Undergraduate Course

BA Childhood Studies

Now In Clearing
BA Childhood Studies

Overview

The details
Childhood Studies
L520
October 2018
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

Are you fascinated by children’s behaviour? What drives their development, what informs their behaviour and shapes their identity? Do you want to help children with emotional, social, behavioural and education difficulties? Why do some children falter through life’s ups and downs, whilst others seem to thrive in adversity and are more resilient? Do you want to make a difference to children’s lives? If so, this course is for you.

Children today face a wide range of new and challenging experiences, including unprecedented access to media, wider cultural diversity, online bullying and larger school numbers. Their early experiences of childhood affect them for the rest of their lives. You can make a positive contribution to these formative years.

Childhood studies is a vibrant and exciting field which has expanded in recent years to include knowledge from psychology, sociology and psychoanalysis. This course lays the foundations for a career working with infants and children, whether in education, health care or children’s services. You gain a solid understanding of child development, the ecology of childhood (the place of children in different societies) and many other exciting topics including:

  • Psychosocial approaches
  • Child development and attachment theory
  • Understanding ADHD, developmental trauma and Autism
  • Criminological approaches
  • Play and infant observation
  • Children in literature
  • Therapeutic work in groups
  • Wellbeing and resilience
  • Psychodynamics of teaching, learning and group work

Our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies is internationally recognised as one of the leading departments for work on the role of the unconscious mind in mental health, as well as in culture and society more generally. We’re ranked top 10 in the UK for research (REF, 2014) and consistently receive high student satisfaction scores, including 94% student satisfaction (NSS, 2017).

Why we're great.
  • Our students are extremely happy - Essex are ranked highly for student satisfaction (NSS)
  • 83% of our undergraduates are in professional employment or postgraduate study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2016).
  • Our students learn in small groups with expert practitioners and academics.

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.

Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.

If you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university

Placement year

Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with an external organisation, where you learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.

If you complete a placement year you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.

Our expert staff

Our staff blend clinical and professional experience and expertise in their field with the academic rigour that our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies is known for. You’re taught by lecturers who have years of experience working directly with troubled individuals and groups in specialist settings. This means they are seasoned researchers in the field of childhood and psychoanalytic studies, but also draw upon years of clinical experience as teachers, psychotherapists, and therapeutic community practitioners.

This course is led by Dr Chris Nicholson, who has more than 15 years’ experience working in residential childcare and therapeutic communities for children. He's also managed an adolescent assessment unit and runs a variety of children’s activities and groups for Colchester Mind’s, The Junction. Further, he sits on the Advisory Board for Children and Young People at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Therapeutic Communities section, and regularly speaks at both national and international conferences.

Our staff specialise in areas ranging from creative therapies for children and adolescents, to organisational dynamics, to the practice of psychotherapy, to psychodynamic counselling with children and adolescents.

Specialist facilities

You will experience a lively, informal environment with a number of specialist facilities:

  • At our Colchester Campus, you have access to The Albert Sloman Library which houses a collection of books, journals, electronic resources and major archives
  • Our Department has its own dedicated library of specialist texts which inform and influence our research
  • Attend free evening Open Seminars on topics relevant to childhood studies, education, mental health and psychosocial studies which are open to students, staff and members of the public.

Your future

Whether you want to work with infants in the nursery, children with emotional and behavioural difficulties in children’s homes, support those with learning difficulties, or go on into teaching, our course prepares you to make a difference to children’s lives. Put theory into practice by carrying out reflective practice through infant observation, and a work placement. These give you invaluable experience within your chosen sector.

We help you to explore and understand the kind of role you’re preparing for so you graduate with a valuable balance of theoretical understanding and useful practical experience – rare qualities giving you the edge needed to successfully gain employment upon graduation. There are a range of jobs directly related to this degree including early years teachers, family support workers, learning support workers, primary and secondary teacher, special needs teachers and social workers.

