EARLY CHILDHOOD STUDIES

BA (Hons) 

Accredited by the University of Birmingham

Course Award

BA (Hons)

Duration

3 years full-time

UCAS Code

X300

Placement

200 hours per year

Entry

September

Fees

View Fees

School of Education, Health and Community
Discover more at our next open day

Saturday 03 October 2020

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A range of enrichment opportunities and additional qualifications available

Boost your career prospects with placements in a variety of settings, including day care and nurseries

Early childhood is viewed as the most formative period of our lives, shaping the foundations for our whole future. If you are passionate about working with young children and their families, our Early Childhood Studies (Graduate Practitioner) degree will give you the knowledge and experience to become a highly qualified graduate practitioner and open the doors to a rewarding career helping to meet the needs of children.

One of the first UK degrees to incorporate the new Graduate Practitioner Competencies status, our early childhood course will assess you in nine key areas and grant you a licence to practise in a variety of areas within the sector when you graduate, as well as helping you stand out among the competition. You will learn about key characteristics of childhood, wider issues around development and how to help children grow by creating new learning opportunities such as play-based learning.

Combining theory with practice, our Early Childhood Studies degree also allows you to acquire extensive work experience on placements throughout your course, as well as going on visits to experience different childhood approaches first-hand. On top of this, you will have the chance to gain additional qualifications ranging from Makaton training to Paediatric First Aid, plus additional enrichment opportunities such as introductory Lego therapy and baby massage sessions, equipping you with a wealth of skills by the end of your studies.

Why choose this degree course?

  • WORK PLACEMENTS – From day care and nurseries to primary school mentoring and special education, gain real-life experience on a variety of placements throughout your degree
  • ENRICHMENT – Widen your skills with enrichment opportunities such as Lego therapy, Makaton training, baby massage, paediatric first aid and food hygiene
  • INDUSTRY APPROVED – Our course includes the Graduate Practitioner Competencies developed by the ECSDN (now included in the QAA Early Childhood Studies Subject Benchmark Statements with practice at Level 6 recognised by the DfE)

Our facilities

Our learning spaces ensure you have the right environments to build your knowledge, from lecture theatres to interactive group working spaces and extensive library resources.

Course breakdown

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Core Modules

Nurturing Children’s Health and Well-being

This module will start to develop your awareness of how the social determinants of health influence the health and well-being of a child, from conception and throughout childhood. The external influences of mass media, public policy, health rights and public health interventions will be examined to identify how they contribute to the health and well-being of children.

Introduction to the Early Years Framework

This module provides you with essential skills to support your career within the early years sector. You will learn about the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and gain essential knowledge regarding its underpinning philosophy and content as well as practical skills to use within settings. Play underpins all aspects of the EYFS – you will have interactive enrichment and learning opportunities to support you in developing your own play pedagogy.

The Child in Society

This module aims to develop your awareness and understanding of childhood within contemporary Britain and will develop your understanding of the world a child inhabits. It explores the current influences on a child’s life and examines the contribution of parents, carers, families, communities and services to children's childhoods.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusive Play

This module explores graduate practice within an early years context. It supports the development of a reflective approach, as teaching young children to accept and celebrate difference is a process that must begin with you reflecting on your own attitudes and values. The content allows for identification of the key role and responsibilities the professional has to play in promoting equality, diversity and inclusivity in practice, which is essential in improving outcomes for all children and families within today’s society.

Growth, Learning and Development

Early child development is the period of physical, cognitive, and social growth, laying the foundations for a productive and healthy life in today’s society. This module will review the areas and stages of child development and examine a range of child developmental theory in relation to how children change, grow and learn over the course of childhood, with an emphasis on describing how development is shaped through internal and external influences, such as the role of the child’s immediate environment and the role of culture in influencing and shaping development. The key role of the graduate practitioner will be examined in relation to the use of observations in practice and the importance of this role in meeting the diverse developmental needs of young learners in today’s early years sector.

Pioneers, Pedagogy and Philosophy

This module will consider the fundamental principles underpinning early years’ pedagogy by exploring key pioneers that influence today’s practice, while also introducing contemporary pedagogical practices, both in a national and international context. Content will consider approaches used by other countries including the Nordic countries, Italy and New Zealand, exploring how they differ from approaches used within the UK.

