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Early Childhood Studies - BA (Hons)

Add to my prospectus Why study this course? More about this course Entry requirements Modular structure What our students say After the course How to apply Meet the team Visit us

Why study this course?

The Early Childhood Studies degree at London Metropolitan University was one of the first degrees of its kind in the UK, developed to meet the demand for well-qualified early childhood specialists working with young children and their families across all sectors.

In the most recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 98% of all 2017 graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

The teaching on this course received a 95% student satisfaction rate in the 2018 National Student Survey.

More about this course

A unique feature of this undergraduate degree is that it's designed for both experienced practitioners and those new to the early childhood field. As well as offering flexible study opportunities, our degree includes assessed practice, which means tutors visit/appraise you in professional settings. This appraisal, combined with our entry requirements is important for you to be classified as having a license to practice. These factors will impact your salary when you seek employment in the early years’ sector.

The focus of the course is the study of the play, development and learning of children from birth to six years old in a sociocultural context and the implications this has for practice in early childhood settings. The course emphasises the links between theory and practice, and highly values the development of professional and academic skills and knowledge.

This degree will equip you to implement effective practice with children and families in a range of situations and to act as an advocate for their rights and wellbeing. The early childhood studies course team includes writers and researchers at the forefront of the field who are passionately committed to enabling, empowering and inspiring students to make transformational changes to their own lives and to the lives of children, families and communities. We'll aim to do this by:

  • valuing our students' individual experiences and existing knowledge
  • embracing different opinions and experiences
  • ensuring that issues of equality and social justice underpin our work
  • engaging in continuous critical reflection and analysis
  • working with integrity, energy and enthusiasm

Continue through regular consultation regarding the needs of the workforce. This results in bespoke course development and continuing professional development training. Many students also benefit from employer/employee tuition fee funding.

The course team is closely linked to all the major early childhood national organisations as well as having connections with academic colleagues and students internationally through their teaching and research activities.

Assessment

Assessment is based on coursework with no formal examinations.

Fees and key information

Course type Undergraduate
UCAS code X322
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

For full-time students:

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg CACHE Diploma)
  • English Language GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)
  • enhanced criminal records check

We recommend that you have GCSE Maths at grade C or above, but this is not an essential requirement for entry to the programme.

For part-time and distance learning students:

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of two years’ full-time employment working with young children, evidenced by a reference from your employer
  • current employment as a practitioner with children from birth to six years, or be able to undertake a placement in an early childhood setting for a minimum of two hours per week per module studied
  • English Language GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)
  • enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

If you don’t have traditional qualifications or can’t meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Early Childhood Studies Extended Degree BA (Hons).

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Due to statutory requirements, we are not able to offer sponsorship under the Tier 4 visa route for this course. We will be happy to consider those falling into this category for an alternative suitable course on request. Overseas nationals who already hold an alternative visa in a suitable category or have been granted permission to remain in the UK indefinitely, and EU nationals may be considered for admission but please note that an additional international enhanced police check will be required.

Accelerated study

If you have relevant qualifications or credit from a similar course it may be possible to enter this course at an advanced stage rather than beginning in the first year. Please note, advanced entry is only available for September start. See our information for students applying for advanced entry.

Specific qualifications that may make you eligible for advanced entry to this course include an Advanced Diploma in Childcare and Education (ADCE), a Higher National Diploma (HND) or a foundation degree in early childhood studies.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start)
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    In this module, students will study significant theories underpinning child development from birth to six in the context of human development, and models of observation and assessment. It will introduce students to a range of theoretical perspectives from developmental psychology, psycho-analytic and neuro-scientific theory and research, for considering babies’ and young children’s development. It will underline the inter-relatedness of personal, social, emotional, physical, linguistic and cognitive development and discuss the role of relationships, movement, talk, exploration and self-concept in development. Some of the issues associated with child development theory and assessment, such as cultural bias and gender differences will be explored. The importance for early childhood professionals of accessing the views of parents and carers on their children’s development will be considered.

    This core module aims to enable students to:
     Understand the integrated nature of young children’s development from birth to six years old
     Consider how cultural and social contexts impact on babies’ and young children’s development and learning
     Study a variety of developmental perspectives including developmental psychology, neuroscience and psychoanalytical theory
     Further develop their knowledge of key theorists and how their concepts inform our understanding of personal, social, emotional, physical, linguistic and cognitive development
     Study, implement and evaluate different observational techniques

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module will consider concepts of health and well-being in infancy and early childhood and the multiple factors that contribute to a child’s welfare. The impact of ill health and disability on early learning and on families will be considered and the individual, socio-cultural and environmental aspects of well-being for young children and their families will be examined.

