BA (Hons) (Online)

Accredited by University College Birmingham


BA (Hons)


3 years (online)




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Department of Education
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Research a topic that interests you and matches your future career aspirations

Our childhood experiences shape all our lives. Being part of that journey, as a professional helping children and their families, makes for a hugely rewarding career. If you dream of working in this field but want the flexibility of distance learning, University College Birmingham’s Childhood and Education Studies degree course allows you to study online and gain the knowledge, understanding, and transferable skills to explore a wide range of jobs in this sector.

Preparing you for a constantly changing job market, our online degree will provide you with an in-depth understanding of children’s complex psycho-social, physical, emotional and cognitive needs. You will study a variety of areas, from safeguarding and learning in early childhood to inclusive practice and supporting parents, as well as enhancing a range of interpersonal and intrapersonal communication skill sets.

Our ‘flexi-learn’ online course has been developed to offer you an authentic sense of community, using a blend of communication tools including web-based/email delivery and ‘real-time’ online conversations and activities. You will have face-to-face contact with module staff, personal tutors and dissertation supervisors through web conferencing software, which you will be trained how to use before your studies begin.

Why should I choose this course?

  • FLEXIBLE ONLINE LEARNING – Want to boost your skills while maintaining full-time/part-time employment? Studying our Childhood and Education Studies degree online provides a flexible approach to learning
  • SPECIALISE YOUR STUDIES – Study and research specialist topics through a range of optional modules, a final dissertation project and innovative assessment regimes
  • DIVERSE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE – Build your understanding around childhood development, social trends and legislative frameworks alongside employability skills for your future career
  • AWARD-WINNING UNIVERSITY – Study at the highest-ranking university in the region according to student choice (Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023)

Course breakdown

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Core Modules

Academic Skills for Distance Learners

Your vital skills and abilities will be developed to enable you to study effectively at an undergraduate level. Key learning concepts will be identified and related to skills relevant to the industry, which will then be developed through a variety of tasks and activities. This is done in a relevant context that takes into account the wider education and community focus of your course as a whole.

Exploring Childhood Development

Detailed knowledge of children's development and how it changes over time is crucial to professional practitioners in meeting the holistic developmental needs of children. Through the use of observational study, you will recognise how best to work with children. Theoretical exploration of cognitive, language, personal, social and emotional domains and their influences on each other will be covered and related to practice.

Learning in Early Childhood

This module aims to explore young children's learning within the context of current concepts of childhood. The module will explore the development of ideas concerning young children and how their learning can be best supported. All areas of childhood learning will be explored within the context of current and historical early years legislation and guidance. You will reflect upon the role of the early years practitioner, exploring issues such as how to support children's developing independence, how to document learning experiences and what it means to be 'creative'. An emphasis on theories of play and learning through play will underpin the content of the module.

Professional Management within Practice 1

This module allows you the opportunity to explore the legal perspectives and current issues relating to management within the workplace. Identification of the impact that relevant legislation has on the management of the setting will be considered. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your professional development to date, drawing on your experience in the workplace, and consider how it relates to managing the professional environment. The inclusion of a personal and professional development plan will be incorporated to support your professional development.

Protecting and Safeguarding Children

This module focuses on the professional practice of people working in a child-centred environment, where work with both children and families is undertaken. It will facilitate your development of the knowledge and skills necessary to respond appropriately to the needs of children and their families. You will develop an evaluative approach to child care practice including safeguarding issues, anti-bullying strategies and multi-agency working, as an ongoing process for enhancing the quality of service delivery.

Core Modules

Behaviour and Individual Differences in Childhood

You will be exploring the individual needs of children and how to identify these through different methods of assessment. Different strategies, techniques and approaches for managing children's behaviour, meeting their individual needs and supporting their development will be evaluated. You will also show an awareness of the key role played by legislation and policy on practice and a consideration of how these impact on children, their families and practitioners.

Language and Literacy as Communicative Devices

This module aims to build your understanding of the importance of language and literacy as communicative tools. Language is one of the key developments of childhood, and the ability to communicate is fundamental to all other aspects of learning and development. You are encouraged to respond with sensitivity, awareness and skill to children's language and learning needs, and to reflect on your own experiences as a language user. The significance of story and the importance of rhyme, rhythm and sound will be discussed, while language delay and disorders will be considered. The module will help you to understand the importance of providing a supportive language and literacy environment.

Research for Enquiry in Childhood Education Studies

This module introduces you to the management and application of research. The primary aim of the module is to develop your skills and expertise in the evaluation and use of essential research tools. The application of these tools will be done through online activities and directed reading. The module develops inquisitiveness through building an awareness of multiple perspectives for studying, analysing and understanding phenomena. You will be encouraged to challenge research, both national and international, and data through systematic analysis. This enquiring approach will engender in you the ability to view research as tentative, to be revised and reconsidered.

Supporting Parents and Children (0-3 years)

This module focuses on the professional practice of practitioners working with infants from birth to three years. It will facilitate your development of the knowledge and skills necessary to respond to the needs of this group. The module will enable you to gain an understanding of the need for effective parent partnerships, particularly in relation to infants aged 0-3. You will study key aspects of the care, health and development of young children, including ante-natal and post-natal care, early characteristics and development of the infant, health and care of the infant and considering how parents and professionals can work together so that the optimum potential of the infant can be achieved.

