Students chat while walking through the foyer in the Faculty of Education.

BA (Hons) Children’s Learning and Development

Gain the expertise required to work with children aged 5-11 in a learning or supporting capacity in schools, and a range of other settings, on a degree that examines children's rights and explores children's social and emotional learning and development.

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      UCAS Code: XL77
      Course Length: 3 Years Full-Time
      Start Dates: September 2022, September 2023
      Subjects: Education and Teaching
      Location: Edge Hill University

      Placing you at the forefront of contemporary perspectives and practice in children’s learning and development, this stimulating degree will inspire you, challenge your thinking and equip you with a comprehensive understanding of children and childhood in the middle years (ages 5-11). The programme examines the complexities and challenges of the contexts in which children live, develop and learn, offering international perspectives on children, childhood and education, underpinned by real-life case studies. You will discover what influences and impacts on children’s learning and development and learn how to use a range of technologies to enhance their learning experience. Tailored work-based learning opportunities in each year of study enable you gain experience of working with children across the middle years in different contexts, helping you to stand out to potential employers. You will graduate as a children’s practitioner, equipped with the fundamental skills of listening carefully and communicating effectively, able to apply an attitude of ‘unconditional positive regard’ to all aspects of working with children, their families and communities.

      Discover Uni: Full-Time Study

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      In Depth

      What will I study?

      The programme is designed around five key strands that run across each year of study.

      The Children’s Learning and Development strand examines what constitutes learning and explores key theories relating to children’s learning, development and behaviour. You will investigate constructions of child identity, explore current national and international systems of education, and gain a critical perspective on the historical, social, political and economic factors which shape education, systems, policy and practice for children in the middle years. You will also develop your practice through learning how to implement interventions and introduce new approaches in a diverse classroom.

      Preparing you to work in roles that promote the inclusion of children and their diverse families, the Family and Community strand investigates a range of perspectives from across sociology and social psychology. You will examine the behaviour and functioning of families, interrogate family roles, relationships and dynamics, and consider the changing paradigm of ‘family’. Theoretical perspectives on stereotyping, prejudice and unconscious bias will be analysed, alongside cultural competence in practice and the contrasting national and international approaches to child-centred family and education policy.

      The Enhancement strand provides insight into a range of specialised areas, exploring health and wellbeing, alternative learning environments, the therapeutic classroom, special education needs, and disability and inclusion. In Year 2 there will be an opportunity to choose an optional module, which will help you to shape your degree around your own specific interests and/or career goals.

      The Research strand prepares you to undertake a small-scale, robust research project focusing on an aspect of children’s learning and development of your choosing. By investigating the ethics, practices and processes of educational research, you will develop an understanding of how new knowledge is created and built upon, enhance your skills in independent investigation, and further your knowledge of specific contemporary issues relating to children’s learning and development.

      The Effective Practitioner strand enables you to work effectively with children across the middle years in supporting learning and development. You will gain real-life experience through work-based learning and acquire the core professional skills, confidence and solution-focused approach needed to communicate and engage with parents, colleagues and other agencies effectively. You will also develop your knowledge and understanding of safeguarding and the Prevent strategy and be encouraged to take responsibility for your ongoing professional development through target setting and action planning.

      How will I study?

      You will learn through a combination of taught sessions, guided and autonomous independent study, and the use of the virtual learning environment, You will typically spend three full days each week on campus and will benefit from the effective integration of new and emerging technologies which are designed to enhance your learning potential.

      There will be the opportunity to engage in work-based learning, closely matched to your career aspirations, in each year of study. This will enable you to make strong connections with employers from an early stage of your degree. You will be supported in choosing from the different types of placement settings available. These include schools, alternative education settings, and spaces with an education focus at their centre, such as museums, galleries, environmental centres, zoos, heritage sites and outdoor learning centres, as well as beach schools and forest schools. There may also be opportunities to engage in voluntary work in the UK or overseas.

      How will I be assessed?

