Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification. There are however requirements for two of the optional OU level 1 modules.

For Learning and teaching in the primary years (E103), if you are not already working or volunteering in a school or related setting regularly, you will need to negotiate opportunities to spend some time during the module in a formal educational setting for children aged 3-12 (eg as a volunteer) to observe teaching and learning and practice in context. You also need to obtain the necessary criminal record clearance for the setting and country in which you work. It is your responsibility and that of the educational setting to ensure you meet these requirements, not The Open University’s. You should contact the relevant agency in your country for more information if you are in doubt about your eligibility, or to find out more.

For Exploring perspectives on young children’s lives and learning (E109) you will need direct experience of working with young children (Birth to 7 years 11 months) and those not working with young children (employed or in a voluntary capacity) will need to negotiate opportunities to gain such practical experience.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Counting previous study

You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification, if you have:

  • already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
  • other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs

Find out more about credit transfer

Preparing for study with an Access module

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:

  • a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This is a multidisciplinary module that allows you to develop your subject knowledge and your general study skills. It provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of subject areas, including children and young people, health, law, management, psychology and social sciences.

View full details of People, work and society Access module

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £2,864*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,728*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £17,184*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2018. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


Skills for career development

This degree provides an effective foundation for a wide choice of career paths. It emphasises independent thinking, develops analytical and communication skills and will help you become a clear and confident writer – all attributes that are highly valued by employers. Specific skills you’ll develop include:

  • analysing, critically evaluating and effectively communicating information to others
  • competence in team and project work, supporting and/or supervising others
  • organising, synthesising and questioning opinions and arguments
  • evaluating the appropriateness of different approaches to problem-solving
  • managing and organising time, resources and information to support decision-making
  • reflecting on your own learning and performance and taking steps to improve it
  • using ICT effectively and being able to interpret data.

Career relevance

A degree in childhood and youth studies gives you skills and knowledge relevant to many careers in childcare, health, education, working with families, playwork, or working with young people. It will develop your understanding of practices and policies that affect children, and introduce you to many new aspects of the subject – helping you make informed choices about future career paths. This degree is not a professional qualification*, so many of our graduates choose to undertake postgraduate training before progressing to employment in specialist fields such as:

  • teaching
  • counselling
  • early years work, including play therapy and hospital play
  • speech therapy
  • voluntary sector work
  • youth work
  • education support and welfare
  • social work
  • probation work
  • personal and careers guidance
  • sport and fitness.

The education sector in particular provides increasing opportunities for teaching and non-teaching staff in schools, further and higher education and non-school settings. 

This degree will develop your research skills if you want to go on to further study.

*Please note that the BA (Honours) Childhood and Youth Studies is not recognised as a professional youth work qualification by the National Youth Agency (NYA) on behalf of the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for England, the ETS Advisory Committee for Wales, the North/South Education and Training Standards Committee for Youth Work in Ireland and the Standards Council for CLD for Scotland.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills. 

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • teacher
  • early years teacher
  • youth worker
  • counsellor
  • child psychotherapist
  • play therapist
  • speech therapist
  • careers adviser
  • advice worker
  • probation officer
  • social worker
  • education welfare officer
  • sports and fitness coach
  • learning mentor
  • community development worker

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.


Thinking of studying this course?

It is not possible to register for this qualification at the moment, registration will be available in 2018. If you would like to be kept updated, register your interest. 


Request your Education, Childhood and Youth prospectus

Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

Request prospectus

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