STUDY

Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Childhood

Blue school backpack
Course options: Professional Placement
Institution code: S82
UCAS code: X300
Start date: September 2024
Duration: Three years full time.
Location: Ipswich
Typical Offer: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC), Merit (T Level).
Course options: Professional Placement
Institution code: S82
UCAS code: X300
Start date: September 2024
Duration: Three years full time.
Location: Ipswich
Typical Offer: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC), Merit (T Level).

Overview

The BA (Hons) Childhood programme explores the well-established academic discipline of childhood studies. The programme focuses on the multi-disciplinary nature of the study of childhood, which embraces diverse academic disciplines such as sociology, education, psychology, philosophy, social policy, health and disability studies. Such inclusion allows for the diverse, multi-faceted experiences of children to be explored, contextualised and interrogated through application of social science perspectives. This approach has a proven record in supporting you to develop and follow particular interests in this diverse field.  

In the later years of study, you will have the opportunity to acquire specific knowledge and understanding in specialised aspects of childhood and their associated career opportunities through one of three discreet pathways. These pathways will be specifically named in the final degree award. 

  • Pathway 1: Disability, Health and Wellbeing: offers a grounding in human development from an ecological perspective; health, well-being; and disability, from both a bio-psycho-social perspective and the disability-studies, rights-based approach. 
  • Pathway 2: Education: examines early and primary education and the underpinning values of professional practice. Practice modules are available within this pathway. You can work towards an optional Early Childhood Graduate Competencies certification, developed by the Early Childhood Degree Network (ECSDN) and supported by the Department for Education (DfE).  
  • Pathway 3: Children, Rights and Social Justice: is underpinned by empowerment, rights, and agency in childhood(s) and families across differing contexts and will enhance students’ ability to elevate voices of children and families. You will gain practical experience of working with children and families, such as placements with charities and the public sector, as part of preparation for employment with children. 

On this course, you will engage with children, understand their rights, listen to their experiences, and prioritise these without imagining to be fully cognizant of the child’s world. You will be equipped to do this through an extensive range of modules, which build on a diversity of social sciences without privileging one perspective over another. Through this array of lenses, you will interrogate contemporary issues and debates within childhood from local, national and international contexts.   

An in-depth understanding of diversity and difference in children and childhoods will enable you to develop, adopt and champion inclusive and participatory attitudes and practice throughout your studies and into your future career. We want to equip you with the skills to become change agents in your future organisations and communities.

The academic team draws on years of academic and professional expertise in childhood, education, child health, development and therapeutic working. You will benefit from close working relationships with a highly qualified teaching team who will help you to explore and uncover the fascinating world of children and childhood. 

The University of Suffolk is world-class and committed to our region. We are proudly modern and innovative and we believe in transformative education. We are on the rise with a focus on student satisfaction, graduate prospects, spending on academic services and student facilities.

5th

in the UK for Childhood & Youth Studies courses

The Complete University Guide 2024

5th

for graduate prospects in Childhood & Youth Studies

The Complete University Guide 2024

6th

in the UK for spend on academic services

The Complete University Guide 2024

Course Modules

Our undergraduate programmes are delivered as 'block and blend' - more information can be found on Why Suffolk? You can also watch our Block and Blend video.

Full-time students typically take five to six modules per year (a total of 120 credits).  

The first year provides a multi-disciplinary overview of childhood, child development, health, welfare and education. From the second year onwards, students have the option to focus on one of the three distinct pathways with a range of choices in terms of optional modules, or to pick from any of the optional modules:

  • Pathway 1: Disability, Health and Wellbeing  
  • Pathway 2: Education  
  • Pathway 3: Children, Rights and Social Justice 

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

Rope net climbing frame in a playground

This module seeks to introduce students to academic study at university level. Its purpose is to enable students to reflect on and develop their skills as they progress through their first year of study. This is achieved by introducing students to the key study and academic skills required to succeed at university level study such as accessing, and evaluating academic source material, understanding argumentation and critical thinking, academic writing, and referencing. Students will also reflect on elements of academic resilience and employability. 

This module introduces students to a range of subject areas and key debates surrounding the health/illness and wellbeing of children in the contemporary UK. The module presents students with several perspectives through which to view these ideas: biological, medical, social and environmental. The implications of poor health and illness on the child and the family help contextualise the dynamic roles of children in maintaining their own health.  

This module investigates the developing child and the changes that occur over time within the context of the family and wider social systems that children inhabit. The module has a particular focus on the aspects of child development that influence and are influenced by social context. It will include the psychological development of babies, children and young people within the family, education and the wider social systems. It seeks to explain how the interaction between biological, social and cultural factors affect lifelong patterns of change in the individual.

This module is an opportunity to introduce students to education and the underpinning values of professional practice with a particular focus on the historical, international and contemporary conceptualisations, policies and practices of care and education. Students will be encouraged to consider how the theoretical study of the child underpins the early years and primary curriculum and adult role.  

Within this module, students will be challenged to ask critical questions about their social world and explore their own individual and cultural experiences within a wider context. Throughout this module, students are encouraged to examine the common assumptions of childhood as a natural, universal, fixed, and inevitable life stage. By ‘thinking sociologically’, students will identify the social structures which define, govern, and locate children and childhood.

The module will address diversity, rights and inclusion in the broadest sense, addressing two core areas: childhood and barriers to participation/inclusion. Students will be encouraged to consider the intersectionalities of children and young people’s lives. Topics range from gender, poverty, ethnicity, disability, and socio-cultural diversity to identify and explore the differing perspectives and discourses. 

