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Guide to studying Childhood & Youth Studies

Promote the wellbeing of children and young people in society through a degree in Childhood & Youth Studies.

Children drawing with smiling preschool teacher


  1. What's Childhood & Youth Studies?

  2. Why study Childhood & Youth Studies?

  3. What jobs can you get as a Childhood & Youth Studies graduate?

  4. What qualifications do you need?
  5. What degrees can you study?

  6. How will you be assessed?

  7. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

What's Childhood & Youth Studies?

Childhood & Youth Studies explores all areas related to children and young people from birth to the age of 19. During a degree, you learn about some of the most critical issues that affect the youth of society; you’ll be taught how to develop skills for challenging these issues and finding solutions for them.

Courses cover topics within a national and international context such as education, rights, safeguarding, therapy, equality and development. Teaching takes an interdisciplinary approach where you also look at related areas such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy and law.

Similar courses for Childhood & Youth Studies include: 

  • Childhood Studies
  • Early Childhood Studies

Why study Childhood & Youth Studies?

A degree in Childhood & Youth Studies shows you how to promote the wellbeing of children and young people. You’ll put their interests and rights at the heart of your work and learn how to apply your knowledge and skills to make society a better place.

Read our five reasons to study Childhood & Youth Studies for more information on why you might choose this subject area.

What jobs can you get as a Childhood & Youth Studies graduate?

Becoming a teacher or working within education is an obvious step forward for graduates of Childhood & Youth Studies, but there are plenty more professional roles to discover. Many go into roles as counsellors, play therapists, speech therapists, youth workers, voluntary sector workers, education support and welfare workers, careers advisers, psychologists, mentors, probation workers, policymakers and researchers.

What qualifications do you need?

You usually need at least two A Levels or equivalent. Each university and course have specific entry requirements, so make sure to check with the ones you’re interested in.

What degrees can you study?

  • BA/BSc Childhood Studies
  • BA Early Childhood Studies
  • BA Childhood and Youth Studies

Degrees sometimes include an integrated foundation year or professional placement year. Some give you practitioner status. Dual honours options are also available, where you can combine the degree with another area of interest such as education, psychology, criminology, sociology, business management or drama.

How will you be assessed?

Assessments for Childhood & Youth Studies courses come in various forms, such as written and practical exams, reviews, presentations, project work and coursework. Placements are sometimes assessed, and you may complete a final-year dissertation.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Common postgraduate degrees include:

  • MA Childhood Studies
  • MA Childhood, Youth and Social Policy
  • MSc Infancy and Early Childhood Development
  • PhD Childhood and Youth

Many students choose to continue their studies and specialise in areas such as psychology, therapy or social work.

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