Study the perceptions and realities of children and early childhood. Explore how society works and changes and take part in field trips in the UK and Europe to see these ideas from different perspectives around the world.
Immerse yourself in the social, political, cultural, and economic contexts of early childhood in our early childhood studies and sociology degree. We’ll look at the development of children and youth from both an academic point of view and as your potential career destination.
You’ll also analyse social trends and study sociological developments in culture, politics, and throughout history. Learn to understand the social structures and institutions we live our lives within. Field trips to the UK and Europe will bring the subject to life as you see how the theory applies in different situations around the world.
Our early childhood studies and sociology degree combines two deeply related subjects. By studying both, you’ll develop a strong understanding of society and be open to a range of potential careers. You’ll graduate with transferable skills – like reporting, presenting, and working independently or in a team – that will be useful in lots of roles.
You’ll start the course learning about the core themes of early childhood studies and sociology. Topics include social and developmental psychology, perspectives of children and young people in society, social policy and welfare, political sociology, and cultural studies. We also offer an optional three-day field trip to London.
Child Developmental and Social Psychology identifies and explores the major issues and debates of relevance to early childhood studies and childhood & youth studies within the discipline of psychology. In considering the importance and impact of developmental psychology on the study of childhood and youth, the module focuses on cognitive development, attachment theory, personality theories and views of intelligence in psychology. It additionally addresses key perspectives in social psychology including theoretical perspectives concerning social identity and group processes, psychological explanations of aggression and attitude, and wider interpersonal influences.
Module code: SPY1102
Children and Young People in Society
Children and Young People in Society explores both historical and contemporary dimensions of childhood and youth. The module introduces the idea that childhood is a social construction dependent on the history, cultural values and power structure of the society in which children live. You will consider the way in which the social, economic, political, scientific, legal and institutional contexts in which children have lived and live today shapes their experience of childhood. The module challenges some commonly held beliefs about children and the institutionalisation of childhood. It also provides a personal development programme that will develop essential academic skills including time management, academic reading and writing, information retrieval, critical thinking and analysis.
Module code: SPY1103
Introduction to Cultural Studies
Introduction to Cultural Studies provides a foundation for the study of culture in society, with a focus on different – and particularly critical – approaches to the study of the cultural world. The module rehearses relevant cultural theories from traditional conceptions of ‘high’ culture and the importance of culture in society, to critical approaches to culture that take in analyses of power, representation, ideology and hegemony. The module will explore cultural theories and their analyses of popular culture in the last 75 years before applying theoretical insights to the study of cultural forms and movements in Britain since the 1950s. The study of cultural forms will allow for both an appreciation of the tools of cultural analysis and of the richness of cultural practices and representations.
Module code: SPY1112
Introduction to Social Policy and Welfare
Introduction to Social Policy and Welfare provides an overview of some of the key areas of social policy and welfare, such as education, health, employment, poverty and child welfare. The module offers a critical introduction to key approaches to the development of social welfare policy and the political ideologies that have influenced it in historical and contemporary perspective, exploring how these approaches to the provision of welfare compare and contrast with one another. You will also discover different philosophical and ideological understandings of key concepts in social policy, including equality, rights, liberty, social justice and deservingness and how they have – and might – influence the development and implementation of contemporary social policy.
Module code: SPY1104
Political Sociology immerses you in the study of power, the state, ideology, authority and domination. You will study the roles, functions and participation of institutions, organisations and groups in the political world, gaining a conceptual model of the way in which the political world operates and engages with powerful interests and demands for democratic participation. A series of lectures will provide a foundation of knowledge and you will then follow particular case studies to exercise that knowledge in depth. These case studies will be drawn from the research specialisms of staff and topical issues. Indicatively, case studies might be security and state surveillance of political participation in Britain, the political management of mass public protest, the political strategies of social movements, the relevance of political parties to contemporary politics, political marketing and media politics.
Module code: SPY1110
Thinking Sociologically: Sociological Theory and Applications
Thinking Sociologically: Sociological Theory and Applications introduces you to using the ‘sociological imagination’ to explore a range of sociological concepts and approaches. You will develop the ability to reason effectively about the relation of human agency and social structure, and reflect on the challenges, choices and constraints underlying the assumptions and tacit expectations that determine our view of the world. The module analyses how we create and sustain meaningful social relationships, organisations and systems, and how, in turn, those relations, organisations and systems impact on us.