Children’s Ecologies (requisite) 

This module will introduce students to theories and approaches to systems around childhood and the development of the children. It will focus on topics such as the family system, family-school-community collaboration; school involvement, and will then engage in broader discussions on globalisation, legislation and educational systems. The systems approach underlying the ecological model of human development will be examined as a theoretical framework that allows, and encourages, integration of other theoretical views into a multi-theoretical approach.

Safeguarding (mandatory) 

The module provides students with an historical policy context in which to understand the origins of safeguarding children and the social construction of abuse. Reflecting contemporary safeguarding policy, the module explores the related themes of early intervention, prevention, and child protection as every professions responsibility. At the core of safeguarding children is developing a theoretical understanding of why children are abused, the ability to identify signs and symptoms, and understand the impact of abuse and neglect on children’s wellbeing. 

Understanding Research (mandatory) 

This module grounds students in the principles of social science research and methods employed to develop our understanding of the social world. The module covers core aspects of the research process and offers students opportunities to focus on particular methods of interest to them and relevant to their field of study. The module aims to provide students with the knowledge and confidence to undertake independent, ethical and robust research in the social sciences. This module also acts as a precursor to the Year 3 Independent Project module. 

SEND and Inclusion (requisite) 

This module provides an exploration of Special Educational Needs and disabilities, and inclusion, and introduces students to a range of issues and perspectives in relation to SEN, disability and inclusion in general. The module poses questions regarding the social and cultural dimension of difference in learning needs, and it seeks to allow students to critically evaluate perceptions of difference and inclusion. This module will also allow you to explore the principles of inclusive practice and to develop their understanding of how to implement more inclusive strategies and techniques when working with children. 

Children’s Mental Health (requisite) 

The module provides opportunities to gain an understanding of children’s mental health from a holistic bio-psycho-social perspective. Understanding children’s mental health needs is crucial for practitioners working with children and young people as it has a significant impact on other areas of development, social and educational participation and inclusion. 

Principles of Intervention and Participation (optional) 

Interventions are positioned as central to supporting children’s wellbeing and their ability to fulfil their potential. Therefore, the purpose of this module is to encourage students to explore and engage with current debates around child/family intervention and the possibilities of participation and inclusion. A range of interventions will be reviewed in the light of the holistic needs of children within an increasingly culturally diverse society and changing trends in supporting families.  

Communities and Social Practice (optional) 

This practice module provides students with the opportunity to gain practical learning and experience within a diverse range and contexts of settings from fostering services, education, outreach, third sector to governmental services. This practice module allows students to explore the lived realities of children and families within a work-based setting, and to develop practice, which is both ethical and empathetic, in line with a social pedagogical approach. As part of this module, students will consider and reflect on their own personal and professional ethics and values within placement and develop key employability and transferrable skills. The module is aligned to the social pedagogical standards enabling students to develop advocacy and communication skills within a social justice framework. 

Children’s Ecologies (requisite) 

This module will introduce students to theories and approaches to systems around childhood and the development of the children. It will focus on topics such as the family system, family-school-community collaboration; school involvement, and will then engage in broader discussions on globalisation, legislation and educational systems. The systems approach underlying the ecological model of human development will be examined as a theoretical framework that allows, and encourages, integration of other theoretical views into a multi-theoretical approach.  

Safeguarding (mandatory) 

The module provides students with an historical policy context in which to understand the origins of safeguarding children and the social construction of abuse. Reflecting contemporary safeguarding policy, the module explores the related themes of early intervention, prevention, and child protection as every professions responsibility. At the core of safeguarding children is developing a theoretical understanding of why children are abused, the ability to identify signs and symptoms, and understand the impact of abuse and neglect on children’s wellbeing. 

Understanding Research (mandatory) 

This module grounds students in the principles of social science research and methods employed to develop our understanding of the social world. The module covers core aspects of the research process and offers students opportunities to focus on particular methods of interest to them and relevant to their field of study. The module aims to provide students with the knowledge and confidence to undertake independent, ethical and robust research in the social sciences. This module also acts as a precursor to the Year 3 Independent Project module. 

Language and Literacy (optional) 

This module examines the complex relationship between cognition and communication, alongside the stages of children’s language and literacy development. The module further examines the development of ‘desirable literacies’ in young children: their spoken language, reading and writing. Theoretical explanations for the role of the adult in supporting and extending children’s language and literacy development are included as is an exploration of the factors and conceptual frameworks that influence practice contexts in both formal and informal educational settings.  

SEND and Inclusion (optional) 

This module provides an exploration of Special Educational Needs and disabilities, and inclusion, and introduces students to a range of issues and perspectives in relation to SEN, disability and inclusion in general. The module poses questions regarding the social and cultural dimension of difference in learning needs, and it seeks to allow students to critically evaluate perceptions of difference and inclusion. This module will also allow you to explore the principles of inclusive practice and to develop their understanding of how to implement more inclusive strategies and techniques when working with children. 

Creative Learning (optional) 

This module focuses on understanding the value and role of creativity and play in childhood exploring the extent to which the two further children’s development through a variety of theoretical views. Students will be encouraged to reflect on and explore historical and contemporary perspectives on creativity from a cross-cultural perspective. The module will consider how other children and adults and the wider social context impact on the play decisions and creative choices children make. Students will learn about how children express themselves, connect with the physical and social world around them through creative activities and consider how all children can be included in creative experiences.  