      You will be assessed through a variety of learner-centred approaches, from written assignments, presentations, group work and a research project to the creation of online resources, videos, blogs, electronic portfolios and practice-based tasks. Comprehensive and effective feedback on your work will clearly articulate targets for progression and improvement.

      There are no formal written examinations as part of the current assessment methods on this programme.

      Who will be teaching me?

      You will be taught and guided by a team of highly experienced, research active experts who have extensive professional and academic experience.

      The programme team have expertise in a variety of areas including children’s learning, children’s rights, inclusion and education across the age phase from birth to the end of adolescence. They will guide you in developing your academic writing and encourage you to shape and reflect on your learning journey.

      A Great Study Environment

      Housed in a state-of-the-art £9million building, the Faculty of Education enjoys a stunning setting from both its lakeside and piazza buildings.

      Facilities in the lakeside building include a 300-seat lecture theatre, five well-equipped ICT suites, and 18 teaching rooms complete with the latest technology. The lakeside building is also home to a popular vegan and vegetarian cafe where students can meet to socialise and discuss their studies.

      The nearby piazza building offers modern facilities including a lecture theatre and a number of seminar rooms.


      Expand All

      Year 1

      Compulsory modules:

      CLD1001Children's Developing Identity (20 credits)

      Children’s Developing Identity introduces you to the study of middle childhood with a focus on perceptions of children and childhood, the development of individual identity in childhood, and children’s rights. You will explore your own personal beliefs, assumptions and expectations with regards to middle childhood and children’s developing independence and competencies during this phase. The module also considers the ways in which these assumptions are developed, reinforced and perpetuated by historical perspectives, dominant ideologies and the roles of social institutions in contemporary Britain.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD1002Understanding Children's Learning (20 credits)

      Understanding Children’s Learning explores and defines ‘learning’ in the middle years of childhood through consideration of a range of key theories, concepts and models. One of the defining features of the ‘middle years’ of childhood in the UK and most developed cultures is the transition from being home-based to being school-based. Children move from spending the majority of their time in a home setting, with adults who would be defined as family, often as one of a very small number of children, to spending the majority of their time in a school setting as one of a large number of children of the same age with a small number of adults who are usually unknown to them. You will consider a broad definition of learning that extends beyond education and schooling and includes the learning that starts at birth and takes place in every context that is part of a child’s life. The module will define and refine your understanding of learning, exploring theories and models of learning to give a sound underpinning for observing, analysing and discussing children’s learning, progress, attitudes and responses, as well as their individual development.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD1003Family, Community and Society (20 credits)

      Family, Community and Society equips you with an understanding of family roles, relationships and dynamics. The module recognises that an insight into the changing paradigm of family is essential to those working in roles that promote the inclusion of children and their diverse families. It offers a range of perspectives from across sociology and social psychology to enable you to understand the behaviour and functioning of families. A key theme to explore is how families are embedded in their immediate communities and shaped, influenced and defined by society. You will be introduced to Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, while potential challenges which children may face that could impact on their learning and development, including their ability to engage in social and educational opportunities, will be explored. These might include, for example, children experiencing multiple aspects of deprivation, children who are homeless, children who are refugees and asylum seekers, children of prisoners, and children facing loss or bereavement.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD1004Children and Family Health and Wellbeing (20 credits)

      Children and Family Health and Wellbeing explores how children become physically literate and ‘motor competent’ in a range of learning and lifestyle activities. The module focuses on the concepts pivotal to the holistic development of children through movement and family health choices, leading to lifelong participation in physical activity and healthy behaviours. Physical literacy will be presented as the confidence, competence and motivation to be physically active for life, while a focus on health literacy will explore the cognitive and social skills which determine the motivation and ability of individuals to gain access to, understand and use information in ways which promote and maintain good health.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD1005Researching Contemporary Issues (20 credits)