After taking this degree you can also enter further study or training to become a:

  • Child psychotherapist
  • Children’s nurse
  • Community development worker
  • Counsellor
  • Arts Therapist
  • Educational psychologist
  • Speech and language therapist

Entry requirements

Clearing entry requirements

If you have already received your results, use our Clearing application form to apply for 2018 entry through Clearing. You will be asked to provide details of your qualifications and grades.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

Structure

Example structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of compulsory and optional modules chosen from lists. Below is just one example structure from the current academic year of a combination of modules you could take. Your course structure could differ based on the modules you choose.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed are subject to change. To view the compulsory modules and full list of optional modules currently on offer, please view the programme specification via the link below.

Understanding Individuals Groups and Organisations : An Introduction to Psychodynamic Concepts

How do unconscious dynamics work in individuals, groups and organisations? How can psychodynamic insight be applied to this? Explore how individuals affect one another, how institutions affect those who work there and vice versa. Understand key concepts in psychodynamic thinking and how to apply this to individuals, groups and workplaces.

View Understanding Individuals Groups and Organisations : An Introduction to Psychodynamic Concepts on our Module Directory

Assignment and Research Writing for Psychoanalytic Studies

Want guidance in understanding your course? Know how your academic skills will transfer to the world of work? Develop your abilities to undertake independent research. Learn to read critically and to write clearly. Build the employability skills that will help you during your studies and after graduation.

View Assignment and Research Writing for Psychoanalytic Studies on our Module Directory

Introduction to Childhood Studies

In this module you will explore childhood from a local and a global perspective. You will discover a broad range of topics related to children and childhood, including psychology, sociology, history, media, law and education.

View Introduction to Childhood Studies on our Module Directory

Perspectives in Child Development

Expand on your knowledge of perspectives and theoretical approaches relating to child development. This module focuses on developmental psychology and includes psychoanalytic and psycho-dynamic theories.

View Perspectives in Child Development on our Module Directory

Placement Based Observation Skills and Reflective Practice

For this module you will undertake a placement where you have the opportunity to gain hands on experience. This placement will be within the children’s sector, for example a nursery, a school or a children’s centre. You will have guidance and support from your supervisor throughout your placement.

View Placement Based Observation Skills and Reflective Practice on our Module Directory

Professional Practice in Careers with Children

In this module you will develop your understanding of childhood studies and childcare practice and explore employability and career options within this field. You will have the opportunity to think about your future career aspirations and learn about the graduate employment market.

View Professional Practice in Careers with Children on our Module Directory

Where the Wild Things Are: Children in Literature

This module explored a wide range of children’s fiction, both written for children and about children. You read and analyse popular children’s literature from ‘Where the Wild Things are’ to ‘Matilda’. You will build your knowledge of how the perceptions of childhood have changed over the last century and the types of ideals being projected onto the world of children through literature.

View Where the Wild Things Are: Children in Literature on our Module Directory

Infant Observation

Explore the variety of ways in which you can research and record the activities of infants. You will have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in observing the early developments of an infant and build on your experiences of psychoanalytic observation.

View Infant Observation on our Module Directory

Developmental Trauma, Autism and ADHD

Study a range of difficulties encountered by some children, such as developmental trauma, autism and ADHD. Learn how these can impact on children’s development and increase your knowledge of the strategies that have been developed to try and improve their situation.

View Developmental Trauma, Autism and ADHD on our Module Directory

The Social History of Childhood

Consider the ways in which childhood has changed throughout history. In this module you will explore how the concept of childhood has developed particularly from eighteenth century onwards. This module covers a variety of aspects including religion, education, rights and policies, culture, gender and sexuality.

View The Social History of Childhood on our Module Directory

Therapeutic Practice and Responsibility: Statutory Frameworks (Childhood Studies)

Discover the broad range of policies, ethics and professional conduct in the workplace with regards to children. You will develop an understanding of both the practice related and theoretical aspects and learn how to apply this to the workplace, your discipline and the children you are working with.