Plus one option from:

The Role of Creativity and Play in Childhood Education

Creativity and play are explored in this module as interwoven themes in young people's learning and development. This module provides opportunities for you to examine theoretical perspectives but also to explore your own creative processes through the provision of interactive sessions. You are encouraged to link your work-based experience to the theory so that the significance of play in underpinning children's learning and development is fully recognised and acknowledged.

Professional Management within Practice 2

This module focuses on the skills needed for successful recruitment and selection in the workplace. You will devise a recruitment and selection portfolio which will include a range of material aimed at supporting the selection of personnel. You will have the opportunity to formulate induction and appraisal proformas. In addition, you will explore the management of change and identify implications for managers and the workforce. Consideration will be given to quality issues within the workplace.

Core Modules

Contemporary Issues in International Contexts

This module allows you to explore the concepts, legislation, philosophy and contexts of various contemporary issues in relation to children and families. The issues will be current to your year of study and your personal engagement with the assessment will reflect the geographical location, social and cultural context you find yourself in during the course.

Equity and Inclusive Practice in Education

You will look at children with disabilities and learning difficulties, and examine a plethora of strategies which will allow you to support children with complex learning needs. The module is underpinned by the critical analysis of legislative and policy frameworks which facilitates the examination of intrapersonal interactions with children with complex needs and the interactions between these children's families and education/care practitioners.


This module allows you to engage in a piece of independent research exploring a field relevant to your studies and/or desired future career pathway. You will choose to engage in either primary or secondary research and will develop independent learning, problem-solving and analytical skills. You will be encouraged to employ a wide range of academic resources in the development of your study. This module will include you being assigned a project supervisor who you will meet with five times during a two-semester period.

Plus one option from:

Children’s Voice

This module takes the perspective that children are viewed as competent, active participants and social agents in their own lives. Furthermore, the belief is that they are regarded not just as "becoming but being", and thus recognises that listening to children requires a process of continual adjustment to meet changing individual and societal needs. It is acknowledged that this concept is not without contention and therefore the emphasis will be on engaging in critical reflection to ensure potential barriers to listening to children in a professional context are identified, debated and examined using political and theoretical frameworks. You will be invited to explore your understanding of strategies and tools used in practice to support children's participation, voice and agency and promote a listening culture.

Health and Wellbeing in Context

This module builds on your knowledge of psychology and human development, policies in context, and communication and practice experience. It encompasses the premise that health and wellbeing, in its widest sense, is paramount for a fulfilling life. This module examines the different approaches and models of health promotion, and their application by a range of professionals. It explores the physiological, psychological, and social health needs of various demographic groups in different settings and communities. The international, social, political, legal and research perspectives will be integral to the area of study.

The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry


  • Level 3: Achieve a relevant Level 3 childcare qualification.
  • Level 3: Non-related subjects at Level 3 are accepted at University College Birmingham for entry. A minimum of 72 UCAS Tariff points will be required.


  • GCSE/IGCSE English Language: Grades A*-C/9-4 or equivalent.

Year 2 entry

Academic: A relevant HNC or equivalent qualification at Level 4 in the areas of Early Years, Childcare or Advanced Practice with Children and Families, with 120 credits.

Work experience

You will need to provide official documentation before enrolment confirming that you are working or volunteering in an appropriate school environment for a minimum of two full days per week if you are applying to study in Year 1 or 2 of this programme.

Please note that placements on this course are arranged independently by students, including the completion of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, and therefore do not sit under the responsibility of University College Birmingham.

International students

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

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Note: Indicative information only – actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued at your induction.


You will be expected to engage with online learning and teaching materials throughout the course, with online twilight classes and support sessions you are expected to attend (including distance learning classes, assignment support and individual tutorials with an allocated personal tutor). For your final year dissertation, you will be supported through five 15-minute meetings with your supervisor via web conferencing software.

All modules include:

  • A mixture of pre-recorded content to access independently or ‘live’ webinar sessions where you can meet module-teaching staff
  • Online video/text discussion forums where you can meet and work with other students

All ‘live’ classroom sessions will be video recorded for posterity.

You will need to allocate a minimum number of study hours per week, though some weeks may require you to extend beyond this, particularly when you are engaged in completing assessments.


Estimated breakdown of assessment for this degree course:

  • Coursework– 100%

Assessments will employ a diverse range of technologies for which you will be offered pre-tutoring during your induction.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

Tuition fees

Home students

If you are a UK student enrolling on this course, your fee for this academic year will be £5,500 (£1,375 per module). 

International students

If you are an international student enrolling on a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2023/24, your fee for this academic year will be £5,800 per year.

Without this online learning platform, I wouldn’t have continued with my studies and would’ve missed out on a future career in education and teaching. I would encourage anyone to take up this online degree to achieve their career goals and I’m grateful to the outstanding online education department for providing this opportunity.

Mandy Lambert Childhood and Education Studies BA (Hons) Top-up (Online)

Career opportunities

Note: Some roles below may require further study/training. The roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Community education officer

Average Salary: £28,000


Average Salary: £35,000

Education administrator

Average Salary: £33,500

Learning mentor (school)

Average Salary: £18,750

Childcare worker

Average Salary: £16,893

Special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)

Average Salary: £30,172


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 

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Viki’s Story

Viki’s decision to study online with University College Birmingham boosted her career while enabling her to spend quality time with her young family.

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