An exciting, interdisciplinary subject that focuses on policy and the rights of children and young people, exploring contemporary debates within a national and international context.
Join a rich learning community, with 98% of the school's research classed as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2021).
Choose a work placement to experience different provision for children, young people and families across the city.
Our sought-after graduates pursue careers in a range of areas, including social work, teaching, educational psychology, the civil service, children's charities and non-governmental organisations.
Childhood Studies courses for 2024
Childhood Studies at Bristol
You will develop a holistic understanding of childhood, adolescence and children's needs, combining elements of education, psychology, law, social work and social policy. Topics of study include children's rights, development, learning, play, identity, safeguarding, mental health and diversity.
Through academic study, theoretical understanding and thoughtful debate, our students explore real-world issues such as national and global children's rights, therapeutic work with children, child neglect, adolescent crime, and play and creativity. You will benefit from studying with active researchers whose work is focused on children and families.
Our School for Policy Studies is home to internationally renowned lecturers and researchers from a wide range of disciplines - an ideal environment for you to explore your interests and delve into a specialism.
Through the course units you study and your dissertation, you will develop a critical mind and become an active researcher, fostering sought-after skills that will equip you for a wide range of careers.
We are also a partner in Bristol Q-Step, which is part of a national initiative offering enhanced skills training in applied data analysis relevant to research in the social sciences.
Our courses develop skills and knowledge that are highly sought after by employers.
Our degrees provide an academic foundation for careers in fields such as:
- children's therapy
- social work
- family support
- law and social justice
- global children's charities and non-governmental organisations
- government and the civil service
- primary and early years teaching
- children's marketing and research.
Our degrees also provide a clear route into academic study.What our students do after graduating
All our degrees are designed to introduce you to the interdisciplinary study of childhood and adolescence and allow you to specialise as you progress through the degree.
The first year enables you to explore constructions of childhood and to discuss contemporary issues, debates and challenges in global childhood. You will begin to develop an understanding of child psychology and education that will further your critical academic and research skills.
Subsequent years allow you to develop your own specific pathway through the degree, depending on your particular interests and career choice. For example, you might follow a pathway in education, psychology, early years provision, social work, or law and justice, or you may choose a mix of units across pathways.
During the second year, there is an opportunity to gain real-life experience of working in a range of organisations and supporting children and families through our optional work placement unit.
You can choose to take a four-year Study Abroad degree, with a year studying at one of our prestigious partner universities overseas before returning to Bristol to complete your final year. To find out more about where you can study abroad, visit the Centre for Study Abroad.
Some of the units you can take on the course may include:
- Child and adolescent psychology
- Children and young people in the law
- Education, schooling and diversity
- Youth sexualities and gendered violence
- Children in a global context.
Childhood studies is a partner in Bristol Q-Step, which is part of a national initiative offering enhanced skills training in the social sciences.
We offer the option of three- and four-year degree programmes that combine core disciplinary learning with enhanced quantitative skills training in applied data analysis relevant to research in the social sciences.