      Researching Contemporary Issues examines the impact of educational research and introduces you to a range of contemporary issues related to children’s learning and development. The module integrates support for academic study skills, providing an overview of key academic literacies such as structuring an argument and using research evidence to support a line of reasoning. You will also develop an initial understanding of educational research, learning and development, and professional identity. The module employs an innovative approach to teaching, in which you will engage with academic content through active engagement and debate. The aim is to help you develop personal and professional values, beliefs and attributes and underpin the development of research-informed practice.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD1006Effective Practitioner 1: Safeguarding Children (20 credits)

      Effective Practitioner 1: Safeguarding Children introduces you to safeguarding and current legislation, including your own responsibilities both on placement and as a future practitioner. The module engages you in academic study of the key attitudes and attributes that are essential for working effectively with children across the middle years and supporting their learning and development. Actively participating in practical classes and workshops, you will also complete 20 days of work-based learning. You will explore the tensions surrounding receiving and responding to feedback, begin to take responsibility for your ongoing professional development through target setting and action planning, and be encouraged to analyse and discuss a range of current safeguarding topics. Sessions will focus on the preparation of transferable skills that are vital for the workplace.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      Year 2

      Compulsory modules:

      CLD2001Social and Emotional Development (20 credits)

      Social and Emotional Development equips you with a broad understanding of children’s social and emotional development through sociological and psychological lenses. You will consider theoretical models for children’s social and emotional development from birth to early adulthood, focusing particularly on the middle childhood life phase. The module will explore factors that may impact positively and negatively on children’s development of resilience, attitudes, moral reasoning and conscience, including the influence of peer pressure and social media, while also examining approaches that practitioners might take to enable positive development. You will gain a detailed understanding of how to help children develop as emotionally healthy individuals, negotiate their expanding social landscape, and secure the best possible educational and social outcomes.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD2002Understanding Behaviour (20 credits)

      Understanding Behaviour explores children’s behaviour as a form of communication, a response to the environment and an outcome of each individual’s social and emotional development. You will explore the connection between this behaviour model and the premise and language of behaviour management in primary school classrooms and the associated impact on children’s learning. The module will examine the tensions between the widely accepted norms and functions of classroom behaviour, rules and routines, and the development of emotional self-regulation, pro-social behaviour and emotional autonomy during middle childhood. Expressions of neurodiversity such as autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and sensory disorders will also be considered in the context of teacher perceptions of behaviour. The experiences of children, parents and teachers will all feed into your learning.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD2003Working with Children and Families in a Diverse Society (20 credits)

      Working with Children and Families in a Diverse Society equips you to work with children and families across the wider children’s workforce in a rich and diverse society like the UK. You will be encouraged to recognise and discuss the changing nature of families and communities, while developing the ability to recognise injustice and gain an understanding of how practitioners might respond in terms of advocacy and action for equality. You will develop an informed understanding of inequality, discrimination and oppression, critiquing institutional practices surrounding diversity and inclusion and linking their relationship to the wider inclusion agenda. The module will also consider theoretical perspectives on stereotyping, prejudice and unconscious bias, consider cultural competence in practice, and address issues of eurocentrism and relativism while being grounded in policies, statutory guidance and legislation.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD2004Preparing for Research (20 credits)

      Preparing for Research explores the ethics, practices and processes of educational research. Recognising what constitutes high quality, ethical research which explores, informs, challenges and transforms policy and practice is essential preparation for undertaking your own research. You will develop an understanding of how new knowledge is created and built upon and discover how to critique knowledge claims within social, academic and political spheres. Learning how to conceptualise and design a research project, you will be guided in writing a critically justified research proposal and be introduced to qualitative and quantitative research methods.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD2005Effective Practitioner 2: Working in a Multi-Agency Environment (20 credits)

      Effective Practitioner 2: Working in a Multi-Agency Environment supports you in developing the core professional skills and confidence in communicating and engaging effectively with parents, colleagues and other agencies. The module will guide you in developing a solution-focused approach to problem solving, applying appropriate assertiveness and managing difficult conversations. Crucially, you will discover how to develop effective and authentically supportive relationships with parents. The module will consider the importance of information sharing, examine policy including safeguarding and The Prevent Strategy, and consider different models of inter-agency working. You will undertake 20 days of work-based learning as part of this module and continue to take responsibility for your ongoing professional development through target setting and action planning.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      You will select one of the following optional modules:

