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Undergraduate study
Childhood Studies (Top-up) (Online)

Childhood Studies (Top-up) (Online) BA (Hons)

This course has been specifically designed to provide a top-up degree that provides a direct route to graduate status for those wishing to progress their career within the children’s workforce.


Course overview

BA (Hons) Childhood Studies (Top-up) (Online)

Senior Lecturer, David Taylor, explains why you should study childhood studies online at Teesside University

You engage with multiple perspectives on childhood, and the critical application of theory to practice with children and families. Integral to the degree is the holistic knowledge and understanding of the ecology of child development in the context of the family, community and wider socio-political contexts.

Course modules build on the knowledge and skills gained during previous level 5 study. You critically explore wider debates associated with the children’s workforce. For example, the Ethical Practice for Working with Children module will debate ethical issues associated with safeguarding children, confidentiality and professional boundaries.

This online learning course is delivered over three semesters. This takes into consideration the demands of online learning and full time employment, and allows additional time for you to successfully complete your dissertation. You progress through the course one module at a time, which enables you to receive feedback on submitted assignments and gain feedforward in order to progress your academic writing further. It also minimises unnecessary assignment bunching and enables both you and your tutors to monitor your progress throughout the course.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Childhood Studies Dissertation

You complete a research study on a topic related to childhood. The module is designed to facilitate the development of a range of skills that will enable you to independently research an area of professional practice. The focus of this module is autonomous learning. The dissertation, on your chosen research topic, is submitted at the end of the third semester.

Diversity and Inclusion in Childhood

You develop a deeper understanding of the range of influences that impact on children. The module establishes that generic, socio- economic, environmental, socio-cultural backgrounds of children are all relevant to children’s holistic learning and development. You will reflect upon the diversity among children and demonstrate how this informs professional practice that is inclusive and meets the needs of all children.

Ethical Practice for Working with Children

You critically reflect on a range of issues associate with ethical practice. You also explore a variety of ethical theories/frameworks and principles that guide practice for working with children in a range of contexts. Concepts such as moral obligation, accountability and responsibility, moral autonomy, justice and human rights will be explored.

Global Childhoods

You consider how different childhood experiences are influenced worldwide by the interaction of geography, social structures and social systems. This is linked to theories and concepts and key global policy initiatives.

You are assessed by a 4,000 word report.

Researching Childhoods

This module applies the research process to childhood. The content explores understanding of professional practice in childhood that are based on primary or secondary (desk-based) research. The content provides a platform for you to develop a research proposal then carry out either primary or secondary research. You are assessed by completing a research proposal. If you undertake a primary research project you will also need to complete an ethical clearance form.


Modules offered may vary.


How you are assessed

The course assessment strategy evaluates your subject-specific knowledge as well as your cognitive and intellectual skills and transferable skills applicable to the workplace. The strategy ensures that you are provided with formative assessment opportunities throughout the course which support your summative assessments.

Each module has its own assessment criteria, which will be clearly set out in the relevant module handbook.

A variety of assessment tools have been used to ensure that the overall strategy provides a range of different opportunities to demonstrate learning, these include: essays, case study and reports including critical analysis, poster presentation, an original research proposal and a dissertation.

Feedback will be provided in a timely manner to enable you to progress your academic writing. It will be provided electronically through the virtual learning environment. Personalised feedback on your work will be provided.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold 240 credits at HE level (typically 120 credits at Level 4 and 120 credits at Level 5) in a study area related to childhood. For example, this could be a foundation degree or higher national diploma.

Applications from those with non-standard qualifications or significant, relevant experience working with children will be reviewed on an individual basis.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

The BA (Hons) Childhood Studies Top Up (Online) is designed to respond to the demand for a top-up degree that provides a direct route to graduate status for those wishing to progress their career within the Children’s Workforce. The modules enable you to engage with multiple perspectives on childhood, promote the critical application of theory to practice with children and families, and encourage you to become reflective and reflexive practitioners able to respond to the dynamic nature of the sector.


Learning platform

Our virtual learning environment (VLE) is the platform you use to access your online course


Teesside University online learning courses are delivered through the Brightspace Learning Environment.

Here are some of the benefits.

  • You can use it on your smartphone, tablet and computer.
  • And you can use it anytime, so that you can plan your learning to fit your own schedule.
  • It's easy to use and navigate.
  • Modules are set out by topics and themes. You can use the progress bar to understand where you are in your modules, and appreciate your achievements.
  • We support you to become familiar with your VLE, helping you to start learning quickly.
  • You get feedback, help and guidance from tutors throughout your course through the VLE, and you can ask questions at any time.
  • Our tutors use a live activity feed to keep you updated about your course.
  • You can create a student profile, collaborate with other students and take part in online discussion forums.

Software requirements


Online learning

Online learning allows you to get a university-level qualification from the comfort of your own home or workplace. You'll have access to all of the world-class teaching and support that Teesside University has to offer, but all of your lectures, tutorials and assessments will take place online.

Find out more

University of the Year

Teesside University was named University of the Year at the Edufuturists Awards 2022.


  • Not available full-time


2024/25 entry

Fee for applicants

£770 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: 1 year
  • Attendance: 100% online
  • Start date: September, January and May
  • Semester dates

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