Early Years Educator


Accredited by University College Birmingham

This course is subject to validation and approval



Course Level



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

Early childhood is considered by UNICEF as ‘a critical window of opportunity’ to support a child’s holistic development and the current sector is in need of a skilled workforce to ensure children receive the best possible provision. As a student on our Early Years Educator foundation degree, you will explore a diverse range of contemporary topics relevant to the early childhood sector to become an invaluable member of this workforce.

The degree course will equip you with the knowledge, skills and behaviours essential for effective engagement with young children in the 0-8 years age group, with particular emphasis on the critical 0-5 age range. Crucially, throughout the course, you will establish clear connections between theoretical concepts and practical application, enabling you to apply your acquired knowledge. 

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 and National Curriculum
  • Children's health and wellbeing
  • Effective leadership and leaderful practice
  • Creativity and play
  • Supporting individual needs
  • Collaborative practices
  • The learning environment
  • Academic Skills
  • Developing reflective practice

Key information

Teaching and assessment

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

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

Level 2 qualification requirements:

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

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

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of PP. This can be achieved from either a National Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

Apprenticeship: Achieve an advanced apprenticeship (Level 3).

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 32 UCAS Tariff points.

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted for entry. A minimum of 32 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  

Work-based: We also give equal consideration to applicants who are currently in work and wish to apply to University College Birmingham. To apply, you must have a minimum of 3 years’ relevant work experience, demonstrating management or supervisory duties. Your application must also include a reference from your line manager supporting your entry to higher education. For further details, please contact admissions.

"Considering a career working with young children? This foundation degree will support you in becoming an effective early years practitioner where you will develop your pedagogical approach and ability to support young children’s learning and development." 

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.

Nursery deputy manager

Average Salary: £26,000

Early years officer

Average Salary: £29,521

Nursery manager

Average Salary: £31,139

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

Emma's Story

Emma is a lecturer in education and explains how studying for a foundation degree can be just the start of a very exciting future.

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 or 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:

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Undergraduate students

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