Home Courses Childhood, Education and Social Work BA (Hons) Childhood with Therapeutic Play with Integrated Foundation Year
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Build your academic knowledge and confidence before your degree begins

4 years full-time
Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)


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Develop both your understanding of children and your therapeutic skills

Our BA (Hons) Childhood Studies with Therapeutic Play with Integrated Foundation Year encompasses working with children in a variety of settings and contexts with a focus on utilising therapeutic play approaches.

National Student Survey 2023

Overall average positivity
in the UK for Childhood and Youth Studies
Organisation and management
in the UK for Childhood and Youth Studies
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in the UK for Childhood and Youth Studies

Develop your knowledge and skills

This programme is the perfect preparation to work therapeutically with children and young people in specialist SEND settings, to support children with social, emotional and mental health challenges in mainstream settings, or to undertake further training to become a registered Play Therapist.

Choose your pathway

This unique and innovative course will offer two distinct pathways:

  • ‘Early Childhood’ working with children aged 0-8 years of age which confers Level 3 ‘full and relevant’ status,
  • or ‘Childhood’, which provides the option to work with children and young people across the age range.

Routes for all

We also offer an Integrated Foundation Year option for those looking to develop their academic confidence and skills before beginning a full degree.

On this course you will

  • Develop your academic skills on an integrated foundation year.
  • Investigate, understand and analyse the fast-changing landscape of working with children.
  • Develop your understanding of and skills in utilising therapeutic play approaches.
  • Pursue specific pathways that allow you to centre your learning around your passions and interests.
  • Gain practical experience in real-world environments.

The Course

Develop your practice skills and knowledge of working with children

Studying at university can be challenging but that’s the beauty of studying this course with an integrated foundation year.

Following a year that introduces to the subject and develops your academic skills and confidence, you will study a diverse and interesting range of modules.

The course provides the opportunity to gain professional practice experience making clear links between theory and therapeutic practice.

You will be guided through an exciting range of modules that are specifically designed to increase understanding of children, and to develop therapeutic skills.

Study areas include:

  • Children's Health and Wellbeing
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Play, Creative and Expressive Arts
  • Therapeutic Play
  • Working Therapeutically with Families
  • Being Human

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Final research project

Students in their third year will undertake an independent research project with a therapeutic play focus.

ENRICH sessions

In addition to these modules, a programme of ENRICH sessions will provide exposure to a diverse range of relevant subject presentations including: Developing Resilience, Therapeutic Relationships and The Role of the Play Therapist.

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of our staff as you gain confidence in your abilities


You will learn from expert practitioners and accomplished academics with a wide range of experience within the field of Childhood Studies.

We bring new research together with established theory into the classroom through a mix of direct teaching, seminars, and activity-based learning.

Within your learning sessions, you will be challenged to go further and be encouraged to be proactive, responsive and responsible for your own learning and ideas outside of the classroom.

Our focus on group discussion and the consideration of the thoughts of others allow you to develop your own ideas.


It is important that our assessments are designed to meet the various learning needs of students.

We offer a variety of assessment methods that include presentations, assignments, exams, academic posters and placement portfolios.


Discover facilities that help support your learning

Practice Placements

Gain vital experience within a professional environment to support your learning

As part of our BA (Hons) Childhood Studies with Therapeutic Play with Integrated Foundation Year course, you will gain the opportunity to undertake practice placements.

These placements will allow you to work directly within local early years settings as you apply your theoretical learning within a real-world environment.

In both your second and third years, you will complete a practice placement, where the age group you work with will change depending on your chosen pathway.

In your third year, this practical element of the programme will include the delivery of therapeutic interventions.

On this course, you could gain a total of 80 days of work-based placements. You’ll get the chance to attend three different registered organisational settings to gain a mix of experience. You’ll also gain the opportunity to work with babies, 3-5 and 5-7 year olds.

The placements gained in Year’s 1 and 2 (Level 4 and 5) will be counted as ‘full and relevant’ which means with this degree, you will be counted at Level 3 in staff: child ratios.

  • Year One – 25 days
  • Year Two – 30 days
  • Year Three –25 days – Graduate Practitioner Competencies (optional placement)

If you choose to take our dedicated third-year placement module, you will receive a separate certificate stating that you have been awarded the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2024/25

UK fee
International fee

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Course specific costs

You will be required to have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check costing £40 which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

Entry Requirements

tariff points.
in Mathematics and English Language.
T Level
in Education and Childcare.
6.0 overall
with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent.

Non-standard Application Entry Routes: The University has an alternative entry route for applicants who have relevant skills and experience but who do not hold the formal minimum entry qualifications required. Applicants who demonstrate the necessary skills and experience to enter a course of higher education will be asked to complete an entry task involving the completion of specially set assignments.


BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies training applicants are required to have an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service check which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

We strongly suggest that all students sign up for the Disclosure and Barring Service update service for which there is a small annual charge, this makes the DBS portable both during and after the degree.

Failure to sign up for the update service might require the student to gain a further enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check which will incur additional costs.


Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.

What are UCAS tariff points?

Many qualifications have a UCAS Tariff value. The score depends on the qualification, and the grade you achieved.

How do I know what my UCAS tariff points are?

Head to the UCAS Tariff Points web page where you can find a tariff points calculator that can tell you how much your qualification and grades are worth.

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