University College Birmingham

Childhood Studies (Top-up) University College Birmingham Degree level: Undergraduate Awarded by: University of Birmingham


Course options

Course summary

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  • Course Snapshot

Please note; this course is only available for direct entry onto year two or three. Please refer to our new degree course in Early Childhood Studies (with graduate competencies) for first year entry. UCAS code: X300

Our Childhood Studies degree, accredited by the University of Birmingham, will give you the academic knowledge to succeed in this constantly evolving and highly rewarding field of work. You will gain an in-depth understanding of children’s social, physical, emotional and intellectual needs – and lots of practical experience.

  • Who’s the course for?

This course is perfect for students seeking to go into a diverse sector where careers include working as a primary school teacher, a nursery owner or manager, a social worker, or specialising in working with children with learning difficulties.

  • Why should I study the course?

Childhood experiences shape our lives, and this degree will allow you to play a key role in helping young people on a journey that can be challenging, surprising and enriching. Supported by our experts, you will get the opportunity to turn theory into practice during a variety of work placements, including nurseries, schools and special schools.

  • Great. Tell me some more

You will learn about the key characteristics of childhood and how to meet the needs of young children. This will include researching ways to help children develop and grow by creating new learning opportunities such as play-based learning. You will gain in-depth knowledge of the wider issues surrounding childhood development, such as social trends and the impact of legislation.

With our help, you will be encouraged to develop a specialism that relates to your future career plan by choosing from a wide range of optional modules. For your final project, you can research a topic that is relevant to your personal interests or future employment.

If you do not hold a full and relevant Level 3 Early Years qualification, you will be assessed in the workplace in order to achieve Practitioner Status.

  • Do I need to buy any equipment?

Students enrolling on this course will be subject to screening (the procedure will be initiated by UCB). All students will be required to pay £44 for a DBS check in advance of enrolment.

  • What skills will I gain?

You will learn about the key characteristics of childhood, how to meet the developmental needs of young children and how to create new learning opportunities. You will develop skills for working with children and other professionals within the children’s workforce sector. You will also gain a comprehensive understanding of the wider strategic and philosophical issues and social trends in the childhood sector.

  • UCB Disclosure and Barring Service Process

Applicants who secure a place on this course will be invited to UCB to complete the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) process, this will also be funded by UCB with no charge to applicants.

  • What about the future?

The course will give you the confidence and skills to move into a wide range of areas in the children’s workforce, where there is strong demand for trained staff with practical skills and relevant experience. Our graduates have gone on to work in child-related organisations in education, welfare, leisure, advocacy and counselling. Many go on to further study to become teachers, nursery owners/managers, social workers and counsellors.

Course details


  • Year 3: Contemporary Issues in Social Context, Equity and Inclusive Practice, Professional Engagement or Research Project.

One option from: History of Childhood, Enhancing Employability for Professional Practice, Healthy Communities, Philosophy of Education.

Assessment method

  • Teaching
    Teaching is carried out by appropriately qualified and experienced lecturers and a typical teaching week will have up to 13 teaching contact hours made up as follows:

  • Large Group Teaching - 6 hours of lectures in lecture rooms

  • Smaller Group Teaching - 4 hour of seminars in small groups discussing topics presented in lectures

  • Tutorials - 3 hours including a mixture of personal, group and academic tutorials per week

  • Field trips and visits - Year 1 - trip to the Black Country Museum, Dudley, Year 2 - trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Individual study
    In addition, you are expected to commit to approximately 20 hours a week of your own study time in preparation for teaching sessions and preparing for and completing assessment. UCB Online provides a 24 hour access to learning and support material.

  • Assessment
    There is a strong focus on the vocational nature of this course including live project work and group assessment. The modes of assessment are varied and include essays, reports, portfolio building, presentations, opportunities for research, the production of a creative resource and a training manual.

An estimated breakdown of the assessment for this course is as follows:

Coursework 100%
Please note that the information provided above is indicative only and actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued to students at induction.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.

