Children, Young People and Families
UCAS tariff points
Years of Entry
2024 2025
Main Campus (Horsforth)
Study abroad
Study Mode
Full-time (4 years)

This course is available in Clearing. Call our Clearing hotline on 0330 058 4266 to apply or for more information.

Course overview

Are you fascinated by how children learn and develop? Do you want to understand how adults can make a difference to their development, learning and wellbeing, and support them to have the best start in life?

Learning from research-active lecturers with extensive experience in the children’s workforce, you’ll follow a curriculum that reflects national and international policy, practice and research.

This four-year course includes an initial full-time Foundation Year and offers an alternative route into university and gaining a degree.

This route is for you if you do not have the necessary qualifications or don’t yet feel ready to begin degree-level study, or are returning to education and would like some support to get up to speed with learning in a university setting.

The Foundation Year in Education and Childhood will allow you to develop your academic skills and confidence as well as introduce you to key concepts, debates and skills that will support and inform your subsequent years of undergraduate study.

Following successful completion of the Foundation Year, you’ll progress onto the first year of our Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons) degree.

The Student Contract

About this course

During your Foundation Year, you will undertake modules to enable you to enhance your academic skills and equip you with the tools you’ll need to study with confidence. You’ll carry out a personal project so you can study an area of interest related to your chosen future subject specialisation.

You’ll develop your understanding of the disciplines, issues and academic theories of working with children, young people and families and will be introduced to learning and teaching in an educational context, considering current trends and academic theories.

Following successful completion of the Foundation Year, you’ll progress onto the first year of our Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons) degree.

You’ll develop an understanding of what shapes children’s personalities and behaviour, gathering theoretical knowledge of progress through the early years of a child’s life and exploring what opportunities should be available for them to reach their full potential.

This degree offers the chance to explore a wide range of issues and theoretical perspectives relating to young children, from safeguarding and wellbeing to effective learning and development. You will explore how play is a vital component for young children’s holistic development. You’ll also examine the difficulties and problems children may face, from child protection issues to disability and specific needs.

In your first year you will learn how to support the wellbeing, learning and development of children through an introduction to play and its relationship to learning; safeguarding and child protection; child development; and health, safety and care routines.

Your second year will build on this learning to extend your knowledge, skills and abilities and to explore your own ideas and thoughts on the topics studied. The focus of your final year of study is pulling together all of your knowledge and skills about society, diversity, children, families and education.

Throughout your course, you’ll have the opportunity to visit professional practitioners in a range of early childhood settings to support your knowledge and understanding of concepts.

Why study with us?

  • Build your self-confidence, academic skills and core subject knowledge in preparation for progression onto degree-level study.
  • We are renowned for our expertise in the field of Early Childhood and Education.
  • We’ll keep you at the forefront of early childhood and education sector developments by reflecting the latest research and policy throughout your course.
  • Our academic teaching team are active researchers and authors, with knowledge and experience of working with children.
  • Our course is UK-focused yet draws on the international context.
  • We offer the opportunity to be recognised as an Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner.

Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner

Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies offers the opportunity to be recognised as an Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner through completion of Graduate Practitioner Competencies at Level 6.  

Developed by the national Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (ECSDN) and endorsed by the Department for Education, the Graduate Practitioner Competencies aim to strengthen the early childhood workforce and professional practice aspect of a degree.

The assessed practitioner competencies are embedded into all levels of the Early Childhood Studies degree, leading to a Level 6 award that evidences a holistic understanding of Early Childhood development and the ability to apply, critically evaluate and communicate theoretical knowledge into practice.

Achieving practitioner status can help enhance your employability in the childhood studies sector or support you to progress to postgraduate study or higher-level professional roles.  

During your studies, you will work towards meeting nine competencies through assessed placement tasks, observations of practice and academic assignments. By the end of the competencies you must also hold Level 2 English and maths qualifications at grade C or 4 or higher (or equivalent). Each year, clear goals will be agreed and monitored to achieve positive outcomes.

Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies:

  1. Advocating for young children’s rights and participation
  2. Promoting holistic development
  3. Working directly with young children, families and colleagues to promote health, wellbeing, safety and nurturing care
  4. Observing, listening and planning for young children to support their wellbeing, early learning, progression and transitions
  5. Safeguarding and child protection
  6. Inclusive practice
  7. Partnerships with parents and caregivers
  8. Collaborating with others
  9. Professional development

Successful completion of the competencies alongside your degree will result in an award of BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies degree with an Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Certificate (ECGPC).

Course Modules

You will study a variety of modules across your programme of study. The module details given below are subject to change and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

Foundation Year

During your Foundation Year, you'll study four core modules.

Academic Skills and Studying with Confidence (Core)

We'll help you develop core academic skills such as using electronic resources, planning and note-taking, communication skills related to essay and report writing and delivering presentations.

You'll learn to manage your time, prioritise tasks and manage stress, and become more confident in engaging with collaborative learning, debates, discussions and critical reflection.

General Studies and Project (Core)

You’ll study topics that will allow you to expand your view of society and enhance your life skills.

Towards the end of the module, you’ll study an area of interest related to your chosen degree.

You’ll work individually on your project, whether that's a written report, a presentation and oral examination, a film or a series of blog posts.

You’ll undertake problem-solving learning, and formative feedback and support will be provided throughout, helping develop your self-confidence.

Introduction to Children and Families (Core)

Develop your understanding of the disciplines, issues and academic theories of working with children, young people and families.

You'll explore areas such as childhood development, socialisation, family diversity and the influence of poverty, and the support available in social and educational contexts.

We focus on collaborative learning, so you will be encouraged to share your thoughts and opinions in debates and work with your fellow students.

Introduction to Education: Learning and Teaching (Core)

You'll focus on how education is provided in the UK.

Explore the early year and primary education phases, studying concepts such as learning, pedagogy, and assessment.

You'll look at ways effective learning can be promoted in the context of equality and inclusion, covering creativity, play, problem-solving and the use of technology.

We'll also explore educational policies and frameworks such as teachers' standards in the UK.

Year 1

During your first year, you'll study five core modules.

Child Development (Core)

Study children's holistic development from conception until eight years of age.

You'll explain, justify and analyse practice working with young children, including the factors that promote and impede holistic learning and make positive outcomes harder to achieve.

We'll cover relevant theories, including physical, cognitive, personal, social, emotional, language and technological development.

You'll examine factors influencing children's well-being, health, safety, behaviour and identity, and look at how children understand and relate to the world around them.

You'll understand the importance of working in partnership with parents and carers.

We'll look at the diversity of modern family life and the importance of valuing gender, background, culture, language and needs.

Play and Early Learning (Core)

You'll be introduced to theory related to play and how to advocate for young children's rights and participation.

You'll apply theories of observing children to practice and plan effective early learning activities to support children's well-being, holistic learning, progression and independence.

You'll observe, support and extend young children's learning, following their needs and interests in an enabling environment.

We'll consider cultural differences, appreciating equitable and ethical approaches to children and families from different social, economic, ethnic, racial and religious groups.

We'll also demonstrate factors that can make positive outcomes harder to achieve, such as individual or family circumstances, adverse childhood experiences, attachments and relationships.

Content will be taught in the context of current legislation including the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and the Childcare Act.



Safeguarding and Child Protection (Core)

Explore safeguarding and protecting children.

You'll consider current legislation and policy along with relevant current research findings.

You'll engage with current procedures and understand the frameworks practitioners are expected to operate within.

We'll make specific reference to the safeguarding and welfare requirements of the current statutory frameworks.

You'll learn the different categories of abuse and develop the expertise outlined in current policies and legislation.

Ethics, social justice and cultural differences will be a theme running through this study.

