"There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in."
Ideal if you have a strong interest in supporting and working with children and their families, this Childhood Studies degree provides the broad base of knowledge and placement experience necessary to pursue a diverse range of careers.
With a broad subject area covering 0 – 11 years, this course can open the door to a variety of careers with children and young people. Whatever direction you choose to take you will have the solid foundation of knowledge and understanding employers are looking for.
Why study Childhood Studies at Nottingham Trent University?
- 97% of our education and teacher training graduates are employed or engaged in further study six months after graduating (DLHE full-time undergraduate leavers 2015-16)
- If you complete your undergraduate degree, you are guaranteed an interview for a PGCE Primary teacher training course at NTU during your final undergraduate year (terms and conditions apply).
- We are supported by over 600 partnerships with local schools, colleges and organisations, ensuring our courses meet the demands of the competitive graduate market.
- Many of our students choose to take a placement overseas. Recent placements have been available with a cricket project in Namibia, an international school in Brunei, an orphanage in Mombasa and an English language project in Thailand.
- tailored assessment and support with no formal exams.
- excellent facilities and experienced and enthusiastic tutors.
How you're taught
We've introduced flexible and innovative ways of learning and teaching to develop your study skills and understanding of theory and practice. Methods include:
- small group or individual tutorials
- field study
- directed or independent study tasks
- small-scale research
How will I be assessed?
Assessment will be on your coursework and there are no formal exams during the course.
Academic support and guidance is provided through our tutor support structure. Regular tutor feedback is given on your work in order to help you improve, develop your skills and begin to plan for your future career.
Excellent placement opportunities
You have the opportunity in Year One and Two to take placements in a variety of organisations across the UK and overseas working with children.
In Year One the placement includes visit days and block weeks extending over several months, and takes place in an early years setting. You will have the opportunity to:
- observe an individual child's learning and development
- work closely with practitioners, observing best practice
- reflect on opportunities and possibilities in environments which support young children.
The work you undertake on this placement will form part of your assessed submission for the Early Learning in Context module.
In Year Two you have a three week placement in one of our partner organisations across the UK or overseas, or may choose your own independent placement.
Many students go to voluntary projects where they have opportunities to work with a range of children of different ages. This may include educational, welfare or health projects. Some examples are:
- working in a Safari Park with animals to aid the healing of traumatised children
- working with street and prison children in South America
- working in an orphanage in Morocco.
The purpose of the placement is to link into the module International and Community Perspectives where a comparative analysis is undertaken through primary and secondary research comparing another country to the UK.
Why take a placement?
Placements support both your professional and personal development so that you develop key skills that will make you more employable. They help you understand your subject and its application in real work, enhancing your cultural awareness of childhood.
- Year 1 coursework (87%) and practical (13%)
- Year 2 coursework (100%)
- Year 3 coursework (83%) and practical (17%)
A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:
- Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (72%) and placements (7%)
- Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (19%), independent study (76%) and placements (5%)
- Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%)
Careers and employability
Your career development
What skills will I develop?
A Childhood Studies degree develops specific skills and knowledge around the subject of how children learn and develop. You will learn about the history and culture of childhood, as well as the major theories of social, emotional and cognitive development.
You will develop key transferable skills, including:
- written communication developed through writing essays;
- oral communication skills gained through reasoned debates during seminars and presentations;
- the ability to work as part of a team, though collaborative group work;
- research and analytical skills with the ability to judge and evaluate information;
- organisational and time management skills by prioritising tasks to ensure academic, social and work commitments are completed on time;
- negotiation, informally with peers and formally with staff;
- problem solving;
- IT skills.
How can I boost my career prospects?
Childhood Studies graduates that go on to further study tend to take courses that lead to professional status. The most popular option is the postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), as many graduates go on to work as primary or secondary school, early years or special needs teachers.
Other popular professional courses include nursing and postgraduate courses in social work. Employers are often supportive of further study and may support employees by providing funding or time off to complete coursework.
Your future career
A degree in Childhood Studies is an excellent foundation for careers working with children and young people in many sectors including health, education and social care.
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Early years teacher
- Family support worker
- Learning mentor
- Primary school teacher
- Special educational needs teacher
- Social worker
- Teaching assistant
- Youth worker
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Child psychotherapist
- Children's nurse
- Community development worker
- Educational psychologist
- Speech and language therapist
Childhood Studies graduates enter employment in a variety of sectors with a range of employers including local authorities, local and national charities, state and independent schools, nurseries, and health authorities.
Sure Start Children's Centres and the National Health Service (NHS) also employ graduates from Childhood Studies degrees.
Average graduate annual salary after six months*
BA (Hons) Childhood Studies: £14,000.
All universities and colleges of higher education: £13,000-£18,000.
* Unistats website April 2016
Links with industry
We involve industry experts in our courses in a number of ways.
- We consult with employers when we design and update our courses.
- We ensure you are prepared to meet the demands of the workplace by continually checking the currency and validity of our courses with employers.
- You will have the opportunity to have a work placement (if not already in paid or voluntary employment).
- Employers may input directly into your course through guest lectures, projects, and other work-related activities.
See where this degree could take you with our Careers Brochure.
Learn a new language
Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.
Learning a new language can:
- enhance your communication skills
- enrich your experience when travelling abroad
- boost your career prospects.
Find out more about the University Language Programme.