The University of Wolverhampton

BA (Hons)Childhood Studies

Why choose this course?

The Childhood Studies degree will develop the skills and knowledge required for a range of careers working with children, their families and the services that support them. The course will draw on a range of disciplines such as history, psychology, education, sociology, welfare and social policy.

The course is suitable for people new to this area or experienced staff searching for career development. The course takes account of the ecology of children’s lives in studying the complexities of family life and of children’s development from conception onwards and the significance of childhood across cultures and societies.

Work experience placements are an integral part of the course and can be negotiated in a variety of settings such as schools, nurseries, community care centres, hospitals, social services, libraries, children’s centres, and other relevant settings. The course will consider theory in relation to the implications for practice and enable you to evaluate and develop appropriate pedagogical approaches to work with children and their families and to consider ethical principles and high quality practice.

Teaching and learning is designed to support digital literacy through use of a range of on-line tools, such as virtual learning environments and e-portfolios and you are encouraged to share knowledge and be enterprising with your ideas.

What happens on the course?

At level four you will be required to develop your knowledge of key concepts and theories and analyse patterns of children’s development with a focus on children’s physical, social and emotional development as well expressive arts and design. You will also begin to recognise key issues in relation to rights, diversity, equality and inclusion in relation to working with children and families in the UK and globally. You will also be given the opportunity to develop your presentation skills within formative assessments such as seminars, debates and more formal summative presentations and audio recordings. The development of your writing skills for higher education purposes will also be enhanced through both formative and summative written assignments. There are also opportunities to help you link your new learning at university to practical situations and workplace/placement experiences in the form a portfolio of short reflexive essays together with a concluding self-reflection identifying the most significant aspects of personal learning experienced through the module.

At level five you will develop your analytical and critical reflection skills further and you will have the opportunity to enhance your oral and presentation skills which is integrated into assessments to enable you to justify, critique and communicate your theoretical positioning. This will also be achieved through written assignments including a proposal to capture your ideas for your research project at level 6 and therefore your ability to be more analytical on a range of topics will be assessed. Your digital literacy skills will be developed further through a range of formative tasks. You will also critically reflect on your own value systems and that of others, in a systematic way to develop your professional and ethical practice by completing a workplace/placement and reflecting upon pedagogical approaches as well as international perspectives to working with children and their families and methods for researching these. There will be a focus on children’s language, literacy, maths and knowledge and understanding of the world.

At level six you will be evaluating, synthesising and applying some of the challenges of working with children and their families through a variety of formative and summative assessments including written work and an interview and presentation. You will also undertake enterprising work-based investigation and problem solving including the role of a leader in ensuring high quality service delivery that meets the needs of children and their families. You will also have developed your own values and appraisal systems and relate this to your own professional goals and link this to your workplace/placement experience.

An integral part of the philosophy of the degree is the use of Accreditation of Prior Learning. At level four, if you are a practitioner, there is the opportunity to use your current workplace experience through a range of activities and validation from your workplace to achieve up to forty credits. If you do not wish to apply for APL then you have the opportunity to undertake taught level four modules.

The course is written as a ‘spiral curriculum’ which ensures that students are supported and ‘scaffolded’ at each level in terms of the course content and formative and summative assessment tasks.

Why Wolverhampton?

  • This course involves placements at every level of study.
  • The teaching team are from a range of professional backgrounds including education, local authorities, social work, adult education and youth work and are all actively involved in research and writing.
  • This course is taught full time and part time
  • Members of the Childhood Studies team are all active researchers in an area of childhood studies. For example, the experience of part time students, teachers perspectives in primary education of government agendas and comparative education and the role of the adult with pre-school settings.

What our students think

"Very friendly, approachable and helpful lecturers have helped to make the learning experience more enjoyable and accessible and this has helped to build my confidence".

"Tutors have been fantastic, I have also met some really great people."

"I did a PGCE after the course and now work as a year one teacher in a fantastic school."

"Doing the assignments on the course meant I became computer literate which is a really important skill in my work as a nursery manager."

Career path

You may go into teaching, lecturing or research in the field of Childhood Studies:

  • Our graduates have gone into a range of early year’s settings and some have taken up managerial posts within two years.
  • There are a range of options in play work, nursery management, children’s charities or work within initiatives such as Sure Start.
  • If you want to become a teacher you may choose to undertake a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
  • You could also choose study for a Master’s Degree.

What skills will you gain?

As a graduate of this course you will be able to:

  1. Reflect upon a range of philosophical, historical, psychological, sociological and consider how these underpin different understanding of children and childhood.
  2. Demonstrate the knowledge and awareness of the skills needed for different pedagogical approaches when working with children, families, communities and other professionals as well as acting as an advocate for children, families and communities including promoting children’s welfare and safety needs.
  3. Recognise and critically analyse issues in relation to rights, diversity, equity and inclusion in relation to working with children, families and communities in the UK and globally
  4. Make critical judgements and evaluations about key concepts, theories and principles including current debates in the area of childhood studies and research in child development and analyse data effectively and interpret this arriving at supported conclusions.
  5. Critically reflect on your own value systems and that of others, in a systematic and sensitive way to develop your professional and ethical practice for improvements to multi-agency practices for children.
  6. To communicate clearly to a range of audiences for a range of purposes including the ability to take the lead, support, plan and work collaboratively with others.

Entry requirements

2016 Entry

Other Requirements

Entry to this course requires a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and Medical check

Students must have studied a minimum of two years post GCSE level. However, it is expected that some applicants will be mature students with work experience, who wish to further their career development. These applicants will be processed through standard procedures, which may involve an interview as part of the process. Please see for further information.

Those who do not meet the entry requirements may be offered an alternative course

Course fees and finance

2016/7 Home/EU International
Full time £9,000 £11,250
Part time # £2,780

The University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships in addition to other financial support packages

These fees are applicable for new entrants in 2016/7. If you have any queries regarding the fees listed please contact 01902 323135

These fees are for the current academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

# Undergraduate part-time fees for 50% rate of study

Contact us


01902 32 22 22



Order a prospectus