Developing Practice GP1 (optional) 

This first practice module on the Education pathway seeks to explore with students the underlying professional practices and principles of the early years and primary education. Students are encouraged to consider how the theoretical study of the child underpins the early and primary curriculum. The module will support students in adopting a professional approach to working with young children. The module is broadly split between taught sessions on campus and days spent in practice in educational setting. The ethos is to support students to develop core knowledge and skills in practice appropriate for working towards the role of graduate practitioner. 

Children’s Ecologies (requisite) 

This module will introduce students to theories and approaches to systems around childhood and the development of the children. It will focus on topics such as the family system, family-school-community collaboration; school involvement, and will then engage in broader discussions on globalisation, legislation and educational systems. The systems approach underlying the ecological model of human development will be examined as a theoretical framework that allows, and encourages, integration of other theoretical views into a multi-theoretical approach.  

Safeguarding (mandatory) 

The module provides students with an historical policy context in which to understand the origins of safeguarding children and the social construction of abuse. Reflecting contemporary safeguarding policy, the module explores the related themes of early intervention, prevention, and child protection as every professions responsibility. At the core of safeguarding children is developing a theoretical understanding of why children are abused, the ability to identify signs and symptoms, and understand the impact of abuse and neglect on children’s wellbeing. 

Understanding Research (mandatory) 

This module grounds students in the principles of social science research and methods employed to develop our understanding of the social world. The module covers core aspects of the research process and offers students opportunities to focus on particular methods of interest to them and relevant to their field of study. The module aims to provide students with the knowledge and confidence to undertake independent, ethical and robust research in the social sciences. This module also acts as a precursor to the Year 3 Independent Project module. 

Communities and Social Practice (requisite) 

This practice module provides students with the opportunity to gain practical learning and experience within a diverse range and contexts of settings from fostering services, education, outreach, third sector to governmental services. This practice module allows students to explore the lived realities of children and families within a work-based setting, and to develop practice, which is both ethical and empathetic, in line with a social pedagogical approach. As part of this module, students will consider and reflect on their own personal and professional ethics and values within placement and develop key employability and transferrable skills. The module is aligned to the social pedagogical standards enabling students to develop advocacy and communication skills within a social justice framework. 

Imagining Childhoods (requisite) 

This module builds on students’ foundational knowledge of childhoods and extends dialogue on Year 1 modules such as Childhood, Care and Education and Children in Society. It seeks to introduce students to the transdisciplinary and transnational study of childhoods drawing on the fields of sociology, history, education and geography. At the centre of this module lies the evolving constructions of childhood, across the centuries and temporalities, shaped by its historical, social, material, geographical and discursive contexts. 

Family and the Law (requisite) 

The ideological discourse of family can be considered one of the oldest and most powerful institutions providing a bedrock to society. Historically the nuclear family ideals have dominated discourse and ideology often been classified as the ideal gold standard family environment to raise children. However, discursively 21st century England no longer scribes to a typology model of the family. Moreover, constructions of family are now located within a fluid and dynamic discourse witnessing a shift in the demographic formation and dissolution of the tradition models of families to ones representing the plurality and the (re)construction of parenting and marriage. Therefore, this exciting module aims to examine the multitudinous facets of family life and children’s voices within a socio-legal framework combined with an interdisciplinary perspective to consider how the state and society regulates and responds to children and families in matters affecting them. 

Independent Project (mandatory) 

This module is designed for students to produce a final year project that allows them to exercise their independent judgement and skills in the development and execution of a project or dissertation relevant to their field of study. Under the supervision of an assigned tutor, the module provides students with the opportunity to independently apply the core subject knowledge and skills developed over the course of their degree. 

Decolonisation and Difference (requisite) 

Drawing from postcolonial, subaltern, decolonial, post-qualitative and posthuman critiques, the module aims to explore the Southern “turn” to domains of knowledge - hierarchies, ‘production’, erasures and circulation - resulting in the deligitimisation of knowledges from the ‘rich peripheral countries’ to build an understanding of the impact of knowledge as capital. Engaging with this upsurge of interest in decolonisation within professional and academic environments will not only extend the University’s currency but importantly enrich students’ understanding of the current demand to decolonise educational and practice settings, and why acknowledging other knowledges and decolonisation matters, towards enabling a critical approach to future thinking and practice. In doing so, the module will interrogate what place curriculum and policies have within these calls for decolonising education and practice in the UK.  

Contemporary Disability Studies (requisite) 

This module is aims to respond to contemporary issues in relation to disability and, more specifically, the lived experiences of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families in the context of current social, economic, cultural, political situation. The aim of this module is to provide students with an opportunity to explore contemporary issues of their choice that impact on the lives of children and young people with SEN/D. This may include for example birth decisions and the value of lives; children with SEN/D and friendships; sex and sexuality; the politics of family life; children and young people with SEN/D in art and visual cultures; the Para Olympics; work and employment; hate crime; or the impact of Covid-19. 

Therapies and Counselling (requisite) 

This module aims to provide students with a critical exploration of the nature of therapeutic interventions and counselling, and a critical exploration of conceptual models of therapeutic and counselling skills.  It explores differing perspectives, principles, ethical practice, and current debates within this field. This module also explores the basic principles of counselling approaches in children and families 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. 