Health, Care and Wellbeing in the Early Years (Core)

You'll need to be familiar with the current Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and the importance of health and safety in early years' environments for this module.

We'll address the care of children from diverse backgrounds and their well-being.

You'll cover topics including welfare requirements and ratios, creating environments to support health, hygiene, well-being and development, policy development, childcare routines, risk assessments, record keeping, ethical practice and cultural values.

Academic Skills, Personal and Professional Development (Core)

In the first semester, you'll get to know about university and academic life at Leeds Trinity University.

You'll develop self-confidence, motivation and team-working skills.

Find out about different kinds of assignments and grading criteria.

We'll also teach you how to reference your work and show you how we check for plagiarism.

You'll develop your time management, critical thinking, digital and independent study skills, and find out how to make the most of your tutors.

In the second semester, we'll focus on your personal and professional development.

You'll consider ethical, sustainability and social justice issues related to work.

You'll develop employability, digital, and money management skills.

Find out about local, regional, national and global issues relevant to the professional sector.

Plan for your future career and development, and improve your study skills and module marks.

Year 2

During your second year, you'll study five core modules.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusive Educational Practice (Core)

Cover a broad range of definitions of key concepts of inclusion, diversity and social justice and these relate to the education of children and young people. You’ll explore topics relating to diverse identities, and students’ subjectivities across social class, gender, race and ethnicity, sexuality, disability and SEN and intersectional identities.

You’ll be encouraged throughout your learning to reflect and reframe your own position and practice to recognise and reduce inequalities when working with children and young people.

We’ll give you the opportunity to develop and review strategies to promote inclusive cultures within educational contexts through contemporary research, which could include policies and practices within schools, inclusive pedagogies, teaching through an ethic of belong and care, inclusive teaching for students experiencing mental health challenges or SEND and engaging with diversity across school communities.

Creative Pedagogical Approaches (Core)

You'll develop your understanding of learning and development in the early years.

You'll appraise the effectiveness of the early years' framework and provision in the UK.

You'll critically analyse national and international approaches, considering the perspectives and theories related to early years education and how each approach supports and encourages the development of creativity.

Research Methods and Evidence Based Practice (Core)

Explore a series of research methods, including their key features, usefulness and application in different contexts.

You'll critically examine research methodologies, with an emphasis on ethical research conduct.

You'll evaluate the usefulness of research methodologies to explore specific research questions, problems and designs.

You'll reflect on ethical issues relating to children, families, communities and professional settings.

You'll understand how to design, conduct and write up research, and understand the relationship between research, policy and practice.

Sustainability through Early Years Leadership (Core)

Explore the concepts of leadership with the multi-professional integrated workforce involved in supporting health, education and welfare of babies, young children and their families.

You’ll consider different theoretical approaches to leadership through research informed practice and how these interconnects with drivers for sustainability across the profession.

Professional Placement (Core)

There are three stages to the module - preparation, work placement and reflection.

You'll have workshops to develop your employability skills, analyse your career prospects and go through the practicalities of getting and undertaking a professional placement.

You'll complete a short weekly reflective log reflecting upon the practical skills gained through your placement experience and what you have learnt about applying theoretical understanding in practice.

Year 3

During your final year, you'll study five core modules.

Mental Health in the 21st Century (Core)

In the first semester, we will consider mental health in the context of families, society and social justice.

You'll study changes to legislation, attitudes and services over time, mental health conditions, consequences of mental health problems and cultural differences.

In the second semester, we'll focus on positive approaches to mental health in the early years.

You'll look at risk factors, identification and support strategies for babies and children, attachment, resilience and self-regulation, the role of high-quality early years' provision in mitigating risk, and working in partnership to address needs.

Professional Learning Through Work (Core)

You'll develop a theoretical understanding through practical work-based development in of your chosen context, this could be in a public, private or community sector.

Critical Issues in the Lives and Education of Young Children (Core)

Develop your critical reasoning and analytical skills relating to philosophical, historical, psychological and pedagogical concepts of early childhood.

