation and management, according to the National Student Survey 2018

Course structure

Your progress will be assessed with essays, reports, group work, seminar presentations and self-evaluation. Throughout your degree you'll have one-to-one support from academic staff.

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

In your second and third years you can choose to take voluntary experiential visits and 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)
  • Values in the Professional Childhood Practioner (20 credits)
  • Inclusion, Integration and Exclusion (20 credits)
  • Building Graduate Skills for the Professional and Reflective Childhood Practitioner (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 optional modules:

1. Family and Community

  • Children and Families in the Community - Resilience, Welfare and Conflict (20 credits)
  • Contextualising Family Units and Diversity (20 credits)
  • Contextualising Children’s Position within Society (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)
  • Leading Practice for Children and Young People (20 credits)
  • The First Three Years of Childhood (20 credits)

Strand optional 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)
  • 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
  • Map and directions


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

  • GPA 3.0 or above from High School Diploma along with one of the following at the required grade - SAT I and SAT II, ACT or Advanced Placement

If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at for further advice.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.

All applicants to this course are required to have undergone the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhancement Check process prior to commencement of study on their chosen programme.

Applicants are also required to complete a medical pro forma.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK or EU
  • £11,500 if you are from outside the EU

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.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's 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.


Meet the students

  • University of Sunderland is a phenomenal place to become inspired and educated.
    Reg Vardy building

    Louise Darwin

  • The University of Sunderland helped me realise my dream.

    Stephen Day

  • A fantastic university with a wide range of support in place and very nice lecturers.

    Sylwia Szymczyk

Meet the team

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