Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology BA (Hons)

Learn what makes young people tick as you develop knowledge of the biological and social factors that impact their complex journey into adulthood. Includes 60+ hours of placements.

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:


Typical offer:

104-112 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

Showing content for section Overview


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 also have the chance to focus your childhood and youth studies on a particular specialism - education and teaching, community and alternative provision, or leadership and enterprise.

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 two
  • Have the opportunity to do an additional youth work placement year after your second or third year on this Connected Degree - we're the only UK university to offer flexible sandwich placements for undergraduates
  • 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
  • Choose to learn a foreign language for free as part of your degree, from a selection of Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish
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.


of graduates in work or further study

(HESA graduate outcomes survey 2020/21)

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

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

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

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBC-BCC
  • UCAS points - 104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

Selection process

Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting their professional placement working with children and young people.

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.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

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.

Why study a course with Psychology

Hear our students and lecturers explain the benefits of studying a 'with Psychology' course at the University of Portsmouth.

Dr Jacqueline Priego: Students who take a degree that combines a social science with psychology are typically interested in both societal and behavioural approaches to the human condition. They are interested in what triggers our thinking, our emotions, our behaviours and how we see that we can shape our ideas, values and practices so that we can make this world a better place. 

Dr Alexander Bradley: I think the nice aspect of studying a with psychology course is it both opens up both psychology, but also sociology or criminology, child and youth studies. So it gives you two job markets to aim for. 

Jonathan: What made me want to do a course with psychology is, it gives me a bigger variety and dig deeper into each subject. Doing a degree with combined honours allows me to pick and choose from whichever career choice I choose to make. 

Eleonora: Because I'm currently studying criminology with psychology, it really gives you the opportunity to study many different topics at once. Like, I'm studying state crime at the same time I did psychological science. You have two different types of knowledge. You have the criminological one and the psychological ones - you can merge them together to actually do what you want to do. 

Joshua: I went for a course with psychology because I wanted to have something extra as well, and I think that's shown definitely while being at the university because it gave an extra layer to the degree which I wasn't expecting. 

Jonathan: If you're not sure, if you just want to do psychology or just want to do sociology, choose this degree. It will give you the best of both and you get to focus on whatever you find most fascinating and interesting. 

Joshua: The career I'm looking into is to join the Royal Navy first and then afterwards teaching. But I still think this course does help me with that because there was one point of like stages of group development and that was part of the psychology course. So I can use that when running a team within the Royal Navy and then after that, hopefully the course as a whole will help me in my teaching. 

Jonathan: Why someone should choose University of Portsmouth? It gives extremely good facilities. 

Dr Jacqueline Priego: In relation to our courses, all of our students have access to the latest research through the university library. That gives you the potential for a great student experience. 

Dr Alexander Bradley: The city is a lovely place to be: it's friendly, it's warm, you have the sea. We do a lot and put a lot of effort into our students to help them make not only a good time and to make the most of their time at university, but also beyond university as well. 

Eleonora: You have career support for many years after you graduate. Thanks to the University of Portsmouth, I was able to work in some research with my lecturers as well, which is something that other students are not able to do. It's a great opportunity to make me stand out. 

Dr Alexander Bradley: I think one of the really nice features about my role is when I do see students that make that transition and are happy in the world of work, in the places they've ended up and are making a contribution to society, that's really good. In fact, sometimes when I get those emails that come back, it just makes my day. 

Careers and opportunities

Your knowledge of how the mind affects behaviour, 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.

The opportunity to delve into your preferred childhood and youth studies specialism - from education and teaching, community and youth / family provision, or leadership and enterprise - will ensure you're prepared for the career of your choice. 

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
Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

What career could I build with a childhood studies degree?

Want to work with children? Discover the jobs you could gain with a degree in childhood studies.

Jodie Pinnell 

We get students that come to us and say, I really want to work with children. I want to help. I want to make a difference. It's our job to say, here's all the wonderful things that you can do with children.

At the University of Portsmouth, we have a number of undergraduate Childhood Studies degrees. We have Early Childhood Studies and Childhood and Youth Studies either as a single honours course or with the option to have a combined honours with criminology or with psychology.

Cathryn Barty

This course has three specialisms. They are education and teaching, community and youth/family liaison and leadership and enterprise. The three are embedded throughout the course over three years. It helps you to decide which path you want to pursue after you finish your degree.