Module code: SPY1111
Year 2 is when you’ll build on the knowledge you’ve gained and learn how to apply it. You can study armed conflicts and political violence, contemporary perspectives on early childhood education and care, and class, culture and conflict in contemporary British society. We’ll also help you develop skills for your future career. This year has an optional field trip to Amsterdam where you’ll work in archives and hear from specialist speakers and organisations.
Broken Britain explores issues around class, culture and conflict in contemporary British society. You will examine a variety of sociological perspectives and case-studies to engage critically with questions such as whether British society is ‘broken’ or if the claim is a case of ‘moral panic’? If it is broken, why? Who broke it? What role has globalisation played? Is modernity itself broken? Can society be mended? What is the ‘Big Society’? What is the Good Society? Case studies may include ‘affluenza’ and consumption, family breakdown and the ‘parenting deficit’, the ‘underclass’ debate, the hollowing out of representative democracy, and the rise of ‘radicalisation’ and ‘violent extremism’.
Module code: SPY2135
Contemporary Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Care
Contemporary Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Care recognises that early childhoods in the UK have become increasingly institutionalised with more and more very young children spending time in some form of childcare provision. This module invites you to consider what this means for both the children in such settings and the practitioners who work there. The module introduces you to policy and practice in the UK and looks in detail and with a critical focus at various elements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage in order to investigate how UK provision contributes to constructions of early childhood.
Module code: SPY2120
States, Conflict and Political Violence
States, Conflict and Political Violence recognises that the sociological study of armed conflict and political violence is an important and growing field of inquiry. Wars and conflicts within and between states are key problems facing the contemporary global community, rooted in the complex character of modern societies. They have been a central concern for sociological theorists since the founding of the discipline. The study of armed conflict therefore does more than allow you to become familiar with the particular dynamics of specific wars. It also enables a series of key concepts, theories and issues in the social sciences (of power and authority, gender, ethnicity and class) to be investigated and applied to real world situations through the prism of organised violence by, between, against and beyond the state today.
Self-Directed Learning enables you to focus on a particular agreed topic or focus and explore it, with tutorial support, to produce a project-based piece of work which relates to a particular career trajectory. The project will involve addressing a social issue or problem and/or one organisation’s response (voluntary, public or private sector) to a social issue or problem. It will involve not only desk research such as library searches but information retrieval from a range of primary sources. The self-directed learning focus allows for a sense of both leading on the learning taking place and reflecting on its progress, problems and problem-solving.
Module code: SPY2139
Work-based Learning and Employability 1
Work-based Learning and Employability 1 is designed to bridge the world of higher education with the world of work. You will develop a critical understanding of the changing context of work and of social, economic and political factors shaping the labour market and contemporary patterns of employment. There will be an opportunity to apply theory and disciplinary specialist knowledge to practical experience within a work-based setting with students undertaking a 60 hour placement. You will also enhance and develop a range of transferable skills to enhance your employability.
Child Welfare, Family and the State provides you with the opportunity to explore the focus and structure of child protection and welfare services for children and young people. The module considers the complexity of the relationship between the state, the family and the child in the context of children and young people’s welfare and well-being. You will be given the opportunity to explore and assess key legislation and policy initiatives that focus on child welfare and the protection of children and consider their influence on practice with children and their families.
Module code: SPY2123
Promoting Equality in Childhood
Promoting Equality in Childhood provides you with an overview of strategies to promote equality and social justice for children in institutional settings. The module will explore processes of discrimination and oppression and focus on the ways in which practitioners and those working with children and families might promote equality and raise children’s awareness of issues relating to diversity and equality. You will also focus on policy and practice with those who might be considered to come from some of the most marginalised sections of society and enhance your appreciation of the importance of anti-oppressive practice in working with such children, young people and their families.
Module code: SPY2126
Representations of Childhood and Youth in Popular Culture
Representations of Childhood and Youth in Popular Culture explores and analyses the ways in which childhood and youth are represented in popular culture in historical and contemporary genres. These representations will be examined in the context of popular culture about, and specifically for, children and young people. A critical approach will be adopted by drawing on theoretical perspectives including cultural theory and constructions of childhood and youth. In taking this approach, consideration will be given to representations of social divisions such as age, gender, sexuality, race and disability. Areas of study will include children as adventurers and heroes, children and young people in war and conflict, representations of children and young people’s experiences of education, and the globalisation of childhood.