    The module will consider providing for young children’s well-being and protection as part of a continuum of best practice and the position of health promotion within the early childhood curriculum will be explored. Students will examine the early year’s practitioners’ role in promoting healthy choices and in the identification and protection of babies and young children from neglect and abuse. Students will become acquainted with current health promotion and child protection policies and legislation and with the range of health and welfare services that exist for children and families in need of support.

    This module addresses a key aspect of professional knowledge in the early years field and aims to enable students to:
     Introduce the historical, social and cultural contexts of health and welfare provision for young children and of current policy and legislative frameworks
     Develop an understanding of the position of health promotion and safeguarding within the early childhood curriculum
     Identify and examine some of the health care and welfare issues raised when working with babies and young children and their families
     Raise awareness of the breadth of individual, social and environmental aspects of health, safety and well-being
     Develop professional competence in professional decision making and partnership working in relation to safeguarding babies’ and young children’s health and well-being.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon
    • all year (September start)
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module introduces students to a range of historic and popular views on play and its relationship to learning.

    This core module aims to enable students to:
     Reflect on theories of play and their cultural contexts for children from birth to six
     Analyse the work of key theorists in relation to historic and theoretical views on play
     Consider the different roles that adults (including parents and carers) undertake in supporting, fostering and enhancing children’s play and learning
     Explore ways of providing an environment, both indoors and outdoors, that supports and enhances children’s individual learning through play, giving due consideration to issues of gender, class, race and disability and family form

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module introduces and supports basic academic skills and is an essential professional practice requirement in enabling students to develop competency within the early years’ setting. It is intended to enable students to begin to develop self-awareness in order to support and understand how personal values, attitudes, and qualities impact their future roles as early years practitioners. The module will enable students to work with young children whilst understanding the importance of working in partnership with colleagues, parents and other professionals. The module will include an assessed practical placement leading to preparation for Professional Practice 2 which will support future employability in this sector.

    This module offers an introduction to academic skills and working with children between 3-5 years and aims to help students:
     Make connections between their learning across modules within the professional context of early childhood studies
     Reflect on personal value systems and begin to develop reflective practice
     Develop knowledge and an understanding of the need, through observation, to plan, implement and reflect
     Consider the professional skills required within an early years’ setting including communication, teamwork, partnership with parents within the context of an anti-bias approach;
     Develop an awareness and understanding of the historical, social and political context of early childhood services and of the cultures, principles and values that underpin early childhood practice.
     Prepare students for placement experience by beginning to engage with the application/exploration of Level 3 Early Years’ Educator Standards

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)
    • all year (September start) - Monday

    This module introduces study skills and ideas of academic discourse and audience. It will give students the opportunity to note, practise and reflect on their own strategies and skills for learning and study and in relation to theories of learning and practice in early childhood. There will be an overview of the range of professionals who work with babies, young children and their families.

    This module offers an orientation to higher education and aims to help students:
     Relate their own learning to the professional context of early childhood studies and to theories of how babies and young children learn;
     Make connections between work based and academic knowledge and develop skills in all aspects of academic discourse;
     Consider the professional skills required within an early years’ setting including communication, teamwork, partnership with parents and an anti-bias approach;
     Develop an awareness and understanding of the historical, social and political context of early childhood services and of the cultures, principles and values that underpin early childhood practice.
     Develop digital literacy skills which relate to their role as students and which are transferrable to their future roles as early years practitioners.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module will examine approaches to the early childhood curriculum in England and a selection of other countries and how these curricula relate to a range of theories of learning and pedagogical approaches. The development of and relationship between pedagogy and curriculum will be located within social and political contexts and the practical implementation of curriculum approaches will be explored.

    Aims of the module:
    This core module aims to enable students to:
     Develop their knowledge and understanding of a range of theories of how babies and young children learn.
     Study a range of pedagogical approaches and curriculum models for the 0-6 age range, from the UK and from selected other countries.
     Locate theories of learning and curriculum approaches within historical, socio-cultural and political contexts and consider curriculum as a social construct
     Develop skills in implementing a broad and balanced, child-centred curriculum

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday afternoon
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning
    • autumn semester

    This module considers and addresses issues of inequality, in particular race, culture, special educational needs, disability, gender, social class and poverty. It will examine legislation and guidance underpinning this. It will also consider the importance of challenging such inequalities within practice to ensure high quality provision for the care and education of babies, young children, families and staff.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday afternoon
    • spring semester - Thursday morning
    • spring semester

    In this module students will develop an understanding of children’s right globally. It will explore the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and examine children’s rights in today’s complex world.

    The aim of the module is to enable students to:
    - Examine legislation (both historical and current) designed to protect human rights and, in particular, the advocacy rights of children.
    - Examine the rights of young children.
    - Critically evaluate the role of the significant adults/agencies in ensuring children have their rights respected.

