Early Childhood Studies


Accredited by University College Birmingham

This course is subject to validation and approval




2 years full time


Opportunities available




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Department of Education
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The early years skills gap has increased by more than 2% in the last five years, meaning employers are actively seeking qualified, skilled staff

Nurseries are currently struggling to recruit qualified and experienced staff, according to the NCFE

Are you considering a career working with young children? UNICEF recognises early childhood as a 'critical window of opportunity' to support a child’s holistic development. The current sector requires a skilled workforce to ensure optimal provision for children, laying the foundations for their future.

This Early Childhood Studies foundation degree is designed to equip you with the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to work effectively within the early childhood sector, covering the age range of 0-8yrs. The course will support you in your journey to becoming an effective practitioner and developing your personal pedagogy.

Throughout the course, you will actively demonstrate and fulfill the Graduate Practitioner Competencies. Upon successfully completing this course, you'll have the opportunity to advance to a Level 6 degree, where you can continue to compile evidence supporting the Graduate Practitioner Competencies, paving the way to obtaining Graduate Practitioner Status.

Why should I choose this course?

  • SUPPORT – Benefit from a dedicated personal tutor assigned to guide and support you throughout your academic journey
  • EXPERT TUITION – Receive expert tuition from faculty members with diverse industry experience, ensuring a high-quality educational experience
  • community connections – Engage with established partnerships in various local settings, providing you with valuable real-world connections and experiences
  • AWARD-WINNING UNIVERSITY – Study at the highest-ranking university in the region according to student choice (Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023)

Our state-of-the-art facilities include spacious teaching and learning environments such as classrooms, lecture theatres, computer rooms and more. You will also have access to a range of independent learning spaces including our academic library, Thinkspace and learning pods. 

Course breakdown

*Please note: This is a new course and the exact module titles and details of each module are currently being finalised. 

Subjects you will study (more details coming soon)

  • Child development 
  • Inclusion, equality and diversity 
  • Relevant policy and statutory guidance including the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework 
  • Children's health and wellbeing 
  • Effective leadership and leaderful practice 
  • Creativity and play 
  • Supporting individual needs 
  • Collaborative practices 
  • The learning environment 
  • Becoming a reflective practitioner 
  • Academic skills 
  • Graduate Practitioner Competencies

You will also have an individual study programme to help you build the skills and experience you need to progress onto higher education or gain employment.  

Key information

Teaching and assessment

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

Additional qualifications and training

Students on this course contribute to their Graduate Practitioner Competencies at Level 4 and Level 5, which then gives you the opportunity to complete these by topping up to a full Level 6 BA (Hons) degree and gain Graduate Practitioner status.

Tuition fees

UK students

If you are a UK student enrolling on a standard-length Foundation Degree or a BA/BSc at University College Birmingham, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250. A half-year tuition fee is £4,625. There will be no change to this tuition fee for the forthcoming two academic years (2023/24 and 2024/25).

View undergraduate fees

Kick-Start Scheme

As a new student studying this course full-time, you will receive £300 per year through our Kick-Start Scheme (UK students only, 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 may also qualify for an additional £500 per year.

Find out more about the Kick-Start Scheme here.

Unibuddy Community - meet other students on your course

Starting university is an exciting time, but we understand that it can sometimes feel a little daunting. To support you, you will be invited to join our Unibuddy Community, where you can meet other students who have applied for the same course at University College Birmingham, before you start studying here.

As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent an invitation email to complete your registration and join the Unibuddy Community. For more information, check out our Unibuddy Community page.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A-levels: An A-level grade profile of DD.

T-levels: A T-level graded pass with a core component profile less than C.

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of PPP. This can be achieved from either an extended diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

Apprenticeship: Achieve an advanced apprenticeship (Level 3).

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 48 UCAS tariff points.

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted for entry. A minimum of 48 UCAS tariff points will be required.

Non-tariff: Non-UCAS tariff-based Level 3 qualifications are also considered for entry. Please complete our enquiry form here to check your eligibility.

Additional requirements
GCSEs: GCSE/IGCSE English Language grades 9-4/A*-C or equivalent

"A career working in the early childhood sector can be extremely rewarding. Each day presents a new opportunity to support young children during a pivotal stage of their development. You will be able to see the positive impact you have as a practitioner, nurturing children’s future potential." 

Rebecca Taylor Head of Department

Career opportunities

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

Early years officer

Average Salary: £29,521

Nursery manager

Average Salary: £31,139

Nursery deputy manager

Average Salary: £26,000

Room leader

Average Salary: £23,000

Health play assisstant

Average Salary: £21,000

Pastoral assistant

Average Salary: £21,118

Want to take your studies to the next level? Students may be eligible to top-up to a full degree with our Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons). This route would also allow students to work towards their graduate practitioner competencies in order to complete level 6 and be awarded Graduate Practitioner Status. Students may also be eligible to top up to a level 6 degree with our Childhood and Education Studies BA (Hons) online programme.


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


Find out more

Jayne's Story

Jayne is a lecturer with a wealth of experience who is passionate about helping students achieve a higher level of expertise and meeting the needs of children and the sector.

Read More


of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Work placements offer a wealth of benefits alongside your studies, helping you put your learning into practice, develop your skills and understanding of the workplace, boost your CV for your chosen career and enhance your application for future study. Our hired@UCB team can help find the ideal placement for you.  

Work alongside experts in your sector

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

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

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