Childhood and Youth: Theory and Practice BA (Hons)

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
UCAS code:
L590
Start date:
September 2025

What is it to be a child? What do children and young people need from the professionals supporting them? This course and our interdisciplinary approach help you explore these questions. You’ll find out how children and young people’s lives are shaped by their position in society. And you learn how professionals can work to promote rights, democracy and justice in their everyday lives.

During your studies, you’ll:

  • discuss contemporary issues, debates and challenges in global childhood
  • learn about different theoretical and practical approaches to working with children and young people, and their families
  • develop yourself as a practitioner in the field of childhood and youth by building an understanding of collaborative working, safeguarding and reflective practice
  • explore the relevance of wellbeing and digital technologies to the lives of children and young people today and for their futures
  • take electives from other subjects – from philosophy to law and modern languages – to open your mind to other disciplines and tailor your degree to your interests.

Through two professional placements you’ll experience different practice settings. These might include a nursery, a play scheme, a youth club, a children’s charity or a school.

You’ll be taught by active researchers who are passionate about their areas of expertise. Our multidisciplinary Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth influences policy. It informs the work of those working at the forefront of practice with children and young people, nationally and globally.

This degree is for you if you want to make a difference to the lives of children and young people. When you graduate, you’ll have the critical academic, research and practice skills needed for a range of future career paths. These could include youth work, social work, health care, therapeutic work, education, social policy or international development.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to government or regulatory requirements, or unanticipated staff changes, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

The lectures and seminars are interactive, and the team delivering the courses always have time for you.Danae Stanton
Childhood and Youth: Theory and Practice BA

Choosing Sussex – Paige Lewis, Childhood and Youth: Theory and Practice BA

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are currently under review – please check back in early March 2024.

Modules

This is a single-honours course, allowing you to focus in depth on your core subject.

Find out about our types of undergraduate degrees, their structure, modules and credits

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Explore modules from other subjects as part of your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

As part of this degree, you explore subjects that are different to your course through electives and pathways that complement your main subject. Exploring different disciplines in four electives across Years 1 and 2 helps enrich your learning experience.

Discover our electives and pathways

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

Explore modules from other subjects as part of your course

At Sussex, you can choose to customise your course to build the sort of degree that will give you the knowledge, skills and experience that could take you in any direction you choose.

As part of this degree, you explore subjects that are different to your course through electives and pathways that complement your main subject. Exploring different disciplines in four electives across Years 1 and 2 helps enrich your learning experience.

Discover our electives and pathways

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you

If your application to study abroad is successful, you’ll have to meet the academic requirements at Sussex and also at the partner university. Find out more about studying abroad as a Sussex student

We spend five days each year on a placement, which is a great opportunity to apply what we’ve learnt on the course.”Yasmin Ahmed
Childhood and Youth: Theory and Practice BA

Please note that if you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of your course with an optional study abroad period in any country or optional placement in the USA if the number of credits for the placement/internship exceeds 25% of the total credits for your course. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

Core modules

Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.

We’ll do our best to provide as much optional choice as we can, but timetabling constraints mean it may not be possible to take some module combinations. The structure of a small number of courses means that the order of modules or the streams you choose may determine whether modules are core or optional. This means that your core modules or options may differ from what’s shown here.

Check back in January 2025 for more details of the modules running in the academic year 2025/26.

Placements (in Years 1 and 2)

Placements help you to link theory and practice, and give you the opportunity to link your dissertation to a professional setting.

Currently, we offer two five-week work-based placements during the course of the degree:

  • in the spring term of Year 1
  • in the autumn term of Year 2.

Placements are in a variety of settings, including schools, youth centres, and alternative and supportive services.  

Placements – Maya Uzamere, Childhood and Youth: Theory and Practice BA

TEF 2023 silver

Silver

The student experience and student outcomes are typically very high quality.
This rating was awarded in 2023, for four years.
(Teaching Excellence Framework 2023)

Find out more about our approach to teaching and supporting you to thrive

Our staff

My studies of ‘social pedagogy’, a model of work with children and young people, is attracting interest in the UK because of its key role in other European countries.”Professor Janet Boddy
Professor of Child, Youth and Family Studies

An emphasis on research – Paige Lewis, Childhood and Youth: Theory and Practice BA

Fees

Fees are not yet set for the academic year 2025/26 – please check back in September 2024. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Find out about our terms and conditions

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2025/26.

Careers

As a student on this BA, you have the opportunity to work with supportive faculty on your future career plan. We also stay in touch with, and continue to offer our help to, all our graduates long after graduation.

Opportunities are rich and varied. Equipped with placement experiences, recent graduates have entered the workplace in roles such as:

  • child mentor in the charity sector
  • teaching specialist with sign language
  • entrepreneur running a small business.

Some of our graduates have gained places on the prestigious JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme and the South Korean government’s teaching programme. We currently have a graduate studying for, and student considering, a law conversion degree. Other graduates have started postgraduate training for roles such as:

  • child-focused therapist or speech therapist
  • school counsellor
  • nurse practitioner
  • social worker (postgraduate courses offered at Sussex)
  • primary school teacher or early years teacher (postgraduate courses offered at Sussex).

Working while you study

Our Careers and Entrepreneurship team can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Career ambitions – Paige Lewis, Childhood and Youth: Theory and Practice BA

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