Core Modules

Child Protection and Safety in Practice

This module provides the framework of understanding for practitioners, regardless of their domain of practice, to be able to recognise children at risk, identify signs of abuse, understand the legislative framework, and the concept of interagency working, which underpins practice and enables practitioners to act swiftly to ensure the best interests of the child are served. This module will enable you to provide a comprehensive framework of knowledge in relation to safeguarding children in practice in a variety of settings, as well as providing frameworks for assessing and managing risk and for multidisciplinary practice, and safe and effective cooperation, in relation to safeguarding children.

Effective Leadership and Management Skills

Clear management and leadership is essential within the sector if you are to provide a quality environment for children. This module examines what leadership and management means within the context of the early years sector, what the differences between leadership and management are and the range of skills that are necessary to be a good leader and a good manager within a formal setting.

Child Development

This module encourages you to develop a comprehensive and critical understanding of the key principles and theoretical underpinnings of development and learning in children aged 0-5 years. Both classical and contemporary developmental theories (and the differing range of perspectives which inform them) will be thoroughly explored and evaluated with a view to identifying how such theories might be used as a means of understanding and measuring normative and atypical development. The module requires you to attend a minimum of 200 work-based placement hours and for this to be accompanied by a passed placement appraisal.

Developing Research

This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to engage in semi-independent research and to further develop your personal, graduate and professional skill sets within a vocational field. It develops knowledge and expertise of the design, implementation and evaluation of action research and offers a series of transferable skills which can be utilised in both employment and higher level study. The module encourages you to take a critically reflective and reflexive stance to your own practice, specific institutional practices, action research as a process and to professional standards.

SEND within the Early Years Sector

This module will develop your understanding of Special Educational Needs and Disability in the Early Years, exploring the concept of SEND and the legislative framework underpinning practice in early years care and education. The importance of inclusive practice and environments will be investigated, along with appropriate adjustments, interventions and resources to meet children’s needs and promote their development. The importance of working with parents and children in ensuring equitable provision will be stressed throughout.

Plus one option from:

Creativity and Play in the Early Years

This module recognises the underpinning significance of play in children’s learning and development and is concerned with raising awareness of the necessity to develop the creative ability of children. Pedagogical implications for fostering imagination, motivation, problem solving, making connections and divergence within early years settings will be examined, alongside the factors which may affect the development of creativity. You will examine current theories and debates related to creativity and the arts and their role in children’s learning. You will also have the opportunity, through placement, to develop your own practice to maximise opportunities to nurture young children’s natural creativity.

Children of the Future

During this module, you will explore the concept of gender through a sociological perspective, its categorisation and the development of gender diversity within British society. You will consider the development of children’s sexual identity (heterosexual, gay, lesbian and bi-sexual), age awareness and prevalence, considering concepts such as ‘Gender Neutral’, ‘Gender Nutroise’, ‘Gender Binary’, ‘Biological Sexual Ambiguity’, ‘Gender Affirmative Model’ and ‘Transgender’ within contemporary Britain.

Transition of Childhood

This module is aimed at professionals who, through their professional role, will work with children, young people and families who are undergoing (or who are likely to undergo) transition and/or change. The module will equip you with the theoretical understanding of the processes of both predicted and unpredicted transition/change. You will learn the variety of models of transition/change and skills to identify and discard the inappropriate models, enabling you to consider the barriers to transition/change and develop strategies to address them and reflect on the observable behaviours that indicate the individual child and carers around them are coping with the transition/change. You will also identify behaviours indicating the individual/family is not coping with the transition/change and examine strategies to address them - this is likely to include signposting. Finally, the module will enable you to reflect on your role as a professional within the transition/change process.

Core Modules

Leading and Managing Systems

This module explores leadership and management, contemporary issues and current trends in order to enhance quality assurance and support change that may improve the educational/child-centred experiences of children in the early years. The module content encourages you to identify setting/workplace needs and work collaboratively with staff, other professionals, children and their families in order to devise and implement an action plan for creating improvement and change.

Enhancing Employability for Graduate Practice

Developing and recognising graduate competencies for the early years workforce will enable you to set yourself apart from the crowd, presenting to future employers the skills necessary to undertake your professional role in a competitive employment arena. The vocational practice you experience on this module will enhance your professional development by advancing and consolidating your theoretical knowledge, increasing your professional skill sets and enriching your personal and professional confidence.

