Why study this course

Continue working or volunteering while pursuing your degree, providing valuable practical experience alongside your academic studies

The National Student Survey in 2022 revealed an impressive satisfaction rate of 96.85% among students in professional studies programs, highlighting quality and effectiveness

Opportunity to study with support from a research-active team, ensuring you receive the latest insights and developments in the field

Encourages critical evaluation of your practice by closely examining systems, procedures, and changes. Exciting opportunity to delve into research, empowering you to contribute to the field through research

Course summary

Are you ready to take your career in childhood, youth, and family services to the next level? Our BA (Hons) work-based degree programme is tailored for individuals who have already completed a related Foundation Degree or Higher Education Diploma in Childhood, Youth, and Families. This unique programme seamlessly integrates practice-based learning with weekly campus-based teaching sessions, ensuring you can continue your work or volunteer commitments.

Key facts


BA (Hons)

UCAS code



1 year

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Apply for this course

When you're ready to apply, the route you take will depend on your personal circumstances and preferred method of study. Click the relevant button below to start your application journey.

About this course

Having already completed a related Foundation Degree or Higher Education Diploma in Childhood, Youth and Families, the BA (Hons) work-based degree programme is a combination of practice-based learning and campus-based teaching sessions that take place once a week, allowing you to continue working or volunteering throughout the course.

Over the course of one year, you will combine your previous hands-on experience working with children, young people, and families with advanced studies. This comprehensive programme encourages critical evaluation of your practice by closely examining the systems, procedures, and changes within your field of study.

Our course is designed to nurture you as a reflective practitioner, covering a wide range of topics including leadership, health and well-being, anti-oppressive practice, and critical issues like current political and social trends. Additionally, you will undertake an independent research study, empowering you to contribute to the field and further develop as a leading practitioner in the children and young people's workforce.

Through this programme, you will gain a deeper understanding of how children and young people learn and grow, challenging existing assumptions and exploring innovative approaches. Collaborating with students from various related courses in contexts, will broaden your perspectives on working with children and young people.

Our BA (Hons) Professional Studies in Childhood, Youth, and Families in Practice is a flexible qualification that encompasses a wide range of settings and contexts serving 9–24-year-olds. Throughout your studies, you will remain employed or volunteer, ensuring that your learning remains practical and relevant. This course is ideal for professionals in local authority roles, including Early Help, schools, alternative education, the NHS, and the voluntary and third sector. It's especially valuable for those working with children, young people, and adults often identified as hard to reach.

In addition to your coursework, this programme offers you the exciting opportunity to delve into research. You will be expertly guided in research methods, ethical considerations, and report writing, empowering you to contribute to the field of childhood, youth, and family services through your own research endeavours. This invaluable experience will further enrich your academic journey and enhance your career prospects in this important and rewarding field.

Join us on this enriching journey and elevate your career in the field of childhood, youth, and family services. Enrol in the BA (Hons) Professional Studies in Childhood, Youth, and Families in Practice and unlock your potential to make a meaningful impact on the lives of children, young people, and families. Our weekly sessions, starting from 1 pm, are designed to accommodate your schedule, allowing you to effectively balance work, education, and your passion for serving these vital communities.

Ethical considerations of doctoral methodologies Podcast

Dr Nyree Nicholson is a Programme Leader on our work-based Foundation Degree programmes. The title of her doctoral research was “Supporting children with identified speech, language and communication needs at two-years-old: voices of early years practitioners”. Nyree utilised a narrative hermeneutic methodology with conversational interviews to explore the lived experiences of fifteen early years practitioners.

Samantha Hoyes is a senior lecturer in Early Childhood Studies and is currently part way through her PhD. Her focus is on working motherhood in the 21st Century and how working mothers make sense of their identities. Applying a post-structuralist feminist approach, Sam has utilised photo elicitation interviews to explore working mothers lived experiences. Sam's sample will consist of 10-15 working mothers living in Lincolnshire with a child/ children aged 0-5 years at the time of data collection. She is currently around halfway through her initial data collection.

In this podcast, Nyree and Sam discuss the methodological approaches taken in the research process and share the ethical considerations they encountered throughout the research process.

For any more question or queries please contact Samantha.hoyes@bishopg.ac.uk and nyree-anne.nicholson@bishopg.ac.uk

What you will study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules:

This module introduces you to the planning and design of an independent study and serves as a prerequisite for the Level 6 final independent study module. It introduces you to, and guides you through planning a research question, deciding on an appropriate research method and sample group that will allow you to complete the small-scale research project in Independent Study Part 2 module. In addition, you will create a research proposal by and engage in theoretical and practical principles, as well as learning to recognise your own limitations. The module is based on ethical concepts and policies, and you will study ethical complexity in connection to your chosen research subject and show this by participating in the ethical approval process.

This module will develop your capacity for critical thinking and analysis and encourage you to form and articulate an argument which is robustly supported by relevant sources. The module will enable you to study a pertinent, critical issue within your sector. Taught content will offer examples of current, and potential future issues in the field of early childhood, childhood and youth and education. By exploring a range of issues, the teaching and learning strategy undertakes to present a model of how to select and investigate a critical issue and craft an argument that draws upon (for example) practice-based evidence, national/local statistics, published research and established theory. You will investigate the political, social and/or economic drivers behind your chosen issue and consider the implications for professional practice. These may include, for example, the contribution of multi-agency colleagues, international perspectives and the barriers and affordances of the issue within your own work setting and professional practice.