Children, Food and Sustainability examines children’s food practices, environmental issues and the links between the two. The module introduces the analysis of children’s food practices and relations with animals and the environment under the rubric of understanding connections between children, childhood and nature. Themes to be studied include food practices in schools, food poverty, children and climate change and child-animal relations. These topics provide rich areas for investigating important developments in early childhood studies including children’s agency, voice and rights, in addition to children’s health, childhood consumption and children’s ethical engagement with the natural world. The module also illuminates debates on educational philosophy and explores childhood as a time and space for democratic and ecological renewal.
Module code: SPY2125
Cultural Analysis in a Global World
Cultural Analysis in a Global World considers how we understand, make sense of and act upon cultural understandings of the globalised world. We are increasingly aware of the interconnectedness of the local, national and global, through cultural and representational forms, commodities and discourses. How do we make sense of them? How do we gain a sense of what is global, what is local, and how do we make comparative and critical examinations of past and present, and begin to speculate on future, on the basis of distinct and contrasting cultural analyses? This module will look at how both media and representational practices make meanings, generate understandings and act upon them in contemporary societies, with a particular focus on recognising the importance of post-colonial cultural critiques and critical discourse analysis as a means of looking below the surface of our globalised world.
Module code: SPY2138
Language 1 is ideal if you want to learn a new language, or further develop your current language skills, as an integrated part of this degree. You can study French, German, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin or Spanish (subject to minimum numbers for your preferred language). Delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, the module will be taught in an interactive, communicative manner, using authentic materials in the target language. Emphasis will be placed on all four areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. You will play an active role in the weekly two-hour classes, engaging in role-plays, short conversations, videos, authentic texts and listening materials. You will also be encouraged to reflect on your own learning needs. On enrolment to the module, you will complete a language induction form and be placed into a language level group appropriate for your prior knowledge of your chosen language. Please note, while we will endeavour to accommodate varying language levels per module, this is not always possible. While you can join the module with some prior experience of your target language, you will not be able to study a language you are already fluent or proficient in.
Module code: TLC1010
Modules in Year 3 will give you more specialist knowledge. Our teaching team will use their cutting-edge research to inform your classes. Topics include terrorism, sexual desires, autism, socio-cultural analysis of a particular society and culture, as well as an exploration of issues in professional practice. You can also go on placement and on another field trip to a European city to explore its history, culture, politics, and social organisations.
Sociology of the Body and the Emotions introduces you to different ways of understanding ‘the body’ and its significance in past and contemporary societies. Relevant classical social theorists, such as Bourdieu, Elias, Le Breton, Foucault, Mauss and Goffman, will be covered, as will more contemporary sociologists such as Turner, Shilling, Fraser, Butler, Burkitt and Williams. The social production of bodies, how the body is deployed socially and culturally, the socially constructed dualism between body and mind, and the relationship between power and the body, are key issues for evaluation and analysis. They will be illustrated through a range of substantive topics such as gendered, classed and racialised bodies, the body, health and illness, body modification, biotechnology, and social and digital media and the body.
Contemporary Issues in the Early Years establishes contexts for critically understanding young children’s developmental issues and the disciplinary frameworks that inform and underpin services for children. Topics include the new sociology of childhood, masculinities and fatherhood and a focus on the recent work of Peter Moss. With an applied focus on the concept of ‘quality’ in early years provision, you will be encouraged to move from a characterisation of quality as the measurement of predetermined outcomes to a model of quality that privileges process and partnership between key stake holders.
Module code: SPY3102
International Perspectives on Early Childhood, Education and Care
International Perspectives on Early Childhood, Education and Care investigates the way in which childhood and family are understood and shaped in different countries by policy and practice. You will compare provision and policy in different countries and develop a critical and comparative approach in order to understand the way in which what we provide for children and families in terms of education, health and social care is influenced by, and influences how, we see the place of children and the role of the family in particular societies.
