Childhood Practice BA (Hons)

What is special about this course?

This fully-online honours degree offers practitioners in a wide range of childhood practice settings the opportunity to gain the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) recognised qualification to be a lead practitioner.

You will have the opportunity to relate theory to real working practice and investigate, in-depth, an area of interest to you.

The course is designed to meet the Scottish subject benchmark statement, the Standard for Childhood Practice.

On successful completion of the course you will have acquired the skills and knowledge to move on to a lead practitioner role. Similarly, you will be well equipped to take further professional qualifications or a PGDE.

Special features

  • The course offers flexible study routes which are based on previous qualifications and relevant workplace experience
  • On completion of the ordinary degree (BA) you will gain the SSSC recognised qualification to be a lead practitioner
  • The course meets the Scottish benchmark statement: the Standard for Childhood Practice
  • The course offers the opportunity for you to specialise in areas of personal/professional interest
  • Modules focus on practical skills in the workplace
  • The course is delivered entirley online and can be studied from anywhere in Scotland

Entry requirements

  • At least two years work experience in an appropriate setting plus
  • HNC Childhood Practice OR
  • Relevant SVQ 3, for example: Social Services: Children and Young People; Children’s Care Learning and Development/Playwork; or equivalent
  • You must be employed within a relevant workplace environment
  • Alternative entry will be considered, based on relevant professional qualifications recognised by SSSC plus appropriate experience

Access routes

Students eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP) will be able to apply for entry to BA (Hons) Childhood Practice with a grade profile of CCC in one of the below courses and 8 units passed at SCQF level 6. Please speak to the Programme Leader to dertermine a suitable access route for your circumstances.

  • Access to: Arts and Humanities (Newbattle Abbey College)
  • Access to: Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Teaching (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Teaching (North East Scotland College)
  • Access to: Celtic Studies incorporating Primary Education with Gaelic (Newbattle Abbey College)
  • Access to: Community, Education and Humanities (Dundee & Angus College)
  • Access to: Degree Studies (Forth Valley College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Education) (Fife College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Fife College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Perth College UHI)
  • Access to: Languages with Business (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: Languages, Arts and Social Sciences (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: University Study (Dundee & Angus College)
  • NQ Access to: Social Sciences (West Lothian College)
  • NQ Access to: Teaching (West Lothian College)

Year 1 - DipHE

View our interactive introduction to the course

Subjects include:

  • Assuring quality in a childhood practice setting
  • Practitioner research in childhood practice
  • Developing leadership capacity in childhood practice
  • Collaboration and reflective practice childhood practice

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • Play and childhood
  • Recognising and challenging discrimination and disadvantage
  • Health psychology
  • Principles and foundations of health promotion
  • Adolescence: development and individual differences
  • Specialist provision
  • Providing a curriculum for life
  • Care and control
  • Working in partnership

Year 2 - BA

Subjects include:

  • Promoting children’s rights and inclusion in childhood practice
  • Contemporary issues in childhood practice
  • Leading change in childhood practice
  • Developing a childhood workplace project
  • Leading a childhood practice workplace project
  • Co-ordination, partnership and integration in childhood practice

Year 3 - BA (Hons)

Subjects include:

  • Comparative childcare: a European perspective
  • Professional reflection

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • Childhood and adolescent mental health
  • Globalised view of childcare
  • Personal and professional reflection
  • Food and behaviour
  • Disability and society
  • Comparative health studies
  • Researh with children and young people
  • The UNCRC: Investigating exploitation, youth justice and education
  • Developmental disorders

You must also complete a dissertation.

How will I study my course?

  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will also be required to attend a face-to-face induction at the start of your course

How long will my course last?

Depending on entry level, which is based on credit awarded from previous qualifications:

  • Part-time (structured): 2-6 years
  • Part-time (unstructured): 2-6 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Perth College UHI - This location is now full for January 2020 entry.
  • Shetland College UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September
  • January


For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) and with a term-time address in Scotland studying this course full-time, the following fees apply:

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

  • Once you have successfully completed your ordinary degree BA Childhood Practice course, you will have gained a qualification recognised by the Scottish Social Service Council for Lead Practitioner in a wide range of early years and childcare settings. In addition, it will also provide valuable CPD for those working in the sector
  • SVQ assessor
  • Childhood practice manager
  • Roles in local and national childcare initiatives
  • Teacher Training

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BA (Hons) Childhood Practice to the following University of the Highlands and Island's postgraduate course:

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

Without this degree, I would never have had the confidence to consider being an SVQ Assessor. It gave me the knowledge, skills and showcased the qualities necessary to work with individuals wishing to develop their own careers.

Angela Cameron graduated with a BA (Hons) Childhood Practice, in 2016.

Apply for Childhood Practice BA (Hons)

I want to start in Jan/Feb 2020 or Aug/Sep 2020 or Jan/Feb 2021

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