Fees and key information

Course type
Undergraduate
UCAS code
X322
Entry requirements
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Why study this course?

Our Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons) degree was one of the first university courses 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. This undergraduate 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.

Our Early Childhood Studies BA degree is uniquely designed for both experienced practitioners and those new to the early childhood studies field. The focus of the course is the study of play, development and learning of children from birth to seven-years-old in a socio-cultural 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 knowledge. It includes an optional placement module in the second year with assessed practice (for those who meet the criteria) which means tutors will visit/ appraise you in professional settings. This appraisal is important for your licence to practise.

The early childhood studies course team includes authors 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. You will receive exceptional pastoral and academic support from your tutor and academic mentor, who will be support you to progress through your studies and settle in to university life.

In your first year, the focus will be on developing key skills that are indispensable for academic study at university, including reading, writing and constructing arguments. The study of these academic skills will be linked to other subjects on the course, including theoretical perspectives of holistic development, the use of play in supporting creative development, the safeguarding of children and inclusion. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore a range of professions related to early years as options for potential career pathways.

Your second year offers a wide variety of modules from Special Educational Needs and Inclusion, to educational sustainability, and oral stories and literacy. You will explore these issues developing research skills, analysing key information such as legislation and pedagogical and curricula approaches. You will also learn how to engage in reflective discussion of how these approaches underpin inclusion and children’s rights. There is an optional professional placement module for eligible students.

In your final year you will undertake an independent project based on your early years practice experience, which will allow you to explore areas of your own professional interest. You will also have the opportunity to critically evaluate current debates in early childhood, examine theories of leadership and management, and consider the impact of this on the quality of care and education provision.

80% student satisfaction

Our childhood and youth studies courses scored 80% for overall student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2024

First in London for teaching

This course was ranked first in London and top five in the UK for teaching, according to the National Student Survey 2024

Study on a trailblazing degree course

This one of the first university courses 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

Visit our next open day on Friday 5 July, 11am

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Course modules

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2023/24 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

Year 2 modules

Year 3 modules

Creative Representation through Play

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

(core, 30 credits)

This core module provides a basis for you to demonstrate a strong understanding of different types of play from a range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives and also creative and representation development. You will understand the importance of play in supporting children’s creativity. In the module, you will consider theories of play and how these may support you to relate to cross-cultural practice through exploring play-based roles that inspire creativity. You will have opportunities for working together as a team. The module links to practice, e.g. how to support creative play- and will offer you useful strategies and roles to support children’s creative representation through use of a variety of media.

This core module aims will enable students to:

• Develop an understanding of babies’ and young children’s perceptual, cognitive, creative and representational development cross-culturally through play.
• Analyse the work of key theorists and theories of play from a range of disciplinary perspectives.
• Consider the different roles and strategies that adults (including parents and carers) undertake in supporting, fostering and enhancing children’s play and creative representation.
• Develop the skills of working collaboratively and cooperatively as part of a team.
• Plan and reflect upon a playful activity or experience to develop creative representation.

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Emerging Professional Identity

This module currently runs:
autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon
autumn semester - Monday morning

(core, 15 credits)

This module provides students with the opportunity to begin to explore their professional identity and development. Students will describe what it means to be a professional in Early Years and explore a range of professions related to early years as options for potential career pathways. They will identify current skills and areas for improvement to initiate a plan to develop the skills needed for future progression.

They will reflect upon their strengths and skills, competencies and attributes and build on these through reflection, openness and self-awareness, enabling students to assess their abilities and confidently receive and give constructive feedback.

Aims

To become self-confident and recognise their own skills, competencies and attributes.
To reflect upon and adjust their personal development plan and setting targets to support professional identity growth in their chosen area.
To reflect, and be reflexive, in evaluating their professional identity progress.
To begin to develop some of the key professional attributes, including work ethic, dependability, adaptability, responsibility, accountability, maturity and technical skills.

