Child and youth studies

Olivia Yuan Tian: My childhood and youth studies BA

Two years ago, Olivia changed her life by leaving her home in China and beginning a new journey at Coventry University. She is now a second year student studying Childhood and Youth Studies.

“Before I came to Coventry University, I was a teacher for two years in my home country, China. Thanks to this work experience, I improved my teaching skills and learned how to communicate with children. I then felt that I wanted to learn more about how to work with children and young people that struggle with mental health problems. I also wanted to learn more about how to coach and support the youth when they are facing the challenges of becoming more independent and are attempting to define their personalities. This is why I chose to study at Coventry, the course here it is very comprehensive; it teaches practitioners how to provide care and support to children and young people as they are growing and maturing.”

Coventry University students studying Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
Coventry University students studying Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

“The course has a ‘Childhood and youth in context’ module which examines the challenges and inequalities faced by children and young people today. The module also illustrates the way in which societies and services have responded to their needs. This module helped me to gain a better understanding about the responsibilities of being a teacher. I now understand how to investigate problems from the perspective of children, and I have developed a better understanding of children and young people’s rights.”

Childhood and Youth Studies

“There is a ‘Promote life skills’ module, which further investigates the knowledge and insights required for children and young people to develop life skills. This year we had a work experience module, where students had to find a short-term placement relating to children and young people. This was a very good opportunity to practice everything that we  had learnt. This course also included a module that investigates the needs of children and adolescents from sociological and psychological perspectives, so that you gain a more professional and comprehensive understanding of their development.”

“For Easter break, we organised a one-week study visit to the Stenden University in the Netherlands. This was an exciting opportunity to  visit another country, but more importantly a chance for students to get to know more about each other. It helped us broaden our horizons, so not only do we understand the British educational system, we also have a basic understanding of Netherlands’ system. During the third year, we also have the chance to undertake an international placement.”


“There are also plenty of opportunities to support our development by attending seminars held by prestigious national and international organisations. As an international student, this course exceeded my expectations. If you want a better understanding of youth or social work, are interested in working with children and young people or teaching in primary or secondary school, this course is the perfect starting point for your career.”

This post was written by International blogger Olivia, from China. Olivia is a second year student studying Childhood and Youth Studies