The module adopts a work-based and problem-solving pedagogy where learning is grounded in the external context of your professional practice. Assessments require application of what is being learnt to your practice context, enabling you to solve real issues from your organisations and reflect on your own work-based experience. The module provides the opportunity to focus in some depth on aspects of professional practice including leadership and management. The module content will involve the study of key aspects of professionalism such as reflective, critical and ethical practice where you will explore relevant theoretical perspectives. Legal frameworks and national standards will be examined in relation to personal competencies and leading practice within settings. Leadership and management theory will be critically evaluated. Interagency and collaborative working will be critically explored and issues of facilitating dynamic change within the sector in response to global and cultural influences will be addressed.

The Independent Study builds on earlier inquiry-based studies and acts as a culmination of studies. This module provides an opportunity for you to carry out a small-scale research project related to your work supporting children, young people and/or families demonstrating the ability to manage your own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources. The subject is founded on ethical concepts and principles, and you will investigate ethical complexity in relation to your research topic of choice. This module requires you to draw on and apply the broad knowledge-base and research skills that have been developed across your undergraduate studies in a fully developed individual, inquiry-based study. You will review research design, methods, and data collection and analysis tools and software appropriate to practitioner research. Ethical issues will be addressed, including the key principles of informed consent, anonymity and confidentiality. There will be an emphasis on enabling you to demonstrate the limitations and uncertainty of knowledge and the influence of perspective and theoretical approaches on findings and conclusions. The importance of writing with a high degree of accuracy and fluency for an academic audience will be reinforced and made a clear expectation.

This module explores the historical and socio-economic contexts of childhood and youth and outlines how the changing social and cultural constructions of childhood and youth impact on lived realities in diverse and differing contexts. You will gain knowledge and understanding of the complexities surrounding alternative education and learning, the ideologies and responsibilities for welfare, and the application of these elements in the experiences that effect children’s and young peoples’ lives. The impact of policy and legislation is critically considered using in depth examination of evidence emphasising the importance of meaningful participation and questions the universalised idealisms of young people’s rights and notions of place in a globalised world.

This module is an evidenced based e-portfolio which students who have opted for the JNC Youth Work professional qualification will have been working on throughout the duration of the programme. The e-portfolio hosted within the VLE will detail and evidence progress against the Youth Work National Occupational Standards (2019).

Entry requirements

  • Applicants will typically have 240 HE credits from a Foundation degree or a HE Diploma in a relevant field of study.
  • Applicants are expected have a current (or prospective) voluntary or paid employment in a relevant setting for a minimum of 360 hours per academic year equating to 12 hours per week of study.
  • Typically, applicants are expected to have three years of experience in a voluntary or paid role working with children.
  • Students must complete and submit a workplace agreement that sets out the tripartite partnership between the student, the setting and the BGU and clearly identifies the student holds a current DBS as a condition of enrolment.
  • Applicants with alternative qualifications can contact our Admissions team for advice as BGU is committed to widening access and participation and adheres to a strict policy of non-discrimination.

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

In accordance with University conditions, students are entitled to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning, RP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit Awarded for Experiential Learning, (RP(E)L). If you’ve recently completed or studied a particular module as part of a previous qualification, this may mean that you’re not required to undertake a particular module of your BGU course. However, this must be agreed in writing and you must apply for this.

How you will be taught

This course allows you to study and continue to work. It is a flexible qualification covering the broad range of settings and contexts in which services are provided for 9 – 24-year-olds. Students undertaking the course remain in employment, or as volunteers, over the academic year in the same manner as the Foundation Degree.

The Top Up Degree offers opportunities to critically evaluate practice through a detailed analysis of the systems, procedures and changes that contribute to your field of study. This course will promote your professional formation as a reflective practitioner and modules will cover topics such as leading people and teams, promoting quality, new models of practice and contemporary issues such as current political and social trends.

In addition, the undertaking of an independent research study will support your continuing development as a leading practitioner within the children’s workforce.


Typically, a variety of assessment methods are used including presentations, discussions, debates, poster presentations, essays, portfolios of work, case studies and reflections. All assessments allow you to reflect on your practice and theory as you evidence your learning, building on your personal strengths to develop clear communication skills to share your knowledge and understanding.

Careers & Further study

Many of our graduates take on higher level roles specialising in areas such as family liaison, special education needs, managing settings in youth work, mentoring or roles in the wider community and with local authorities.

What Our Students Say

Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.


Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

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Fees & Funding

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. For 2024 entry, the application fee is £27, and you can make a maximum of 6 choices.

For the 2025 cycle, UCAS is removing the undergraduate application fee for any student who is/or has received free school meals (FSM) during the last six years, up until the end of their final year at school or college. More information on the UCAS fee waiver can be found here.

Year of Study

UK ‘Home’ Students

International Students

Full-time Tuition Fee

Part-time Tuition Fee per 20 credit module

Part-time Tuition Fee per 30 credit module

Full-time Tuition Fee




For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate. Full details of all tuition fees can be found here.

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