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Exploring Perspectives on Children's Development

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

(core, 30 credits)

This module is a core module that will explore the significance of child development from socio-cultural perspectives from birth to 6 years. The module will enable students to begin to develop observational skills and factors that influence children’s development.

The module is the foundation for understanding children’s holistic development and for students progressing to the second year of their studies will form a good basis for them to explore disruptive social pedagogy.

By the end of the module, you will:

1. Understand the integrated nature of young children’s development from birth to six years of age.

2. Explore how socio-cultural contexts impact babies’ and young children’s development study a variety of developmental perspectives, including developmental psychology, neuroscience, and psychoanalytical theory.

3. Further examine knowledge of key theorists and how their concepts inform our understanding of personal, social, emotional, physical, linguistic and cognitive development.

4. Develop different observational techniques and practise observational skills.

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Rocking the Crib

This module currently runs:
spring semester - Tuesday afternoon
spring semester - Monday morning

(core, 15 credits)

This module is a core module and you will explore working with children from birth to 3 years. This module will examine day care provision for children from birth to three years of age. At the beginning of the module, the importance developing positive relationships and its impact on social and emotional development, current social policy and legislation will be reviewed. It also addresses historical perspectives on day care provision. The diversity of current provision in England alongside a comparative overview of differing national and cultural perspectives on provision for children from birth to three. This provides an historical and social policy context for thinking about what kind of provision is offered to babies and very young children and their families and why.

By the end of the module, you will:

1. Understand key concepts of relationship-based practices in birth to three provisions that impact the social/emotional development of birth to three.

2. Gain knowledge and understanding of the developmental and learning needs of children aged from birth to three.

3. Consider the impact of group care on children from birth to three and the implications for developing practice.

4. Explore the broader issues of social policy and cultural contexts.

5. Become aware of the main debates and researches surrounding the provision of day care services for children under three.

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Safeguarding, Health and Wellbeing

This module currently runs:
all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

(core, 30 credits)

This core module focuses on the well-being, safeguarding and protection needs of children ages 0-8. It looks at the social and legislative context and the role of a range of professionals and practitioners.

It addresses a key aspect of professional knowledge within early years services and aims to:

• Make connections between work based and academic knowledge in relation to children’s welfare needs.

• Introduce the historical, political, social and cultural contexts of welfare provision for young children and of current policy and legislative frameworks.

• Raise awareness of the breadth of considerations when providing for children’s optimum development and learning.

• Develop professional competence in relating knowledge of significant issues in children’s development and learning to professional decision making.

Students will:

• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the welfare needs of young children and of the roles of different statutory and voluntary agencies relating to children and families.

• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the impact of child abuse and neglect on children’s development and learning.

• Understand the cultural contexts of defining children’s welfare, safeguarding and protection needs.

• Identify and plan for children’s welfare needs in the context of an early years curriculum and respond appropriately to safeguarding and child protection concerns.

• Understand the early years Practitioners as well as other statutory professionals role in identifying and assessing children’s welfare and protection needs and in decision making within a wider multi-disciplinary team.

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Challenging Inequalities, Social Policy and Advocacy

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

(core, 30 credits)

In this module you will study the legal framework in relation to in/equalities, children’s rights and advocacy. It considers the historical, political and the legislative contexts in relation to these issues. It explores writing and research on the construction of identity and difference in relation to; class, race, gender, culture/ religion / language / sexual orientation / age / dis/ability and special educational needs, and their implications for early childhood provision and practice.

You will consider current early childhood policy contexts with regards to children’s rights, equity and discrimination and the role of early years settings in both perpetuating and resisting inequalities. This will include the impact of current policy, specific issues, and challenges these can have on young children’s’ lives. Students will have the opportunity to explore ways of working with children to develop positive views of understanding diversity.

The module will also explore the role children take in shaping their childhoods and how practitioners can elicit their perspectives and develop a listening
culture within settings and thereby act as an informed advocate for young children and their families.