View Therapeutic Practice and Responsibility: Statutory Frameworks (Childhood Studies) on our Module Directory

Psychoanalysis and the Child

Examine how object relations theory can relate to the psychoanalysis of children. Explore the difficulties of pursuing psychoanalysis of children and some of the controversies around working with children. You will learn how it should be done, how it is practically and also learn about the theoretical distinctions from building psychoanalysis of adults.

View Psychoanalysis and the Child on our Module Directory

Counselling Skills for Therapeutic Work

How does children and adolescent counselling differ from counselling adults? You will study written material relating to counselling skills with children and adolescents and take part in workshop based learning to support your theoretical understanding. This will involve you presenting and discussing your own work with a child or adolescent to help you develop your clinical skills.

View Counselling Skills for Therapeutic Work on our Module Directory

Therapeutic Work in Groups (Childhood Studies)

During this module you will work in groups with children from a psycho-dynamic perspective. You will develop the essential skills and techniques requires when working in a variety of groups in a professional workplace, including educational and therapeutic. You will explore a range of issues such as dealing with difficult behaviour, gangs, and emotional experiences and consider the support facilitators that are needed.

View Therapeutic Work in Groups (Childhood Studies) on our Module Directory

Childhood Wellbeing: Play, Socialisation and Resilience

Explore children’s well-being through play, socialisation and resilience. Discover how well-being can vary across cultures, both nationally and globally. In this module you will also learn about current issues facing children today such as technology, internet and the effects that this may have on well-being.

View Childhood Wellbeing: Play, Socialisation and Resilience on our Module Directory

Teaching and Learning with Children: A Psychodynamic Approach

Understand what facilitates education and the factors that can also hinder learning. You will explore all areas that can affect a child’s ability to learn, from anxiety to new experiences. You will learn the aspects of learning through a sociological and psycho-social perspective.

View Teaching and Learning with Children: A Psychodynamic Approach on our Module Directory

Dissertation (Childhood Studies)

For this module you will pursue a project based on a topic of your choice. You will have the opportunity to incorporate the theoretical and practical aspects from your course and apply this to your subject area. This project will be supervised by an academic member of staff within the department who will provide advice and guidance throughout your project.

View Dissertation (Childhood Studies) on our Module Directory

Children and Young People: Criminological Approaches - Current Debates

Discover how questions of childhood and youth have driven wider debates in criminology and sociology. Ask why, how, and with what, effects children and young people have been constructed as subjects with rights, relational citizens with needs, offenders to be reformed or punished, and victims to be protected. Explore children and young people’s experiences of (il)legal youth cultures, systems of youth justice, education, child protection, family intervention and other efforts to counter social exclusion.

View Children and Young People: Criminological Approaches - Current Debates on our Module Directory

Placement

On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Year abroad

On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Teaching

  • Teaching takes place through lectures and seminars often in relatively small groups, with a focus on group interaction and discussion
  • Discussion in seminars includes discussing theoretical ideas, how these might apply to practice and discussing your own experiences and observation on placement
  • You will also participate in skills based workshops, debates, observation seminars, reflective groups and teach others through presentation of theoretical readings and practice case examples

Assessment

  • Your grade is made up mainly of coursework marks, including essays, case studies and reflective reports. There are exams, but these are infrequent

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250

International fee

£14,020

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home and EU fee information

International fee information

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

2018 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 15, 2018
  • Saturday, October 27, 2018

How to apply during Clearing

Once you’ve checked that we have the right course for you, applying couldn’t be simpler. Fill in our quick and easy Clearing application form with as much detail as you can. We’ll then take a look and get back to you with a decision. There’s no need to call us to apply; just do it all online.

Find out more about Clearing

Interviews

We don’t interview all applicants during Clearing, however, we will only make offers for the following course after a successful interview:

  • BA Multimedia Journalism
  • BSc Nursing (Adult)
  • BSc Nursing (Mental Health)
  • BA Social Work

The interview allows our academics to find out more about you, and in turn you’ll be able to ask us any questions you might have. Further details will be emailed to you if you are shortlisted for interview.


Apply now
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