Childhood Practice BA (Hons)

Course code X310

What is special about this course?

This fully-online honours degree offers practitioners in a wide range of childhood practice settings the opportunity to gain the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) recognised qualification to be a lead practitioner.

You will have the opportunity to relate theory to real working practice and investigate, in-depth, an area of interest to you.

The course is designed to meet the Scottish subject benchmark statement, the Standard for Childhood Practice.

On successful completion of the course, you will have acquired the skills and knowledge to move on to a lead practitioner role. Similarly, you will be well equipped to take further professional qualifications or a PGDE.

Special features

  • The course offers flexible study routes which are based on previous qualifications and relevant workplace experience
  • On completion of the ordinary degree (BA) you will gain the SSSC recognised qualification to be a lead practitioner
  • The course meets the Scottish benchmark statement: the Standard for Childhood Practice
  • The course offers the opportunity for you to specialise in areas of personal/professional interest
  • Modules focus on practical skills in the workplace and offer you an opportunity to link your developing professional practice with theory, current policy and legislation
  • The course is delivered entirely online and can be studied from anywhere in Scotland

Entry requirements

  • You must have at least two years work experience in an appropriate setting PLUS
  • A recognised SSSC practitioner qualification such as HNC Childhood Practice OR
  • A relevant SCQF level 7 qualification, for example: Social Services: Children and Young People; Children’s Care Learning and Development/Playwork; or equivalent. For applicants without sufficient credits, modules are available to help you reach the required level
  • You must be employed within a relevant workplace environment
  • To complete Level 9 modules, you must have access to leadership activities/experiences
  • You may be required to attend a guidance interview, in person or by telephone, to discuss the course in detail and to explain the method of teaching
  • Alternative entry will be considered based on relevant professional qualifications recognised by SSSC plus appropriate experience

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 - DipHE

Core subjects include:

  • Assuring quality in a childhood practice setting (S2)
  • Collaboration and reflective practice childhood practice (S1)
  • Developing leadership capacity in childhood practice (S1)
  • Practitioner research in childhood practice (S2)

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • Adolescence: development and individual differences
  • Care and control
  • Health psychology
  • Individual society and health continuum
  • Mentoring in education and childcare
  • Play and childhood
  • Principles and foundations of health promotion
  • Providing a curriculum for life
  • Recognising and challenging discrimination and disadvantage
  • Specialist provision
  • The enquiring student (mandatory option)
  • Working in partnership
  • Youth behaviour and society

Year 2 - BA

Core subjects include:

  • Contemporary issues in childhood practice (S1)
  • Co-ordination, partnership and integration in childhood practice (S1 + S2)
  • Developing a childhood workplace project (S1)
  • Leading change in childhood practice (S2)
  • Leading a childhood practice workplace project (S2)
  • Promoting children’s rights and inclusion in childhood practice (S1 + S2)

Year 3 - BA (Hons)

Core subjects are:

  • Comparative childcare: a European perspective (S1)
  • Dissertation (S1 and S2)
  • Professional reflection (S1)

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • Childhood and adolescent mental health
  • Comparative health studies
  • Developmental disorders
  • Disability and society
  • Food and behaviour
  • Globalised view of childcare
  • Insider and outsiders
  • Personal and professional reflection
  • Psychopathology mental health and wellbeing
  • Research with children and young people
  • The UNCRC: Investigating exploitation, youth justice and education

How will I study my course?

  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • You will also be required to attend a face-to-face or online induction at the start of your course

How long will my course last?

Depending on entry level, which is based on credit awarded from previous qualifications:

  • Part-time (structured): 2-6 years
  • Part-time (unstructured): 2-6 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney
  • Perth
  • Shetland

Start date

  • September
  • January


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
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 UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) without a term-time address in Scotland,i.e. studying from their home country, or assessed as RUK fee status, the following fees apply:

  2023-24 2024-25
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £3,060 £3,060
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £1,020 £1,020

All fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

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
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £3,270 £3,480
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £1,090 £1,160


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?

Once you have successfully completed your ordinary degree BA Childhood Practice course, you will have gained a qualification recognised by the Scottish Social Service Council for Lead Practitioner in a wide range of day care and children's services settings. In addition, it will also provide valuable CPD for those working in the sector

  • SVQ assessor
  • Childhood practice manager
  • Roles in local and national childcare initiatives
  • Teacher training
  • Early learning and childcare tutor
  • Care inspectorate

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BA (Hons) Childhood Practice to the following University of the Highlands and Island's postgraduate course:

Is there more information available online?

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UHI has been the best experience of my life so far. Everyone is so helpful, caring and really wants you to succeed in what you choose to do. All the staff and fellow students are always there for you through anything, academically or personally. I have made so many new friends and it has helped me grow in confidence and transformed my life for the better.  

Rebecca studied the BA Childhood Practice at UHI Inverness.  

Apply for Childhood Practice 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.