Module code: SPY3103
Social Work with Children and Families: Theory, Policy and Practice
Social Work with Children and Families: Theory, Policy and Practice provides you with an understanding of the role of social work in children and young people’s services. The module will examine the way that the needs of children impact on their position in family and society and how this impact affects theirs and their families/carers’ ability to navigate and articulate their experiences. The implications these features have for children and for family social work practice, relating to both safeguarding and family support roles, will be explored.
Animals and Society recognises that the field of animal studies has been influential in developing our understanding of the social to include relations with other species. Enhancing your understanding of how the discipline of sociology has come to focus upon the more-than-human, the module will underline how non-human animals are key to a range of contemporary issues. You will consider current human/animal relations and examine their sociological, ethical and ecological consequences in the 21st century. Alongside a focus on this growing body of research, the module will also enrich your understanding of other cognate sociological interests such as gender, childhood, ethics and climate change.
Module code: SPY3129
Arts in Society
Arts in Society focuses upon the way that a range of feminist and community-based artists work with specific communities and the general public in order to address social issues. The module enables you to explore and develop notions of social justice and community engagement through innovative and creative means. In its examination of the ways in which the arts can ameliorate social conditions, it raises philosophical, ethical and practical issues. You will have the opportunity to learn about a range of artists and practices and the resonance these have with the social issues that are meaningful to them and their study. You will be encouraged to think creatively and reflectively and be expected to engage with works of art as well as with critical literature.
Module code: SPY3109
Contemporary Theory, Policy and Practice in Education Services
Contemporary Theory, Policy and Practice in Education Services enables you to critically examine the world of children’s education. Lying at its heart is the claim that education is a political activity which confronts a range of issues to do with ideology, politics and values which in themselves function at a variety of different levels of power, status and influence. Themes of the module include the marketisation of education, the equal opportunities trap, educational philosophy, and globalisation and education. You will focus on competing discursive narratives which demonstrate the intensely political nature of education, teaching and learning.
Module code: SPY3105
Critical Autism Studies
Critical Autism Studies adopts a critical approach to understanding autism and seeks to challenge the dominant medical model of neurological deficit. Rather than viewing autism as a cognitive development disability, you will be encouraged to consider it as a naturally occurring form of cognitive diversity. The module will examine the argument that autism has been constructed as a neurobiological deficit in a context of neurotypicality or cognitive normality. Understanding autism as neurodiversity opens up spaces for more positive interpretations of autistic people’s experiences, skills and identities. The module is underpinned and, in part, informed by, research by members of the programme team which is focused on areas of sexuality and autism and, specifically, what professionals and care workers should do when providing support for people whose intellectual disability or mental condition makes their consent – being informed, competent and free from coercion – legally unreliable.
Module code: SPY3048
Critical Perspectives on Children’s Health and Wellbeing
Critical Perspectives on Children’s Health and Wellbeing presents you with the opportunity to explore key social, political and cultural perspectives on children’s health and wellbeing. In recent years, health programmes have focused on promoting good physical health, mental health and emotional wellbeing by encouraging children, young people and their families to develop healthy lifestyles and, in doing so, tackle health inequalities. Opportunities will be provided to reflect upon current legislation, policy and the socio-political and cultural influences that impact on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. A key feature of the module will be its emphasis on the position of children and young people’s voices in theory, policy, research and practice and their participation in the decisions that impact their lives.
Module code: SPY3106
Critical Terrorism Studies
Critical Terrorism Studies recognises that in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and those in London, Madrid, Paris and beyond, terrorism and political violence have become ever more pressing contemporary issues. But, what is ‘terrorism’; what does the term itself actually mean? What causes political violence, how is it represented in modern multi-mediated societies and how does the issue of ‘counter terrorism’ impact on the lives of people today? How has the ‘fear’ of terrorism come to affect our society? These are the sort of questions this module is designed to address. You will be invited to employ and develop your understanding of critical sociological theories, concepts and approaches in order to investigate these matters of great contemporary social importance.
Module code: SPY3110
Issues for Professional Practice
Issues for Professional Practice involves a critical examination of professions, professional identity and professional practice in the context of welfare, health and education services for children, families and adults. The module will provide you with the opportunity to consider and critically analyse the meaning and development of professionalisation, frameworks for ‘best practice’ and the implications of current policy and strategies for intervention. The module will enable you to critically engage with such ideas, concepts and issues as professional power, partnership, developmentalism, inter-professional and multi-agency working, in addition to anti-oppressive, reflective and ‘critical practice’. The aim is to provide opportunities for critical analysis of the links and relationships between theory and practice and to encourage the use of learning from previous experience and learning.