You'll study global and cultural theories of early childhood, education and teaching, applied ethics, social justice, restorative practices, the impact of leadership at political and practical levels, and the rethinking of early childhood in the context of educational practices.

Therapeutic Interventions with Children and Families (Core)

Demonstrate your knowledge, skills and understanding of a specific and identified need from a practice-based scenario by planning a range of therapeutic approaches and interventions for a child, small group children or a family.

Negotiate your own chosen area of need, support or development gaps that you will specialise in.

You’ll discuss and critique a range of intervention strategies, incremental planning and associated theoretical approaches.

Research Project (Core)

Complete an independent investigation or undertake a work-based project.

You'll apply the principles and practices introduced in the Research Methods module at Level 5.

You'll get the opportunity to extend your engagement with employers.

Once you have identified an area of inquiry, you can do a practical investigation, theoretical study or work-based project in negotiation with an employer.

You'll inform your investigation or project with a selected literature review and gather evidence with due regard to ethical concerns and international contexts, where appropriate.

Professional work placements

Experience matters. That's why we embed professional work placements within our standard undergraduate degrees.

How does it work?

Careers and Placements will work with you to find your perfect placement or help you arrange your own, whether that's in Leeds, another part of the UK or even abroad. You will be able to take part in a series of workshops, events and live ‘employer challenges’ to boost your confidence and prepare you for your placement.

During your placement, you will have an opportunity to gain degree-relevant work experience, build your knowledge of career sectors and secure valuable employer references and industry contacts. This experience will help you to shape your career decisions and find the right path for you.

Students have undertaken placements in schools, children’s centres, family welfare support groups, health clinics, the police, pupil referral units and hospitals. They have shadowed health visitors, social workers and police youth offending teams. Some students have completed placements in the USA, Australia, China and Europe.

To find out how we can help you make your career ambitions a reality, visit:

Professional Work Placements

Learning and Teaching

At Leeds Trinity we aim to provide an excellent student experience and provide you with the tools and support to help you achieve your academic, personal and professional potential.

Our Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy delivers excellence by providing the framework for:

  • high quality teaching
  • an engaging and inclusive approach to learning, assessment and achievement
  • a clear structure through which you progress in your academic studies, your personal development and towards professional-level employment or further study.

We have a strong reputation for developing student employability, supporting your development towards graduate employment, with relevant skills embedded throughout your programme of study.

We endeavour to develop curiosity, confidence, courage, ambition and aspiration in all students through the key themes in our Learning and Teaching Strategy:

  • Student Involvement and Engagement
  • Inclusion
  • Integrated Programme and Assessment Experience
  • Digital Literacy and Skills
  • Employability and Enterprise

To help you achieve your potential we emphasise learning as a collaborative process, with a range of student-led and real-world activities. This approach ensures that you fully engage in shaping your own learning, developing your critical thinking and reflective skills so that you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and use the extensive learning support system we offer to shape your own development.

We believe the secret to great learning and teaching is simple: it is about creating an inclusive learning experience that allows all students to thrive through:

  • Personalised support
  • Expert lecturers
  • Strong connections with employers
  • An international outlook
  • Understanding how to use tools and technology to support learning and development

Programme delivery

Your time on campus, learning through in-person teaching, is at the heart of your academic experience and the way we deliver our programmes. This is supported and further enhanced by additional engagement activities and opportunities provided online and through digital teaching materials. This blended approach seeks to ensure a positive learning and teaching student experience.

Your programme of study has been carefully designed around a three-phase model of delivery:

  1. Preparation: You will be given clear tasks to support you in preparing for live teaching. This could include watching a short-pre-recorded lecture, reading a paper or text chapter or preparing other material for use in class.
  2.  Live: All your live teaching will be designed around active learning, providing you with valuable opportunities to build on preparation tasks, interact with staff and peers, and surface any misunderstandings.
  3. Post: Follow-up activities will include opportunities for you to check understanding, for staff to receive feedback from you and your peers to inform subsequent sessions, and for you to apply learning to new situations or context.

