Entry Points (2023)

Course Overview

University of Galway offers two exciting programmes dedicated to Children’s Studies, an interdisciplinary area which examines the social, cultural, legal, psychological and historical discourses shaping the lives of children and youth today. University of Galway has an international reputation in children’s research, and thus is ideally placed to offer these unique programmes. These programmes prepare graduates for working with children in areas such as teaching, advocacy work, public policy, arts administration, child-welfare work, children’s rights activism and play therapy.

After selecting GY110 on your CAO form, you will also be asked to select the stream (the programme) that you are applying to (AWC or ACS), Read more about each programme option below:

Bachelor of Arts (Children’s Studies) – ACS

This programme provides unique and applied training that is not available anywhere else in Europe. The Arts (Children’s Studies) programme provides students with the knowledge, confidence and transferable skills to identify their preferred career path. Students on this programme are expected to work with children from the very first semester and throughout the four years, including a semester-long placement, thus mixing the academic experience with practical work.

Graduates will be well-placed to pursue careers in community development work, as integration support assistants (special needs assistants), and research, as well as to gain entry to postgraduate degrees in primary teaching, play therapy, social work, speech and language therapy, health promotion, arts administration, and public advocacy.

This programme is an excellent choice for students who would like to pursue a career as primary school teachers, as it also includes an option to study Gaeilge as part of the programme (optional); our graduates are very successful in applying to the PME (primary school teaching) as well as to other professional postgraduate degrees in social work and play therapy, largely due to the significant service learning and work placement experience they gather throughout the degree.

Bachelor of Arts with Children’s Studies - AWC 

Arts with Children’s Studies  is the only degree in Europe that enables students to combine an Arts degree with a specialism in Children’s Studies. It enables students to take two traditional arts subjects alongside Children’s Studies to Degree Level. The expertise acquired through a BA with Children’s Studies will assist students in identifying the career path that best suits their particular talents and ambitions.

It is the perfect platform from which to pursue careers in secondary school teaching,  social care work, advocacy, the creative arts, education, and community development. It provides an excellent basis for post-graduate study in social work, play therapy, speech and language therapy, and our graduates are very successful in gaining entry to these competitive programmes.

Recent graduates are currently working in speech and language therapy, play therapy, social work, and public policy, as well as in teaching and educational support in Ireland and abroad.



Applications and Selections

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Minimum Grade H5 in two subjects and passes in four other subjects at O6/H7 level in the Leaving Certificate including Irish, English, another language, and three other subjects recognised for entry purposes.

Additional Requirements

Students must satisfy the Garda/police vetting requirements.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)


4 years

Next start date

September 2024

A Level Grades (2023)

Average intake

Varies per stream

QQI/FET FETAC Entry Routes

6 (More Info)

Closing Date
NFQ level

Mode of study

ECTS weighting





GY110 (ACS & AWC)

Course code

Course Outline

Bachelor of Arts (Children’s Studies) – ACS

Year 1

Introduction to Children’s Studies

Introduction to Academic Skills

Children in Social Contexts

Children and Fairy tales

Children and Health

History of Childhood

Developmental Psychology

Year 2

Exploring Irish Childhoods

Adolescents in Ireland: Healthy and Risky Behaviour

Research Methods

Child Law

Educational Pedagogies: Policies and Practice

Children and Storytelling

Year 3

Child-Centred Research (Philosophy for Children)

Children and Transitions

Children and Play

Twenty-First-Century Young Adult Literature

Semester-Long Placement/Exchange

Year 4

Children’s Rights

Children and Theatre

Children in the Digital world

Connecting Research, Practice, and Policy in Children’s Lives

Children, Culture and Media

Supporting Children with Diverse Needs

Bachelor of Arts with Children’s Studies – AWC

Year 1

Introduction to Children’s Studies

Children’s Literature

Children in Social Contexts

Children and Health

Irish Childhoods

Year 2

Child Law

Developmental Psychology

European Educational Approaches

Year 3

Children’s Rights

Theatre for Children and Young People

Children and Transition

Twenty-First Century Young Adult Literature

Work Placement and/or Study Abroad

Year 4

Completion of studies in your two core degree subjects.

Equivalent modules may be substituted from time to time for any of the above under exceptional circumstances and when approved by the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies

International Links

Students who take a foreign language as part of their degree  will have the option to study for a semester at a European University under the ERASMUS exchange programme and/or carry out their second semester work placement abroad.

A limited number of international exchange opportunities (consideration for which is based on grade averages) are also available to students not studying a foreign language. These include working in partner international schools in Spain (SEK) and/or studying Children’s Studies at York University in Canada.

Further Education

Graduates of this programme will be eligible for entry into postgraduate professional qualifications in primary and secondary teaching, social work, research in children, health promotion, advertising and public relations; advocacy and community development both nationally and internationally.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

The BA (Children’s Studies) provides students with the knowledge, confidence and transferrable skills to identify their preferred career path as well as to succeed in their chosen field nationally or internationally. Graduates will be well-placed to pursue careers in primary school teaching (this requires the addition of a Professional Master of Education), as inclusion support assistants (special needs assistants), in the social care sectors and community development work as well as to gain entry to postgraduate degrees in play therapy, social work, health promotion, speech and language therapy, children’s librarianship, museum work, arts administration, special-needs teaching, public advocacy and activism. Over the years, 88% of the graduates from programmes in the discipline of Children’s Studies are in further education or in employment.

Students graduating with a BA with Children's Studies, in addition to haveing a regular Arts Degree, will have a rounded understanding of the socio-cultural context of childhood and in particular of how the current legal, social and educational systems shape and influence the lives of children and adolescents. This training will assist in pursuing careers in the social care, child and family support, advocacy, the creative arts, education, health care and community development. The particular options open to graduates vary enormously depending on the two subjects that they take with their specialism.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Transferable Skills Employers Value

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,598 p.a. (€5,738 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Tuition

€2,598 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student Contribution

€3,000 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Student levy

€140 p.a. 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€18,500 p.a. (€18,640 p.a. including levy) 2024/25

EU Fees are comprised of Tuition + Student Contribution Charge + Student Levy** €140.  **Payable by all students and is not covered by SUSI.  Further detail here.

Find out More

Arts (Children’s Studies) – ACS

Dr Devon Goodwin

School of Education

E: devon.goodwin@universityofgalway.ie


Bachelor of Arts with Children’s Studies – AWC

Dr Kate Harvey

School of Education

E:  kate.harvey@universityofgalway.ie





Jade Hume |   BA (Children's Studies)

This course has given me the confidence and experience to progress my skills for working with children, and has provided me with ample opportunity to work with children through service learning and placement. I cannot recommend the denominated BA (Children’s Studies) course enough, as it is the only degree of its kind in Europe, with an internationally recognised qualification, and dedicated, hard-working staff who ensure the success of each student.

Molly Sullivan |   Bachelor of Arts with Children's Studies

The Bachelor of Arts with Children's Studies programme has exposed me to different types of teaching methods and career paths available to me in my desire to work with children. I thoroughly enjoyed the hands on experience I got from completing my placement in third year. It gave me a great taste of what working in the field with children is like. It has given me a strong foundation to build on as I prepare to begin my career. I am in the process of becoming a Play Therapist, which the Bachelor of Arts with Children's Studies course has given me great confidence to do.