      CLD2006Alternative Environments for Learning and Development (20 credits)

      Alternative Environments for Learning and Development broadens your knowledge and understanding of the diversity of educational opportunities outside a traditional classroom. You will be introduced to contemporary approaches to learning in the context of alternative educational settings such as art galleries, museums, forest schools, beach schools and play groups. The examination of children’s learning within these alternative settings will be informed by current research focused on specific socio-political and cultural perspectives, both national and international. The module will provide you with the opportunity to pursue areas of particular interest and explore selected alternative settings in more depth. You will be encouraged to reflect upon aspects of children’s learning and development to gain an insight into how children experience the world and how aspects of it are constructed by them.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD2007Supporting Learning and Development: Therapeutic Approaches (20 credits)

      Supporting Learning and Development: Therapeutic Approaches introduces you to current discourse around the rise in therapeutic education. This subject will be considered through the lens of the increasing incidence of adverse childhood experiences and the emotionally complex lives of children in the middle years. The emotional climate of the classroom and its crucial role in supporting learning and development will be investigated, the centrality of positive relationships with children and parents explored, while the role of adults, including ethical practice and understanding the limitations of their role, will be assessed. You will consider common strategies for identifying needs and examine the effectiveness of specific non-specialist intervention programmes for establishing therapeutic approaches. Critically analysing a selected approach or intervention, you will weigh up the available evidence, determine the potential outcomes for children and settings, and identify any ethical issues which may arise. You will present your analysis as a report to key stakeholders such as Governors or a Board of Trustees.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      Year 3

      Compulsory modules:

      CLD3001Supporting Children's Learning (20 credits)

      Supporting Children’s Learning considers the role of the adult in supporting children’s learning and development in a range of contexts. You will develop the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to plan, implement and critically evaluate a learning experience. Studying different models for instruction to develop your understanding of the adult’s role in supporting children’s learning, you will consider the importance of identifying a clearly-defined intended outcome for a learning experience which focuses on developing knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes or values, and learn how to plan an effective, coherent sequence of steps to ensure the outcome is achieved. The module will examine the importance of talking for all participants in a learning experience, study cognitive load theory and its impact on learning and planning for learning, and reveal the value of observation when assessing and evaluating a learning experience.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD3002Reimagining the Curriculum (20 credits)

      Reimagining the Curriculum explores the current systems of education both nationally and internationally. Critically analysing curriculum content and delivery, you will consider how professionals working with children in the middle years might reimagine aspects of curricula to address issues of bias and inclusion to promote learning for all. The module will enable you to explore the ways in which education systems share similarities and have important differences across borders. This will encourage you to develop a critical perspective on the historical, social, political and economic factors which shape education systems, policy and practice for children in the middle years.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD3003Children and Families: Social Policy and Inequality (20 credits)

      Children and Families: Social Policy and Inequality recognises that the family is seen as central to British society and yet its location within the private sphere makes intervention by the state controversial. The government’s consistent focus on raising children out of poverty, including the education and broader welfare policy initiatives introduced to support that aim, have given family support a high profile. This module critically examines the nature of current family-based policy and practice and assesses the impact on those it affects. Using specific case studies, such as free school meals, universal credit, food banks, pupil premium, family learning and the troubled families initiative, the module will contrast these initiatives with different approaches to child-centred, family and education policy elsewhere.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD3004Learning for All: Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion (20 credits)

      Learning for All: Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion enables you to develop a critical understanding of inclusion within school contexts. The module will introduce you to the policy context of the Equality Act 2010, the overarching piece of legislation which impacts on teaching and learning. You will develop a critical understanding of this legislation and other policy frameworks that relate to inclusion, exploring their implications for the school curriculum and teaching and learning in primary classrooms. The module addresses disability, sexuality, race, social deprivation and mental health.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      CLD3005Educational Research in Practice (40 credits)

      Educational Research in Practice provides you with the opportunity to conduct a robust piece of research into an aspect of children’s learning and development of your choosing. You will design and execute a small-scale research project that develops both your skills in independent investigation and your knowledge of specific contemporary issues in relation to children’s learning and development. You will select an appropriate topic, collect and analyse data, and produce a final research report which communicates your findings to a high academic standard.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      Optional modules provide an element of choice within the programme 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.