Dissertation

Engaging in individually selected and directed research is one of the highlights of an undergraduate degree and in this module, you will be introduced to the skills and competences needed to explore your selected topic in-depth to ensure you gain the most from this opportunity. Research at this level can be daunting, but you will be appointed a dissertation tutor who will help guide you through this important and rewarding process.

Plus one option from:

Socio-Historical Aspects of Childhood

This module is designed to provide an insight into the social, historical and cultural construct of 'childhood'. Childhood is made up of a series of discourses influenced by shifts in political policy, economic factors and industry needs, cultural influences, religion, philosophy, technology and the changing needs of society. Content will investigate the impact of such change upon children, the notion of 'childhood', and the place of children within society from a historical perspective. Key factors affecting children's lives throughout the ages will be discussed and the concept of 'childhood' explored through a range of theoretical perspectives and social contexts.

Children’s Voice

You will explore the concept of children’s voice through a range of theoretical perspectives. In doing so, you will develop a critical understanding of how to support children’s voice, participation and agency in a professional context.

Pedagogical Leadership in Play

This module encourages you to develop a critical and comprehensive understanding of the key principles of pedagogical leadership within play and learning environments. Both contemporary and classical theoretical frameworks concerning leadership and management are critically evaluated with a view to exploring how such theories afford us a frame through which to view and develop best practice in leadership. The module focuses on the diverse ways in which early years practitioners design, develop, execute and assess pedagogical leadership in play and learning.

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

Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons)

A-levels: An A-level grade profile of CCC-CDD.

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

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted for entry. A minimum of 96-80 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 96-80 UCAS Tariff points including a minimum of 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction.

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

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

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 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.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

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

Teaching

Example of a typical teaching week (up to 13 contact hours):

  • Large group teaching – 6 hours
  • Smaller group teaching – 4 hours
  • Tutorials – 3 hours
  • Field trips and visits
  • Assessment for nine distinct competencies

You will also need to commit around 20 hours per week for individual study time.

Assessment

Estimated breakdown of assessment for this degree course:

  • Coursework – 100%

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

Additional qualifications and training

  • You will be supported to complete Makaton training – a unique 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

As a new student studying this degree full-time, you will receive £300 per year via our Kick-Start Scheme (eligibility criteria applies). This 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.

Tuition fees

UK/EU students

If you are a UK/EU student enrolling on a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2020/21, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250 per each full year. A half year tuition fee is £4,625. UK/EU students do not pay tuition fees for any placement periods.

International students

If you are an international student enrolling on a a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2020/21, your fee for this academic year will be £11,500 per year.

If you complete a placement year, your tuition fee would be £500 for a full year (£250 for half year placement).

Percentage
95%

Of newly qualified teachers were employed in a teaching role within six months of completing training 

Work placements

Work placements are vital for gaining real-life experience and for building your confidence and skills before you finish your course – and they may even lead to a job when you graduate. Our hired@UCB team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Our BA Early Childhood Studies course includes a mandatory requirement of 200 hours on placement each year. Year 1 and 2 placements will focus on early years, while the Year 3 placement will be determined by your eventual career choice.

Work alongside experts in your sector

A snapshot of some of the employers we have worked with:

  • Aston University Nursery & Pre-school
  • Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies
  • Arden Primary School
  • Queen Alexandra College
  • James Brindley Parkway
  • Little Scallywags Day Nursery
  • St Thomas Centre Nursery

This degree course is highly versatile. You are encouraged and supported in trying different things – I completed placements in nursery schools, primary schools and social care, which has helped me understand the path I want to take. Regardless of the routes you choose, you are given so much support.

Irene Chiukira Early Childhood Studies (with Practitioner Status) BA (Hons)

Career opportunities

Note: Some roles below may require further study/training.

Family support worker

Average Salary: £21,000

Social worker (NHS)

Average Salary: £31,071

Learning mentor (school)

Average Salary: £18,750

Early years teacher/primary school teacher

£26,000/£29,364

Childcare worker

Average Salary: £16,893

Want to take your studies to the next level? Completing the BA (Hons) degree will enable you to move onto our Education and Learning MA/PGDip course.

hired@UCB

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

 

Find out more

John’s Story

John has made a huge difference to people’s lives since graduating, including working with vulnerable children as a support worker.

Read Story

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