Child and Youth Studies BA (Hons)

Course code L530

What is special about this course?

Could you teach valuable life skills through play? Are you passionate about supporting our future generations through their incredible and varied stages of life?

Harness your energy and enthusiasm for children’s welfare as they navigate their childhood experiences, and join our pioneering programme, the first to combine child and youth studies in Scotland, to pursue an exciting and rewarding career in this diverse and vital field. Gain a deep understanding of child and youth issues in the Highlands and Islands, particularly in the context of the UK and Europe. Celebrate diverse childhood experiences and explore the complex situations and challenges they present. Learn about the physical, social, and psychological elements that impact progression, and contribute to the growth and development of children in your area to make a difference to their lives, opportunities, and futures.

Special features

  • Carry out a research project related to your work or area of special interest
  • Specifically relevant to the needs of rural areas
  • Children and young people are at the heart of this degree
  • Inclusive, flexible delivery, available entirely online so you can fit your studies around your commitments
  • Multi-disciplinary, leading to a wide range of careers working with children, young people, and families
  • Opportunities for work-based learning through our optional ‘developing professional practice through placement’ module
  • Choose to study individual modules for personal or professional development (CPD)

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above
  • Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or experience are also welcomed and will be considered on an individual basis
  • Alternatively, completion of Foundation Apprenticeship Social Services (Children and Young People) PLUS an additional Scottish Higher at Grade C or above
  • You are required to attend an interview, in person or by telephone, to discuss the course in detail and to explain the method of teaching

Advanced entry to year two of the degree:

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - CertHE

View our interactive introduction to the course

Core modules are:

Semester one

  • Nature of health
  • An introduction to health and social policy
  • Introduction to early childhood philosophy and practice

Semester two

  • Psychology of developmental and individual differences
  • Sociology of the family
  • The enquiring student

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:
Semester one

  • Recognising and challenging discrimination and disadvantage
  • Working in partnership

Semester two

  • Adolescence
  • Researching the social world

Option modules include:
Semester one

  • Play and childhood
  • Providing a curriculum for life
  • Care and control
  • Health psychology
  • The enquiring student

Semester two

  • Principles and foundations of health promotion
  • Specialist provision
  • Youth behaviour and society
  • The individual, society and the health continuum
  • Urban-rural divide
  • Cognition



Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:
Semester one

  • Legislation and childhood
  • Comparative childcare: a European perspective

Semester two

  • Ethical issues
  • Literature review

Option modules include:
Semester one

  • Introduction to effective management and leadership
  • Promoting and enhancing parenting
  • Promotion of diversity and equality
  • Developmental psychology: birth to death

Semester two

  • Acquisition of language
  • Alcohol and drugs studies
  • Healthy people, healthy places: challenges for public health
  • Issues of risk
  • Developing professional practice through placement
  • Digital futures in health and social care

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Core modules are:

  • Dissertation (both semesters)
  • Professional reflection (semester one)
  • Personal and professional reflection (semester two)

Option modules include:
Semester one

  • Comparative health studies
  • Developmental disorders
  • Child and adolescent mental health
  • Food and behaviour

Semester two

  • A globalized view of childcare
  • Disability and society
  • Psychopathology: mental health and wellbeing
  • Communication, cognition and e-learning
  • The UNCRC: investigating exploitation, youth justice and education in relation to children's rights

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • You will receive support from your personal academic tutor face-to-face and/or via email, telephone or online
  • You will also be required to attend a face-to-face induction at your local campus at the start of your course

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): variable for continuing professional development (CPD)

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney
  • Perth
  • Shetland
  • This fully online course can be studied from anywhere in Scotland. You will be enrolled and supported by staff at your chosen partner

Start date

  • September
  • January (for individual modules only)



For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £915 £915
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £305 £305

Rest of the UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) or assessed as rest of the UK for fee status the following fees apply:

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,120 £6,120
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,020 £1,020

International students

This course is not available to students domiciled outside of the UK or for international students (including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled status in the UK) requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study here. For students living in the UK and assessed as international for fee status, the following fees will apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time online per year (120 credit modules) £6,540 £6,960
Part-time online (per 20 credit module) £1,090 £1,160

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK and international undergraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

The BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies degree offers a wealth of employment opportunities, including youth work, community learning and development, social work, teaching, early learning provision, allied health professions and other related specialities.

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies to the following postgraduate courses:

Is there more information available online?

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I loved the journey that I shared with the friends I made from day one. That network of support continued all the way through my degree and was backed up by the lecturers and my personal tutor who have continued to be so supportive on my journey to becoming a nursery manager. 

Katie studied the BA Child and Youth Studies at UHI Perth.

Apply for Child and Youth Studies BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024 or Jan/Feb 2025

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.