Child Public Health (requisite) 

The module will introduce students to the basic principles and topics of public health, with a particular focus on topics that are relevant to children. Students will critically analyse health problems at a global, national, and local level, and will develop knowledge and understanding of the strategies aimed at reducing health inequalities through coordinated actions. Health promotion and health protection principles will be explored; students will learn about health determinants, health inequalities, and the socio-economic causes of health and illness that arise from deprivation and poverty and on the drivers of the global burden of diseases and issues of inequity surrounding these. 

Independent Project (mandatory) 

This module is designed for students to produce a final year project that allows them to exercise their independent judgement and skills in the development and execution of a project or dissertation relevant to their field of study. Under the supervision of an assigned tutor, the module provides students with the opportunity to independently apply the core subject knowledge and skills developed over the course of their degree. 

Decolonisation and Difference (requisite) 

Drawing from postcolonial, subaltern, decolonial, post-qualitative and posthuman critiques, the module aims to explore the Southern “turn” to domains of knowledge - hierarchies, ‘production’, erasures and circulation - resulting in the deligitimisation of knowledges from the ‘rich peripheral countries’ to build an understanding of the impact of knowledge as capital. Engaging with this upsurge of interest in decolonisation within professional and academic environments will not only extend the University’s currency but importantly enrich students’ understanding of the current demand to decolonise educational and practice settings, and why acknowledging other knowledges and decolonisation matters, towards enabling a critical approach to future thinking and practice. In doing so, the module will interrogate what place curriculum and policies have within these calls for decolonising education and practice in the UK.  

Outdoor Learning and Environment Education (optional) 

On this module students will explore how the outdoors and the environment can enhance a child's development and learning. Outdoor learning and Environmental Education are vital to a curriculum as we are living in a world where environmental concerns and issues about well-being are paramount. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of children learning outside the traditional space of the classroom and will consider creative ideas to incorporate outdoor activities for all children. Notions of spaces and places will be reflected upon with an in-depth analysis of rural experiences and urban environments and how both settings have a particular outdoor environment which can be utilised for outdoor learning.  

Current Debates in Schooling (optional) 

This module will enable students to develop their understanding of current debates and issues around schooling and education. Students will also examine a variety of formal and informal ways that children can receive schooling. Students will critically explore and evaluate how children participate in education in other ways apart from formal education at a school. Students will be introduced to key current topics and debates around children’s schooling and education, and they will be given the opportunity to propose ideas for further improvement of these issues affecting children’s schooling. 

Children and STEM (optional) 

This module will introduce students to key issues in mathematics, science and technology education, particularly those that relate to the years of compulsory schooling. Students will gain understanding of key curricular, pedagogical and social issues that relate to the teaching and learning of mathematics, science and technology which are crucial subject areas in the curriculum. 

Professional Practice GP2 (optional) 

This second practice module on the Education pathway is an opportunity for students to critically evaluate and reflect upon the values, theories and practical skills demanded of educational practitioners. The focus of this module is on the development of leadership skills in practice settings. Students will critically explore working in teams, change management, leadership styles and the measurement of quality in provision. The ethos is to support students in developing critical evaluative ways of working that enhance their ability to lead practice as they work towards the role of graduate practitioner. Drawing on theoretical ideas and empirical research students will demonstrate knowledge of leadership and management and its importance and application in democratic and inclusive practice. 

Independent Project (mandatory) 

This module is designed for students to produce a final year project that allows them to exercise their independent judgement and skills in the development and execution of a project or dissertation relevant to their field of study. Under the supervision of an assigned tutor, the module provides students with the opportunity to independently apply the core subject knowledge and skills developed over the course of their degree. 

Decolonisation and Difference (requisite) 

Drawing from postcolonial, subaltern, decolonial, post-qualitative and posthuman critiques, the module aims to explore the Southern “turn” to domains of knowledge - hierarchies, ‘production’, erasures and circulation - resulting in the deligitimisation of knowledges from the ‘rich peripheral countries’ to build an understanding of the impact of knowledge as capital. Engaging with this upsurge of interest in decolonisation within professional and academic environments will not only extend the University’s currency but importantly enrich students’ understanding of the current demand to decolonise educational and practice settings, and why acknowledging other knowledges and decolonisation matters, towards enabling a critical approach to future thinking and practice. In doing so, the module will interrogate what place curriculum and policies have within these calls for decolonising education and practice in the UK.  

Globalisation, Social Justice, and Children’s Rights (requisite) 

This module explores the theories, issues, and debates associated with social justice, children’s rights and globalisation. It aims to provide students with appropriate theoretical and analytical tools for analysing and understanding complex social situations, characterised by the necessity to mediate between different cultural perspectives. 

Children, Violence, and Voice (requisite) 

Recent decades have seen significant progress towards improving the lives of children and children, yet social, cultural and structural challenges remain. Inequalities continue to disproportionately affect the life experiences of children globally and manifest common experiences of subordination, marginalisation, and a greater risk of violence within the private and public sphere. 

Children’s Material Worlds (requisite) 

This module provides you with a new focus of study on the materiality of children’s everyday life, the spaces they occupy, and the physical objects they have access to, using a global lens. Often, we think of children’s spaces as being solidly focused on play and learning; however, this module will focus on how children’s material worlds are vehicles for society’s attitudes towards childhood, identity, and development. It also critically explores the construction of childhood through a study of the spaces and objects children interact with, with a particular focus on how principles of design vary according to cultural values. 

Course Modules 2024

Our undergraduate programmes are delivered as 'block and blend' - more information can be found on Why Suffolk? You can also watch our Block and Blend video.

Full-time students typically take five to six modules per year (a total of 120 credits).  

