Course at a glance


This Level 3 Course in Child Development is designed to provide an introduction to those students who have some experience or understanding of children either formally in a teaching, nursing or social care setting or through knowledge and understanding of raising their own children. On completion of the Course students may wish to consider taking a formal entry qualification in a related field such as a Nursery Nurse or a Teaching Assistant.

The College will provide you with the resources necessary to complete the course and will also provide you with tutor support. Tutors have all been specially selected for their knowledge and understanding of your particular area of study and have experience in Distance Learning support. The Course will combine practical understanding of the developing child and also theoretical knowledge and understanding gained from studying the course material (and indeed further reading).

Topics touched upon in the Course will cover diverse topics such as pregnancy, stages of physical growth, measurement of normative childhood, social aspects of childrearing and as the provision of care to children can only be carried out within legislative frameworks students are required to understand the importance and value of this. Students are encouraged to develop self reflection and understanding during their Course of study which will assist them in their current workplace to develop skills which will assist them when considering a career in their chosen topic of study.

Students are required to pass two marked assignments and this will determine the award of the Level 3 Child Development. The Assignments will be expected to be approximately 1500 words and one will be completed by the mid point of the Course and one at the end of the Course and there will be several tasks contained within each Assignment. The assignments will combine practical understanding of the developing child and combine this with theoretical knowledge and understanding gained from studying the course material (and indeed further reading).

Assignments must be written by the student themselves and work that has been copied and pasted into the assignment will not be accepted as all work has to be screened for Plagiarism. The completed assignments will be marked online by a course tutor and feedback on performance will be provided. Tutors have all been specially selected for their knowledge and understanding of your particular area of study and have experience in Distance Learning support. The assignment will either be graded pass or fail and you will be provided feedback on submitted work. Tutor support will be provided throughout your Course of study and you are encouraged to make contact with your Tutor at the earliest possible opportunity as this will assist you develop your understanding and knowledge of the topic.

The Course duration is one year and students study at home at their own pace using our virtual learning environment. The course offers flexible delivery so that the more time you can allocate to your studies the sooner you can complete the Course. Upon enrolment you will be provided with all the necessary materials to complete the Course and you are free to study as often as you wish. Progression from Level 3 can assist in career development, continued professional development, personal development and provision of basis for further study. On successful completion of this Course you become eligible for Level 5 study at Oxford Distance Learning and can discuss this with student services at any point during the progression of your Course.

Assessment Criteria

The Assessment will assess:

  • Theoretical knowledge and understanding of theories of Child Development.
  • Practical Applications (you will be required to provide practice examples from applied childcare settings).
  • Integrating theory into practice (this will combine theory with applied practice examples)

Accredited Level 3 Child Development Diploma Entry Requirement

Entry to this Accredited Level 3 Child Development Diploma requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.

Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through out contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.

All students must be aged 16 or over.


The coursework is assessed through continuous assessment with no formal exit examinations.

Study Hours

Approximately: 200 hours of personal study time for the entire course is recommended. All of which is supported by the OLC Course Tutor, who we greatly encourage students to access support from throughout their course.

Quality Assurance

This course has been developed by the College’s professional team of tutors to meet the needs of sector based employers and employees. It is also part of the College’s validated level three Diplomas’, recognised internationally, as verified and moderated Centre for Interactive Education (CIE Global). Further details of our accreditations are provided on our website.

Accredited Level 3 Child Development Diploma Course Length

1 Year.

Awarding Body

CIE Global

Accredited Level 3 Child Development Diploma Course Content

Module 1 – Defining childhood

This introductory module considers the parameters of childhood throughout the ages, providing a useful foundation for the entire course. Students are encouraged to examine the impact of society upon the developing child.

Module 2 – Pregnancy and  the sociology of the family

This module explores family patterns and the wider social context that surrounds the child. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of the impact that having a baby will have upon relationships with others. Emphasis is placed upon the developing patterns of family life, and issues such as religion, family income and industrialisation are described.

Module 3 – The developing baby

Foetal development from conception to the birth is described in detail in this module. Issues associated with the post-birth period will be examined and essential practical aspects of preparation stages for the arrival of the baby will be discussed.

Module 4 – Theoretical approaches to the study of childhood

This module focuses on the theories of Charles Darwin, Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. These will be considered and studied in depth, together with an assessment of the practical contribution their writings have made in practical terms to the understanding of child development and the raising of children nowadays.

Module 5 – Emotional development

The significance of the emotional development of children will be discussed, together with a presentation of the writings of Sigmund Freud and John Bowlby. The implications of the theories of both men will be discussed in relation to modern day parenting and day care.

Module 6 – Day-care

Many parents are finding that day care for babies and young children is essential so that careers can be continued. This may be an important part of parenting routine, and the reactions of children to day care will be examined in this module. The challenges of assessing day care and the implications of flawed research in this area will be discussed. The importance of good quality care will be emphasised and students will be encouraged to identify those aspects of care that they feel are beneficial and important to both the physical, intellectual and social development of children in their early years.

Module 7 – The developing self – the social development of children

In this module, the development of the self concept will be discussed. Students will gain knowledge of identifying the important aspects of development of the self concept in the early years and also the risk factors that can impact upon healthy self development. Children do not grow up in isolation; their peers can importantly influence their development. All children are likely to be involved in the school system. The importance of positive interaction with others in a school setting and the impact (both positive and negative) of peer relationships in childhood will be discussed. Issues such as bullying will be explored in this module and students are encouraged to consider strategies that can be developed to foster successful school interaction.

Module 8 – The development of play

The importance of play to the developing child will be explained, together with parental issues in relation to play. The different types and functions of play throughout the life cycle will be examined. Issues such as play and socio-economic class and gender differences will be considered so that students may gain understanding of the impact of play on all aspects of development.

Module 9 – Development in adolescence

The period of adolescence is a time of transition, and great changes in the life of the child will be apparent. Adolescence is sometimes identified as a negative period in the life of the child but it is the aim of this section of the course to explore both the physical and emotional changes of adolescence, and to explore not only the negative impact of adolescence but also the positive impact that adolescence can have.

Module 10 – Developmental Problems

Most children develop normally but there are many children that do have problems with development.  This unit covers the professionals working in the field of Child Development and Developmental Milestones.



This Accredited Level 3 Child Development Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.