Children Schools and Families

Children Schools and Families BA (Hons) - Top-up

This course builds on your existing child-based education to help you develop a career working with children, young people and the services that support them. The course draws on subject areas including education, sociology, psychology, social policy and social work. During your Top Up Course, you’ll examine the services, systems, policies and work practices that relate to children and young people in schools, with families and in care settings. If you don’t already work with children, you’ll spend twelve days in placement to link what you’ve learned with the real world of working in children’s services. 

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Our Social Work provision is ranked 4th in the UK and 2nd in England in the Guardian League Table 2021 (UK universities ranked by subject area: Social work)

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Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year. Part-time available.

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons) - Top-up

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston and Burnley (Campus code: Preston: U, Burnley: A)

  • Start Date:


  • Top-up your foundation degree to full honours in Children, Schools and Family.
  • Examine the services, systems, policies and work practices that relate to children, schools and families.
  • UCLan’s Social Work provision was ranked 5th in the UK in the Guardian 2020 University Guide.

Course Overview

You will complete 4 prescribed modules:

  • A Dissertation
  • Children’s Services and Systems 3 (Multi professional Working in Children’s Services)
  • International Perspectives on Children’s Lives
  • Learning From Work in Children’s Services

You will also be required to select two optional modules from the list provided by the Course Team.

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

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Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,540* per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)
Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Relevant Foundation Degree. Applicants can progress from Foundation Degree in Children, Young People and their Services.

The following students may gain direct-access onto the final year of BA (Hons) Children, Schools and Families:

  • Applicants who hold a UCLan Foundation Degree in Children, Young People and their Services will be admitted with advanced standing up to 240 credits (directly into Year 3).
  • Applicants who hold a Foundation Degree in a relevant discipline awarded by other higher education institutions will be considered positively.

Consideration will also be given to non-traditional qualifications and relevant work experience. applicants are encouraged to produce evidence of their potential to benefit from the course. Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) for certain modules will be considered on an individual basis.

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

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DBS Checks

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.

Further Information

The course combines, theory, policy and practice. You will analyse some of the challenges associated with multi-professional working and critically evaluate the contemporary drivers for service integration across the children’s workforce.

As a team, we’re committed to offering excellent student support. When you arrive, you’ll be allocated a tutor who’ll oversee your progress and support you throughout your degree. We’re a personable and approachable team who want you to get the most out of studying with us.  

"Having led quite a sheltered life this course made me sit up and take notice of society as a whole and I will never take anything for granted without questioning the reasoning behind it – it was definitely 'life changing'!"

You will complete compulsory modules examining multi professional working and international perspectives on children’s lives. You will also take a work placement module and complete a dissertation. Students take two optional modules from a range of modules. Topics include: gender and society; working with children, families and young people; mental health; learning disabilities; the education of vulnerable young people; sociology of childhood.

You will complete one compulsory work placement as part of your degree. This equates to 12 days (or 84 hours) of work placement activity. All students complete a work placement module. If you are not already in employment, you will undertake a work placement in a relevant setting. Importantly, this module involves taught sessions which allow you to assess how policy translates into practice and to reflect on the role of the practitioner as a change agent.

We have excellent inks with a range of placement contacts including primary and secondary schools, youth offending teams, children’s residential care homes, children’s advocacy services, domestic violence centres, early years settings, pupil referral units and family support services.

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

The timetable for this course is designed to offer you the opportunity to attend classes on campus for one working day. You will learn through a combination of teaching, group debate and discussion, practical experience and independent research. Lectures are supported by audio-visual and web-based materials are used to provide essential information, guidance for further work and a framework and stimulus for learning and independent study. Group activities, workshops, discussions and interactions facilitate the development of interpersonal skills and peer support and learning, and are used to stimulate the application and sharing of information, ideas, values and experience and develop problem solving skills. Field observations and student-initiated placements are used to develop ability in applying and integrating theoretical knowledge to practice and enhance overall employability. The course utilizes a variety of assessment methods including essays, project work and a final-year dissertation.

Excellent Opportunities

Our graduates are working in a range of settings including children’s centres, schools, nurseries and family and community support. They are working as family support workers, learning mentors, child minders, nursery managers, youth workers, social workers and teachers.

Some have also gone on to further study for a Master’s degree. On campus, you can progress onto further study such as the MA Social Work and the MA in Contemporary Practice with Children and Young People. Off campus, students can progress to external teacher training courses relating to Early Years and primary schools.

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

Laura Masson

Laura Masson

BA (Hons) Children, Schools and Families, 2018

Laura Masson had worked at Little Ducklings Day Nursery for nine years, working her way up from a supply teacher to a Level Three Early Years Practitioner.

Still wanting to develop her professional career, though, Laura came to UCLan. Before long, she had secured a promotion. She said: “Coming to the end of my degree, I applied for Deputy Manager at the nursery which is a shared role and I got the job!”

Important Information

This course is based in the School of Social Work, Care and Community

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.