This will begin to understand the rights of children and the many ways to support them to ensure that these rights are met at both national and international levels. You will explore how different legislation and policies are used to advocate the rights of the child and the roles of advocates within both national and international context.

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Disrupting Narratives: Social pedagogy in Early Childhood

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

(core, 30 credits)

This module will examine the disruptive narratives of social pedagogy in early childhood within the context of UK and wider world. One of the principles of social pedagogy is based on relationality of the learner and the facilitator. Social pedagogy is about empowerment, wellbeing and learning and this module will explore the characteristics of social pedagogy, emphasising the philosophy of ways of being and seeing. The focus will be how different curricula which relate to a range of narratives such as critical race theory, feminism, LGBTQ and pedagogical approaches. The development of and relationship between social pedagogy and curriculum will be located within the social and political contexts and the practical implementation of curriculum approaches will be explored.

By the end of the module, you will:

1. Develop critical knowledge and understanding of social pedagogy.
2. Analyse and constructively critique a range of ways of seeing and being in relation to early childhood education in England and the wider world.
3. Further explore the relationship between the historical narratives of early childhood provision in the UK and its present form.
4. Comprehensively understanding the role of the facilitator in planning and implementing a broad and balanced, holistic curriculum that serves to empower the child.

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Oral stories and literacy

This module currently runs:
autumn semester - Thursday morning

(core, 15 credits)

This module is a core module that promotes dialogical pedagogy and will explore the significance of oral stories and literacy from socio-cultural perspectives. It will develop an understanding of how oral stories are the foundation to communication and literacy skills. Spoken language underpins literacy development and vocabulary acquisition. The module encourages students to examine and debate fundamental issues relating to oral stories and literacy in relation to research based on socio-cultural perspectives. The module supports students working in a bi/ multilingual context to understand and develop how children’s home language can be valued and promoted within a parents/carers partnership framework. The module supports students to develop strategies to embed equality, diversity and inclusion in current and future practice.

By the end of the module, you will:

1. Establish the relationship between oral stories and the development of literacy skills.
2. Examine current research and debates that relate to the context of working in a multilingual provision.
3. Promote the importance of oral stories through working in partnership with parents/carers.
4. Consider how oral stories can support literacy, advocacy and anti - oppressive practice in early childhood settings.

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Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion

This module currently runs:
spring semester - Thursday afternoon

(core, 15 credits)

In this module you will explore a range of special education needs, disability and inclusion, including children with special needs relating to either communication and interaction, cognition and learning, social, emotional and mental health difficulties, as well as neurodiversity, sensory and/or physical needs, in an inclusive and all-encompassing way. Specific focus on some key types of special educational needs and disabilities will be offered, such as autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, communication, hearing, visual or physical impairment or disability.

In the module, you will explore the key principles of working within the arena of special educational needs to ensure equal opportunity and inclusion. Key terminology and concepts will be explored rigorously, drawing on current research, in order to consider the experiences for socially diverse groups.

In the module, you will take an expansive view of the history of special needs and disability and explore key principles and policy and legislative framework development. Inclusion and social justice forms the basis of this module and critical discussion of the range of models of disability and special educational needs, and a discussion of rights versus needs, which aim to promote inclusion, equal opportunities and social justice.

Aims:

• To understand a range of SEND.
• To consider the social model of disability in order to discuss the key principles of working with children with SEND in an inclusive way.
• To explore the history of SEND.
• To consider the fundamental principles of inclusion, equality and diversity, rights versus needs and relate this to SEND and discuss the implications for practice.
• To know the legislative framework which underpins SEND.
• To critically discuss the research related to SEND.

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Consolidating Professional Identity

This module currently runs:
autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

(option, 15 credits)

This core module provides you with the opportunity to build on your professional development from Level 4 – emerging professional identity module. It extends to explore different professions related to early years as options for your future career plans. You will continue to explore this and plan how to develop the skills needed for future progression.