    Read full details.
  • This module addresses a key aspect of professional knowledge in the early years field and aims to enable students to:
     Study current research and theories of language acquisition and early communication
     Understand first and subsequent language acquisition and examine important current debates about multilingualism and cultural identity
     Establish the connection between language, symbolic representation and early learning
     Critically consider the relationship between effective early years practice and provision and multilingualism.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start)

    This module introduces an enquiry-based approach to learning for both adults and children. As early years’ practitioners, it is expected that students should be curious, autonomous learners, demonstrating reflective practice, critical thinking, problem solving and professional competence in supporting young children’s learning and development within an ever changing world. Such learning fosters a critical enquiry orientation which is central not only to academic studies, but to later workplace practice, where active engagement in the problem-solving process will be an essential professional tool. The module offers sound theoretical and practice based knowledge of enquiry based learning, which allows students to evaluate and develop their professional effectiveness.

    This core module enables students to:
     Understand the integrated nature of enquiry-based learning for adults and young children
     Consider the impact of enquiry-based learning on students and young children as lifelong learners
     Study key theoretical and pedagogical approaches in relation to enquiry-based learning.
     Engage in small scale enquiry in relation to practice.

    Read full details.
  • This module aims to enable students to:
     Increase their knowledge and understanding of the personal, social, cultural and emotional development of babies and young children and its influence on all other aspects of development and learning.
     Identify and evaluate effective practice and provision for 0-6 year olds through considering the learning and care needs of children from birth to three in out of home care
     Develop a knowledge of what reflective practice means so they can understand the impact of practitioners on the lives of babies and young children
     Explore the social policy contexts of young children’s well-being and provision for 0-6 year olds

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday afternoon
    • spring semester - Thursday morning
    • spring semester

    This module aims to consolidate students’ knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage and as an introduction to the National Curriculum Key Stage 1, including relevant policy documents. The module will enable students to develop appropriate subject knowledge, skills and attitudes identified in statutory requirements and non-statutory guidance nationally and internationally. The areas of learning and development will be explored within the EYFS and Key Stage 1 frameworks. The module will engage students to examine critically the EYFS and Key Stage 1 requirements, and to plan, lead and evaluate activities and learning opportunities in order to contribute to children’s development and learning. Study of the EYFS and Key Stage 1 curriculum will reflect the holistic nature of early years’ practice and the role of practitioners as facilitators in children’s learning.

    This module addresses a key aspect of professional knowledge in the early years field and aims to enable students to:
     Have an in-depth knowledge of the current thinking which underpins approaches to EYFS and Key Stage 1 curricula nationally and internationally.
     Discuss recent policy developments in the area of these curricula
     Demonstrate a sound understanding of the different areas of learning and development in the early years curricula including the issues of progression and differentiation, including Key Stage 1.
     Consider how the main principles, and the importance of observation and assessment in the EYFS and Key Stage 1 lay the foundation for future reflective practice.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday afternoon
    • autumn semester
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    This module aims to enable students to:
     Study babies’ and young children’s perceptual, cognitive and representational development
     Develop an understanding of babies and young children’s creative development and systems of representation cross-culturally.
     Consider approaches to curriculum implementation that support the creativity and learning of babies and young children
     Understand the practitioner’s role and develop skills in planning and developing environments and opportunities that support babies’ and young creative play and learning.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    This module will enable students to
     Meet the professional standards for early childhood care and education
     Become a proficient and critically reflective practitioner
     Further develop the necessary skills, experience and understanding required to observe, plan, deliver and review their practice across the early years curriculum
     Plan for and implement an holistic and anti-bias approach to children’s play and learning
     Work collaboratively with parents and have an understanding of working effectively in teams and with other professionals
     Meet and promote children's health, welfare and safety needs and the conditions that enable them to flourish.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday
    • spring semester - Monday morning
    • spring semester

    This module aims to examine a range of theories relating to social constructions of childhood and the implications of this for Early Years practice. It will consider representations of children and childhood, including those in the media. It will consider a range of historical, cultural, philosophical and theoretical perspectives on early childhood such as feminism and post-modernism and including lived global childhoods and majority world perspectives

    This module aims to enable students to:
     Examine social constructions of infancy and childhood and the implications of these for Early Years practice
     Critically evaluate how infants, children and childhood are represented
     Consider the global, cultural, historical and economic context of early childhood and how issues of discrimination and inequality impact on young children’s lives
     Examine contemporary debates in relation to early childhood

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning
    • all year (September start)

    Students undertake a piece of independent research and study an area of particular interest in early childhood studies.