How to apply

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course code X313
Institution code B35
Campus name Main Site
Campus code -

This course may be available at alternative locations, please check if other course options are available

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 3

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

Transferring from another university At University College Birmingham, we consider applications from students who have studied, or are currently studying, a Higher Education course and now wish to transfer universities. What do I need to do? To make an enquiry about studying at University College Birmingham, you will need to complete our online enquiry form -> Consideration for advanced entry will be dependent on the modules of your previous course, and how well this matches to the content of the course you wish to transfer to at University College Birmingham. Additionally, the process will be dependent on the number of credits achieved on your current course. Where similar study is apparent, it may be possible for us to award Accreditation for Previous Learning (APL) and, therefore, advanced entry onto a course at UCB will be permitted. Please note; due to the nature of this process, all applications are considered on an individual basis.

International applicants

All non-EU international students can apply directly via our online application forms: Undergraduate applicants can also apply via UCAS, if they wish to apply to more than one university. The International Admissions team aim to respond to any new application made directly via the online application form within 5 working days of receipt. However, this can vary during peak application periods (particularly January-March) or if the team require additional information to process your application. Applicants who apply to transfer to University College Birmingham on to a second year or final year of a course will have their course mapped for entry and the conditions of entry will be stated on UCAS track. Each application is considered individually and careful consideration is given to all information on your application form, particularly your personal statement, reference and the qualifications you have taken or are in the process of taking. In most cases, a decision to make an offer can be based on this information alone, however we may need to make further enquiries, particularly relating to your immigration status or previous studies in the UK.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Qualification Offer Further information
UCAS Tariff Not accepted
A level Not accepted
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) Not accepted
Access to HE Diploma Not accepted
Scottish Higher Not accepted
GCSE/National 4/National 5 Not accepted
HNC (BTEC) P For entrance onto Year 2
Applicants require a relevant HNC or a foundation degree with 120 credits is required

If you are unsure if your previous qualification is suitable please contact us before completing an application, you can call us on 0121 604 1040 or email:

GCSE in English Language and Mathematics at Grade 4/C is required.
HND (BTEC) P For entrance onto Year 3
Applicants require a relevant HND or a foundation degree with 240 credits is required

If you are unsure if your previous qualification is suitable please contact us before completing an application, you can call us on 0121 604 1040 or email:

GCSE in English Language and Mathematics at Grade 4/C is required.

Additional entry requirements

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)

English language requirements

Test Grade Additional details
Cambridge English Advanced Level B2 BA/BSc - Minimum 170 with no less than 160 in any skill FdA/FdSc - Minimum 160 with no less than 150 in any skill
IELTS (Academic) BA/BSc - Overall score of 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each component FdA/FdSc - Overall score of 5.5 with no less than 5.0 in each component
Institution's Own Test BA/BSc - Overall score of B2 with no less than B2- in in each component FdA/FdSc - Overall score of B2- with no less than B1+ in in each component

To apply for all undergraduate degrees, if your first language is not English, you will need to sit an approved test in English.

UCB English Language Requirements

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Channel Islands £9,250 Year 1
EU £9,250 Year 1
International £10,300 Year 1
England £9,250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9,250 Year 1
Scotland £9,250 Year 1
Wales £9,250 Year 1

Additional fee information

UK/EU If you are a UK/EU student enrolling on a Foundation Degree or a BA/BSc at University College Birmingham in 2019/20, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250. A half year tuition fee is £4625. This is a yearly fee, and will increase with inflation in subsequent years (in line with the government’s permitted rise). If you are an English or EU student studying your first higher education qualification, you can apply for a tuition fee loan from the Student Loans Company. You will not start repaying this loan until you leave the course and are earning over £25,000 a year. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you should apply to Student Finance Wales, Student Finance Northern Ireland, or SAAS. The loans and grants available to you will differ from those available from Student Finance England. UCB does not charge for 24 or 48 week placements. More information about UK/EU Fees please go to our website here - International: More information about International Fees please go to our website here -

Provider information

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University College Birmingham
Summer Row
B3 1JB

Course contact details

Visit our course page
UG Domestic Home and EU Admissions

0121 604 1040

International Admissions

0121 232 4447