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.

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 Guide.


2020 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 2019/20

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)


Format: full time or part time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term) or May (spring term)     OUAC code: UYS
Ontario High School Admission Requirements
  • Minimum admission range: low 70s.
  • Competitive admission range based on last year’s admitted students: low 80s.
  • English at 60%.
Canadian Admission Requirements (Outside of Ontario)

Students applying to this program from a Canadian province outside of Ontario are encouraged to review our course equivalents by province chart. This chart will show you what courses from your province are equivalent to the admission requirements listed under Ontario High School Admission Requirements.

International Admission Requirements

Students applying to this program from an international curriculum are encouraged to review our curriculum-specific requirements; you must also meet all program-specific requirements listed under the Ontario High School Admission Requirements section.

English-Proficiency Requirement

Laurier's language of instruction is English, and so we may require you to provide evidence of your English proficiency to help make sure you experience success in your academic courses.

Your three most recent years of full-time education must be in English without taking any ESL (English as a Second Language) courses. If you do not meet this requirement, you must provide evidence of your English proficiency.

We reserve the right to request an English-language test from any applicant.

If you do not meet Laurier's English proficiency requirement but are academically qualified for your program, you may be eligible for a conditional offer of admission.

Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) Program

The Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program is an academic English program for Laurier applicants who have to prove English proficiency. If you have received an offer to Laurier with a condition to meet our English- proficiency requirement, you can meet that condition by successfully completing the LEAF program.

College Pathways

Students enrolling in Laurier’s Youth and Children’s Studies program on the Brantford campus after completing a two- or three-year diploma program may earn up to 6.0 or 7.5 transfer credits (respectively).

Learn more about our college transfer agreement.

Other Admission Requirements

Visit our admission requirements section to find specific requirements for university students, indigenous applicants, mature learners, homeschooled applicants, senior citizens, refugees, and more. 

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 high 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% and at least 50 hours of relevant volunteer work.

Interested in Research?

As a Youth and Children’s Studies student, you'll have the opportunity to participate in the Child and Adolescent Research and Education (CARE) lab. As a member of the CARE lab you can choose to engage in national research with a faculty member and/or take part in leading outreach and knowledge mobilization initiatives within the Laurier and Brantford communities.

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

Options and Minors

These are a few of the many popular academic opportunities which allow you to dive deeper into your major area of study or broaden your knowledge:

  • Criminology Minor
  • Education Minor
  • Indigenous Studies Minor
  • Psychology Minor

Check out other options to enhance your degree.

First-Year Courses

  • Academic Literacy: Humanities
  • Academic Literacy: Social Sciences
  • 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

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.


"The program provided me with a variety of courses that allowed me to broaden my knowledge. It gave me the chance to explore subject areas that I may not have pursued had I been in another program."

Youth and Children’s Studies graduate

"I am one year graduated and already using my degree. I've had a job teaching overseas for one year now! Definitely using all of my knowledge from Youth and Children’s Studies at Laurier."

Youth and Children’s Studies graduate

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.

"My favourite part of the program was group work and placements, especially placements because they not only allow you to gain contacts but also give you a lot of hands-on experience."

Youth and Children’s Studies graduate

Interested in More Info?

Email, call 519.884.0710 x3385 or see all contact information.