Education - Childhood and Youth Studies


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Key facts

Start dates

September 2023 / September 2024

Course length

Part time: 12 months


On this PGCert in Childhood and Youth Studies you will explore today’s children, youth and families - and develop your practice to value every child.

You’ll examine child and adolescent development in today’s economic, social, global and technological landscapes. You’ll examine key issues impacting children, youth and families.

You’ll develop a confident ability to support all the children you work with - whatever their needs. And you’ll be able to identify and employ evidence-based techniques to support each child.

You’ll be exposed to different approaches, and join discussions - sparking new ideas for your own practice. And you’ll graduate with new insight into today’s children, youth and families - and the knowledge of how you can support them.

Group of students leaving after a lecture

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Students should normally have a first degree.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) part time
£980 per single module

Home (UK) distance learning
£980 per single module

International distance learning
£1,850 per single module

Home (UK) part time
£1,030 per single module

Home (UK) distance learning
£1,030 per single module

International distance learning
£1,860 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) part time
£980 per single module

Home (UK) distance learning
£980 per single module

International distance learning
£1,850 per single module

2025 / 26
Home (UK) part time
£1,030 per single module

Home (UK) distance learning
£1,030 per single module

International distance learning
£1,860 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Funding your studies

Financial support and scholarships

Featured funding opportunities available for this course.

All financial support and scholarships

View all funding opportunities for this course

Learning and assessment

The course is studied part time over 12 months on campus or via distance learning.

On campus classes take place in the early evenings, to fit around work commitments. All assignments are timed to coincide with the school holidays.

Female student in lecture

Study modules

You’ll study a total of three modules. You’ll take one compulsory module and you’ll also take two optional modules.

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

  • Learning and Development in Childhood (20 credits)

    You’ll study contemporary theories of social and cognitive development and their implications for children’s learning – both formal and informal. Using research evidence and students’ own observations, we’ll discuss alternative explanations of developmental processes. You’ll think about how children’s social and cultural surroundings affect their development and learning, and question the cultural assumptions that might underlie models of development. As a group, you’ll share your thoughts and findings, and reflect on what they suggest about the experiences and opportunities provided for children.

Optional modules

Children’s Imaginative Worlds (20 credits)

You’ll explore the ways in which children and young people appear to use their imaginations to do two distinct things – to create alternative worlds to occupy, and to make sense of their experiences. In doing this, you’ll explore the developmental and psychological purposes of imagination. You’ll have the chance to study one particular domain of imaginative experience in depth, working together with others in a choice of reading groups.

Childhoods in Context (20 credits)

You’ll learn how childhood and adolescence are affected by the social context in which they’re experienced. You’ll also consider young people as active agents in society.

You’ll critically examine childhood as a social construct, both now and in historical contexts. Exploring notions of the ‘crisis of childhood’ in modern societies and what is meant by a ‘good’ childhood. You’ll look at the different roles children play in society and how these might shape childhood in different times, places and cultures. You’ll interview an individual to explore their childhood experiences for your assignment.

We’ll look at a range of themes, such as:

  • a critical comparison of differing perspectives on childhood: historical, sociological and cross-cultural
  • differing notions of the start and end of childhood/adolescence
  • the changing roles of children in relation to employment, schooling, consumerism
  • changing international ideas of children’s rights
  • spaces for play and learning environments.

Working with Children, Young People and their Families (20 credits)

You’ll look at the role of people who work in services in this sector. Examining the policy and practice developments which are aimed at improving the quality of children’s lives. You’ll question the reasoning behind those developments, examine the evidence base and identify good practice.

Ensuring effective communication between different services working with children and their families is difficult to achieve. We’ll look at the nature and complexity of this communication.

We’ll also investigate issues like:

  • cultural capital, social and educational inclusion, children’s and young people’s needs, rights and opportunities
  • rationales for intervention: notions of ‘wellbeing’, ‘vulnerability’, ‘cycles of deprivation’
  • evaluating specialist interventions
  • communicating across disciplinary and professional boundaries 
  • managing complexity in services for children and their families – viewing the whole system.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

If you choose the on-campus mode of study, you’ll learn at Harcourt Hill, our Education campus. You’ll learn via a mix of collaborative and independent methods - like:

  • workshops
  • presentations
  • peer evaluations
  • project work
  • lectures
  • directed reading.

Classes are held mainly in the evenings, helping you balance study with work commitments. Thursdays are key study days. And if you can’t make a class, you can access materials and discussions online.

If you choose to do the course via distance learning, you’ll learn via interactive and high quality online resources - with pre-recorded lectures, online readings and forums as well as online workshops at key points in the module. You’ll be able to learn at your own pace.


Assessment methods used on this course

You will be assessed through coursework. Each module has an assignment of 4,000 words or equivalent (such as annotated video material).


The School of Education, Humanities and Languages is a thriving centre for educational research and teacher professional development. Students on master's level programmes therefore join a large research community comprising researchers at all levels of higher education study.

We hold two major research conferences each year - the School of Education Research Conference and the EdD Colloquium. All students are invited to attend our annual Research

Seminar Series (which attracts both internal and external speakers). We also organise a number of conferences, lectures, seminars and debates, some of which have an international reach.

The School’s six research groups exist to encourage engagement in research, publication, conference presentations, seminars and workshops:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Policy, Partnership and Leadership
  • STEAM pedagogy and learning
  • Humanistic Perspectives on Education
  • Early Years
  • Applied Linguistics

View all staff profiles for School of Education, Humanities and Languages

After you graduate

Career prospects

You’ll understand how different techniques work. You’ll be able to make decisive decisions in any situation. And you’ll be able to convincingly explain your approaches to school leaders, parents and others.

You’ll also be more sensitive to children, youth and families’ diverse needs. You’ll have increased awareness of social services for children, youth and families. And you’ll understand how these services can enrich lives and help mediate difficulties.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.