The first year provides a multi-disciplinary overview of childhood, child development, health, welfare and education. From the second year onwards, students have the option to focus on one of the three distinct pathways with a range of choices in terms of optional modules, or to pick from any of the optional modules:

  • Pathway 1: Disability, Health and Wellbeing  
  • Pathway 2: Education  
  • Pathway 3: Children, Rights and Social Justice 

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

Rope net climbing frame in a playground

This module seeks to introduce students to academic study at university level. Its purpose is to enable students to reflect on and develop their skills as they progress through their first year of study. This is achieved by introducing students to the key study and academic skills required to succeed at university level study such as accessing, and evaluating academic source material, understanding argumentation and critical thinking, academic writing, and referencing. Students will also reflect on elements of academic resilience and employability. 

This module introduces students to a range of subject areas and key debates surrounding the health/illness and wellbeing of children in the contemporary UK. The module presents students with several perspectives through which to view these ideas: biological, medical, social and environmental. The implications of poor health and illness on the child and the family help contextualise the dynamic roles of children in maintaining their own health.  

This module investigates the developing child and the changes that occur over time within the context of the family and wider social systems that children inhabit. The module has a particular focus on the aspects of child development that influence and are influenced by social context. It will include the psychological development of babies, children and young people within the family, education and the wider social systems. It seeks to explain how the interaction between biological, social and cultural factors affect lifelong patterns of change in the individual.

This module is an opportunity to introduce students to education and the underpinning values of professional practice with a particular focus on the historical, international and contemporary conceptualisations, policies and practices of care and education. Students will be encouraged to consider how the theoretical study of the child underpins the early years and primary curriculum and adult role.  

Within this module, students will be challenged to ask critical questions about their social world and explore their own individual and cultural experiences within a wider context. Throughout this module, students are encouraged to examine the common assumptions of childhood as a natural, universal, fixed, and inevitable life stage. By ‘thinking sociologically’, students will identify the social structures which define, govern, and locate children and childhood.

The module will address diversity, rights and inclusion in the broadest sense, addressing two core areas: childhood and barriers to participation/inclusion. Students will be encouraged to consider the intersectionalities of children and young people’s lives. Topics range from gender, poverty, ethnicity, disability, and socio-cultural diversity to identify and explore the differing perspectives and discourses. 

Children’s Ecologies (requisite) 

This module will introduce students to theories and approaches to systems around childhood and the development of the children. It will focus on topics such as the family system, family-school-community collaboration; school involvement, and will then engage in broader discussions on globalisation, legislation and educational systems. The systems approach underlying the ecological model of human development will be examined as a theoretical framework that allows, and encourages, integration of other theoretical views into a multi-theoretical approach.

Safeguarding (mandatory) 

The module provides students with an historical policy context in which to understand the origins of safeguarding children and the social construction of abuse. Reflecting contemporary safeguarding policy, the module explores the related themes of early intervention, prevention, and child protection as every professions responsibility. At the core of safeguarding children is developing a theoretical understanding of why children are abused, the ability to identify signs and symptoms, and understand the impact of abuse and neglect on children’s wellbeing. 

Understanding Research (mandatory) 

This module grounds students in the principles of social science research and methods employed to develop our understanding of the social world. The module covers core aspects of the research process and offers students opportunities to focus on particular methods of interest to them and relevant to their field of study. The module aims to provide students with the knowledge and confidence to undertake independent, ethical and robust research in the social sciences. This module also acts as a precursor to the Year 3 Independent Project module. 

SEND and Inclusion (requisite) 

This module provides an exploration of Special Educational Needs and disabilities, and inclusion, and introduces students to a range of issues and perspectives in relation to SEN, disability and inclusion in general. The module poses questions regarding the social and cultural dimension of difference in learning needs, and it seeks to allow students to critically evaluate perceptions of difference and inclusion. This module will also allow you to explore the principles of inclusive practice and to develop their understanding of how to implement more inclusive strategies and techniques when working with children. 

Children’s Mental Health (requisite) 

The module provides opportunities to gain an understanding of children’s mental health from a holistic bio-psycho-social perspective. Understanding children’s mental health needs is crucial for practitioners working with children and young people as it has a significant impact on other areas of development, social and educational participation and inclusion. 

Principles of Intervention and Participation (optional) 

Interventions are positioned as central to supporting children’s wellbeing and their ability to fulfil their potential. Therefore, the purpose of this module is to encourage students to explore and engage with current debates around child/family intervention and the possibilities of participation and inclusion. A range of interventions will be reviewed in the light of the holistic needs of children within an increasingly culturally diverse society and changing trends in supporting families.  

Communities and Social Practice (optional) 

This practice module provides students with the opportunity to gain practical learning and experience within a diverse range and contexts of settings from fostering services, education, outreach, third sector to governmental services. This practice module allows students to explore the lived realities of children and families within a work-based setting, and to develop practice, which is both ethical and empathetic, in line with a social pedagogical approach. As part of this module, students will consider and reflect on their own personal and professional ethics and values within placement and develop key employability and transferrable skills. The module is aligned to the social pedagogical standards enabling students to develop advocacy and communication skills within a social justice framework. 

Children’s Ecologies (requisite) 

This module will introduce students to theories and approaches to systems around childhood and the development of the children. It will focus on topics such as the family system, family-school-community collaboration; school involvement, and will then engage in broader discussions on globalisation, legislation and educational systems. The systems approach underlying the ecological model of human development will be examined as a theoretical framework that allows, and encourages, integration of other theoretical views into a multi-theoretical approach.  

