Working with Children, Young People and Families with Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Full Time (4 years)
September 2018

This course is now full for 2018/19. You can apply for 2019/20 via UCAS from September 2018.

If you'd still like to apply for September 2018, take a look at some of our other available courses.

Our BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families with a Foundation Year programme has at its heart a strong commitment to social justice and equalities. We will provide you with a range of teaching and learning experiences to build on your existing skills and motivation so that you can contribute to a changing society, particularly with services who work with, or for, vulnerable children, young people and their families.

Tailor your Children, Childhood and Education Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the Birmingham City School of Education and Social Work. These include:

  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) Education Studies
  • BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS
  • BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in either Children, Childhood and Education, your first year will be spent learning a wide range of broad subject areas which then open up opportunities for you to specialise further in your next year –  which would be the first year of a full degree programme. 

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses and not just one particular BSc or BA degree. 

So although you are studying a BA or BSc in a specific course – BA Working with Children, Families and Young People – the foundation year sets you up for a number of other possible degrees starting the following year. It may be that you don’t end up doing a degree in precisely the same subject as your foundation year.

This flexibility is one of the great things about the foundation year category - Childhood, Children and Education, allowing you to find out more about your interests and talents before focusing on a three year degree. The foundation year also helps us at BCU to make sure we help to match you to the degree that fits you best.

Please note: entry requirements for degree course

Upon completion of your Foundation Year, if your chosen course is regulated by a professional body such as the National College for Teaching and Leadership, you will be required to successfully complete the University’s selection process for the specific programme which will include an interview in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. Entry onto year one of the degree programme will also be subject to a satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health Assessment. 

What's covered in the course?

With a focus on personal, as well as professional development, our programme will engage you in understand the complexities of working with children young people and their families, in theory and in practice.  We want to support you so that you can develop to become effective agents of change, making a difference to vulnerable children and young people.  

The rights of children and young people, and a commitment to social justice are at the centre of what we believe, teach and research. 

As you progress through the programme you will become confident and competent advocates of children and young people; developing your personal and professional skills so that you can, in future careers, be influential in developing practice, provision and policy.

Through a supportive and nurturing learning environment, you will be encouraged to develop your communication skills, drawing on digital technologies and to take ‘risks’ as you explore and find out new things about Working with Children, Young People and Families, as well as yourself.

Experienced tutors on the programme come from a wide range of professional backgrounds and are research active, understanding the demands of study, work and family life.  The programme draws on experienced professionals from the field of education, social work and health.  They are committed to the same agenda of social justice, social mobility and social responsibility that forms the underpinning philosophy of the programme.

Why Choose Us?

  • Strong commitment to social justice and children’s rights
  • Opens doors to a range of careers linked to vulnerable children and young people
  • Opportunities for placement, locally and internationally
  • Practice led by research active tutors from a range of professional backgrounds
  • Range of opportunities to develop professional as well as academic skills to be work ready.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Sunday 25th November 2018. Book your place to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place

This course is not open to International students

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (formerly Grade C), at the point of enrolment. These must include English language and mathematics.

If you do not already have the required GCSEs, (or their equivalent) for entry onto this course, and are not registered to take them, visit Equivalency Testing for further information.

72 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
GCE A Level/ AS Level 72 UCAS tariff points = DDD
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with minimum 18 credits with Merits or distinctions, also including GCSE English Language and Maths equivalence if not hold separately.
BTEC Diploma (12-units) DM in a relevant subject
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) MMP in a relevant subject
International Baccalaureate Diploma 24 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate Minimum 72 UCAS tariff points
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Minimum 72 UCAS tariff points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Accepted in combination with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 72 UCAS points.
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 4 years £9,250 per year Applications Closed

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

This course is now full for 2018/19. You can apply for 2019/20 via UCAS from September 2018.

If you'd still like to apply for September 2018, take a look at some of our other available courses in Clearing.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Year One

Academic Skills for Success
Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
Interpersonal Skills and Professional Behaviours
Negotiated Study
Birmingham’s Children and Society
Policy and Politics

Year Two

Working as a Professional

You will explore potential careers and the necessary skills, values and attributes to be a successful professional within a range of children’s services.  Within this context, you will reflect on your existing skills and identify those needed to be a successful student of Higher Education as part of your journey to professional employment.

