This qualification has two stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- Each stage includes a compulsory 60-credit module.
- You’ll also choose an optional 60-credit module at each stage.
In Stage 1, you’ll study a module that brings together perspectives – on the development and lived experience of children and young people – from psychology, anthropology and sociology. You’ll also choose a complementary module that fits your needs and interests.
In Stage 2, you’ll study a module that explores what it means to be a child in today’s world. You’ll also choose a complementary module that fits your needs and interests.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 17 March 2021.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Diploma of Higher Education in Childhood and Youth Studies uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying online – some modules have a mixture of printed and online material, and others are entirely online. Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- face-to-face tutorials/day schools/workshops and/or online tutorials
- undertaking practical work
- finding external/third-party material online
- using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
- continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, and short answer questions
- using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance
- engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills throughout your diploma.
For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
If you’ve already completed some study at another university, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. Just tell us what you studied, where and when, and we’ll compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen course.
For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
On successfully completing this course, we’ll award you our Diploma of Higher Education in Childhood and Youth Studies.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.
However, two of the Stage 1 option modules do have requirements:
- Learning and teaching in the primary years (E103) – you’ll need to observe practice in a formal educational setting for children aged 3–12
- Exploring perspectives on young children’s lives and learning (E109) – you’ll need practice experience in a setting for children aged 0–7
See the module descriptions for more information.
How much time do I need?
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner
- Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Preparing for study with an Access module
Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to Stage 1 of their qualification. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.
You’ll also benefit from:
- feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
- support from a dedicated team throughout your study
- detailed written feedback on your work.
The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is our:
People, work and society Access module
What you will study
This multidisciplinary module provides an excellent introduction to studying with The Open University; you'll get to cover a wide range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, business and law.
View full details of People, work and society Access module
Skills for career development
This diploma 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.
A diploma in childhood and youth studies gives you skills and knowledge relevant to many careers in childcare, health, education, working with families, play work, 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 diploma is not a professional qualification, so many of our graduates choose to undertake postgraduate training before progressing to employment in specialist fields.
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 diploma.
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):
- Early years worker
- Education support/welfare worker
- Personal and career guidance officer
- Probation officer
- Social worker
- Speech therapist
- Sport and fitness instructor
- Voluntary sector worker
- Youth worker