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Childhood & Youth Studies and Criminology BA (Hons)

UCAS code: XM32

Examine the lives of children and young people in the UK and across the globe. Explore all aspects of crime and the criminal justice system. And investigate the interaction between these two fascinating areas.


Course length: 3 years full-time
6 years part-time
Start dates: September 2024
September 2025
Location: Edge Hill University
Example offers: BCC-BBC (A Level) or DMM (BTEC) View full entry criteria
Subject(s): CriminologySociology and Social Sciences
Faculty: Arts and Sciences
Department: History, Geography and Social Sciences
Three students sit overlooking the Sunken Garden on the western side of the campus.

Every society has certain expectations of its children. So what happens when young people don’t fit the mould?

On our BA (Hons) Childhood & Youth Studies and Criminology degree, you’ll examine childhood development while exploring different ideas about the causes of crime, particularly violent crime.

Together we’ll also analyse the role and function of the criminal justice system, asking questions like: how does social status affect access to and experience of justice and rights?

Aimed at anyone keen to develop knowledge in these two interlinked subject areas, this course is ideal if you plan to work within youth justice or related fields. It will also provide extensive experience of reporting, presenting and working effectively – as an individual and collaborating with others. Valued by employers, these transferrable skills can be applied to a number of potential careers.

Course features

  • International students can apply

  • Learn a language option available

  • Sandwich year option available

  • Studying abroad option available

  • Work placement opportunity

What you'll study

Year 1 introduces you to key theory across criminology and sociology. You’ll study the criminal justice process, issues and debates about childhood development within psychology. We’ll also cover ideas about how social, economic, political and other factors shape our childhood experiences. An overview of social policy and welfare, including child welfare, is also provided. And you’ll get the chance to sign up for an optional three-day field trip to London.

Compulsory modules:

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Introduction to Child Developmental and Social Psychology
Children and Young People in Society
Criminology and the Modern World
Introduction to Criminological Theory
Introduction to the Criminal Justice Process
Introduction to Social Policy and Welfare

Apply the breadth of knowledge you’ve gained to different contexts by exploring specialist topics like youth justice, representations of childhood in popular culture, and gender, sex and violence. These fascinating optional modules allow you to tailor your studies to your interests and could help shape your future career plans. There are also opportunities to engage with specialists on a field trip to Amsterdam, and to undertake a 60-hour work placement or independent research project.

Compulsory modules:

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Critical Criminological Theory
Youth Studies: Key Concepts and Issues

Two of:

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Challenging Childhoods
Crime, Law and Society
Crime, Media and Criminology
Doing Criminological Research
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Gender, Sex and Violence
Generating Reputations
‘Race’, Crime and Criminology
Violence and Society
Youth Justice
Language 1

One of:

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Self-Directed Study
Work-based learning and Employability

One of:

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Children, Family and the State
Children’s Cultural Worlds
International Perspectives on Children and Families
Promoting Equality in Childhood
Representations of Childhood and Popular Culture

Along with a critical analysis of youth studies, you’ll continue to examine criminology themes and sociology topics in greater detail through optional modules. Possibilities include: The Politics of Policing, Crimes of the Powerful, Justice, Rights and the State, as well as Childhood and Sexuality, and Young People and Social Media. Why not boost your practical experience and employability with another placement? Or add an international dimension with a field trip to a European city.

Compulsory modules:

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Youth Studies: Critical Perspectives

Three of:

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Crime and Place
Crimes of the Powerful 1
Crimes of the Powerful 2
Criminology and Philosophy
Enterprise Management
Expanding the Criminological Imagination
Justice, Rights and the State
Learning Together: The Sociological Imagination
The Politics of Imprisonment
The Politics of Policing
Language 2

Two of:

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Childhood and Sexuality
Contemporary Theory, Policy and Practice in Education Services
Critical Perspectives on Children’s Health and Well-being
Issues of Professional Practice
Self-Directed Study
Social Work with Children, Young People and Families
European Field Trip
Work-based learning and Employability 2
Language 2

Where your course includes optional modules, these are to provide an element of choice within the course curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements. Some restrictions on optional module choice or combinations of optional modules may apply.