You will continue to reflect upon your strengths and skills, competencies and attributes and continue to build on these through reflection, openness and self-awareness, through target setting and professional development planning. Further professional attributes such as self-confidence, work ethic, dependability, adaptability, responsible, accountability, maturity and technical skills, as well as self-awareness, communication and interpersonal skills, teamwork, initiative, motivation, will be addressed to form the basis of your professional identity development. The aim is for you to recognise how you are more independent, resilient, responsible and pragmatic and to consolidate your professional identity with a sense of pride.

Reflection, and reflexivity, involving communicating with others, based upon one's own and others' skills, beliefs, understandings and views, will underpin consolidating your professional identity. You will consistently be able to demonstrate empathy and active listening skills.

Aims:
To become self-confident and recognise your own skills, competencies and attributes.
To reflect upon and adjust your personal development plan and setting targets to support professional identity growth.
To reflect, and be reflexive, in evaluating your professional identity progress.
To begin to develop some of the key professional attributes, including work ethic, dependability, adaptability, responsible, accountability, maturity and technical skills.

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Professional Placement

This module currently runs:
all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

(option, 30 credits)

This module prepares students for their professional placement and offers them the opportunity for assessed practice in a work setting in order to gain occupational practice recognition in early childhood. During the professional placement students undertake a range of observations and hands on practice supported by setting mentors and university supervising tutors. The taught element focuses on pedagogy, roles and responsibilities within the multidisciplinary context of early years settings.

The module and placement experience will enable students to:

• Meet the professional standard 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 year’s curriculum.

• Plan for and implement a 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.

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Sustainability in Early Childhood Communities

This module currently runs:
spring semester - Thursday morning

(option, 15 credits)

In this optional module you will learn key concepts on issues relating to sustainability in early childhood. In the degree, you are expected to develop a critical awareness and understanding of how sustainability can be achieved within early childhood communities. As part of this, you will be able to appreciate the importance of early childhood holistic development, equity of opportunity and well-being, and how these impact on sustainable futures for all. Drawing on the Education for Sustainable Development agenda this module supports you to critically consider the environmental, social and economic factors as they relate to early childhood, and you will develop and consider how you can contribute to a more sustainable future in your professional role.

This module will enable you to:

● Understand the importance of sustainability as an overarching element in early years education.
● Support young children and early childhood communities to develop an understanding of sustainability in relation to the local, national and global contexts and to see yourself as a responsible citizen of the world.
● Study theories and concepts underpinning sustainability in early childhood communities and understand these within the framework of social justice.
● Apply the principles of sustainable education to an area of early childhood provision.

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Establishing Professional Identity

(core, 15 credits)

This module provides students with the opportunity to build on their professional development from Level 4 – Emerging Professional Identity and Level 5 – Consolidating Professional Identity module. It extends to explore different professions related to early years as options for future career plans. They will continue to advance this plan to develop the skills needed for future progression.

They will reflect upon the success of their strategies to develop further strengths and skills, competencies and attributes and build on these through reflection, openness and self-awareness, through target setting and professional development planning.

Further professional attributes such as self-confidence, work ethic, dependability, adaptability, responsibility, accountability, maturity and technical skills, as well as self-awareness, communication and interpersonal skills, teamwork, initiative, motivation, will be addressed to form the basis of their professional identity development.

The aim is for the student to recognise how they are more independent, resilient, responsible and pragmatic and to establish their professional identity with a sense of pride.

Reflection, and reflexivity, involving communicating with others, based upon their own and others' skills, beliefs, understandings and views, will underpin consolidating their professional identity.

The student will be able to demonstrate empathy and active listening skills.

Activities to develop and expand, key academic skills such as engagement, individually or with others, in analysing, critically thinking, problem-solving and research will help expand their entrepreneurial experience and prepare for a range of potential career opportunities.

