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BA (Hons) Children, Young People and Families

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People working in the wider children's workforce
York St John University, Lord Mayor's Walk, York, YO31 7EX, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

This course will give you the opportunity to examine in detail aspects such as:

  • Different perspectives of childhood and youth
  • Policy and practice in working with children, young people and families
  • The home environment including cultural diversity and the ‘darker side’ of family life
  • Attitudes to young people including crime, deviance and youth justice
  • Transitions and how they affect individuals and families
  • Issues of equality and social justice

The Government’s changes in provision for children and young people have wide-ranging consequences and we look to the next generation of professionals to develop and play their part in improving and enriching the lives of those who are to follow.  We believe that we have a programme that will equip you with an in-depth understanding of issues associated with children, young people and families.  This will prepare you for a range of careers in the public and community/voluntary sector in the expanding wider workforce.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or you need any advice.  I look forward to welcoming you to York St John University.

Sam Shaw - Head of Programme  

Why study Children, Young People & Families?

Recent years have seen the largest shift in approach to the development, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people since the post-war period of policy initiatives and restructuring in the 1940s.  Society’s provision for children, young people and families affects us all and, in an increasingly diverse society, it is difficult to grasp the complexities of providing for children, young people and families as models of family life change and the pace of change appears to accelerate.

The wider children’s workforce needs professionals who have a sound understanding of what constitutes childhood and youth today, how they develop, how to meet the wide-ranging needs of children and young people and how to address any problems that arise.  The sector needs ‘thinking professionals’ who can exercise judgement and autonomy in their sensitive dealings with individuals and families and in determining future policy and practice. 

How can I study Children, Young People & Families?

Children, Young People & Families can be studied as a Specialist degree or as a Joint Honours subject alongside Education Studies.  You can study full-time over three years or opt to study part-time over five to eight years.  

What will I study?

The programme aims to:

  • provide a rigorous academic grounding in children, young people and families
  • provide progression routes into a wide range of related career options 
  • prepare you for the rapidly changing contexts of policy and practice in education, social policy, health and welfare.

The following list contains examples of programme modules (modules may not be available each year or new ones may be added).

Level 1

  • Childhood and Youth Development
  • Constructions of Childhood and Youth
  • Introduction to Sociological and Psychological Perspectives
  • Risk, Trust and Safeguarding
  • Nature and Role of the Family
  • ECM: Contemporary Policy in Action

Level 2

  • Health, Wellbeing and Care
  • Transitions
  • Educating Children, Young People and Families
  • Researching Children, Young People and Families
  • Equality and Social Justice
  • Teams and Teamwork in the Wider Children’s Workforce

Level 3

  • Crime, Deviance and Youth Justice
  • Leading and Managing in the Wider Children’s Workforce
  • Gender and Sexualisation
  • Children, Young People, Families and the State
  • Whose Values?  Whose Voice?
  • Research Study

Will I get any practical experience?

The course is not designed to provide ‘hands-on’ practice.  However, you will be encouraged to gain a range of experience in either a paid or voluntary capacity in order to enhance your future career prospects and to have a deeper appreciation of the issues and contexts covered within the programme.  

What skills will I acquire?

You will be able to think critically about a major area of human experience.  You will develop your own points of view and opinions, and learn to present them in a balanced and rational manner.  You will learn to argue a case, based upon clear thinking and evidence.  You will also be able to examine the claims made for different theories, and know how to locate the relevant facts that support or disprove the claims.  Your ability to work in teams and individually will be developed, as will your presentation skills, both oral and written.

How will I be assessed?

There are no examinations.  You will be assessed through a mixture of creative and analytical assignments within each module.  This may involve assessment strategies such as essays, written debates, portfolio work, collaborative projects, oral  commentaries and presentations to take account of different learning styles and develop a range of academic and communication skills.

What resources will I have access to?

You will have access to a small team of specialist staff some of whom have worked for local authorities and other organisations that work with children, young people and families.  You will also have access to extensive reading resources.

What costs will I incur?

You will incur few costs on the programme, other than for stationery and printing.  You will be encouraged to buy core texts but e-books, e-chapters and our extensive library will provide the majority of your background reading.

What qualifications will I need to apply?

200 points plus three GCSEs at grade C or above (or equivalent), including English Language

We also have flexible entry requirements for mature students. 

What sorts of jobs do Children, Young People & Families graduates get?

With the Every Child Matters agenda and the subsequent reform of local authorities, the scope for work within the Wider Children’s Workforce is enormous.  It is estimated that there are over two million jobs in this sector not including further and higher education.

The degree will provide a sound academic base for progression into a diverse mixture of career options, higher degrees, research and further postgraduate qualifications.  The range of career options might include working with children, young people and families in support services (social services, health care), youth work, arts and leisure, play work and a variety of educational settings.

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