Childhood Studies

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

The degree in Childhood Studies at Aberystwyth University's School of Education will allow you to explore a diverse range of areas that are pivotal to children’s lives and will equip you with the skills and expertise necessary to work in a range of child-related professions. Whatever career you choose, this degree will give you a solid foundation of the knowledge and understanding, along with the critical and evaluative skills that employers are looking for.

Course Overview

Why study Childhood Studies at Aberystwyth University?

  • The School of Education has been offering stimulating and innovative study programmes for over 100 years. We were the first establishment in the UK to offer an honours degree in Education and our Childhood Studies degree is a vital part of our provision.
  • Our Childhood Studies programme will allow you to explore some of the sociological and psychological factors that influence the development of children. You will also develop an understanding of the political and legislative background to childhood and its implications for children and their families.
  • At a more personal level, you will develop your capacity for critical thought, as well as improve your ability to work with others in a variety of different contexts. You will also be given the opportunity to learn about a variety of different careers, so that you can make an informed choice about what to do after graduating.

Welsh-medium provision

  • All of our core modules can be studied in Welsh and every assignment may be completed in Welsh (even if the module is taught in English). This will entitle you to access to grants from the Coleg Cenedlaethol Cymraeg. You will also be allocated a Welsh-speaking personal tutor. Further details may be obtained from the Department.
Our Staff

Undergraduate lecturers in the School of Education are either qualified to PhD standard or are experienced practitioners in their field. All teaching staff currently possess, or are working towards, a recognised teaching qualification.

Modules September start - 2024

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Children's Development and Learning * ED14520 20
Key Skills for University ED13620 20
Language Development ED14320 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Health and Wellbeing in the Early Years ED14620 20
Partnerships in Principle and Practice * ED14420 20
Play and Learning:Theory and Practice ED13720 20
Policies and Issues in Education ED10120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Literacy in Young Children ED20220 20
Psychology of Learning and Thinking * ED20120 20
Research Methods ED20320 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Discourses Language and Education ED22420 20
Education, Diversity and Equality ED20420 20
Making Sense of the Curriculum ED20820 20
Safeguarding and Professional Practice ED24320 20
Working with Children ED20620 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Emotional and Social Development ED34820 20
Major dissertation ED33640 40
Mathematical Development in the Early Years ED30320 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Assessment and Education * ED30120 20
Children's Rights ED30620 20
Special Educational Needs ED30420 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


This degree has an excellent track record in the employability. Many of our graduates have pursued careers in: 

  • teaching and education (including SEN)
  • social care
  • nursing
  • speech therapy
  • social work
  • child welfare
  • play therapy
  • the leisure industry
  • child law
  • childhood research.

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in Childhood Studies will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

  • the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form;
  • effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
  • the ability to work independently
  • time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
  • self-motivation and self-reliance
  • team-work, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement
  • research skills.

Academic Employability Coordinator 

From Year One developing your employability is our priority and to ensure we offer the right services we have a dedicated academic employability coordinator who liaises with our link careers adviser to tailor a package of careers education, employer exposure and individual departmental based support. This person liaises with the careers service and external organisations to make links and connections, which are fed through to students on a regular basis. These include opportunities for voluntary work and paid employment both during and after your studies. Departmentally you will have the opportunity to get involved in our annual student employability conference.

Student Mentoring Scheme:

Our voluntary student mentoring scheme provides opportunities to both receive peer support but to also develop mentoring and coaching skills while supporting fellow students. This scheme is recognised by the University for its high skills value, and those who engage as mentors receive recognition on their graduate transcript. 

How can I enhance my career?

Click here to find out about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers team offer.

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) managed by our Careers department. 

Teaching & Learning

How will I learn?

In the School of Education we provide a variety of learning opportunities:

  • Lectures in larger groups allow you to gain outline knowledge of the ideas and concepts involved in each module. You will be encouraged to discuss key points with your fellow students, to answer questions and to develop your opinions and consolidate your learning. Sound recordings of all of our lectures are available for as long as you are registered on the course at Aberystwyth.
  • Seminars in smaller groups involve work in more detail on specific aspects of modules. These may involve more practical applications of ideas from lectures, or detailed analysis of pieces of research or other reading.
  • Workshops are practical. Tasks are set which involve group and individual work on topics like study skills. Sometimes, these also involve visiting speakers. Recent innovations involve the use of Virtual Reality headsets to bring your learning alive.

What will I study?

In each year, core modules give you a solid foundation in essential aspects of Childhood Studies, for example:

  • In Year 1, core modules cover topics such as how young children learn and the development of intelligence, personality and perception in children. Optional modules may include topics such as the importance of play, the historical development of childhood provision in Wales and England and key skills for University.
  • In Year 2, core modules cover topics such as theories of thinking and learning and the development of literacy in young children. Optional modules include a placement module, the study of bilingual education and cultural diversity in education.
  • In Year 3, you will tailor your programme to suit your interests through your dissertation. You may also explore Special Educational Needs or children’s rights, or even choose to present a scientific topic to the public.

How will my work be assessed?

A variety of assessment techniques will allow you to play to your strengths.

Some modules are assessed through exams and essays, but you may also complete projects, bibliographic exercises, reflective diaries, posters, and presentations. Our exam weighting is no more than 50% in any module. In addition, in your final year you will be tasked with creating a learning game for children or for other students. You will have to make a game and present it with an academic rationale.

Student Testimonials

I simply love my course because the topics we discuss are interesting and relevant to the world of childhood. The lecturers are very passionate about the subject, which is also reflected in the varied ways in which we are assessed - we even had the opportunity to design our own game! This is so much more hands-on and realistic when working with children than a dry exam! Overall, my confidence in a variety of topics and my abilities have been strengthened which is always a good thing in any career. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone who is interested in working with children and I can assure you that you are given great support by staff in any kind of academic situation!

Caroline Korell

Childhood Studies is an amazing course. As the content is so broad it has given me so many chances to explore new and exciting areas! The highlight for me would have to be having the chance to carry out work placements in varied settings, gaining hands-on experience, which is essential for my future career plans. I love my degree!

Chloe Tinsley-Hall

Childhood Studies is an enjoyable and interesting subject. It gives all students the opportunity to express and develop themselves as individuals. We are continually encouraged to extend our learning through extra study and activities in the department and university. The correct balance of exam/coursework ratio in the degree scheme allows students to reach their full potential. All the staff are friendly and supportive; they help us whenever they can whether academically or socially. Eleanor Thompson

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 112 - 96

A Levels BBC-CCC

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:

International Baccalaureate:

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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