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Undergraduate course

Children, Young People & Families BA (Hons)

This thought-provoking and stimulating degree challenges assumptions and prepares you for work in a variety of careers that focus on the needs of others.


This degree requires you to carefully consider what childhood, youth and the family mean in contemporary society. Studying this subject means engaging with challenging issues, but if you are serious about making a real difference in the lives of children, young people and families you will find it extremely rewarding.

  • Available in Clearing

94% of Children, Young People and Families students felt their learning had been well supported by IT resources and facilities. (National Student Survey 2020)

94% of Children, Young People and Families students felt that their course was well organised. (National Student Survey 2020)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – L541
  • 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

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £9,250 per year

    International 2020-21 £12,750 per year

Discover why York St John is The One

Course overview

Explore the impact of ever-changing social, cultural and political conditions on the future choices and opportunities of young people. Guided by principles of equality, inclusion and social justice, consider the varied locations, situations and landscapes in which children grow and develop. You’ll be encouraged to be self-reflective, interrogating your own beliefs, perceptions and values whilst recognising the political and cultural biases that can influence them.

We keep our course relevant and meaningful by engaging with a wide range of issues and barriers affecting children and young people today. This might include discussions about mental health, abuse, crime, human rights, social mobility, injustice, loss and issues of diversity and difference. You will consider the barriers affecting individual development along with the wider societal issues that surround them.

In your second year, you will have the opportunity to work on a placement in a relevant setting, for example in a school, youth centre or in a shelter. We can also help you to find further work experience around your course if you would like to.

The course gives you a solid academic foundation from which you can go on to a range of careers that support children, young people and families. The theoretical knowledge you gain will be applicable to contemporary concerns on local, national and international levels. You might choose to work in local authorities, education, charities, housing and welfare associations, support services or health.

Course structure

Level 1


Potential modules include:

Children’s & Young People’s Development
This module enables students to think holistically and critically about children and young people’s development. It considers different developmental theories and encourages students to deconstruct some of the assumptions that these perspectives generate. 

Constructions of Childhood & Youth
This module explores what we mean by childhood and youth, and considers ways in which they are constructed and shaped by wider society.

Study for Success
Study for Success provides students with the opportunity to develop some of the fundamental skills that underpin degree success. This includes critical thinking, academic writing, referencing and reflective writing. The module also introduces students you to using the library effectively as well as using the University’s different e-platforms.

Nature & Role of the Family
This module examines a range of questions relating to family: ‘What is family?’ How is family changing?’ ‘Why is family changing?’ ‘What should we make of these changes?’

Counselling & Communication
The ability to communicate effectively and use counselling skills is key to effective practice in the wider children, young people and families’ workforce. This module helps you develop a theoretical understanding of these ideas, which you put into practice in class.

Social Policy in Action
Whether we realise it or not, social policy shapes every aspect of our lives: education, health, wellbeing, work, money, family, opportunities and more. This module provides you with the foundations to explore these issues from different perspectives, and to examine one issue related to children, young people and families in depth.

(All modules 20 credits)

Level 2


Potential modules include:

Learning in Practice
This module enables you to consider the purpose of different organisations working with children, young people and families, and to think about the influence of different factors on their practices. You negotiate a placement opportunity of your choice - for example, in a school, Youth Offending Team, voluntary organisation or youth and community centre. This allows you to develop and apply skills, and to reflect critically on your experience.

Risk, Trust & Safeguarding
Expressions of ‘risk’ are both common and ambiguous in contemporary society. Much of this is tied to concerns regarding children and young people, particularly in light of high profile cases including Victoria Climbie and Baby P. Ensuing safeguarding policies make everyone working with children and young people responsible for their wellbeing. This module examines the construction of risk, and considers frameworks for practice interventions within multi-disciplinary and integrated teams. The module therefore provides an effective foundation for future practitioners in relation to safeguarding concerns.

Special Educational Needs & Inclusion
This module helps you to develop a critical overview of ‘disability’; it explores its changing histories, and considers contemporary policy and ‘practice’. The module includes visits to local providers working within this sector.

Mental Health
Concerns over ‘mental health’ are growing. This module draws on different perspectives to allow students to explore these issues in depth. Key questions include: ‘What factors are influencing the rising incidence of reported mental health issues?’ ‘What are policy and practice responses?’ ‘How are social attitudes towards mental health and wellbeing changing?’ The module is assessed through a negotiated creative artefact.

Researching Children, Young People & Families
This module explores how research influences the field of childhood and youth studies, and considers the influence of research on practice. By learning about different research approaches, it helps you prepare for your Special Study/ dissertation in the third year.

Transitions: Key Moments of Change
Each of us experience a range of educational and ‘life’ transitions: from changing schools, starting work to becoming parents. Transitions also encompass a range of losses too. This module draws on different theories and perspectives in exploring these ideas.

Virtual Realities
Children and young people grow up, learn, and socialise in the ‘virtual’ world. This module draws on different perspectives and ideas to consider the significance and potential of the Internet, social media, virtual reality, gaming etc. on the experiences of children, young people and families. You are assessed through a negotiated creative artefact (many students opt to develop their own websites).

Bereavement & Loss
Bereavement and loss are an inevitable part of life. This module explores models of grief, not only in relation to the loss of loved ones, but also in respect of other losses, and focuses on the significance of these experiences for children, young people and families. Students are given the opportunity to examine the work of different organisations who support people through bereavement processes.

(All modules 20 credits)

Level 3


Potential modules include:

Global Perspectives
This module enables students to develop broader critical perspectives on childhood, youth and families via comparative exploration of what these terms mean and represent in different parts of the world.

Community Development
This module draws on comparative perspectives to examine the nature of ‘community’. It introduces students to Community Development as a discrete professional discipline, and enables exploration of community assets and issues. Students undertake a community profile and develop a project proposal. This is an excellent module for those considering a career in community-based work.

Vision & Change
The wider children’s workforce is a dynamic and challenging environment in which to work. This module explores the growing variety of organisational types, including the development of social enterprises, and introduces students to change management models. This module is ideal for those students with ambitions to set up their own organisations, or who see their futures in leadership and management.

Whose Values? Whose Voice?
This module is concerned with children’s rights. It enables students to develop critical perspectives on issues of values and voice by advancing analysis of childhood, rights, democracy, values, voice and participation as an interconnected set of ideas.

State Intervention & Family Life
This module critically explores the different ways that the contemporary ‘state’ (all the levers of government) shapes perspectives and practices in family life. It pays particular attention to how different forms of ‘disadvantage’ are portrayed and regulated via media, discourse and professional practice.

Gender & Sexualisation

Crime, Deviance & Youth Justice

Special Study (40 credits)
The Special Study, or Dissertation, allows students to develop in-depth analysis of a negotiated question relating to the field of children, young people and families. This includes engaging in, and writing up ‘live’ research into a c.10000 word project, with the support of an academic supervisor.

(All modules 20 credits except Special Study)

Entry Requirements


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

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements. Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Foundation Year

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.

Foundation courses

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.

Contact hours

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.

Self-study time

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.

Assessment methods

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.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK & EU 2020 entry

The tuition fee for 2020 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

International (non-EU) 2020 entry

The tuition fee for 2020 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Tier 4 visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

Aspire Card

Partnerships & placements

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