Anya Manley

The route that I decided to choose was the education and teaching because I have a passion to be a primary school teacher.

Adam Denman

I wanted to take my career further. I was recommended to go on to the Enterprise course, linked at the University of Portsmouth, in addition to my studies. I managed to participate in masterclasses from external speakers and entrepreneurs in residence, that supported me in setting up my own social enterprise in music education.

Anya Manley

The career options you can do with this course are unlimited, there's so many.

Victoria Blay

One of them is teaching. Whether that be primary teaching, early years in a nursery, secondary school.

Adam Denman

Others work within further education through local colleges. Some of them work within the NHS.

Victoria Blay

There's the prison service, the police service. But obviously through university you understand what your passions are.

Jodie Pinnell

A huge part of their professional practice module is they'll go out and they'll do their placement for a day a week, or they would have done a big extended placement over their summer break.

Victoria Blay

I did two placements. One was within a private prep school and then I worked in another school, which was an alternative provision school. It was really, really enjoyable. It was taking some of what I learnt at uni and putting it into practice and reflecting on that as well.

Ellen Braddick

I think having the placements reassured me that this is something that I definitely want to do. It really helped me a lot to get to the place I am now.

Jodie Pinnell

As part of that, they all inform each other's ideas and co-reflect on their positionality. I can come into this setting and I can make a difference.

Cathryn Barty

What I loved most about the course was the support I received from the lecturers.

Adam Denman

They've had a variety of different backgrounds within their careers. They also have a wide range of contacts within the industry and with local schools and colleges in the Portsmouth region.

Anya Manley

Portsmouth is a good city, you've got a beach five minutes away from the centre of the campus. You've got shops nearby, you've got restaurants. It's a good place to come and study whether you like the culture or just somewhere quiet to sit and just take in the world.

Placements and work experience

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

You can also choose to complete an additional year-long paid placement after your second or third year. 

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
Student in purple hoodie standing in back alleys

I secured an internship within the Diversity and Inclusion team at the Royal Academy of Engineering, and I’m now doing a Master's degree in Psychology. My long-term aspiration is to work in child psychology with a neuropsychology specialism.

Charles Dalby, BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies with Psychology

Read Charles's story


What you'll study

Core modules in this year include:

  • Becoming a Researcher – 20 credits
  • Child and Youth Development – 20 credits
  • Educational Contexts – 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
  • 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
  • Empire and Its Afterlives in Britain, Europe, and Africa – 20 credits
  • Engaged Citizenship in Humanities and Social Sciences – 20 credits
  • Global Childhoods – 20 credits
  • Global Security - 20 credits
  • Intercultural Perspectives On Communication – 20 credits
  • Modern Foreign Language – 20 credits
  • Marketing and Communication - 20 credits
  • Modernity and Globalisation - 20 credits
  • Nationalism and Migration: Chaos, Crisis and the Everyday - 20 credits
  • News, Discourse and Media - 20 credits
  • Principles of Economic Crime Investigation - 20 credits
  • Professional Experience L5 - 20 credits
  • Space, Place and Being - 20 credits
  • Transitional Justice and Human Rights - 20 credits
  • Understanding Personal Life (L5) – 20 credits
  • Wildlife Crime: Threats and Response - 20 credits

Core modules in this year include:

  • Dissertation / Major Project (Childhood Studies)  – 40 credits
  • Issues Relating to Children and Young People's Mental Health – 20 credits
  • Psychology in Practice – 20 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Behaviour Matters – 20 credits
  • Families in Need – 20 credits
  • Going Outside: Pedagogies for Outdoor Learning – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits
  • Professional Experience L6 – 20 credits
  • Working with Looked After Children – 20 credits
  • Young People's Relationships and Aspirations – 20 credits

On this course, you can do an optional work placement after your second or third year 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.

Changes to course content

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. 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

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 1 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework

You’ll be assessed through a variety of ways, including:

  • 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.


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.

Dr Simon Edwards

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.

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

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 use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

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 16 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 you

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 to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from 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 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.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

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

  • 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 – £17,200 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.

Tuition fees terms and conditions

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 show your accommodation options and highlight 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.

During your placement year or study abroad year, you’ll be eligible for a discounted rate on your tuition fees. Currently, tuition fees for that year are:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)

The costs associated with your specific destination will be discussed during your second year, as well as possible sources of additional funding.


How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

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

Apply now through UCAS

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.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in 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.