Skip to content
This course is in clearing.
Call us now on +44 (0)115 848 6000

Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): X319
  • Start Date(s): September 2022
  • Duration: Three years full-time with placement
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Do you want to make a genuine and lasting difference to children’s lives, families and communities? Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies is an opportunity to get experience and knowledge for graduate roles in education, health, and social care.

This course gives you the recognition of becoming an Early Childhood Studies Graduate Practitioner, enabling you to achieve practitioner status as a Level 6 graduate alongside the Level 3 Early Years Educator (EYE) practitioner status if you do not already hold a practical qualification within the Early Childhood field.

You will become research informed and influential in becoming a reflective practitioner, as well as gaining knowledge within policy, practice, holistic child development, early childhood, care, health, and education, encompassing working with young children and their families. You will study a contemporary range of modules which will develop your understanding of theory and practice with real placement experiences. Real life learning lies at the heart of this course. Placement is a core requirement and will be one or two days per week, building your skills in working with children and becoming an Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner.

You will benefit from:

  • Specialist modules which will develop your transferable and employability skills
  • You will gain vital work experience in Early Childhood Settings and put your knowledge into practice through placement days and blocked periods of placement in each year of the course
  • You will be equipped to work with children and their families aged 0-8 years in the Early Childhood field.
  • A dedicated award called Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies which assesses your skills to leave University as a Level 6 Early Childhood Graduate
  • Excellent facilities, incorporated on course Continual Professional Development and lecturers who are experts within the Early Childhood sector.

What you’ll study

This three-year Early Childhood Studies course will equip you with the necessary expertise to become a successful Early Childhood professional, with a key focus on children and their families aged 0-8 years. You will become research informed and reflective practitioner, as well as your policy and practice as a developing graduate in the Early Childhood sector.

Graduate Practitioner Competencies 

You will also develop your graduate skills by completing a portfolio of evidence towards becoming an Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner. The Graduate Practitioner Competencies are a set of outcomes that you will evidence throughout your studies to show that you can practice the skills required at Level 6, as well as having the theoretical knowledge. The Graduate Practitioner Competencies ensures that there is a skilful application of knowledge to practice and practice to knowledge.

An Early Childhood Studies graduate who has achieved the Graduate Practitioner Competencies will have evidence to show their skills at Level 6, in the following:

1. Advocating for young children’s rights and participation

2. Work directly with children and families to promote wellbeing, safety, health, and nurturing care

3. Observe, listen, and plan for young children to support their early learning and transitions

4. Safeguarding and child protection

5. Inclusive Practice

6. Partnership with parents and caregivers.

Early Childhood Pioneers

An introductory module which looks at the history and context of Early Childhood and the practitioners’ working environment which is informed by Pioneers of Early Childhood.

Health and Wellbeing in Early Childhood

This module will explore health and wellbeing for children from conception to 8 years of age. This will respond to current agendas and policy drivers to support the health and wellbeing of children, and their families.

Child Development

Child development is essential knowledge for everyone working in early childhood. It makes sense of everything, and it enables better practice in supporting children; you know what is right for the child, you understand them and their individual needs, you know how they will flourish and be happy.

The 0-8 Curriculum

The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage sets the standards required to ensure that all children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. You will also examine the national Curriculum in how it meets the learning needs of all children.

The Foundations of Academic Study

The foundations of academic study helps you to learn how to read, write and think critically to prepare you for the first year of undergraduate study and professional placement. It will prepare you for the challenges posed by different assessment methods and help you to organise your time effectively.

Your professional placement will help you focus on the core qualities you will need as a graduate such as, respect, sensitivity, patience, empathy, reliability, interpersonal skills.

The Role of Observation in Early Childhood

The role of observation is essential in supporting Early Childhood Professionals to identify a child’s next steps. This module will develop the skills required to evaluate the effectiveness of observation methods to support children’s progress and development.

Creativity in Early Childhood

This module will provide you with a range of opportunities to develop further knowledge and understanding of the role and value of creativity in early childhood.

Research Informed Practice

This module will explore research methodologies and the ethical practices which seek to involve the voice of the child through participatory methods, taking account of all children.