Preparation, Live and Post teaching and learning and the digital materials used will vary by course, but will be designed to help you structure your learning, take a full and active part in your course, and apply and test your developing knowledge and skills.


A variety of assessment methods are used, matched to the learning outcomes for your programme, allowing you to apply and demonstrate the full range of knowledge and skills that you have developed.

For more details on specific assessment methods for this course contact

Entry Requirements

Leeds Trinity University is committed to recruiting students with talent and potential and who we feel will benefit greatly from their academic and non-academic experiences here. We treat every application on its own merits; we value highly the experience you illustrate in your personal statement.

Information about the large range of qualifications we accept, including A-Levels, BTECs and T Levels, can be found on our entry requirements page. If you need additional advice or are taking qualifications that are not covered in the information supplied, please contact our Admissions Office.

Entry requirements for this course:
UCAS tariff48
GCSE requirementsGCSE English Language or English Literature at grade C or 4 (or higher) will be required

Applications are welcome from mature students with few formal qualifications.

Any previous relevant work experience and learning will be assessed and, where appropriate, we may offer an alternative way to assess suitability to study.

This course is not available to students on a Student Route Visa.

Fees and finance


UK Home Students:

Tuition fees cost £9,250 a year for this course in 2023/2024.

Part-time tuition fees will be prorated accordingly to the number of credits you're studying.

Depending on government policy, tuition fees may change in future years.

Living costs, e.g. accommodation, travel, food, will also need to be taken into consideration.

Leeds Trinity offers a range of bursaries and scholarships to help support students while you study.

Additional costs

We advise students that there may be additional course costs in addition to annual tuition fees. These include:

  • Books - recommended and required reading lists will be provided at the start of your course. All the books and e-books are available from our Library to borrow but you may choose to purchase your own.
  • Print costs - the University provides students with a £6 printing credit each academic year which can be topped up either on campus or online.

How to apply

For full-time undergraduate courses, you apply through UCAS. That's the University and Colleges Admissions Service.

On your application form, you'll need to know our institution code - it's L24 - and the course code. If you click through to the UCAS website using the button below, it'll take you to the right place with all the information you need.

You'll need to write a personal statement - we've prepared a guide to help you.

Clearing is now open for applications for September 2024 entry for available courses. Find out more about Clearing.

Applications are not yet open for courses starting in September 2025. You can register and start your application for 2025, although you cannot submit it until 3 September 2024.. The UCAS application deadline for courses starting in September 2025 is 29 January 2025.

There's lots more information about the application process on the UCAS website, or you can get in touch with our admissions team who will be happy to help:

This course is not available to students on a Student Route Visa.

Graduate opportunities

Providing you with the opportunity to develop the professional skills and experience you need to launch your career is at the heart of everything we do at Leeds Trinity University.

You’ll be prepared for a wide range of national and international opportunities within the children’s workforce, including children’s centres, early years settings, schools, hospitals, family support services, medical centres, museums and leisure facilities. You can progress to postgraduate study at Leeds Trinity by studying one of our associated taught programmes or if you are looking for a career in teaching we offer PGCE teacher training degrees. This degree will also prepare you for further study in Play Therapy, Early Childhood Education or Social Work.

After you graduate, Careers and Placements will help you as you pursue your chosen career through our mentoring scheme, support with CV and interview preparation and access to graduate employability events.

To find out how we can help you make your career ambitions a reality, visit:


Meet the team

Profile photo of lecturer, Clarrie Smith..
Children, Young People and Families Clarrie Smith
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Profile photo of lecturer, Hannah Crooks..
Children, Young People and Families Hannah Crooks
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Children, Young People and Families Mike Dessington
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Children, Young People and Families Amanda Jefferson
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Children, Young People and Families Sarah Flanagan
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