Foundations of Social Work

This module provides you with an understanding of key theories, policy and legislation relating to social work with children, young people and families. You will develop an understanding of the responsibilities of social workers including the professional requirements and the range of interventions with children and families. 

Foundations of Education

You will explore the key legislation and policies linked to education and schooling.  You will consider the barriers to learning which some children and young people face and how these might be overcome.  You will learn about the roles of the range of professionals in educational settings and how they can effectively work with parents and the wider school community.

Foundations of Health

This module will explore the ways in which child health and wellbeing can be promoted across all agencies. You will be supported to develop the knowledge and skills to understand a range of contributory factors that influence children and young people’s health and wellbeing and the ways these may impact on their lives.

Interdisciplinary Working

This module is designed to provide you with an understanding of interdisciplinary working, as well as developing an awareness of roles and responsibilities held by professionals when safeguarding children. The module will also support you to consider the connections between services and the needs of children, young people and families.

Year Three

Effective Collaborative Practice

This module is designed to provide you with an understanding of collaborative working through knowledge of professional codes of conduct, leadership and management theory, and application. It also aims support you to consider the services the needs of children, young people and families and how to improve outcomes.

Social Justice and Inclusion

You will be exploring theoretical perspectives of "social justice" in the development and delivery of children and family services, for example Public Health initiatives, schools, education and care services. The theories of inclusion, social exclusion, discrimination and institutional discrimination, will be approached through a critical review of concepts and examination of local, national and international policy and practice.

Learning from Practice

Through placement experiences this module will enable you to demonstrate the skills needed to work in a professional context and to consider how your skills and attributes could be further developed as you prepare for future employment. This is an opportunity to put theory into practice.

Safeguarding and Child Protection

You will explore safeguarding and child protection including the necessary skills, values and attributes to be a successful professional working with a range of children’s services. Building on your previous learning you will examine how to protect vulnerable children and young people from harm.

Research as a Driver for Policy, Practice and Provision

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of key research terms, potential challenges and processes involved in conducting a piece of research, as well as the skills needed to design a study. You will explore and examine current pieces of research relevant to children’s services and consider the connections between research, policy, practice and provision.

Year Four

Researching Professional Practice in Children’s Services

This module builds on your studies in year three as you work towards carrying out your own piece of research to examine and evaluate professional practice in children’s services.You will be supported to engage in independent as well as collaborative critical analysis of contemporary issues and debates in policy and practice.

Contemporary Perspectives

This module will respond to contemporary perspectives and issues affecting children, young people, families and communities. A strong commitment to inclusive values will be reinforced and will empower you to address issues of equality, disadvantage, diversity and social justice to optimise the life chances of children, young people and their families.

Children and Young People’s Rights and Identity

You will develop your knowledge of children and young people’s rights and explore the complexities that underpin ensuring their rights. This module will enable you to critically explore a broad range of issues that impact on children and young people’s lives. It develops further your knowledge, understanding and application of relevant current legislation and policy frameworks. 

Global Perspectives of Families and Parenting

This module will focus on perspectives and issues affecting families and parenting. It will support you to confidently examine global perspectives with regard to families and parenting. In this module, we want you to examine the different lived realities of families and parenting in different parts of the world.

Personal Development Planning

As you prepare to finish your programme this module will enable you to practice and develop key skills necessary as you seek employment or post graduate study.You will have the opportunity to identify, reflect on and develop a range of effective professional skills, practicing them through work based real life projects such as applying for jobs, interviewing, recruitment and selection processes.

You have the flexibility to transfer to any standard undergraduate programme from the School of Education and Social Work (Exc Social Work) upon successfully completing your Foundation Year including:

  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) Education Studies
  • BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS

Course Structure

You will experience a wide variety of learning and teaching approaches that are designed to develop your confidence, knowledge and skills as you progress through the programme.  We will support you as you make the transition to university through carefully planned induction processes.  This will include social and group work activities, confidence building activities and a scaffolded approach so you can understand the thinking behind how your modules and assessments are planned.  Managing your transition to Higher Education is more than just a week of activities so we have generated a core module that goes through the whole of the first year to support your developing personal, professional and academic skills.