Safeguarding (mandatory) 

The module provides students with an historical policy context in which to understand the origins of safeguarding children and the social construction of abuse. Reflecting contemporary safeguarding policy, the module explores the related themes of early intervention, prevention, and child protection as every professions responsibility. At the core of safeguarding children is developing a theoretical understanding of why children are abused, the ability to identify signs and symptoms, and understand the impact of abuse and neglect on children’s wellbeing. 

Understanding Research (mandatory) 

This module grounds students in the principles of social science research and methods employed to develop our understanding of the social world. The module covers core aspects of the research process and offers students opportunities to focus on particular methods of interest to them and relevant to their field of study. The module aims to provide students with the knowledge and confidence to undertake independent, ethical and robust research in the social sciences. This module also acts as a precursor to the Year 3 Independent Project module. 

Language and Literacy (optional) 

This module examines the complex relationship between cognition and communication, alongside the stages of children’s language and literacy development. The module further examines the development of ‘desirable literacies’ in young children: their spoken language, reading and writing. Theoretical explanations for the role of the adult in supporting and extending children’s language and literacy development are included as is an exploration of the factors and conceptual frameworks that influence practice contexts in both formal and informal educational settings.  

SEND and Inclusion (optional) 

This module provides an exploration of Special Educational Needs and disabilities, and inclusion, and introduces students to a range of issues and perspectives in relation to SEN, disability and inclusion in general. The module poses questions regarding the social and cultural dimension of difference in learning needs, and it seeks to allow students to critically evaluate perceptions of difference and inclusion. This module will also allow you to explore the principles of inclusive practice and to develop their understanding of how to implement more inclusive strategies and techniques when working with children. 

Creative Learning (optional) 

This module focuses on understanding the value and role of creativity and play in childhood exploring the extent to which the two further children’s development through a variety of theoretical views. Students will be encouraged to reflect on and explore historical and contemporary perspectives on creativity from a cross-cultural perspective. The module will consider how other children and adults and the wider social context impact on the play decisions and creative choices children make. Students will learn about how children express themselves, connect with the physical and social world around them through creative activities and consider how all children can be included in creative experiences.  

Developing Practice GP1 (optional) 

This first practice module on the Education pathway seeks to explore with students the underlying professional practices and principles of the early years and primary education. Students are encouraged to consider how the theoretical study of the child underpins the early and primary curriculum. The module will support students in adopting a professional approach to working with young children. The module is broadly split between taught sessions on campus and days spent in practice in educational setting. The ethos is to support students to develop core knowledge and skills in practice appropriate for working towards the role of graduate practitioner. 

Children’s Ecologies (requisite) 

This module will introduce students to theories and approaches to systems around childhood and the development of the children. It will focus on topics such as the family system, family-school-community collaboration; school involvement, and will then engage in broader discussions on globalisation, legislation and educational systems. The systems approach underlying the ecological model of human development will be examined as a theoretical framework that allows, and encourages, integration of other theoretical views into a multi-theoretical approach.  

Safeguarding (mandatory) 

The module provides students with an historical policy context in which to understand the origins of safeguarding children and the social construction of abuse. Reflecting contemporary safeguarding policy, the module explores the related themes of early intervention, prevention, and child protection as every professions responsibility. At the core of safeguarding children is developing a theoretical understanding of why children are abused, the ability to identify signs and symptoms, and understand the impact of abuse and neglect on children’s wellbeing. 

Understanding Research (mandatory) 

This module grounds students in the principles of social science research and methods employed to develop our understanding of the social world. The module covers core aspects of the research process and offers students opportunities to focus on particular methods of interest to them and relevant to their field of study. The module aims to provide students with the knowledge and confidence to undertake independent, ethical and robust research in the social sciences. This module also acts as a precursor to the Year 3 Independent Project module. 

Communities and Social Practice (requisite) 

This practice module provides students with the opportunity to gain practical learning and experience within a diverse range and contexts of settings from fostering services, education, outreach, third sector to governmental services. This practice module allows students to explore the lived realities of children and families within a work-based setting, and to develop practice, which is both ethical and empathetic, in line with a social pedagogical approach. As part of this module, students will consider and reflect on their own personal and professional ethics and values within placement and develop key employability and transferrable skills. The module is aligned to the social pedagogical standards enabling students to develop advocacy and communication skills within a social justice framework. 

Imagining Childhoods (requisite) 

This module builds on students’ foundational knowledge of childhoods and extends dialogue on Year 1 modules such as Childhood, Care and Education and Children in Society. It seeks to introduce students to the transdisciplinary and transnational study of childhoods drawing on the fields of sociology, history, education and geography. At the centre of this module lies the evolving constructions of childhood, across the centuries and temporalities, shaped by its historical, social, material, geographical and discursive contexts. 

Family and the Law (requisite) 

The ideological discourse of family can be considered one of the oldest and most powerful institutions providing a bedrock to society. Historically the nuclear family ideals have dominated discourse and ideology often been classified as the ideal gold standard family environment to raise children. However, discursively 21st century England no longer scribes to a typology model of the family. Moreover, constructions of family are now located within a fluid and dynamic discourse witnessing a shift in the demographic formation and dissolution of the tradition models of families to ones representing the plurality and the (re)construction of parenting and marriage. Therefore, this exciting module aims to examine the multitudinous facets of family life and children’s voices within a socio-legal framework combined with an interdisciplinary perspective to consider how the state and society regulates and responds to children and families in matters affecting them. 