How you'll study

The main forms of course delivery are lectures and workshop seminars, including videos, presentations and small group work. You can choose to build a national and a European field trip into your optional studies.

Students will typically be required to attend for three full days per week.

Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.

How you'll be assessed

Assessment methods on this degree include the use of portfolios, essays, information retrieval exercises, seminar presentations, case studies, article reviews and examinations. The range of assessments has been creatively designed to encourage the potential of all students.

Who will be teaching you

Our experienced staff have designed this course and our strong levels of student support ensure your time with us is an enjoyable, rewarding experience, underpinned by the extensive research activity and field experience of our team.

Members of the Department of Social Sciences and the School of Law, Criminology and Policing are at the forefront of teaching, research and publication in a number of areas including safeguarding children and young people; childhood, youth and sexuality; the politics of childhood and young people’s rights; children and young people’s mental health; youth justice, law, criminology, human rights and social justice.

Your degree will be supplemented by a series of research seminars and other talks. These will feature academic staff and visiting guest speakers from a range of professions and organisations.

Entry criteria

Entry requirements

Typical offer 104-112 UCAS Tariff points. No specific subjects are required.

Example offers

Qualification Requirement
A Level BCC-BBC.
BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications) Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM).
T Level Overall grade of Merit.
International Baccalaureate (IB) We are happy to accept IB qualifications which achieve the required number of UCAS Tariff points.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 45 credits at Level 3, for example 9 credits at Distinction and 36 credits at Merit or 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.

Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

If you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven't been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

English language requirements

International students require IELTS 6.0, with a score no lower than 5.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

If your current level of English is half a band, one band, or one-and-a-half bands lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

How to apply

Apply full-time

Apply online through UCAS

Read our guide to applying through UCAS to find out more about the application process.


Apply as an international student

Please see our international student pages for further information about how to apply as a prospective international student.

Part-time applications require a direct application to Edge Hill. Please select the year of entry that you wish to apply for.

Apply for September 2024 part-time.

Apply for September 2025 part-time.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

Did you know?

If you join a full time undergraduate degree at Edge Hill University, we will guarantee you the offer of a room in our halls of residence for the first year of your course.

Discover our accommodation


Geosciences buildingThe Department of History, Geography and Social Sciences is based in the Geosciences building. The contemporary facilities combine with a friendly and supportive learning environment to ensure that your studies are a rich and rewarding experience.

The Geosciences building features a large lecture theatre, small group teaching rooms, IT facilities and smaller tutorial spaces. There is also a large social area which encourages a more informal and interactive style of learning.

Criminology modules are led by the School of Law, Criminology and Policing, based in the £6million Law and Psychology building. The building offers modern teaching and learning facilities, including a 250-seat lecture theatre, seminar and tutorial rooms, and social learning areas.

Where you'll study


Law and Psychology


Tuition fees

UK Full-Time


a year

UK Part-Time

£77 per credit

for 360 credits



a year

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

Financial support

Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this course can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the course may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

Please view the relevant Money Matters guide for comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students.

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals can ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). If you are an EU student who does not have settled or pre-settled status, or are an international student from a non-EU country, please see our international student finance pages.

Your future career

The demand for people with the specialist skills and knowledge offered by a degree in childhood and youth studies and criminology is greater than ever. Want to work in youth justice services? Or keen to kick-start a career in education, social work, law enforcement or welfare rights? This is the perfect course for you.

Combining two distinct but interlinked areas gives you a unique perspective that could see you go on to help shape social policy. You’ll have the insight to advocate for children and young people, and to make a real difference to their futures, whether in the public or voluntary sectors.

Other career paths open to our graduates include youth and community work, care and resettlement of offenders. You might also apply for roles within the probation service and criminal justice agencies, and international aid.

And for anyone wanting to continue exploring these fascinating, fast-changing areas, there’s plenty of scope for further study or research in both childhood and youth studies.

Course changes

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, however our courses are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of professional bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Track changes to this course

Discover Uni: Full-Time Study

Discover Uni: Part-Time Study

Download our course leaflet