Child and Youth Studies BA (Hons)

UCAS code L530

What is special about this course?

A career in child and youth work is always going to present a diversity of situations and challenges. Add to this the unique urban and rural issues that evolve from a Highlands and Islands environment and you have another set of complex issues with which to engage.

This leading BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies degree will give you a rigorous understanding of the specific concerns associated with child and youth issues in this region and within the broader context of the UK and Europe.

The course is taught entirely online via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE) and you will be supported locally by your personal academic tutor face-to-face, via email, telephone and online, which means that you can fit your studies around your personal and professional commitments.

Special features

  • You will carry out a research project related to your work or area of special interest
  • The course is specifically relevant to the needs of rural areas
  • Flexible course which is available entirely online, meaning you can fit your studies around your own commitments, from anywhere within the UK
  • Ideal preparation for a career in child and youth work
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development (CPD)

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above
  • Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or experience are also welcomed and will be considered on an individual basis
  • Alternatively, completion of Foundation Apprenticeship Social Services (Children and Young People) PLUS an additional Scottish Higher at Grade C or above
  • You are required to attend an interview, in person or by telephone, to discuss the course in detail and to explain the method of teaching

Advanced entry to year two of the degree:

Access routes

Students eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP) will be able to apply for entry to BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies with a grade profile of CCC in one of the below courses and 8 units passed at SCQF level 6:

  • Access to: Arts and Humanities (Newbattle Abbey College)
  • Access to: Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Teaching (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Teaching (North East Scotland College)
  • Access to: Celtic Studies incorporating Primary Education with Gaelic (Newbattle Abbey College)
  • Access to: Community, Education and Humanities (Dundee & Angus College)
  • Access to: Degree Studies (Forth Valley College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Education) (Fife College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Fife College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Perth College UHI)
  • Access to: Languages with Business (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: Languages, Arts and Social Sciences (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: University Study (Dundee & Angus College)
  • NQ Access to: Social Sciences (West Lothian College)
  • NQ Access to: Teaching (West Lothian College)

Year 1 - CertHE

View our interactive introduction to the course

Core modules are:

  • Introduction to social policy
  • Nature of health
  • Introduction to the early childhood philosophy and practice
  • Psychology of developmental and individual differences
  • Sociology of the family
  • The enquiring student


Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • Recognising and challenging discrimination and disadvantage
  • Working in partnership
  • Adolescence
  • Researching the social world

Option modules, from which you must choose two, include:

  • Advanced study skills
  • Play and childhood
  • Providing a curriculum for life
  • Care and control
  • Cognition
  • Health psychology
  • Principles and foundations of health promotion
  • Specialist provision
  • Contemporary issues
  • The individual, society and the health continuum
  • Urban rural divide

Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:

  • Legislation and childhood
  • Ethical issues
  • Literature review
  • Comparative childcare: a European perspective

Option modules include:

  • Developing professional practice through placement
  • Issues of risk
  • Introduction to effective management and leadership
  • Promoting and enhancing parenting
  • Promotion of diversity and equality
  • Acquisition of language
  • Developmental psychology: learning in the classroom
  • Alcohol and drugs studies
  • Healthy people, healthy places: challenges for public health

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Core modules are:

  • Dissertation
  • Professional reflection modules

Option modules include:

  • Research with children and young people
  • The UNCRC: investigating exploitations, youth justice and education in relation to children's rights
  • A globalised view of childcare
  • Developmental disorders
  • Comparative health studies
  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Disability and society
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Computers, cognition and e-learning
  • Food and behaviour

How will I study my course?

  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • When applying you will select the college where you will enrol and receive support from your personal academic tutor face-to-face and/or via email, telephone or online
  • You will also be required to attend a face-to-face induction at your local college at the start of your course

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 10 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): variable for continuing professional development (CPD)

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Perth College UHI
  • Shetland College UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September
  • January (for individual modules only)



For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of the UK and EU/EEA students without a term-time address in Scotland

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) without a term-time address in Scotland, i.e. studying from their home country, the following fees apply:

Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,120 £6,120
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,020 £1,020

This fee also applies to Scottish students who do not have a term-time address in Scotland.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.  

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successful completed this BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies course, you might like to consider careers in child and social care, education or in a variety of health-related fields.

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies to the following postgraduate courses:

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

I'm currently in my third year of the BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies after successfully completing the HNC Early Education which gave me direct entry to the second year of the degree. I had thought about going to Glasgow to study but after looking at my options I decided to study at Argyll College UHI in Oban, as it was closer to home and I could fit my work and volunteering around my studies better.

Emma Roxburgh, current third year BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies student, Argyll College UHI campus

This course was the perfect choice for me. It has enabled me to gain an insight into so many areas of the profession, which has helped guide me towards working within the social care sector. I am inspired that the university eliminates barriers such as geographical location and personal circumstances: my lecturers and fellow students come from all backgrounds and localities. Studies are set at a challenging but realistic pace and, being online, I can fit them around my work. This is allowing me to achieve something I never would have imagined possible while at school.

Jacqueline is enrolled on the BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies at our Perth College UHI campus.

All of the lecturers were extremely supportive and always available to speak to. They took a lot of time to get to know each student personally and I plan to keep in touch with them in the future.

BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies graduate Amanda MacDonald, who went on to graduate from the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary) and now works as a primary school teacher in the Inverness area.

Apply for Child and Youth Studies BA (Hons)

I want to start in Jan/Feb 2020 or Aug/Sep 2020 or Jan/Feb 2021

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.