Child and Youth Studies BA (Hons)

Course code L530

What is special about this course?

Could you teach valuable life skills through play? Are you passionate about the rights and perspectives of children and young people on all of the matters that affect them?

Harness your energy and enthusiasm for children and young people as they navigate their experiences, on our pioneering programme, the first to combine child and youth studies in Scotland, to pursue an exciting and rewarding career in this diverse and vital field.

Gain a deep understanding of child and youth issues within a local and global context. Learn about the social, psychological, environmental and legislative influences upon children and young people to make a difference to their lives, opportunities and futures. Explore and reflect on key theories, policy and practice, to take a holistic, contextual approach that values difference and diversity within individuals, families, and communities to progress children and young people’s meaningful participation and human rights.

Special features

  • Children and young people are at the heart of this degree
  • Carry out a research project related to your work or area of special interest
  • Inclusive, flexible delivery, available entirely online, suitable for a diverse range of learners, so you can fit your studies around your commitments
  • Multi-disciplinary, leading to a wide range of careers working with children, young people, and families
  • Opportunities for work-based learning through our optional ‘developing professional practice through placement’ module
  • Choose to study individual modules for personal or professional development (CPD)
  • Study from anywhere in the world

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above OR
  • International Baccalaureate Award of Diploma with a minimum of 24 points. Higher Level (HL) Grade 4
  • Alternatively, completion of Foundation Apprenticeship Social Services (Children and Young People) PLUS an additional Scottish Higher at Grade C or above
  • Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or experience are also welcomed and will be considered on an individual basis
  • Other recognition of prior learning and credit transfer will be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • This is a Category 2 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required for specific optional modules/unit(s), where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in optional module/unit(s), but an alternative pathway exists to achieve target qualification. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage
  • You are required to attend an interview, in person, by telephone or virtually, to discuss the course in detail and to explain the method of teaching
  • Non-UK qualifications will be considered. Please fill in the relevant application form (depending on whether you are an EEA or international applicant), providing the details of your qualifications. Please enclose/attach a copy of relevant certificates and evidence of your English language skills. This will enable us to assess your eligibility for the course to which you are applying

Advanced entry to year two of the degree:

  • Direct entry to year two may be possible on successful completion of 15-credits (120 SCQF level 7 credits) in: HNC Childhood Practice; HNC Social Services; NC Social Sciences; or HNC Working with Communities
  • Bridging modules are also offered for applicants with less than 120 SCQF level 7 credits

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

  • Culture, cognition and education (S1)
  • Introduction to health and social policy (S1)
  • Introduction to the early childhood philosophy and practice (S2)
  • Nature of health (S1)
  • Sociology of the family (S2)
  • The enquiring student (S2)

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • Recognising and challenging discrimination and disadvantage (S1)
  • Researching the social world (S2)
  • Working in partnership (S1)
  • Youth and global society (S2)

Option modules include:

  • Adolescence (S2)
  • Empowering communities (S1)
  • Exploring the urban and rural places, people and policies (S2)
  • Health psychology (S1)
  • Issues of care and control (S1)
  • Memory and language (S2)
  • Play and childhood (S1)
  • Principles and foundations of health promotion (S2)
  • Providing a curriculum for life (S1)
  • Specialist provision (S2)
  • The enquiring student (S1)
  • The individual, society and the health continuum (S2)

Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:

  • Comparative childcare: a European perspective (S1)
  • Ethical issues (S2)
  • Legislation and childhood (S1)
  • Literature review (S2)

Option modules include:

  • Acquisition of language (S2)
  • Alcohol and drugs studies (S2)
  • Developing professional practice through placement (S2)
  • Developmental psychology: birth to death (S1)
  • Digital futures in health and social care (S2)
  • Healthy people, healthy places: challenges for public health (S2)
  • Introduction to effective management and leadership (S1)
  • Issues of risk (S2)
  • Promoting and enhancing parenting (S1)
  • Promotion of diversity and equality (S1)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Core modules are:

  • Dissertation (SC)
  • Globalised perspectives on childhood and youth (S1)
  • Professional ethics and reflection (S1)
  • Professional practice and self-evaluation (S2)
  • The UNCRC: investigating exploitation, youth justice and education in relation to children's rights (S2)

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Part-time modular (standalone modules)
  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • You will 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 campus at the start of your course

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time: 8 years @ 20 hours per week
  • Part-time modular: 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
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney
  • Perth
  • Shetland
  • This fully online course can be studied from anywhere in the world. You will be enrolled and supported by staff at your chosen partner. International students should apply to, and will be enrolled and supported by, UHI Perth

Start date

  • September
  • January (for individual modules only)



For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £915 £915
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £305 £305

Rest of the UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) or assessed as rest of the UK for fee status the following fees apply:

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,120 £6,120
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,020 £1,020

International students

This course is not available to students domiciled outside of the UK or for international students (including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled status in the UK) requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study here. For students living in the UK and assessed as international for fee status, the following fees will apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,540 £6,960
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,090 £1,160

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK and international undergraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Successful completion of the BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies provides the opportunity to pursue postgraduate careers in areas such as:

  • Youth work
  • Community learning and development
  • Social work
  • Teaching
  • Early learning provision
  • Allied health professions
  • Ngo/charity work
  • Other related specialities

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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I loved the journey that I shared with the friends I made from day one. That network of support continued all the way through my degree and was backed up by the lecturers and my personal tutor who have continued to be so supportive on my journey to becoming a nursery manager. 

Katie studied the BA Child and Youth Studies at UHI Perth.

Apply for Child and Youth Studies BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024 or Jan/Feb 2025

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate 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.