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Childhood Development and Playwork


The BA (Hons) Childhood Development & Playwork course is designed for students seeking a career working with children and families, and for those wishing to specialise in the study and application of play in children's development and learning. A range of postgraduate qualifications in play therapy are also available to successful graduates.

The BA (Hons) course examines the sociology and psychology of children and childhood, paying particular attention to the function of play in children’s development. The modular structure of the course enables students to develop career-focused learning pathways specialising in the fields of playwork, play therapy, playful pedagogy, policy development, environmental design, and organisational leadership and management.

The practice-based element of the course provides students with the opportunity to gain invaluable experience working with a wide range of potential employers and in a variety of environments, including adventure playgrounds, hospitals, prisons, children’s centres or schools, both in the UK and overseas.

The course is run by staff who held senior positions in the playwork sector and wider children’s workforce prior to entering academia. Their research interests encompass the therapeutic value of play for traumatised children, the political economy of playwork and the role and function of play in the workplace.

Members of the course team regularly have their work published in a number of academic journals, including the Journal of Playwork Practice, The European Early Childhood Education Research Journal and the International Journal of Play. The International Journal of Play is co-edited by Professor Fraser Brown, who is also author of a number of seminal texts in the field of play and playwork.

Along with Leeds City Council Children's Services the team are holding their inaugural collaborative conference, Play & Playwork: research and practice 2017, on Monday 10 July 2017.  For more information and to register visit the conference webpage

Childhood Development and Playwork Courses


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