You are here

BA (Hons) Childhood and Family Studies

Open days

Meet your lecturers, find out more about the course and view academic and social facilities at an Open Event.

University of Suffolk on Ipswich Waterfront
UCAS code: 
Institution code: 


Three years full-time.

Six years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

2019 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above)
BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC)

Please see Entry Requirements below.


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.

Step inside Suffolk with the 360º app

University of Suffolk 360 - School for Psychology and Education from University of Suffolk on Vimeo.

To download the app, go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store on your mobile device and search ‘University of Suffolk 360’.

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.

Intro to academic skills (Mandatory)

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.

What is family (Mandatory)

This module sets out to introduce students to the multiple, diverse and dynamic definitions of contemporary family life. It equips students with a broad understanding of the changing but recurring emphasis on the family as an institution.

Children, childhood psychological and sociological approaches (Mandatory)

The module takes the usually disparate disciplines of psychology and sociology and combines them by exploring the ways in which childhood has been constructed and theorised. 

Introduction to research (Mandatory)

The module introduces some of the fundamental principles of research philosophies, methodologies, methods and ethics as well as the ongoing debates which surround them.

Children and welfare (Mandatory)

Childhood is seen as a key time for social support which is influenced by particular welfare and political ideologies. This module explores ideas about social justice, inequality and welfare rights for children.

Healthy families? (Mandatory)

What constitutes a ‘healthy family’ is diverse, contested and culturally specific. This module introduces students to the complexities of defining and ensuring family health and wellbeing.

Representations of children in art and literature (Optional)

This module introduces students to ways in which children and childhood have been depicted both historically and contemporaneously thus providing insights into the multiple ways in which childhood has been, and is constructed through the arts and literature.

Sociology of the family (Optional)

The module takes a sociological stance to explore and evaluate alternative sociological theories on the definitions, roles and functions of the family in society.

Research Methods (Mandatory)

Having been introduced to the core principles of research in level four, students now engage with the methodologies, methods and ethics involved in participatory research. This enables students to begin to apply relevant knowledge to their own research endevours.

Safeguarding (Mandatory)

This mandatory module informs students of the past and present policies, legislation and statutory procedures surrounding the safeguarding of children and families.

Family Relationships (Mandatory)

The social context in which families occupy is examined by exploring the centrality of everyday intergenerational relationships through which we recognise the interdependence of family members.

Children’s Health and Wellbeing (Mandatory)

This module uses the sociological imagination in order to critically evaluate alternative modules of health. It explores health inequalities, socio- economic status, gender and ethnicity and their diverse impact on the ‘healthy’ minds and bodies of children.

Dangerous Childhoods? (Optional)

In contrast to notions of child as ‘investment’ here we explore alternative perspectives which construct children as deviant, threat, troubled and troubling and evaluate social responses to such ‘problem’ childhoods.

SEN and inclusion (Mandatory)

This module introduces students to the diversities of children’s experiences through examining special educational needs and issues of inclusion.

Power, family and the state (Optional)

The social control of families by the state is both explicit and recurring. This module identifies the ways in which welfare provision is used to as a mechanism of power by the state in order to manage the ‘feckless family’.

Dissertation (Mandatory)

This research based module provides students with the opportunity to engage in research by exploring a topic of interest independently with the support of a supervisory team.

Anthropology of Global Childhoods (Optional)

This module interrogates the ways in which international and global childhoods challenge dominant Western ideas about what childhood should be. It explores diverse lived experiences using children’s perspectives in order to illustrate their lives.

Troubling families or families in trouble? (Optional)

Certain families have been constructed as troubling to society; the single parent family, unmarried families, same sex families and workless families are familiar examples that have troubled the state, which in turn seeks to impede their reproduction. This module critically evaluates and questions the extent to which these families are troubling to the state or part of the diversity of family life, which requires social care.

Intersectionality and Inequalities (Optional)

Intersectionality is a critical social theory, which can highlight the extensive inequalities that children experience globally, such as disability, gender, ethnicity, class, religion and socio-economic status and their complex interactions.

Early Interventions (Optional)

This module critically explores the realty and rhetoric surrounding the practices of early intervention with children and family.

Family Matters (Optional)

In this module controversial, topical and contemporary family issues that emerge in the public domain are critically explored. Evaluation of how societies respond to and engage with such issues will be discussed in this dynamic module.

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

2019 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC)

Plus GCSE grade A-C in English (or equivalent) or new GCSE grade 4-9.

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