Aims:
To become self-confident and recognise their own skills, competencies and attributes.
To be able to reflect upon and evaluate their personal development plan-setting targets to support professional identity growth in their chosen area.
To reflect, and be reflexive, in evaluating their professional identity progress.
To establish some key professional attributes, including work ethic, dependability, adaptability, responsibility, accountability, maturity and technical skills.

International Perspectives of Children and Childhood

(core, 15 credits)

This module aims to examine a range of theories relating to international 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. The module will consider a range of historical, cultural, philosophical and theoretical perspectives on early childhood such as critical race theory, feminism, transgender and issues post-modernity.

By the end of the module, you will:

1. Examine social constructions of infancy and childhood and the implications of these for early years practice.

2. Critically evaluate how infants, children and childhood are represented internationally through a number of different discourses.

3. Consider the global, cultural, historical and economic context of early childhood and how issues of discrimination and inequality impact on young children’s lives.

Leading Professional Practice

(core, 30 credits)

This module aims to examine a range of theories relating to leadership and management styles and approaches in a range of settings with an early years focus. It explores approaches to developing and leading inclusive and diverse teams within a legislative context. A range of subjects will be explored including: creating a shared vision, managing change and concepts of quality and evaluating provision.

The role of a range of professions and disciplines involved in the provision of early years services will be identified and the benefits and challenges will be examined.

There will be consideration of a range of stakeholders involved in provision for children and families and their role in contributing to and supporting quality.

Students will:

• Examine a range of theories in relation to leading and managing practice in a variety of settings with a focus on developing and supporting teams.
• Explore a 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.
• Explore their own continuous professional development in relation to leading and managing practice and provision in a chosen discipline.
• Reflect on, and critically analyse provision and practice in relation to young children’s and families well-being and consider its role in relation to quality development.
• Critically evaluate concepts of families and parenting in a historical and socio-cultural context and how this informs provision and practice from a leadership perspective.

Research and Dissertation

(core, 60 credits)

This module offers an opportunity for independent study and aims to enable you to:

1. Develop further academically and / or professionally by pursuing a line of study which arises out of an interest that you have in relation to early childhood.

2. Extend your academic / or professional competence by developing a critical understanding of the relationship between theory and issues relating to early childhood practice.

3. Gain experience of the processes, methodological and ethical issues involved in conducting and completing a piece of research.

4. Design, execute and evaluate a small-scale research project supervised independent study of an extended nature.

5. Develop some of the skills required for post graduate study.

Course details

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, or an equivalent qualification such as functional skills, however this is not an essential requirement for entry to the programme. 

For part-time 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 our Early Childhood Studies (including foundation year) BA (Hons) degree.

Due to statutory requirements, we are not able to offer sponsorship under the Student 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 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.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course at London Met. Find out more about applying for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

English language requirements

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Student visa (previously Tier 4) you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. This course requires you to meet our standard requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

A wide range of assessment modes are used throughout the course, including presentations, role play, database, media profiles, journals, leaflets, podcasts as well as essays. Assessment is based on coursework with no formal examinations.

Our health, social care and early childhood studies graduates have gone onto to work as early years practioners, nursery teachers and managers, mental health officers, support workers and nurses at various employers including Kings College Hospital, the NHS and various schools and nurseries.

Continuing your studies with us

The School of Social Professions has a wide range of exciting industry-linked postgraduate courses available on a full-time and part-time basis in education, health, social and community work. We offer the following degrees that would be ideal for postgraduate progression:

If you've already studied your undergraduate degree with us, as a graduate of London Met, you'll be entitled to a 20% discount on any further study with us.

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.

Discover Uni – key statistics about this course

Discover Uni is an official source of information about university and college courses across the UK. The widget below draws data from the corresponding course on the Discover Uni website, which is compiled from national surveys and data collected from universities and colleges. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, information for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK applicant wanting to study full-time starting in September, you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified. If you're an international applicant wanting to study full-time, you can choose to apply via UCAS or directly to the University.

If you're applying for part-time study, you should apply directly to the University. If you require a Student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.

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.

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.