Course Overview

There will be a substantial component of Personal Development Planning and Work Based Learning in all three years of the course. You will study modules such as Human Development and Learning, Meeting Individual Needs, and Leadership and Professional Development. In the final year, one module will be chosen from a bank of options, and one module will be addressed via independent study - a Dissertation. Your progress on your Dissertation module will be facilitated by a tutor with research and professional interests in the relevant area. This will help you to begin to focus upon a specific Early Years career path. 

This course is aligned to the new QAA Early Childhood Studies benchmark statements 2014.

Candidates with a FdA/HND in a relevant subject could top-up to a full BA (Hons) degree.

To help inform your decision, our Student Ambassadors would be more than willing to share their experiences with you as part of the application process.

Course Structure

You will attend College for two days a week and a work placement for two days a week throughout your three years on the course.

Placements will be drawn from a range of  Early Years settings including:
Children’s Centres; Private daycare; Voluntary/Independent Sessional care; Nursery schools and Reception classes; Hospitals and Childminders.

Please note that, over the three years, you will be offered varied placements, and every effort will be made to allow choice with respect to the type of setting; however a placement within a specific type of setting cannot be guaranteed- this will depend on availability, which cannot be predicted over a three year period.

Modules Covered

Level 4:

  • Human Development and Learning
  • Challenge, Risk and Safeguarding
  • Play, Learning and the Environment
  • Introduction to Research Methods in Early Years, Childhood and Youth
  • Academic Skills for Early Years, Childhood and Youth.
  • Practical Skills for the Early Years Workforce (Placement)

Level 5:

  • Social Policy for Practitioners in Early Years, Childhood and Youth
  • Practitioner Research for Early Years, Childhood, Youth and Communities
  • Development and Learning: Theory to Practice
  • Meeting Individual Needs in Early Years, Childhood and Youth
  • Working Together for Children and Young People
  • Developing Practice in Early Years Settings (Placement)

Level 6:

  • Social Policy for Leading Practitioners in Early Years, Childhood and Youth 
  • Leadership and Professional Development  in Early Years, Childhood and Youth (Placement)
  • Development, Learning and Society
  • Dissertation

Plus one option module drawn from:

  • Inclusive Practice in Early Years, Childhood and Youth
  • Childhood and Youth in a Global Society
  • International Approaches to Education and Learning

Learning Methods

The course aims to provide you with the theoretical knowledge and development of independent study skills to succeed at Honours Degree level. You will develop a deeper understanding of the application of theory to practice and will acquire evaluation skills through building research skills over all three years of the course and undertaking increasingly independent practitioner research activities in a range of modules. Generic study skills support is available to you. 

You will interact with the curriculum through involvement in student led seminars, presentations and discussions. The development of independent learning and leadership skills, including self-evaluation and conscious awareness of effective learning techniques, is promoted through interactive teaching approaches such as personal tutorials, e-mail and Moodle. You are also required to undertake independent research. 

Teaching Methods

Teaching and learning are conducted through a variety of methods, which include lectures, group work, seminars, presentations and independent focused research for the dissertation module. Blended learning through the medium of the Moodle (the College's virtual learning environment) is a key feature of the course.


You will be assessed by undertaking a range of formative and summative assignments including:

  • Personal Development Planning portfolios
  • Work Based learning activities and written reflections
  • A range of practical tasks and evaluation
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Essays and reports
  • Individual Research Projects.

What's Next?

BA (Hons) Early Years Practice will form the basis for graduate training in the following professional fields:

  • Qualified Teacher Status (Early Years)/EYT (early Years Teacher) status
  • Play work
  • Roles in community work with children and families
  • All roles involving the provision of education and care for children aged 0-6
  • Voluntary/Charity/Local Authority.

Did You Know?

Your future career will be built on a solid foundation of the highest academic standards of teaching and learning – as many of our teaching staff are experts in their fields.

Our Early Years team have collaborated to publish two recent books:

  • 'The Early Years Professional's Complete Companion' by Pam Jarvis, Jane George and Wendy Holland (2012)
  • 'Research in the Early Years Setting' by Pam Jarvis, Stephen Newman, Wendy Holland, Jane George, Clive Opie and Ronan O'Beirne (2012)

You will be treated as an individual, with degrees often tailored to suit your individual experience, knowledge and interests – helping to support your personal growth and development.

Entry Requirements

GCSE English and Mathematics at Grade C/4-5 or above. Acceptable equivalents: iGCSE or the Equivalency Test ( or 01277 203336).

80 UCAS tariff points.

For UCAS tariff points grade combinations click:

Applicants with no formal qualifications will be required to produce evidence of their ability to study at Higher Education level and will be required to produce a piece of written work as part of their application.

We require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and health check for admission to this course.

RPL/RPEL (Recognition of Prior (Experiential) Learning) will be considered.



Changes to the professional requirements for the Early Years sector were unveiled by the Department for Education in July 2013 and introduced from September 2014. These changes will have implications for some students on the BA Early Years Practice course.

To count in the ratios at Level 3, you must also have achieved GCSEs in English and mathematics at Grade C/4-5 or above.

Please be aware that if your GCSE is in the form of an Equivalency Test, these qualifications DO NOT COUNT for the professional requirements although they are still accepted by universities. Staff holding qualifications started before September 2014 will still be able to practice. The new criteria and entry requirements have not been applied retrospectively.

What you should do now:

If you have GCSEs at Grade C/4-5 or above you do not need to do anything. If you took an equivalency test or have GCSEs at Grade D/3 or below in English and Mathematics it is vital that you make arrangements to take or resit your GCSE so that when you finish your course you will be in a position to apply for a job.

It is in your interest to check your qualification level if you are unsure. Visit the Department for Education website:

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any queries about this. 


We also consider individual applicants who can demonstrate relevant learning, work/voluntary experience, using our Recognition of Prior Learning process. Please contact the admission team for further information and support.

Information, Advice and Support

Careers Guidance

Help with choosing the right course and with thinking about where this might take you in the future.
Email: [email protected]

Student Finance

Money matters - you may be entitled to financial support whilst you study.
Tel: 01274 088503 (HE).
Email: [email protected]

Learning Support

Support for applicants with a learning difficulty, disability, illness or other learning need.
Tel: 01274 088344
Email: [email protected]

For all other queries call 01274 088088

Fees Information

We believe that quality degrees should not cost the earth. That's why our competitive tuition fees provide you with a quality experience that includes more taught hours than those at most universities, good levels of tutor access, and support with small teaching groups. More information on our competitive tuition fees

Programme Specification