BSc Childhood Studies with Study Abroad (L525)

2025 entry | view 2024 entry

Course summary

Childhood Studies is the social science of childhood and adolescence. At Bristol, our interdisciplinary BSc Childhood Studies programme focuses on children from birth to 19 years. We explore issues relating to perspectives on, and children's experiences of, education, care, justice, development, health, and rights and responsibilities in a national and international context.

Our research-based teaching includes the expertise of lecturers from related disciplines, including education, psychology, sociology, social policy, history, social work and law.

You will consider childhood in the contexts of families, peers, communities, and society at a national and international level. Topics of study include children's education, rights, development, physical and mental health, psychology, safeguarding and protection, youth justice, and social harm, among others.

In the first year, you will develop a solid understanding of the psychological, sociological and historical constructions of childhood, as well as contemporary issues affecting children such as child labour, child poverty and children's education. From your second year onwards, you can choose optional units from a wide range of subjects, including a work placement unit, allowing you to pursue different routes through the degree toward a career path that is right for you.

The interdisciplinary nature of this course makes it ideal for students from a range of different backgrounds who want to develop a holistic understanding of children and childhood. Our graduates go on to careers in areas such as education, psychology, research, policy, children's therapy, social work, law and social justice, children's charities, government, business, and the civil service.

For the study abroad programme, you will study at one of our partner institutions overseas during year three (of a four-year course), where you can choose from social sciences, arts and humanities subjects. To find out more about studying abroad, visit the Centre for Study Abroad.

Course structure

Years one and two are identical to the three-year BSc Childhood Studies course. The first year enables you to explore constructions of childhood and to discuss contemporary issues, debates and challenges in global childhood. You will begin to develop an understanding of child psychology, education, and the sociology of childhood that will further your critical academic and research skills.

Subsequent years allow you to develop your own specific pathway through the degree, depending on your particular interests and career choice. For example, you might follow a pathway in education, psychology, sociology, social work, or law and justice, or you may choose a mix of units including options from other social science degrees.

During the second year, there is an opportunity to gain real-life experience working in a range of organisations and supporting children and families through our work placement unit.

In year three, as a study abroad student, you will be able to study overseas at one of our partner institutions gaining insight into social science debates in another country and exploring the culture of a new city, before returning to Bristol to complete your final year with us.

Sample units (at Bristol) may include:

  • Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Children’s Rights: Legal, ethical and political challenges
  • Youth, Sexualities and Gendered Violence
  • Therapeutic Work with Children
  • Disability in Society
  • Children in a Global Context
  • Children and Social Harm
  • Researching Children.
Full details about the course structure and units for this course can be viewed in the programme catalogue.

Go to programme catalogue

Entry requirements

We accept a wide variety of qualifications and welcome applications from students of all backgrounds. Below is a guide to the typical offers for this course.

DDM in any Applied General BTEC National Level 3 Extended Diploma

Find out more about BTEC entry requirements
32 points overall with 16 at Higher Level
29 points overall with 14 at Higher Level

Find out if you are eligible for a contextual offer
77% overall
Advanced Higher: AB, and Standard Higher: AABBB
Access to HE Diploma in Education, Humanities, Social Science, Science, Law or Psychology (or similar titles). The 45 graded Level 3 credits must include 15 credits at Distinction and 30 at Merit or above.

More about Access to HE entry requirements
Requirements are as for A-levels, where you can substitute a non-subject specific grade for the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate at that grade.
Requirements for principal subjects are as for A-level, where D1/D2 is A*, D3 is A, M1/M2 is B, and M3 is C.
The University of Bristol welcomes applications from international students, and we accept a wide range of qualifications for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Search international qualifications
More about UK qualifications.