Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons)

Overview (NV)

Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons)

Course length
3 years full-time
UCAS code
Fees (Home/EU)
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Fees (International)
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Early childhood is viewed as the most formative period of life and the experiences gained during this time shape and lay the foundations for our future.  Today’s early childhood sector requires highly qualified, graduate practitioners to meet the ever-changing needs of the child and their family, and our course has been designed to give you the academic knowledge to succeed, plus the critical application of theory to practice through a variety of work placements, including nurseries, schools, special schools and children’s centres.

Our Early Childhood Studies (Graduate Practitioner) degree is one of the very first in the UK to incorporate the new and innovative Graduate Practitioner Competencies status, introduced this academic year in response to demand for more highly-qualified, graduate practitioners entering the sector. The Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies, developed by the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (ECSDN) are now included in the QAA Early Childhood Studies Subject Benchmark Statements with practice at level 6 recognised by the Department for Education (DfE).

It means students going on to do this degree will be assessed for nine distinct competencies over the three years and, on graduation, hold a licence to practice in certain areas of the sector, as well as apply theory to practice at degree level. This will enable you to stand out when applying for jobs, benefitting children’s development.

This course also includes diverse enrichment opportunities, including Makaton training, baby massage and Lego therapy, to further widen your skills, as well as visits to experience different childhood approaches first-hand, e.g. trips to Forest Schools. This course will provide you with a strong foundation for progression into a variety of careers working with children, with opportunities for postgraduate study, including our PGCE. 

Students who fall short of the 96 UCAS Tariff points (but with no less than 60 UCAS Tariff points) are still welcome to apply for the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies. In such cases, you will be asked to attend a progression module prior to the start of your course (commencing in June), which requires you to attend two days of lectures and the completion of four assessment tasks. On successful completion of all components of the progression module, alongside having met the required entrance requirements, students will be offered a place on the degree.

What our staff and students say

Why choose this course?

  • Enrichment opportunities - You will have access to additional qualifications and enhancement opportunities to enrich your studies and boost your career prospects
  • Placement experience – You will undertake extensive work placement throughout your studies to gain the essential experience you need to boost your employability and enable your career progression
  • Industry accredited course - The course is endorsed by the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network (ECSDN) and the level 3 practice recognised by the Department for Education (DfE)
  • Gain specialist knowledge - You will learn about the key characteristics of childhood and how to meet the needs of young children, and gain in-depth knowledge of the wider issues surrounding childhood development such as social trends and the impact of legislation
  • Develop industry skills - You will research how to help children develop and grow by creating new learning opportunities such as play-based learning.
  • Tailor your degree - For your final project, you can research a topic that interests you and can be relevant to your personal interests or intended future employment

Enrichment opportunities/additional qualifications

  • You will be supported to complete Makaton training - a unique language programme designed to support spoken language, helping children to communicate
  • Baby massage plays an important role in understanding how a baby communicates in the first few years. You will have the chance to receive training in this area
  • You will have the opportunity to learn Lego Therapy - an intervention designed to help children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with any social communication difficulties

Kick-Start scheme

As a new student studying this degree full-time, you will receive £300 per year via our Kick-Start Scheme (eligibility criteria applies). The scheme will support your studies and future career by contributing to course-related materials, uniform or selected items on campus. You might even qualify for an additional £500 per year.

Open days

Our open days are designed to give you as much information as possible about UCB and the areas you are interested in studying. Come along and we may make you an offer on the day.  

Accreditations and Endorsements

University of Birmingham Accreditation -Partnership Logo

Teaching & Assessment (NV)

Teaching & assessment

Teaching is carried out by appropriately qualified and experienced lecturers and a typical teaching week will have up to 13 teaching contact hours made up as follows:

  • Large Group Teaching - 6 hours of lectures in lecture rooms
  • Smaller Group Teaching - 4 hour of seminars in small groups discussing topics presented in lectures
  • Tutorials - 3 hours including a mixture of personal, group and academic tutorials per week
  • Field trips and visits - Year 1 - trip to the Black Country Museum, Dudley, Year 2 - trip location to be announced
  • Assessment for nine distinct competencies – to achieve Graduate Practitioner Competencies status

Individual study

In addition, you are expected to commit to approximately 20 hours a week of your own study time in preparation for teaching sessions and preparing for and completing assessment. UCB Online provides 24-hour access to learning and support material.


There is a strong focus on the vocational nature of this course including live project work and group assessment. The modes of assessment are varied and include essays, reports, portfolio building, presentations, opportunities for research, the production of a creative resource and a training manual.

An estimated breakdown of the assessment for this course is as follows:

  • Coursework 100% (with the exception of an assessment in 1 module)

Please note that the information provided above is indicative only and actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued to students at induction. 

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.

Entry Requirements (NV)

Entry requirements 

Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons)

A Level: An A level grade profile of CCC

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of MMM, this can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted at UCB for entrance, a minimum of 96 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 96 UCAS Tariff points including a minimum of 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction.


  • GCSE/IGCSE English language and maths grades A*-C/9-4 or equivalent

Students must also complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS). UCB will co-ordinate and fund the completion of the DBS check.

Find out more information on tariff entry requirements for 2019/20 entry.

Students who fall short of the 96 UCAS Tariff points (but with no less than 60 UCAS Tariff points) are still welcome to apply for the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies. In such cases, you will be asked to attend a progression module prior to the start of your course (commencing in June), which requires you to attend two days of lectures and the completion of four assessment tasks. On successful completion of all components of the progression module, alongside having met the required entrance requirements, students will be offered a place on the degree.

