BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology - University of Portsmouth
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BA (Hons)

Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology

UCAS codeL5C8

full time3yrs

placement option1yr

Helping you understand the processes that shape childhood

Course Overview

Why take this course?

This degree will focus on factors that affect the lives of children and young people aged 8 to 25. You will study core subjects linked to school, home and social life through a multi-disciplinary approach that reflects on the issues of education, sociology, health, welfare and social policy. A third of your studies will be in the science of contemporary psychology studying mind and behaviour, analysing human choices, emotions, motivations and beliefs through essential methods of research and data analysis.

You will have the opportunity to select options from a wide range of subjects in education and psychology. Optional units are delivered by lecturers who have undertaken research and practice in the specialist area you want to develop skills in.

This course includes opportunities to do work experience and to do a placement year in this country or abroad.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Benefit from support provided by a personal and learning development tutor
  • Develop employability skills through work placement and volunteering opportunities, fully embedded in the degree programme
  • Understand the role of psychology and research to develop your knowledge of young people’s behaviour and responses

Our latest National Student Survey results include student comments that “Lecturers really engage us and share their work experiences in their field”, and are “extremely passionate about what they are teaching.”

What opportunities might it lead to?

Studying in the School of Education and Childhood Studies can lead you onto a variety of career pathways, some of which may require postgraduate study. You will be able to apply for a range of roles in education, social care and health related areas. Please note that this course does not provide Qualified Teacher Status or accreditation from the British Psychological Society.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • education and training
  • youth service
  • healthcare and health promotion
  • social work
  • the police
  • work in the voluntary sector
  • environments that support children and young people with special educational needs and disability


Sarah Langham, BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology 2017

I really enjoyed studying Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology because the course covers such a variety of topics, and yet they all fit together so nicely. The lecturers are very knowledgeable and make the content exciting and interesting to learn.

Sarah Langham, BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology 2017


Education, Childhood and Youth Studies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Hands-on opportunities to work in a relevant educational setting
  • The support available to all students
  • The flexibility of unit options that enable you to tailor your study to your own interests

Browse all courses in Education, Childhood and Youth Studies

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

In each year you will spend two-thirds of your study time in Childhood and Youth Studies courses, with the remaining third in units offered by the Psychology department. In your first year, you will study this programme:

  • Child and Youth Development
  • Equality and Diversity in Practice
  • Introduction to Educational Contexts
  • Child and Youth Development
  • Introduction to Social Psychology

Year two

In your second year you will consolidate the work of your first year, while making choices to focus your degree on a specific area of interest. You’ll also have the opportunity to experience paid or voluntary work with children and young people as part of the Faculty electives programme.

  • Psychological Science
  • Children’s Social Minds
  • Global Childhoods
  • Youth Culture
  • Research with Children and Young People

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Children’s Literature
  • Development of Learning
  • Digital Natives
  • Gender, Race and Education
  • Professional Practice with Children and Young People
  • Learning from Experience (LiFE)

Year three

Your third year will give you the opportunity to specialise through your choice of dissertation topic and a further range of optional units. 

  • Dissertation / Major Project
  • Young People’s Relationships & Aspirations
  • Issues Relating to Children and Young People’s Mental Health

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Disability: Theory, Research and Practice
  • Educational Psychology
  • Language and Communication
  • Psychology of Human Sexuality


We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


We pride ourselves on the quality of teaching and student support on this course. Learning takes a variety of forms including group-based activities, seminars, tutorials, individual and group presentations, poster presentations, project work, elearning activities and lectures.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 22% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 78% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 16% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 78% studying independently and 6% on work placement
  • Year three students: 13% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 87% studying independently and 0% on work placement


We use a range of assessment methods to ensure that you reach your academic potential. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • essays
  • group and individual presentations/projects
  • tests
  • a 10,000-word dissertation

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 17% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 76% by coursework
  • Year two students: 17% by written exams, 5% by practical exams and 78% by coursework
  • Year three students: 33% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 67% by coursework

Tutor's view


Dr Sue Parfect
Childhood and Youth Studies

Students who choose to study Childhood and Youth Studies develop an insightful understanding of the complex world of 21st century children, young people and families and how they are supported by social and voluntary services.

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Facilities & Features

Study in SECS

The School comprises a body of enthusiastic staff with a range of expertise in the professional and academic sectors. We offer a welcoming learning environment, in a location near the heart of town, the student buildings and the sea front.

3rd Space

A social learning space for you to study or meet up with friends. Small and large groups, or individuals looking for a quiet space or discuss work can find a quiet area which can be screened off. Alternatively, grab a coffee or play a game of pool in between lectures.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

You will be well prepared for a career working with children, either in school settings or other government or private institutions; your degree may also lead you onto a variety of career pathways, some of which may require postgraduate study.

Graduates of courses in the School of Education have gone into roles as early years’ practitioners, children’s centre workers, play workers and youth workers, and are well placed for roles developing rapidly in response to current government initiatives in both areas. You may also train to teach, to gain Early Years Professional Status, study as Speech and Language therapists or undertake a Masters degree in Social Work.

Please note that this course does not provide Qualified Teacher Status or British Psychological Society accreditation. It is possible to top up credits to gain full BPS accreditation at a variety of institutions throughout the UK. See for more information.

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which lets you earn credits toward your degree for work / research placements, volunteer roles or internships undertaken alongside your studies. The option gives you the opportunity to enhance your employability skills, to reflect on the ways in which you've done so, and to learn to express this to potential employers.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

Stacey Aspindale, BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies student

Purple Door is an excellent service that gives recruitment help and advice. Through Purple Door I found some volunteer work with children.

Stacey Aspindale, BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies student

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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