Childhood Practice BA (Hons)

Course code X310

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 and offer you an opportunity to link your developing professional practice with theory, current policy and legislation
  • The course is delivered entirely online and can be studied from anywhere in Scotland

Entry requirements

  • You must have at least two years work experience in an appropriate setting PLUS
  • A recognised SSSC practitioner qualification such as HNC Childhood Practice OR
  • A relevant SCQF level 7 qualification, for example: Social Services: Children and Young People; Children’s Care Learning and Development/Playwork; or equivalent. For applicants without sufficient credits, modules are available to help you reach the required level
  • You must be employed within a relevant workplace environment
  • To complete Level 9 modules, you must have access to leadership activities/experiences
  • You may be required to attend a guidance interview, in person or by telephone, to discuss the course in detail and to explain the method of teaching
  • Alternative entry will be considered based on relevant professional qualifications recognised by SSSC plus appropriate experience

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - DipHE

View our interactive introduction to the course

Core subjects include:

  • Developing leadership capacity in childhood practice (S1)
  • Collaboration and reflective practice childhood practice (S1)
  • Assuring quality in a childhood practice setting (S2)
  • Practitioner research in childhood practice (S2)

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
  • Youth behaviour and society
  • Individual society and health continuum
  • The enquiring student (mandatory option)
  • Mentoring in education and childcare

Year 2 - BA

Core subjects include:

  • Contemporary issues in childhood practice (S1)
  • Co-ordination, partnership and integration in childhood practice (S1 + S2)
  • Developing a childhood workplace project (S1)
  • Leading change in childhood practice (S2)
  • Leading a childhood practice workplace project (S2)
  • Promoting children’s rights and inclusion in childhood practice (S1 + S2)

Year 3 - BA (Hons)

Core subjects are:

  • Comparative childcare: a European perspective (S1)
  • Professional reflection (S1)
  • Dissertation (S1 and S2)

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
  • Research with children and young people
  • The UNCRC: Investigating exploitation, youth justice and education
  • Developmental disorders
  • Psychopathology mental health and wellbeing
  • Comparative health studies
  • Insider and outsiders

How will I study my course?

  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will study through supported online learning using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • You will also be required to attend a face-to-face or online 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
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North Highland
  • Orkney
  • Outer Hebrides
  • Perth
  • Shetland
  • West Highland

Start date

  • September
  • January


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £915
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £305

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) without a term-time address in Scotland,i.e. studying from their home country, or assessed as RUK fee status, the following fees apply:

Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £3,060 £3,060
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £1,020 £1,020

All fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

This course is not available to students domiciled outside of the UK or for international students (including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled status in the UK) requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study here.. For students living in the UK and assessed as international for fee status, the following fees will apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £3,240 £3,270
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £1,080 £1,090



UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

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 day care and children's services 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
  • Early learning and childcare tutor
  • Care inspectorate

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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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

After completing my degree I progressed on to the PGDE Education (Primary) which I have just completed. I am due to start my probation teaching year shortly. During my studies I also changed jobs from working as an early years practitioner at my local authority nursery, to becoming childcare manager for the area putting into use my childhood practice degree. I am loving every aspect of the job although at the minute things are rather chaotic and challenging as I am currently responsible for setting up the local emergency childcare hubs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carla Gallon completed the BA (Hons) Childhood Practice at UHI Inverness in 2018.

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)

Please note that UHI North Highland, UHI Outer Hebrides and UHI West Highland will be changing their names to become UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study.

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2023 or Jan/Feb 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate 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.