Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology BA (Hons)

A group of people working on laptops in a room with a big screen
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022


Young people’s development has as much to do with how they think as it does their circumstances and environment.

On this Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology degree, you’ll learn what makes young people tick as you develop knowledge of the biological and social factors that impact their complex journey into adulthood.

You’ll gain the expert skills and knowledge needed for a rewarding career working with and supporting children and young people aged 8–25. You could go onto work in sectors such as youth work, mental health support, teaching, fundraising.

Course highlights

  • Tap into the latest research happening at the University on pressing subjects such as the effect of the pandemic on children’s development and child safeguarding
  • Complete a minimum 60 hours of placement at an appropriate setting in year 2
  • Be taught by education and psychology specialists who have years of experience in the field and links to a network of potential employers
  • Investigate psychology’s role in dealing with society-wide problems that affect young people such as homelessness, domestic violence and unemployment
  • Develop relationships with potential employers through events and workshops with organisations such as children's charities
  • Apply your client-facing skills in meetings with parents and children, with support from trained practitioners
  • Benefit from access to specialist research software and applications including Online Surveys, NVivo, Atlas.ti, SPSS and Mendeley
The psychological approach on this course is designed to enhance your understanding of childhood studies – it doesn't offer British Psychological Society accreditation (BPS) but prepares you for further study or training related to the care professions, social and behavioural sciences.

90% of graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework
Farah Memon, Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology

The course combined with Psychology is stimulating and engaging and I also had an opportunity to apply childhood theories in my placements. The staff is always accessible and always trying to improve students' experience. Along with that, the support and positive feedback from my lecturers and course leader boosted my confidence. Now I have developed a completely different mindset and want to study further to achieve my long-term educational goals.

Farah Memon, BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology degree entry requirements

Typical offers

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Your facilities

Colourful plastic children's toys

Play room

Explore childhood experiences and approaches to working with parents and families, using equipment found in nurseries, pre-schools and reception classes.

Sensory room

Use a variety of materials for babies and children to explore sensory stimulation, sensory integration, and therapeutic approaches to play, social work and family partnerships. 

Family suite

Simulate family interactions and explore intervention strategies, and use our Therapeutic Play suite

Careers and opportunities

Your knowledge of how the mind affects behavior, coupled with a thorough understanding of the social and biological factors that influence young people’s development, will set you up for a rewarding career working with and supporting young people and children.

All my lecturers have worked with children or young people in some way so they always give real-life examples in lectures which really helps.

Carrie Taylor, BA Hons Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology student

What can you do with a Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology degree?

Areas you can work in include:

  • youth work
  • social work
  • mental health services
  • educational welfare
  • childcare
  • health promotion
  • teaching (as a teaching assistant)
  • psychologist (by taking a postgraduate conversion course, such as a BPS-accredited Master's)

With further training and qualifications, you can also work in:

  • social work
  • psychotherapy and counselling
  • teaching

Placements and work experience

You'll get a minimum of 60 hours of work experience on a placement in year 2 in settings such as youth work organisations, mental health charities, nurseries or schools.

Between years 2 and 3, you can also complete a year-long paid placement. 

We'll help you secure placements that fit your workplace ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support to get the most out of the year.

Placement destinations

Previous students put their skills to work on placements at primary and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) schools, and organisations such as:

  • Pompey in the Community – a charity affiliated to Portsmouth FC
  • KidsOut – a charity that provides positive experiences disadvantaged children
  • Victim Support – a charity that supports victims of crime
  • Solent Mind – an organisation that offers mental health advice, information and support
  • Portsmouth City Council Youth and Play Services
  • Motiv8 – a charity that provides opportunities for young people to develop and thrive
  • Prince’s Trust – a charity that helps young people aged 11 to 30 get into jobs, education and training

I love the depth and diversity of the knowledge that is offered by Psychology lecturers at Portsmouth... they are passionate and keen to share this with students. They encourage us to ask questions [and] challenge theories and thought processes.

Deborah Grant, BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology graduate

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.


Year 1
Year 2
Optional placement year
Year 3

Core modules in this year include:

  • Becoming a Researcher – 20 credits
  • Child and Youth Development – 20 credits
  • Enrichment – 0 credits
  • Health & Well Being of the Child and Young Person – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Social Psychology – 20 credits
  • Understanding Childhoods – 40 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Children's Social Minds – 20 credits
  • Enrichment – 0 credits
  • Professional Practice With Children and Young People – 20 credits
  • Psychological Science – 20 credits
  • Research With Children and Young People – 20 credits
  • Youth Culture – 20 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Development of Learning – 20 credits
  • Digital Natives – 20 credits
  • Global Childhoods – 20 credits
  • Modern Foreign Language – 20 credits
  • Understanding Personal Life (l5) – 20 credits

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Dissertation / Major Project – 40 credits
  • Enrichment – 0 credits
  • Psychology in the Community – 20 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Behaviour Matters – 20 credits
  • Children and Young People With Severe Learning Difficulties – 20 credits
  • Families in Need – 20 credits
  • Going Outside: Pedagogies for Outdoor Learning – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits
  • Issues Relating to Children and Young People's Mental Health – 20 credits
  • Psychology in Practice – 20 credits
  • Working With Looked After Children – 20 credits
  • Young People's Relationships and Aspirations – 20 credits

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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Alternative courses

Not quite sure this course is right for you? Take a look at similar psychology courses to compare your options.

If you want to study traditional psychology and social psychology concepts (such as consciousness, memory, personality and intelligence) while developing the skills to influence positive change, take a look at our Sociology with Psychology degree.

When you work with criminals and their victims, the ability to understand people's emotions, thoughts and actions is vital. Our Criminology with Psychology degree gives you a deep understanding of criminal behaviour.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • group and individual presentations and projects
  • witten exams (quizzes)
  • a dissertation

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you're assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:

  • Year 1 students: 92% by coursework and 8% by written exams
  • Year 2 students: 92% by coursework and 8% by written exams
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • group-based activities
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • individual and group presentations
  • project work
  • e-learning
  • lectures

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

Teaching profiles

Aerial photo of Portsmouth

Dr Lexie Scherer

I bring professional experience to the course having trained as a Primary school teacher and worked in an Autism unit. My research interests include autism and literacy, the use of visual methods in research with children, and literacy practices. I incorporate my research into my teaching in experiential ways, for example, in my second year option module Children’s Literature, we explore how children interact with books through an assessment to make a book with children, which promotes their voices and agency.

Aerial photo of Portsmouth

Dr Simon Edwards

I bring 35 years paid and voluntary experience as a youth and community worker to the course, including international work and the management of community projects. This experience directly shapes the content of my teaching: former youth project participants and their parents bring insights to my lectures and presentations, and students are able to join in research as participant action researchers. Students can also benefit from the working relationships we’ve established with 4 local youth organisations who provide placement opportunities.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your BA Hons Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 11 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year, including our Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £16,200 a year (subject to annual increase)

You won't pay any extra tuition fees to another university for taking part in a study/work abroad activity if you choose to do it for the whole academic year. During a year abroad you'll only have to pay a reduced fee to the University of Portsmouth.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

You’ll need to cover additional costs, such as travel costs, if you take an optional placement or placement abroad.

These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement, and can range from £50–£1000.


How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – L5C8
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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