Independent Project (mandatory) 

This module is designed for students to produce a final year project that allows them to exercise their independent judgement and skills in the development and execution of a project or dissertation relevant to their field of study. Under the supervision of an assigned tutor, the module provides students with the opportunity to independently apply the core subject knowledge and skills developed over the course of their degree. 

Decolonisation and Difference (requisite) 

Drawing from postcolonial, subaltern, decolonial, post-qualitative and posthuman critiques, the module aims to explore the Southern “turn” to domains of knowledge - hierarchies, ‘production’, erasures and circulation - resulting in the deligitimisation of knowledges from the ‘rich peripheral countries’ to build an understanding of the impact of knowledge as capital. Engaging with this upsurge of interest in decolonisation within professional and academic environments will not only extend the University’s currency but importantly enrich students’ understanding of the current demand to decolonise educational and practice settings, and why acknowledging other knowledges and decolonisation matters, towards enabling a critical approach to future thinking and practice. In doing so, the module will interrogate what place curriculum and policies have within these calls for decolonising education and practice in the UK.  

Contemporary Disability Studies (requisite) 

This module is aims to respond to contemporary issues in relation to disability and, more specifically, the lived experiences of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families in the context of current social, economic, cultural, political situation. The aim of this module is to provide students with an opportunity to explore contemporary issues of their choice that impact on the lives of children and young people with SEN/D. This may include for example birth decisions and the value of lives; children with SEN/D and friendships; sex and sexuality; the politics of family life; children and young people with SEN/D in art and visual cultures; the Para Olympics; work and employment; hate crime; or the impact of Covid-19. 

Therapies and Counselling (requisite) 

This module aims to provide students with a critical exploration of the nature of therapeutic interventions and counselling, and a critical exploration of conceptual models of therapeutic and counselling skills.  It explores differing perspectives, principles, ethical practice, and current debates within this field. This module also explores the basic principles of counselling approaches in children and families 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. 

Child Public Health (requisite) 

The module will introduce students to the basic principles and topics of public health, with a particular focus on topics that are relevant to children. Students will critically analyse health problems at a global, national, and local level, and will develop knowledge and understanding of the strategies aimed at reducing health inequalities through coordinated actions. Health promotion and health protection principles will be explored; students will learn about health determinants, health inequalities, and the socio-economic causes of health and illness that arise from deprivation and poverty and on the drivers of the global burden of diseases and issues of inequity surrounding these. 

Independent Project (mandatory) 

This module is designed for students to produce a final year project that allows them to exercise their independent judgement and skills in the development and execution of a project or dissertation relevant to their field of study. Under the supervision of an assigned tutor, the module provides students with the opportunity to independently apply the core subject knowledge and skills developed over the course of their degree. 

Decolonisation and Difference (requisite) 

Drawing from postcolonial, subaltern, decolonial, post-qualitative and posthuman critiques, the module aims to explore the Southern “turn” to domains of knowledge - hierarchies, ‘production’, erasures and circulation - resulting in the deligitimisation of knowledges from the ‘rich peripheral countries’ to build an understanding of the impact of knowledge as capital. Engaging with this upsurge of interest in decolonisation within professional and academic environments will not only extend the University’s currency but importantly enrich students’ understanding of the current demand to decolonise educational and practice settings, and why acknowledging other knowledges and decolonisation matters, towards enabling a critical approach to future thinking and practice. In doing so, the module will interrogate what place curriculum and policies have within these calls for decolonising education and practice in the UK.  

Outdoor Learning and Environment Education (optional) 

On this module students will explore how the outdoors and the environment can enhance a child's development and learning. Outdoor learning and Environmental Education are vital to a curriculum as we are living in a world where environmental concerns and issues about well-being are paramount. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of children learning outside the traditional space of the classroom and will consider creative ideas to incorporate outdoor activities for all children. Notions of spaces and places will be reflected upon with an in-depth analysis of rural experiences and urban environments and how both settings have a particular outdoor environment which can be utilised for outdoor learning.  

Current Debates in Schooling (optional) 

This module will enable students to develop their understanding of current debates and issues around schooling and education. Students will also examine a variety of formal and informal ways that children can receive schooling. Students will critically explore and evaluate how children participate in education in other ways apart from formal education at a school. Students will be introduced to key current topics and debates around children’s schooling and education, and they will be given the opportunity to propose ideas for further improvement of these issues affecting children’s schooling. 

Children and STEM (optional) 

This module will introduce students to key issues in mathematics, science and technology education, particularly those that relate to the years of compulsory schooling. Students will gain understanding of key curricular, pedagogical and social issues that relate to the teaching and learning of mathematics, science and technology which are crucial subject areas in the curriculum. 

Professional Practice GP2 (optional) 

This second practice module on the Education pathway is an opportunity for students to critically evaluate and reflect upon the values, theories and practical skills demanded of educational practitioners. The focus of this module is on the development of leadership skills in practice settings. Students will critically explore working in teams, change management, leadership styles and the measurement of quality in provision. The ethos is to support students in developing critical evaluative ways of working that enhance their ability to lead practice as they work towards the role of graduate practitioner. Drawing on theoretical ideas and empirical research students will demonstrate knowledge of leadership and management and its importance and application in democratic and inclusive practice. 