    This module offers an opportunity for independent study and aims to enable students to:
     Develop further professionally by pursuing a line of study which arises out of an aspect of her/his work with young children.
     Extend professional competence by developing a critical understanding of the relationship between theory and early childhood practice
     Gain experience of the processes and methodological and ethical issues involved in conducting and completing a piece of research
     Design, execute and evaluate a small-scale research project and experience supervised independent study of an extended nature.
     Develop further professionally by pursuing a line of study which arises out of an aspect of her/his work with young children.
     Extend professional competence by developing a critical understanding of the relationship between theory and early childhood practice
     Develop some of the skills required for post graduate study

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start)

    This module will critically evaluate a range of theories and current perspectives on the distinctive features of leading practice within early years. This will include the various ways of managing, supporting and developing teams. It will examine the role of the early years practitioner in leading and improving practice. Working in partnership with parents and other professionals will also be examined. It will investigate the various concepts of families and parenting in a historical and socio-cultural context.

    This core module enables students to:
     Examine the role of leaders, practitioners and other professionals when leading practice and developing quality provision.
     Observe, reflect on, and critically analyse practice in relation to young children’s well-being.
     Critically evaluate concepts of families and parenting in a historical and socio-cultural context.
     Consider the key role of parents and the key person in supporting children’s wellbeing, learning and development.
     Examine a range of theories in relation to leadership and leading practice, particularly in developing and supporting teams.
     Explore the range of professionals involved in the provision of early years services and explore some of the challenges and barriers faced when working with other professionals.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester
    • autumn semester - Monday
    • autumn semester - Monday morning

    This module focuses upon the main research methodologies used in the study of early childhood, preparing students for their own research projects as well as enabling them to read and critique the research of others.

    This core module aims to enable students to:

    - Develop the ability to describe, analyse and constructively critique the major research methodologies in the field of early childhood studies
    - Develop an awareness of ethics in relation to research
    - Apply skills in designing their own research projects
    - Develop skills in critiquing published research

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)

    This module offers an opportunity for independent study and aims to enable students to:
    • Develop further professionally by pursuing a line of study which arises out of an aspect of her/his work with young children.
    • Extend professional competence by developing a critical understanding of the relationship between theory and early childhood practice
    • Gain experience of the processes and methodological and ethical issues involved in conducting and completing a piece of research
    • Design, execute and evaluate a small-scale research project and experience supervised independent study of an extended nature.
    • Develop some of the skills required for post-graduate study

    Read full details.

The Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons) can be studied as a full- or part-time degree, maximising opportunities for flexible study.

Full-time students will attend classes in the daytime. Part-time students may choose to either attend classes at the University in the evening or study by distance learning, or a mixture of the two (mixed mode).

Full-time students are required to complete assessed professional placements in early childhood settings at Level 4. Applicants who are new to the field without a full and relevant Level 3 qualification who choose to achieve practitioner option are required to complete assessed professional placement at Level 5. The total number of hours required for assessed practice is 400 hours. 

Students who are experienced practitioners are required to be working with young children during their studies in either a paid or voluntary capacity.

Year 1 (Level 4) modules include:

  • Adults and Children as Learners: An Introduction to Studying Early Childhood
  • Perspectives on Children’s Development
  • Understanding Play
  • Safeguarding Young Children’s Health and Wellbeing

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Challenging Inequalities in Early Childhood
  • Approaches to Pedagogy and Curriculum in the Early Years
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development Matters
  • Professional Studies and Practitioner Placement: Part 2 (option)
  • Creative Thinking and Representation from Birth To Six (option)
  • Communicating in Multilingual Contexts (option)

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • Debates on Children and Childhood
  • Reflective Leadership in a Multi-professional Context
  • The Project
  • The Child, the Family and the Wider World
  • Reading Research and Research Methods in Early Childhood

What our students say

"I find the course content very interesting. The tutors are supportive and the feedback I get on my work is really useful.” Rachel Kent

"The course was a great chance to build on what I already knew and helped me discover interests in areas I didn't consider previously." Billy Olly

"My knowledge in childcare has developed tenfold since taking part in this degree course. The tutors are not only incredibly knowledgeable but also unbelievably supportive giving 100 per cent. It's because of their support and belief in me that I am hoping to apply for my master's degree." Natasha Curzi-Micallef

After the course

Graduates of this degree go on to pursue a variety of careers in education, health and social care sectors. The success of our graduates reflects the current need for well-trained graduates who can quickly move up to more senior roles in children’s centres, nursery and primary schools, and other early childhood care and education settings.

Some students go on to specialise in a particular area such as special educational needs, while others take up advisory posts in local authorities or government departments.

A significant number of students continue their professional studies, whether it's through the PGCE route to teaching or at postgraduate level. 

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats - key information set

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

Apply to us for January 2019

Start a degree in the new year. Applying is quick and easy – simply call our January hotline on or apply to us online.

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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