      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.


      Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes 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 accrediting 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.

      Entry Criteria

      Entry Requirements

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

      If you accept a formal offer from Edge Hill University you will be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure indicating that you meet the mandatory criteria of ‘Clearance to Work with Children and/or Vulnerable Adults’. Further information will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.

      Example Offers

      Some examples of how you can achieve 104-112 UCAS Tariff points are detailed below.

      • 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 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.

      For further information on how you can meet the entry requirements, including details of alternative qualifications, please visit

      EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at

      International students should visit for information on the entry criteria for overseas applicants.

      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 lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

      Are there any alternative ways to meet the entry requirements?

      If you have the ability to study for a degree but lack the necessary qualifications or confidence, our Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education course could be for you. This free, seven-week programme provides a great opportunity to enhance your study skills and subject knowledge and demonstrate that you are ready to study a particular subject with us, in lieu of achieving the UCAS Tariff points in the entry criteria.

      Upon successful completion of a Fastrack course, you will be well placed to progress onto a corresponding Edge Hill University degree, although additional entry requirements may apply and the availability of specific programmes cannot be guaranteed. For more information, visit

      Career Prospects

      What are my career prospects?

      This programme prepares you for a career supporting children aged 5-11 years, in schools, museums and other settings, including the private and third sector. The rich work-related learning opportunities available on the programme are designed to help support you in making decisions about your choice of future career.

      From learning, pastoral and family support roles, to child mentoring and liaison positions in schools and the wider children’s workforce, this programme has been developed in collaboration with potential employers to ensure that you are extremely well-placed to be a highly effective children’s practitioner.

      This degree also provides ideal preparation for applying to a postgraduate route in early years or primary teacher training (age ranges 3-7 or 5-11) to gain Qualified Teacher Status, as well as being an excellent foundation for Masters level study in education, child psychology, mental health and wellbeing, or social work.


      Tuition Fees

      If you are a prospective UK student who will be joining this undergraduate degree in academic year 2022/23, the tuition fee will be £9,250 a year (subject to final Government approval). Tuition fees for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2022/23 are £15,000 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.

      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.

      Financial Support

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

      For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining this programme in academic year 2022/23, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2022/23 guide at

      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). Please see for further details.

      Financial support information for international students can be found at


      Ten scholarship winners sitting together in a lecture theatre at the Scholarship Awards Evening.Edge Hill University offers a range of scholarships with a competitive application process for prospective full-time undergraduate students.

      These scholarships aren’t linked to academic success and celebrate determination, talent and achievement beyond your coursework, for instance in creativity, enterprise, ICT, performance, sport or volunteering.

      To find out more about scholarships, to assess your eligibility, and to meet some of our dedicated scholarship winners, visit


      How to Apply

      Apply online through UCAS at

      Visit to find out more about the application process.

      Further information for international students about how to apply is available at

      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

      Visit Us

      If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at

      Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about our full range of events for prospective students, including campus tours and virtual activities, at

      Request a Prospectus

      If you would like to explore our full range of degrees before you apply, you can order an undergraduate prospectus at

      Get in Touch

      If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

      International students should visit or email [email protected] with any queries about overseas study.

      Course Changes

      Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

      2nd March 2021 - Update to Example Offers

      Example offers updated to include the Education and Childcare T Level with an overall grade of Merit.

      Covid-19 - Children’s Learning and Development Essential Information

      Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.

      Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.

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