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BA (Hons) Childhood and Family Studies

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Three years full-time.

Six years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

112 UCAS tariff points (or above)
BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC)



The importance that society places on the related concepts of ‘childhood’ and ‘family’ makes them a topical and fascinating focus for academic study. It can also lead to a broad range of careers.

We draw on different disciplines to explore academic perspectives, including sociology, psychology, social policy, health, education, politics and cultural studies.

The programme builds on the University’s established history of delivering degrees in this field and its continuing place on the national stage as a leading provider of such programmes.

As a graduate, you will be able to work with families and children of all ages through various career paths. These include education and welfare roles in statutory, private and voluntary sectors, and teaching at primary school level.

Few subjects have more personal relevance or are more rewarding. ‘Childhood’ and ‘family’ are recognised as two of the basic components upon which contemporary societies are socially and economically organised, and are subjects about which we all have some direct experience.

The course equips you with the knowledge and skills to work critically and effectively in the many domains in which children and families live their everyday lives and with the multiple services that seek to support them.

Course modules

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Introduction to academic and research skills (Requisite)

This module introduces students to the academic skills required for successful study at HE level. It also includes dedicated tutorial support for students as they prepare first semester assignments. This module is designed to provide students with an important set of study skills that are relevant across all modules. Emphasis is placed on developing student’s academic and critical writing skills. Practical exercises are designed to give students the opportunity to experiment, practice, and reflect on their developing study skills.

Psychology and the family (Requisite)

This module investigates the developing child within the context of the family and the changes that occur in family systems over time. The module has a particular focus on the aspects of child development that influence and are influenced by the family system. It will include the psychological development of babies, children and young people within the family, education and the wider social context.

Children, families and welfare (Requisite)

This module introduces students to the development of welfare provision, which has historically shaped the structure of the family. The social policies, which have cared for and controlled changing family structures will be highlighted, with particular significance placed on relevant policy areas surrounding the family and its individual members.

Healthy children and families (Requisite)

This module introduces students to a range of subjects and key debates surrounding the health and illness of children and families. The module presents students with a variety of perspectives from which health and illness can be viewed: biological, medical, societal and environmental.

Making the most of university life - Personal and Professional Development (Requisite)

This module enables students to explore how to make the most of their university experience and introduce theoretical frameworks for understanding what we mean by career, employability and career development learning.

The sociology of childhood and families (Requisite)

This module seeks to introduce students to the sociological study of childhood and families and provide a firm foundation of sociological knowledge. Sessions will introduce sociology as a discipline and highlight the role of the ‘sociological imagination’ in exploring the social categories of childhood and family.

Research Methods (Mandatory)

This module is specifically designed for students within the suite of courses in (Early) Childhood, Disability, Childhood and Education Studies. It covers research methods in general alongside more specific participatory approaches used in research with children, disabled children and young people. Students acquire knowledge and understanding of the research process and methodological and ethical issues related to doing research with children.

Safeguarding (Mandatory)

Safeguarding children is a rapidly changing area of legislation, policy and practice, which this module aims to keep pace with. The module provides students with an historical policy context in which to understand the origins of safeguarding children and the social construction of abuse. The shifting power relations between the state, professionals, families and children is a core theme that is critically explored

Children and family relationships (Requisite)

Children are by nature social beings influenced by many factors including individual differences, relationships with their parents, biological predispositions, emotional intelligence, cultural differences and many more. This module will develop understanding of these processes as an integrated whole, being closely interlinked and interdependent.

Dangerous childhoods (Requisite)

This module encourages students to problematise childhoods that are viewed as threatening, dangerous and far from ideal as well as childhoods constructed as ‘at threat’ or ‘at risk’. The focus in this module is on three core themes: dangerous spaces, dangerous voices and dangerous bodies.

SEN and inclusion (Requisite)

The module provides an exploration of special educational needs and inclusion. It introduces students to a range of issues and perspectives in relation to disability and children’s rights; learning for those with SEN, social and cultural dimensions of difference, diversity, and SEN and Inclusion in practice.

Power, family and the state (Requisite)

This module builds on the introductory module in level 4 which explored concepts of welfare and its development in the UK. Here, the rights and responsibilities of the family structure and its members will be critically explored. The role of social policies to shape and control the activities of families will be explored using relevant theories of power and regulation.

Individual Project (Optional)

The primary purpose of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to examine and explore in depth a topic relevant to their studies that is of interest to them. This module is also designed to help students develop independence in their learning and will enable students to demonstrate an ability to evaluate and represent issues and ideas. Students will be expected to draw from their wider subject base obtained from previous and current modules.

Dissertation (Mandatory)

This module builds on previous study undertaken by students at level 5, and takes as its basis the theoretical knowledge acquired in research methodology, principles, values and process together with skills in the critical evaluation of published research. It provides students with an opportunity to carry out an in-depth investigation on a topic of their own choice, and seeks to equip them with the skills of project planning, design, analysis and critical evaluation. The module involves independent study under the guidance of a research supervisor.

Humanitarianism, globalisation and families (Requisite)

This module aims to enable students to understand the values and practice of humanitarianism and the positioning within this of children and families. Providing students with an introduction to the field of humanitarianism this module supports students to reflect upon the problems, potential responses, identified solutions and guidelines for responses to children and families in emergencies at a local and global level.

Counselling children and families (Requisite)

This module will introduce students to a counselling approach, and the range of settings in which this can take place. Students will develop and reflect on basic helping skills, and consider a range of key theories taking into account issues of difference. This module will also explore the basic principles of counselling approaches in children and families and the importance of integrity, trustworthiness and client autonomy.

Early Interventions (Requisite)

This module encourages students to critically explore and evaluate current debates that surround early intervention, relevant theories, policy and practice in relation to young children and their families.

Childhood and family matters (Requisite)

In this module controversial, topical and contemporary family and childhood issues that emerge in the public domain are critically explored. Students will evaluate how societies respond to, and engage with contemporary issues in the lives of families and children.

Applied Studies (Optional)

This module enables students, with the aid of tutor supervision, to explore, in depth, a chosen text/range of papers/journal articles within their chosen field of study. In this module students have the opportunity to critically engage with content and themes embedded or emerging within the text. The theories and concepts examined throughout the degree can be applied to key themes arising from the chosen text.

Career opportunities

Graduates will be able to work with families and with children of all ages and enter social and support roles such as family support worker, youth worker, education and welfare personnel in statutory, private and voluntary sectors in what is a growing sector of employment.

Graduates will also be able to progress onto postgraduate courses including PhD study.

Fees and finance


  • Full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • International tuition fee: £11,790 p.a.

Further Information                                                       

  • Detailed information about Tuition Fees
  • Find out more about Financial Support eligibility.
  • Also see Loans and Grants.
  • At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for. See Course Costs.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC)

All applicants are required to hold GCSE English and Maths at Grade C/4 or above. Applicants who do not hold these qualifications may be considered on an individual basis based upon their overall application and the course applied for.

If you do not hold these qualifications please contact Admissions directly on 01473 338348 to discuss.

Also see How To Apply

International Requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) where English is not the students' first language.

Also see International and EU.

Transferring Credit

If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.


Senior Lecturer for Early Childhood Studies

Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies