Children, Young People & Families and Education Studies BA (Hons)
Do you want to make a difference in the lives of children, young people and families?
We believe in pushing the boundaries of creativity, enabling you to explore new ways of making and thinking. Our innovative fine art creative team will support your learning and encourage the pursuit of practice across a dynamic breadth of art forms and media.
100% of Children, Young People & Families students think that staff make the subject interesting - NSS 2018
- UCAS Code – LXM3
- Duration – 3 years full-time | Part-time options available on request
- Start date – September 2020, September 2021
- School – Education
Minimum Entry Requirements
96 UCAS Tariff points
3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language
UK and EU 2020-21 £9,250 per year
International 2020-21 £12,750 per year
The York St John Experience
The degree is both challenging and stimulating, particularly as it is fully responsive to complex concerns such as mental illness, abuse, human rights, crime, injustice, loss and voice. It is imperative that you are fully prepared for the range of issues that can arise when working in such an important field. As a part of this, it is through encouraging you to reflect on your own and others values, beliefs and perceptions that will allow you to have a much better understanding of the wider societal issues that affect children, young people and families. In turn, this will contribute to your personal transformation not only as a learner, but as a future forward-thinking and autonomous professional.
The programme has been designed to be highly responsive to the needs of those who have an interest in this field of enquiry and a strong desire to work in the challenging and innovative children, young people and families sector in general, but who do not necessarily have a clear career direction in mind. The content is therefore geared towards providing a solid academic base for progression into an assorted mixture of related careers, higher degrees, research and further postgraduate qualifications. This allows you to explore a range of options and goals as the degree progresses rather than being purely orientated towards one employment pathway or subject-specific further study.
The wider workforce needs professionals who have a sound understanding of what constitutes childhood and youth today, how they develop as well as how to meet the wide-ranging needs of children, young people and families in order to address any problems that may arise in their day-to-day lives.
The programme aims to:
- provide a rigorous academic grounding in children, young people and families
- provide progression routes into a wide range of careers
- prepare you for the rapidly changing contexts of policy and practice in education, social policy, health and welfare.
Potential modules include:
Key changes in modern schooling
Through this module, students will develop a broad and balanced knowledge and understanding of the principal features of English education in an historical context. By critically analysing Government policy both in this country and abroad, students can evaluate the effectiveness of the development of educational systems in post-industrial societies.
Learning as a student
Students vary in their outlook and understanding of what it means to be a student of Higher Education. Some are fresh from school and some may have been engaged in other sorts of professional or recreational learning since leaving school. This module supports students as they reflect on their learning and understand their roles and responsibilities as learners. This includes an understanding of the cognitive and meta-cognitive skills that they need to acquire or develop to be a successful autonomous learner.
Questioning the purpose of education: philosophical perspectives
The purpose of education has been contested by philosophers, politicians and educators for millennia. This module forms one of the foundation blocks of the Education Studies course and guides students through a number of different philosophical approaches, value positions and educational ideologies that have been used to explain and rationalise certain approaches to education.
Global development and education
This module will examine global development as it applies to education around the world and offer a critique of theories of development as well as some measures of development. The module will engage with whether changing trends in education are to be welcomed and will critically assess some of the broader discourses surrounding education and global development.
(All modules 20 credits)
Potential modules include:
Learning as a researcher
With claims of ‘research-based’ evidence to support change in education policy and practice, it is important that students understand how meaningful conclusions can be drawn from data. This module combines a critical look at the research methods employed by others with opportunities to develop research skills to an advanced undergraduate level. It engages students in a range of research-related activities and exercises which will support future research projects.
Education and social justice
Social Justice is seen by many as central to the idea of education. This module examines the concept of Social Justice, noting the different conceptions and the contestable nature of the concept. Seeing Social Justice as a form of distributive justice will enable students to look at how goods are valued and allocated, and whether education can be seen as a good in this sense. The notion of Social Justice as linked to Modernity will also be examined, and whether there is a need to move towards Ecological Justice, which means a discussion of social change.
Life chances and education
The module engages critically with the discourse surrounding improving educational outcomes for children and young people, which tends to see them as autonomous and disregards a critical understanding of the dynamics of life-chances. This module endeavours to develop students’ understanding of how life-chances shape the context within which children and young people grow and develop.
Media and dis/abiliy
The media is central to twenty-first century life and as an industry has been critical in the dissemination of information, attitudes and social beliefs. This module takes a critical approach to how the media has been used to both entrench and challenge particular representations of disability and special educational needs by critically examining a range of primary media sources including film and TV, expressive arts, literature, newspapers, internet sources and charities to consider how disability and special educational needs are portrayed.
The globalisation of education policy
This module will focus upon the impact of globalisation upon education. The controversies within globalisation theory will be examined, and the contestability of the idea discussed. Reference will be made to other global forces (impact of cold-war and post-colonialism) and debate whether globalisation is a continuing process within capitalism, or whether it is a new event. How different countries react to globalisation and the subsequent effect upon their education systems will form a large part of this module.
Knowledge and the curriculum
Knowledge and knowledge construction provide the focus of this module. Students will engage in a critical examination of education for the 21st century and the role and purposes of knowledge in the learning process and what is taught. Students will examine epistemologies and will consider these in relation to knowledge construction, curriculum planning and learning.
Reflecting on Learning
Employability is central to the mission of YSJ. As a placement module this enables students to locate learning in the workplace, identify graduate attributes, and reflect upon future career options. This module links theoretical perspectives to practice, identifies personal values as they relate to the workplace and stimulates the development of a personal philosophy of learning.
(All modules 20 credits)
Potential modules include:
Current debates have centred on how education developments, approaches and interventions are measured as effective. Recent government policies have focused on a move towards developing and promoting evidence based practice and teachers are increasingly being encouraged to conduct research to evaluate and inform their practice. However, some critics have argued that this medical-based approach does not work within an education environment, such as the classroom, where variables cannot be tightly controlled. This module explores the question about how educational practice can be effectively evaluated.
Education and contemporary ethical issues
Education is underpinned by values, and especially ethical values. This module enables students to develop their own values through investigating normative and applied ethics. They will examine ethical theories, and then apply them to current issues. These will then be applied to educational settings.
Digital learning - The future of education?
This module considers what education may look like in the future. With the growth of technology, educational institutions may well need to re-appraise learning. Claims that technology will enable humans to learn more efficiently will be examined, as will the converse that it will infantilise and trivialise learning. The virtual educational institution is one scenario amongst many that will be critically appraised. The ability to be free in time and space could have a radical effect upon learning.
Critical perspectives in SEN and inclusion
This module seeks to provide students with an opportunity to explore contemporary issues with respect to special educational needs, dis/ability and inclusion. Informed by academic and current affairs, it will approach the topics critically, evaluating dominant discourses and examining assumptions regarding vulnerability, dependency and autonomy. In examining contemporary issues students will be expected to engage with concepts and theories which explore both the micro-social interactions of the everyday lives of young people with SEN/D, as well as the macro social structures within which they are situated.
Researching in an educational context (Dissertation) (40 credits)
The emphasis in this module is on research processes and problems; students are active participants, creators and communicators of knowledge. With tutor support, students have the opportunity to research into, and present their findings from, a specialist area of Education Studies. Integral to this study is the embodiment of a range of knowledge, skills and understanding that demonstrate social and ethical responsibility, developing independence and self-awareness, presenting and summarising information in a range of formats, critical analysis and offering solutions to complex problems.
Education, health and wellbeing
Government initiatives around health and wellbeing have become increasingly important in education and currently underpin the fundamental aims of the school curriculum. A key current debate centres on the extent to which education should be involved in health and wellbeing. Arguments focus on the extent to which education can address wider societal concerns such as childhood obesity, self-esteem and happiness. This module critically engages with such debates and questions whether education can provide effective solutions for societal problems.
Autobiography and narrative – writing educational journeys
Stories and narratives form essential ways in which meaning is constructed through experiences. This module explores the ways in which narratives construct personal and professional identities and considers how narratives and ‘stories’ might influence an individual’s ability to engage with educational opportunities and potential implications for professional practice. Students are encouraged to consider their own educational journeys/narratives alongside theoretical frameworks.
Education and the environment
This module looks at the evidence for global change (population growth, biodiversity decline, climate change and resource depletion), and asks whether education as it is presently constituted is able to meet the possible challenges suggested by these changes. Is our current education system set up to meet the challenges of Modernity, and is it able to meet global change as shown above? Is humankind moving into post-modernity, with differing challenges? What would education look like if it concentrated upon the Earth, which all living and non-living things rely upon?
Teaching and the role of the teacher
This module examines the differing roles and purposes of what it means to be a teacher. Teacher Education in many countries has been structured and defined by the State. Within many countries state defined and accredited teachers carry out their roles within tight confines. Should there be more room for teacher agency? To who are teachers accountable? The multi-faceted role of the teacher will be explored from a spectrum of teacher as technician/ deliverer to teacher as liberator/ resister. This will be done by engaging in debate about purpose and role. Can the role be divorced from the social, political and institutional context?
(All modules 20 credits except dissertation)
The minimum entry requirements for this course are:
96 UCAS Tariff points
3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language
This course is available with a foundation year. This option is ideal if you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto a degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education. A foundation year prepares you for degree level study, giving you the confidence and skills needed to make the most of your course. Passing it guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.
Terms and conditions
Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.
Teaching & Assessment
The Children, Young People and Families programme includes some core and optional modules that build in complexity as you progress through your studies. The second year includes a placement module which gives you opportunity to link theory with practice and develop employability skills. A dissertation module in the third year allows you to focus on an area of particular interest to you.
The programme equips you with a critical and contemporary understanding of the experiences of children, young people and families that draws upon sociological, philosophical, psychological, historical and political perspectives. In addition to compulsory modules designed to establish a foundation, there are a choice of modules within each level which allows you to build a programme that reflects your interests. During the first and second year, you will undertake three modules per semester (20 credits each). The second year includes both a placement module that helps you to explore possible career options, and a research module that equips you with the tools you will need for your dissertation in the final year. Alongside the 40 credit dissertation that runs across both semesters of your final year, you will choose two other modules per semester.
Across the 12 weeks of the semester, each 20 credit module includes timetabled sessions, Supported Open Learning (which includes set reading, tasks and group work) and independent study. Timetabled hours for each level are (broadly) as follows: level 1 - 48 hours; level 2 - 42 hours; and level 3 - 36 hours per module.
In the final year, you will be allocated a Supervisor to support you with your dissertation and can arrange one-to-one tutorials at stages in your research to suit you.
Outside of taught sessions, you will be expected to undertake further reading around the subjects you are studying and complete coursework assessments, reading published journal articles and preparing projects, posters or presentations for assessment.
We have extensive electronic textbooks as part of the reading lists for modules that you can access through the Information Learning Services website from anywhere. Module tutors and your Academic Librarian for your programme can also direct you to relevant sources to support your learning.
You will meet a range of tutors on the who will share their enthusiasm about particular research interests and lead you through the module content. They have teaching qualifications and/or Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. The team has a wealth of experience and teach across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes within the School of Education.
There is an opportunity to undertake a 15 day placement in the first semester of your second year within a setting linked to education in some way. You can choose where to undertake your placement including schools, education teams within venues such as York Minster, The National Rail Museum, The Jorvik Viking Centre, Libraries and Museums. at York St John University can also help you to secure additional placements alongside your studies or during semester breaks which can contribute to your developing employability.
There are no examinations on the Children, Young People & Families programmes. Your knowledge and understanding will be assessed through a range of approaches including presentations, posters, artefacts, reports, reflections, commentaries essays. Your assessments will build in complexity and criticality as you progress through the degree so that by the final year, you are working with increasing independence.