BA in Childhood and Youth Studies (Honours)

The Open University

Program Description

BA in Childhood and Youth Studies (Honours)

The Open University

What makes young people tick? What shapes and influences children’s development? How can the adults who work with children support them more effectively?

This engaging and wide-ranging interdisciplinary degree is for anyone working with children and young people or with a general interest in the field. You’ll investigate policies, practices, and issues affecting the lives of children and young people across a range of settings, developing your knowledge, your analytical skills and improving your practice.

Key features of the course

  • Spans the entire childhood age range from early years to youth
  • Topics include child development and psychology, international childhoods, research with children, and children’s literature
  • Relevant to a wide range of careers in childcare, education, health and social care.

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.

  • You’ll start Stage 1 with a module that introduces you to childhood studies before choosing one from a range of optional modules.
  • Then, in Stage 2, you’ll study a compulsory module that explores what it means to be a child today and follow this with a module selected from a list of options.
  • Finally, in Stage 3, you’ll select one module from a choice of three and conclude your degree with a research project.


We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) Childhood and Youth Studies uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • working in a group with other students
  • undertaking practical work
  • finding external/third party material online.

All qualifications require you to complete learning and assessment activities within a required timescale and according to pre-determined deadlines. You will, therefore, need to manage your time effectively during your studies and the University will help you to develop this skill throughout your degree. Information on assessment will be available to you at the start of each module.

If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our disability page to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media, and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.

It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification. There are however requirements for two of the optional OU level 1 modules.

For Learning and teaching in the primary years (E103), if you are not already working or volunteering in a school or related setting regularly, you will need to negotiate opportunities to spend some time during the module in a formal educational setting for children aged 3-12 (eg as a volunteer) to observe teaching and learning and practice in context.

You also need to obtain the necessary criminal record clearance for the setting and country in which you work. It is your responsibility and that of the educational setting to ensure you meet these requirements, not The Open University’s. You should contact the relevant agency in your country for more information if you are in doubt about your eligibility, or to find out more.

For Exploring perspectives on young children’s lives and learning (E109) you will need direct experience of working with young children (Birth to 7 years 11 months) and those not working with young children (employed or in a voluntary capacity) will need to negotiate opportunities to gain such practical experience.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated January 16, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
3 - 6 years
Part time
Full time