Childhood and Youth Studies with Criminology BA (Hons)

childhood and youth studies with criminology student working with school pupils
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022


If you want to fuse a desire to make a positive impact on children aged 8–18 with a solid understanding of youth justice and law enforcement, this BA (Hons) Children and Youth Studies with Criminology degree is ideal.

Learning from academic researchers and staff who have experience as practitioners in the field, you’ll explore the issues affecting young people and children and get a solid foundation on the role of the criminal justice system and the causes of crime.

You'll focus on young people’s development, learning and relationships, and delve into the complex policies and practices that impact them. You can shape your degree to match your interests and ambitions.

You'll have opportunities to apply your knowledge and make a positive difference to young people on a work placement in year 2 and an optional paid placement year before your final year.

This degree is ideal preparation for rewarding careers in areas such as youth work and youth justice – and offers a pathway into postgraduate training in Probation.

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

No. 17 in the UK for Criminology courses (The Guardian University Guide, 2021)

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies with Criminology degree entry requirements

Typical offers

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What you'll experience

On this degree course, you'll:

  • Spend two-thirds of your time at the School of Education and Sociology, examining topics around child development, education, psychology, health and social work
  • Spend your remaining time studying at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, learning about crime, punishment and rehabilitation
  • Develop skills and knowledge for working with children and young people in a variety of settings, including youth intervention work
  • Analyse theories and contemporary issues for children and young people in today’s society
  • Tailor your studies and final year research project to focus on areas that meet your career goals and interests
  • Practise professional meetings in our Family Assessment Room, where you'll learn how parents and children feel during family meetings, and explore your responsibilities as a practitioner
  • Use professional facilities including play/sensory rooms and crime scene simulation rooms

You'll also have the opportunity to:

  • Spend a sandwich year studying abroad or doing a work placement after year 2
  • Complete pre-entry qualifications for a career in probation work and community justice
  • Boost your career prospects and link your learning to the wider world by volunteering or doing a work placement alongside your studies

Transferable skills you'll learn, which you can apply to any area of your life and career, include:

  • critical thinking
  • problem solving
  • team working
  • oral and written communication
  • time management
  • empathy

Careers and opportunities

Societal changes and the coronavirus pandemic have had a major impact on children's behaviour and the way they engage with education. Criminals also continue to take advantage of vulnerable children.

This means there's a significant demand for graduates who have the expert skills and knowledge to work with young people and children in the community.

What can you do with a Childhood and Youth Studies with Criminology degree?

Areas you can work in or do additional study in after you graduate include:

  • youth work
  • law enforcement and the police
  • social work
  • social justice
  • children's rights
  • social policy
  • probation
  • educational welfare
  • health promotion
  • teaching

Our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry. You'll get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do a paid placement year in a youth work setting. Previous students have put their skills to work at organisations such as:

  • Portsmouth in the Community (PitC)
  • KidsOut
  • Victim Support

We’ll help you secure a placement that fits your ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support to get the most out of the year.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service will help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary opportunities that complement your studies.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies with Criminology gives students a specialist perspective when looking at the knowledge and skills associated with working with children and young people. Combining two subject areas offers the opportunity to build valuable transferable skills and enjoy a degree from a wide range of lecturer's professional expertise.

Jodie Pinnell, Course Leader

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies with Criminology degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.


Core modules in this year include:

  • Child and Youth Development – 20 credits
  • Criminal Justice – 20 credits
  • Enrichment – 0 credits
  • Understanding Childhoods – 40 credits
  • Educational Contexts – 20 credits
  • Understanding Criminology – 20 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Enrichment – 0 credits
  • Penology and Prison – 20 credits
  • Professional Practice With Children and Young People – 20 credits
  • Questioning Criminology – 20 credits
  • Research With Children and Young People – 20 credits
  • Youth Culture – 20 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Global Childhoods – 20 credits
  • Development of Learning – 20 credits
  • Children's Social Minds – 20 credits
  • Digital Natives – 20 credits

Core modules in this year include:

  • Dissertation / Major Project – 40 credits
  • Enrichment – 0 credits
  • Issues Relating to Children and Young People's Mental Health – 20 credits
  • Young People's Relationships and Aspirations – 20 credits

Optional modules in this year include:

  • Black Criminology, Race and the Criminal Justice System – 20 credits
  • Critical Penal Studies – 20 credits
  • Dangerous Offenders and Public Protection – 20 credits
  • Forensic Psychology and Mental Health – 20 credits
  • Gender and Crime – 20 credits
  • Policing: Communities, Intelligence and Information – 20 credits
  • Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders – 20 credits

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • group and individual presentations and projects
  • creative assessments, such as storyboards or video
  • practical assessments, such as lesson plans and delivery
  • exams
  • a dissertation

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • group-based activities
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • individual and group presentations
  • projects
  • e-learning
  • lectures

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your BA Hons Childhood and Youth Studies with Criminology degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 10 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.

Learning development tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year, including our Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £16,200 a year (subject to annual increase)

You won't pay any extra tuition fees to another university for taking part in a study/work abroad activity if you choose to do it for the whole academic year. During a year abroad you'll only have to pay a reduced fee to the University of Portsmouth.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You’ll need to cover additional costs, such as travel costs, if you take an optional placement or placement abroad.

These costs will vary depending on the location and duration of the placement, and can range from £50–£1000.


How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – L5L3
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

Preparing for this degree

You can prepare for this degree by staying informed about current working practices and issues affecting the sector.

Informative blogs and publications to follow include:

  • The Times Educational Supplement (TES) – one of the most widely accessed resources for teachers, TES includes up-to-date news and resources and free membership for students
  • Teacher Toolkit Blog – an excellent resource for prospective and current teachers including up-to-date news from the teaching sector and the latest innovations in education and teaching practices
  • Institute for Outdoor Learning Blog – this resource from the Institute for Outdoor Learning refers to outdoor education practices, youth work and informal education for all ages
  • The Social Worker Blog – social work is a potential career path for Childhood and Youth Studies graduates and this blog is great for existing and aspiring social workers, giving insight into this area of work

When you start the course, you'll have access to the latest journal articles and research. Useful journals and journal articles you can access for free before you join us include:

We don't usually recommend referencing videos in your assignments. But they're often a useful way to get an understanding of an idea or concept. Informative Youtube channels to follow include:

  • UK Youth – a leading youth charity gives insight into Youth Work and impacts on young people
  • Sprouts – this channel clearly explains theories of learning and foundational knowledge in this area
  • The Princes Trust – a charity that helps young people build the self-esteem and skills they need to move into work and stabilise their lives
  • Active Communities Network – a youth and community development charity

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