BA in Childhood and Youth Studies (Honours)

The Open University

Program Description

BA in Childhood and Youth Studies (Honours)

The Open University

BA in Childhood and Youth Studies (Honours)

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, 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 and analytical skills and improving your practice.

Key features of the course

  • Spans the entire 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.

Educational aims

The degree aims to develop theoretical and practical knowledge about children and young people. It is designed for students working with or for children and young people, in a wide range of settings, and for students with a general interest in the study of childhood and youth. The degree aims to:

  • provide the necessary concepts, theories, knowledge, and skills base to understand the lives of children and young people
  • encourage both critical reflection on and critical analysis of practices affecting children and young people
  • give you the opportunity to examine your own value base in relation to wider views on childhood and youth
  • develop appropriate analytical, research and conceptual skills needed to link theory, practice and experience
  • develop your knowledge and understanding of children's rights
  • deepen your appreciation of the diversity of children's experiences.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding are taught through diverse study materials, including multimedia. You will develop your knowledge and understanding through critical engagement with the material. Audio-visual materials offer opportunities to observe and hear from children and young people and to hear service users, practitioners and researchers. Students work independently with the study materials but are encouraged to form self-help groups with other students communicating face to face, by telephone, email, etc. Tutors support students’ learning in tutorials and day schools organized locally (where applicable). The assessment process requires students to demonstrate their understanding of key concepts and theories, to present arguments, to develop and evaluate ideas and to show how they apply these to practice. Students are encouraged to assess their own progress frequently through activities in the study material. Key skills are developed through study guide activities and tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) that offer opportunities to practice and improve. Assessment is through TMAs and an end-of-module assessment (EMA). Professional and practice skills are developed as part of an increased understanding and awareness of the experiences of children and young people, and what constitutes good practice. The assessment of practice on the relevant OU level 1 modules is via a virtual project designed as part of the EMA.

Career relevance

A degree in childhood and youth studies gives you skills and knowledge relevant to many careers in childcare, health, education, working with families, playwork, or working with young people. It will develop your understanding of practices and policies that affect children, and introduce you to many new aspects of the subject – helping you make informed choices about future career paths. This degree is not a professional qualification, so many of our graduates choose to undertake postgraduate training before progressing to employment in specialist fields such as:

  • teaching
  • counselling
  • early years work, including play therapy and hospital play
  • speech therapy
  • voluntary sector work
  • youthwork
  • education support and welfare
  • social work
  • probation work
  • personal and careers guidance
  • sport and fitness.

The education sector, in particular, provides increasing opportunities for teaching and non-teaching staff in schools, further and higher education and non-school settings. This course will develop your research skills if you want to go on to further study. As the BA (Honours) Childhood and Youth Studies (Q23) is not a professional qualification, many of our graduates choose to undertake postgraduate training before progressing to employment in specialist fields.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification, and you do not need to work with children in order to study this degree. However, two Stage 1 modules – The early years: developing practice (E100) and Supporting learning in primary schools (E111) – require experience in working with children. If you choose these modules you’ll need to obtain the necessary Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) certificate for the setting and country in which you’re working. In addition, early and primary years students will also need to meet the ‘fit person’ criteria. You will also need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 6.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process. Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated November 26, 2017
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United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
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Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
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