Independent Project (mandatory) 

This module is designed for students to produce a final year project that allows them to exercise their independent judgement and skills in the development and execution of a project or dissertation relevant to their field of study. Under the supervision of an assigned tutor, the module provides students with the opportunity to independently apply the core subject knowledge and skills developed over the course of their degree. 

Decolonisation and Difference (requisite) 

Drawing from postcolonial, subaltern, decolonial, post-qualitative and posthuman critiques, the module aims to explore the Southern “turn” to domains of knowledge - hierarchies, ‘production’, erasures and circulation - resulting in the deligitimisation of knowledges from the ‘rich peripheral countries’ to build an understanding of the impact of knowledge as capital. Engaging with this upsurge of interest in decolonisation within professional and academic environments will not only extend the University’s currency but importantly enrich students’ understanding of the current demand to decolonise educational and practice settings, and why acknowledging other knowledges and decolonisation matters, towards enabling a critical approach to future thinking and practice. In doing so, the module will interrogate what place curriculum and policies have within these calls for decolonising education and practice in the UK.  

Globalisation, Social Justice, and Children’s Rights (requisite) 

This module explores the theories, issues, and debates associated with social justice, children’s rights and globalisation. It aims to provide students with appropriate theoretical and analytical tools for analysing and understanding complex social situations, characterised by the necessity to mediate between different cultural perspectives. 

Children, Violence, and Voice (requisite) 

Recent decades have seen significant progress towards improving the lives of children and children, yet social, cultural and structural challenges remain. Inequalities continue to disproportionately affect the life experiences of children globally and manifest common experiences of subordination, marginalisation, and a greater risk of violence within the private and public sphere. 

Children’s Material Worlds (requisite) 

This module provides you with a new focus of study on the materiality of children’s everyday life, the spaces they occupy, and the physical objects they have access to, using a global lens. Often, we think of children’s spaces as being solidly focused on play and learning; however, this module will focus on how children’s material worlds are vehicles for society’s attitudes towards childhood, identity, and development. It also critically explores the construction of childhood through a study of the spaces and objects children interact with, with a particular focus on how principles of design vary according to cultural values. 

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WHY SUFFOLK

16th place in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards for Best Facilities 2023

WUSCA 2023

5th place in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards for Career Prospects 2023

WUSCA 2023

14th place in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards for Student Support 2023

WUSCA 2023
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Inside the Waterfront Building
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The Waterfront Building on Ipswich Marina
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The Library
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SU Social Space

Entry Requirements

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Career Opportunities

The curriculum encourages students to develop their own interests and professional practice through the dynamic study of childhood. This postgraduate programme supplements an undergraduate degree and provides an advanced understanding of current, and challenging issues facing practitioners, including good practices for diversity and inclusion, trauma and risk, and social justice. In the current move towards evidence-based practices, the research skills gained through this degree will help to enhance your career prospects and give you the leading edge on current practice.

A postgraduate degree can help you advance to work on an international level for governmental agencies, charities and public bodies or to take up a leadership position within your current workplace. A postgraduate degree also gives you advanced knowledge and skills needed for further study, such as a PhD or other advanced training programmes, including counselling and social work.

Whether you want develop niche expertise or refine analytical or research skills, this course will give you the ability to demonstrate self-direction, autonomy, and it will provide an up-to-date, in-depth knowledge of social policies affecting children and families.

Previous graduates have gone into work in the areas of education, early years provision, family support work, social care, therapeutic settings and charitable organisations.

Your Course Team

Dr Marianna Stella

Marianna is a Senior Lecturer in Childhood and Education.

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Dr Phil Nicholson

Phil’s main areas of focus are sociology of education, educational policy, pedagogy, social justice and educational inequality

Wendy Lecluyse

Wendy is Head of Childhood and Education and Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies.

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Dr Ivana Lessner Listiakova

Ivana is an Associate Professor in Childhood and Education.

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Dr Cristian Dogaru

Dr Dogaru is the course leader for MRes Social Sciences and Humanities. He is a paediatrician-turned-social scientist with 20 years of experience in his field.

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Maureen Haaker

Maureen's research centres on constructions of the body, reproductive politics, and subjectivity.

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Dr Pallawi Sinha

Pallawi is Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies and is passionate about building dialogue and understanding on education and childhoods.

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Carolyn Leader

Carolyn is a lecturer in Early Childhood Studies.

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Xiaorong Gu

Xiaorong is a Lecturer in Childhood Studies at the University of Suffolk.

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Fees and Funding

UK Full-time Tuition Fee

£9,250

per year
UK Part-time Tuition Fee

£1,454*

per 20 credit module
International Full-time Tuition Fee

£14,610

per year

*Please contact the Student Centre for further details

The decision to study a degree is an investment into your future, there are various means of support available to you in order to help fund your tuition fees and living costs. You can apply for funding from the Spring before your course starts.

UK Fees and Finance UK Bursaries and Scholarships International Fees and Scholarships

Ipswich Award

The University of Suffolk is offering a £1,000 Award for students joining the University of Suffolk’s Ipswich campus. The Award is based on specific eligibility criteria based on your year of entry.

More information
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How to Apply

To study this course on a full-time basis, you can apply through UCAS. As well as providing your academic qualifications, you’ll be able to showcase your skills, qualities and passion for the subject.

Apply Now Further Information on Applying
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Henry Kiddy, BA (Hons) Childhood

"I found the content of the course very engaging and learning some of the theory has made me reflect and connect theory to practice from my previous experiences of working as a teaching assistant."

read more
Henry, graduate from the BA (Hons) Childhood Studies course

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