Youth and Children’s Studies (BA)

Explore the culture of childhood and adolescence in the contemporary world. Learn research strategies and practical skills to successfully engage with and make a positive change in the lives of children and youth. Experience a personalized learning environment that prepares you for a career working with youth and children. You’ll gain hands-on experience in youth- and child-focused community environments through your course placements.

Looking ahead to a career in education? Apply to the Youth and Children's Studies with Teaching Option program.

Apply Your Learning

Make the most out of your university career by taking advantage of all that Laurier has to offer you. Volunteer work, campus clubs, leadership programs, studying abroad, work experience – there are so many ways you can extend your classroom experience into the real world.

Here are just a few examples of the experiences you’ll get in the Youth and Children’s Studies program:

Check out the Youth and Children’s Studies Experience and Career Guide.


2022 graduates who secured employment or went on to postgraduate studies


Laurier ranks in the top 6 percent of universities worldwide*


students who gained hands-on learning experiences at Laurier in 2022

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)


Format: full time or part time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term) or January (winter term) or May (spring term)    
OUAC codes: UYS (Youth and Children's Studies); UYT (Youth and Children's Studies with Teaching Option)

Program Details

Youth and Children's Studies at Laurier

What does it mean to be a child in the contemporary world? Our Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Youth and Children’s Studies uses this question as the basis for exploration into the cultures of childhood and adolescence. If you are wondering how you can engage with children and youth to make a positive change, Youth and Children's Studies will give you information, research strategies and analytical skills to succeed.

You’ll also take relevant courses in History, Psychology, Community Health, Criminology and English, and graduate with a deep understanding of the issues affecting the lives of young people in the past and the present, in North America and around the world.

You have the option to study for an honours BA in Youth and Children's Studies or an honours BA in Youth and Children’s Studies in combination with another honours BA program.

Interested in Being a Teacher?

Top-ranking students in this program are given priority consideration for admission to Laurier's Bachelor of Education program. In your fourth year, you'll be eligible for consideration for this stream if you have:

  • a GPA of at least 75% in your most recent 10 credits;
  • at least 50 hours of relevant volunteer work;
  • submitted all required transcripts and experience profile by the deadline;
  • met all teachable requirements.

Interested in Research?

As a Youth and Children’s Studies student, you will have the opportunity to participate in the Child and Adolescent Research and Education (CARE) lab. As a member of the CARE Lab you will get a chance to work with other students and engage in national research with a faculty member and/or take part in leading outreach and knowledge mobilization initiatives to help foster learning and relationships at Laurier and with the Brantford community.

Students in the CARE Lab have participated in the entire research process, presented at international conferences, and co-authored research papers, as well as led workshops and presentations, guided mentorship projects with youth and community partners, and helped to educate others on creating caring communities.

Program Options and Courses

Design Your Degree

Combine your degree in Youth and Children’s Studies with another honours BA program to pursue a specific avenue of working with children, or just diversify your knowledge and career-readiness.

A few examples of popular options to combine your degree with include:

  • Women and Gender Studies
  • Communication Studies Psychology or English, among others

Check out other options to enhance your degree.

First-Year Courses

  • Foundations for Community Engagement and Service
  • Introduction to Indigenous Studies
  • Introduction to Psychology I
  • Introduction to Psychology II
  • Studying Youth and Children: An Introduction

Sample First-Year Electives

  • Design Thinking I: Foundations
  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Love and It’s Myths

Sample Upper-Year Courses

  • Children’s Rights
  • Children, Toys and Media
  • Picturing Childhood: Representations of the Child through Time
  • Adoption: Past and Present
  • Youth and Sexuality
  • Indigenous Children and Families

Similar Programs

Teaching Option

Interested in a direct pathway to a Bachelor of Education?

Laurier’s undergraduate Teaching Option consists of 4.0 credits throughout your degree: five core half-credit courses offered through the Faculty of Education, plus three elective half-credit courses from an approved list. 

If you're admitted into and complete this Teaching Option pathway, you'll have earned a guaranteed spot in our Bachelor of Education (BEd) program, provided you meet all the admissions requirements, including:

A student writing on the whiteboard with two other students observing.

Community Service-Learning


Community Service-Learning (CSL) courses at Laurier integrate service in the community with what you are learning in your classes. Placements are approximately 10 weeks and take place on a weekly basis from the second week of classes to the final week, typically for two hours per week.

CSL placements consist of volunteering at a local community service, such as a soup kitchen or a children's treatment centre. It’s a great way to apply classroom knowledge and gain practical experience in your field of study. Build your resume, develop your network, and graduate with experience.

Interested? Learn more about Community Service-Learning.

Tuition and Scholarships

Getting a university education is an investment in your future.

At Laurier, we take financial health seriously by providing a wide variety of funding opportunities for you throughout your degree, such as scholarships and bursaries, and by equipping you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.


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"My favourite course was introduction to youth and children’s’ studies, when I started at Laurier I was in a different program and was feeling lost. When I started attending this class, I finally felt like I belonged and became more confident in myself and my abilities."

Jessica Chesler, Youth and Children’s Studies student

Your Career Awaits

It’s not only about the journey; it’s about the destination. Let us help you get to where you’re going.

Here are just some examples of our graduates' destinations. What’s yours?

Sample Career Options

Note: Additional training and education may be required.

  • autism therapist
  • child and youth worker
  • children’s advocate
  • guidance counsellor
  • learning consultant
  • non-profit program manager
  • psychologist
  • teacher
  • youth parole officer

Explore more careers.

Support After Graduation

Alumni for life means that you have access to Career and Employment Support offered at Laurier for your entire career.

Brantford Campus

The Brantford campus is woven into the downtown core of the City of Brantford and is home to more than 3,000 students. Close to great walking and biking trails, you get the best of both worlds.

There are many ways to tour our Brantford campus, whether that's on a guided tour with one of our Laurier student ambassadors, on your own using virtual reality, or even on-demand through one of our pre-recorded tours. See our campus spaces and start to picture yourself at Laurier.

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"My most memorable moment in this program was being a placement student at Why Not Youth Centre, a drop-in service for marginalized youth. I recall my time there with such clarity because the youth that accessed the centre were roughly around the same age as I was, yet we were there for completely different reasons because of contrasting life experiences. Class content was combining with real world practice, and this was essentially the start of my professional journey in social services."

Denis Lim, Youth and Children’s Studies graduate

Interested in More Info?

Email, call 548.889.8888 or see all contact information.