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:
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).
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
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 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.
You will experience a lively, informal environment with a number of specialist facilities:
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
We don’t interview all applicants during Clearing, however, we will only make offers for the following course after a successful interview:
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.
We want you to throw yourself in at the deep end, soak up life and make the most of those special Essex moments.
Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.
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