Some modules are shared with students on other programmes in the department.  For example when thinking about safeguarding and child protection there are common themes and common professional skills required, regardless of the age range you are focussing on.  This is one module that would be shared with students studying Early Childhood Studies.  We believe that whilst it is good to have a focus on your particular field of study, sometimes your learning experience can be enhanced by working with others who are exploring different, but similar contexts.  For this reason there are 40 credits of shared modules between your BA Hons Working with Children, Young People and Families and the BA Hons Early Childhood Studies in each year. Placement is an integral part of the programme, there will be chances in your first year to explore and find out information about a range of services that work with, or for, children, young people and families, and to visit and shadow professionals working in this field .

In the second year of the programme you will have the opportunity to undertake a placement in a related service that may focus on education, health or social care for children, young people and their families. We hope that the professional relationships you develop in the first year will enable you to identify a partner who is able to support you on your professional journey, or who may be willing to support one of your peers.  We already have good links with a number of partners who can facilitate a placement experience where you can learn from practice.

In your third year your research module Researching Children and Young People’s Services will enable you to carry out a project that requires implementation of a negotiated idea, making change and evaluating the impact of change.  All of which develop essential skills for leaders and managers of Children’s Services.

As well as learning through practice a variety of approaches to teaching are used.  This will include:

  • Workshops
  • Virtual Learning Environment - Shareville
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group projects
  • Guest speakers –often professionals
  • Visits to settings and services

Further Study

There are a range of post graduate programmes available across the school, faculty and university. Our graduates often go on to study education, social work and health course at post grad level.

Enhancing Employability Skills

A Birmingham City University Graduate is professional and work-ready, a creative problem solver, enterprising and has a global outlook.  This expectation is realised through the BA Hons Working with Children, Young People and Families programme which provides you with the skills and knowledge to meet the needs of vulnerable children, young people and their families. 

Transferable skills are considered very highly throughout the programme should you decide not to work directly with children and young people in the future.  We have embraced the Graduate + scheme  and there are opportunities throughout the programme for you to receive credit for developing your employability skills. 

We have a commitment to learning for life and actively encourage you to develop your own research skills and to pursue your learning journey by building on your first degree to Masters level and beyond.  From induction through to your final module your tutor team will support you in exploring career pathways linked to vulnerable children, young people and their families. Working closely with local services will enable you to network and find out what it is like to work in the field.



Placement is an integral part of the programme, there will be chances in your first year to explore and find out information about a range of services that work with, or for, children, young people and families, and to visit and shadow professionals working in this field – this is so you can not only develop professional skills but can also find out about the wide range of professional careers open to you. 

It also about developing transferable skills so that after you have completed your degree you already have a strong CV that makes you really employable.  Later on you will have the opportunity to undertake a placement in a related service that may focus on education, health or social care for children, young people and their families. In your final year you will be able to carry out an evaluative study that will be work based.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

As part of these plans, the University's Education provision will join the rest of the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences at our City South Campus in Edgbaston during 2018.

This is the third phase of the University's project to move all teaching and learning to two campuses, City Centre and City South. By moving our Education provision, we are creating a hub for the provision of public service contracts and professional development at City South Campus and improving the student experience with a stronger sense of community and more consistent support services and facilities.


In addition to classrooms, a lecture theatre, social learning spaces, an open access IT suite and cafe facilities, the new £41 million extension to our City South Campus offers a range of specialist teaching and learning facilities for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.  


All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Rosemarie Lowe

Programme Director Early Childhood Studies

Having spent 10 years teaching in a variety of primary and infant schools in Birmingham, Rosemarie had the opportunity to develop a service within the local authority of a team of early years specialist whose role was to support and develop early years practice and provision across the maintained and non-maintained sector.

This move into an advisory role, training and development combined interests in adult learners and a passion and commitment to high quality effective early years provision. Moving to Higher Education seemed a natural progress and she spent some time teaching and developing Early Childhood courses at Newman University College before joining Birmingham City University in 2008.

The rights of children and the need to work in partnership with parents remain a core value in Rosemarie's teaching and research interests, which is reflected in her current studies and recent evaluation projects for local authorities.