EU/international students

For entry requirements for EU and international students, please visit the Country Specific Information page.

UCAS Tariff calculator

You can use our calculator below to convert your predicted/achieved grades into UCAS Tariff points.  

If your total predicted/achieved points do not meet those outlined above or your qualification(s) do not appear on the UCAS Tariff please contact the admissions directly on 0121 604 1040 or email admissions@ucb.ac.uk

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Qualification Grade Points
Modules (NV)


Year 1

Nurturing Children’s Health and Well-being Introduction to the Early Years Framework The Child in Society Equality, Diversity and Inclusive Play Growth, Learning and Development Pioneers, Pedagogy and Philosophy

Year 2

Child Protection and Safety in Practice Effective Leadership and Management Skills Child Development Developing Research SEND within the Early Years Sector
Plus one option from:
Creativity and Play in the Early Years Children of the Future Transition of Childhood

Year 3

Leading and Managing Systems Enhancing Employability for Graduate Practice Dissertation
Plus one option from:
Socio-Historical Aspects of Childhood Children’s Voice Pedagogical Leadership in Play
  Please note
The modules listed on the website for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. Unless otherwise stated, the modules listed above for this course are for students starting in the academic year 2020/21. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules and if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.
Placements (NV)

Work placement

Over the years we have developed close working relationships within the industry so that we can offer you a wide range of placement opportunities alongside your studies. Placement attendance is mandatory across the three years of the course and informs the completion of the Graduate Practitioner Competencies. Where possible, placement experience will be offered to compliment your eventual career pathway:

Year 1 – 200 hours. This will have an early years focus (working with children under 8) and our placement opportunities include day care, nursery school, reception class and year 1, playgroup, children centre nursery, and before and after school club.

Year 2 – 200 hours. Same as above and additional placement opportunities include primary school mentoring and 1:1 support, primary pastoral care teams and nurture groups, special education, charitable organisations and children's services.

Year 3 – 200 hours. This placement will be determined by your eventual career choice. You may wish to apply for voluntary work in organisations such as Childline and the NSPCC, as well as undertaking a complimentary placement in order to develop your employability skills and prepare you for the graduate job market. These placements could include working alongside a class teacher, a nursery manager, a speech and language therapist, a health team within special education or an alternative education provision.

Work Placement - School of Education, Health and Community - University College Birmingham

What our employers say

At UCB, we understand the importance of work placements within academic study, and our employer contacts say they give preference to students with qualifications who also have experience within the field. Our hired@UCB team will assist you in finding a placement that gives you the relevant experience to support your future career plans.



If you are looking for further work experience opportunities, our highly experienced hired@UCB staff members have a diverse mix of advisors with experience in a wide variety of areas including early years, education, learning disability, special education, child protection, community service development and management.

Employability (NV)

Graduate careers

This course provides an excellent platform for those seeking a career working with children in a professional capacity. 

Depending upon experience, graduates will be equipped to work in child-related organisations in education, welfare, leisure, advocacy and counselling in a variety of roles, including:

  • Family link officer (for the prison service)
  • Family support worker
  • Out of school club manager
  • Nursery manager/owner
  • Nursery supervisor/room leader
  • Mentoring/teaching assistant roles in schools
  • Pastoral /attendance officer in schools
  • Support worker roles for children’s charities
  • Children’s travel representative
  • Museum education officer
  • Personal learning coach in colleges
  • Early years lecturer

Alternatively, with further study, and the relevant work experience, opportunities exist to become:

  • Play therapist (after 3 years’ paid work with children post degree)
  • Social worker
  • Children’s counsellor
  • Children’s nursing
  • Special educational needs coordinator (Qualified Teacher Status first)
  • Education welfare officer
  • Speech and language therapist
  • Teacher
  • Employability tutor for early years

Successful graduates may choose to continue with further postgraduate studies. UCB offer a range of postgraduate degrees and you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan.

Want to go on to teach? Your pathway to our PGCE

  • If you get a 2.2 in your Early Childhood Studies degree and have GCSE maths, English and science, you can apply to progress onto our PGCE Primary (3-11 years) with QTS, your pathway into teaching.
  • If you do not currently hold a GCSE science, then speak to your year tutor, who will be able to advise you on how you can study this independently, but alongside your course at UCB.
  • Our PGCE is accredited by the University of Birmingham, one of the UK’s top universities.
  • If you progress to our PGCE, you qualify for a £1,130 PGCE progression fee waiver, plus a £500 discount on fees.
  • You will also qualify for The Kick-Start Scheme – if eligible, you receive credit of up to £800, which can be used to buy course-related materials and other items within UCB and you don’t have to pay it back.
PGCE stats


hired@UCB is our student and alumni support service designed to provide a single reference point for information, advice and guidance regarding opportunities to develop and demonstrate employability and enterprise skills. Based in new facilities on the ground floor of Moss House, the hired@UCB team comprises specialist and qualified staff with knowledge and experience of:

  • Careers advice and guidance
  • Placements, work experience and volunteering
  • Employer engagement
  • Part-time and seasonal work
  • Internships and apprenticeships
  • Graduate schemes and alumni support
  • Unitemps - UCB's recruitment agency 

Find out more about hired@UCB services.

Profiles (NV)

Student profiles

Read what our current students and alumni love about UCB and how we helped them begin their career in industry.


Ellie Stokes

Ellie Stokes

Childhood Studies

Read more


Irene Chiukira

Childhood Studies

Read more

Sarger Khan

Sarger Khan

Childhood Studies

Read more


John Daniel

Childhood Studies

Read more

Course Stats Data (NV)
Fees & Funding (NV)