Module code: SPY3107
Researching Early Childhood
Researching Early Childhood recognises that engaging in the process of research is essential for both the academic and professional development of those working in early years. In this module you will be introduced to a range of qualitative research methods which have been used to study aspects of early childhood. You will explore what is meant by ‘research’ from philosophical, ethical and practical perspectives. You will be guided in the development of a research proposal and report on an area of investigation that is of real interest to them. As such this module provides a foundation for future professional practice or postgraduate research.
Module code: SPY3113
Self-Directed Study enables you to look in depth at a theme or issue covered over the duration of your programme of study. The module involves identifying a chosen area for study, developing and negotiating a learning contract (which will outline the what, how, when, where and why of the study period), as well as the means of assessment to showcase the acquired learning. You will be assigned a module supervisor who will help you to develop the negotiated learning and agree the nature of the assessment.
Module code: SPY3101
Social, Cultural and Political Ideas
Social, Cultural and Political Ideas enables you to undertake focused work on trans-disciplinary theoretical studies that combine social, political and cultural dimensions in order to understand issues and problems in the contemporary world. The module provides a discursive base on the relationship of theory to practice and the critical study of ideas before focusing on three particular issues and/or theoretical positions and perspectives. Topics might include democracy and democratisation, neo-liberalism, models of justice, consumerism, governance and globalism, cultural Marxism, Orientalism, post-colonialism, or post-Marxism. The balance of generality with specific focus allows for a detailed and critical approach to social, political and cultural ideas.
Module code: SPY3111
Socio-Cultural Issues and Questions
Socio-Cultural Issues and Questions provides you with the opportunity to intensively study a particular society and culture through some of its contemporary issues. The module allows for the comparative cultural analysis of a different society to the one you live in, focused around some preparatory lectures and reflective sessions and an intensive study trip to that country. The focus of the study trip will be to explore both comparisons and contrasts, and use the experience of difference to explore social and cultural issues and problems.
Module code: SPY3125
Work-based Learning and Employability 2
Work-based Learning and Employability 2 is designed to bridge the world of higher education with the world of work. You will develop a critical understanding of issues related to organisational structure, leadership and culture. There will be an opportunity to apply theory and disciplinary specialist knowledge to practical experience within a work-based setting through undertaking a 60 hour placement. You will develop your personal and professional profiles through continuous reflection on practice using student-centred learning opportunities. Throughout the module you will also develop your employability profile in preparation for career entry.
Module code: SPY3127
TLC2000 Language 2 enables you to build on and develop your previous language knowledge in French, German, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin or Spanish. You must have either studied the prior language module in the previous year or be able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge of your target language (though you will not be able to study a language you are already fluent or proficient in). The language levels available will be determined by the continuation of corresponding groups from the previous language module. You will gain the language skills necessary to become a more proficient user of the language. Classes will be taught in an interactive and communicative manner using authentic materials to promote meaningful communication. They will be conducted in the target language as much as possible. Emphasis will be on speaking and listening, with appropriate attention also being paid to other communication skills. Other work will include a variety of tasks which may be completed in the Language Centre.
Module code: TLC2000
Optional modules 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. You 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
Course assessments, including the use of portfolios, essays, information retrieval exercises, seminar presentations and case studies have been creatively designed to encourage the potential of all students.
There are no formal written examinations as part of the current assessment methods on this programme.
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 Departments of Social Sciences are at the forefront of teaching, research and publication in a number of areas including desire and sexuality, states, violence and terrorism, cultural and social theories and perspectives, culture and arts in society, professional practice, social work with children and families, education and youth issues.
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.
Typical offer 104-112 UCAS Tariff points. No specific subjects are required.
BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications)
Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM).
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 or one band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.
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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.
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.
The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.
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.
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 should 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
By studying two subjects you’ll expand your careers options.
Our early childhood studies graduates often work in the early years, private or voluntary sectors, in social services or for health and education authorities. Sociology graduates are working across the private, public and voluntary sectors in areas like:
social and health services
general administration and management
media and entertainment
retail and leisure
You might also want to carry on your studies with a postgraduate degree.