Safeguarding Children

This module is focused on a developing awareness of the legislation, policy and professional responsibilities regarding practice, whilst working with children and their families.

Sociology of Childhood

You will begin to develop an understanding of influences that shape current legislation and policy, influencing the concept of early childhood. You will explore children’s rights and the effect on the pedagogy of play and examine local, national, and global perspectives of childhood.

The National and International Perspectives of Early Childhood

This module will explore education and care nationally and internationally. It will consider the changing landscape of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) and explore international declarations (e.g., UNCRC, 1989) advocating ECEC to fulfil children’s rights and build human capital.

Working with Parents, Carers, and Professional Teams

This module will enable you to reflect on working effectively with parents and carers, and liaison with other child and family focused professionals. You will explore good practice when working in collaboration with parents and wider professionals as well as considering ways to develop positive relationships within Early Childhood settings.

Contemporary Debates

This module will help expose and explore dominant discourses that impact upon children’s lives from maternity care though to starting school, including those which affect the workforce. The topics will require critical enquiry and reflective praxis to engage with the literature in order to consider the implications for practice.

Independent Study

This module will enable you to apply the methods and techniques that you have learned to review, consolidate, and extend so that you can initiate and carry out a project of an area of specific interest to you within the early years field developing an in-depth knowledge and understanding. It will enable you to apply your role as a pedagogical leader with a focus on the voice of the child.

Research Agendas

This module will provide an opportunity to examine some of the research agendas within the sector (focusing on the practitioner rather than children) and how these agendas influence changes in practices, over time.

The Power of Leadership

This module will provide opportunities to engage with contemporary leadership debates within the Early Childhood sector, which will also resonate with other health or community-based roles.

It will present concepts such as the differences between leadership and management and the reality of the roles within the sector.  A consideration of the interdisciplinary nature of the sector as well as being a pedagogical expert in your role as a developing graduate leader.

You will have opportunities to explore different approaches to leadership and the breadth of the sector.

Further information on what you'll study

Guaranteed interview scheme: teacher training

One of the benefits of the course is the broad knowledge and experience you will gain. This experience may lead you to consider teaching, even if you have not considered this as a career before. If you complete your degree, you are guaranteed an interview for a PGCE Primary teacher-training course at NTU during your third undergraduate year (subject to places being available).

Terms and conditions apply:

  • Applications will be withdrawn and not be progressed to interview stage once all places are filled on relevant courses
  • Interviews are subject to you meeting the essential entry criteria for the PGCE course at the time of application, such as GCSE requirements, degree grade
  • An interview does not guarantee an offer to study on the course.

Possible careers on graduation:

  • Graduate practitioner role in an early childhood setting
  • Graduate Management programmes
  • Setting up your own early childhood business
  • Higher level teaching assistant
  • Housing officer
  • Family support worker
  • Mental health support worker
  • Civil servant
  • Charity sector worker
  • Digital consultancy
  • Social Work via Front Line
  • Teaching via an in-school programme e.g. SCITT, Teacher Apprentice
  • A range of roles in children’s services and law

Possible careers with postgraduate study:

  • Teaching (QTS)
  • Social work
  • Child nursing
  • Play therapy
  • Family law
  • Lecturing
  • Early years teacher status
  • Educational Psychology
  • Researcher (Follow a masters route)

How you’re taught

We've introduced flexible and innovative ways of learning, teaching and assessment to develop your study skills and understanding of the integration of theory and policy to practice. You'll take part in lectures, seminar discussions, tutorials and placements in ways that promote interaction.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (42%) and placements (37%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (22%), independent study (43%) and placements (35%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (19%), independent study (59%) and placements (22%)

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (100%)
  • Year 2 coursework (100%)
  • Year 3 coursework (100%)

Careers and employability

This course will equip you to work with children in a broad range of specialist areas including, community practice, charitable and local authority family support teams, maintained and private nurseries. The course will also prepare you to become a critical and reflective practitioner which will support you to progress into graduate policy roles, charity work or supporting the learning and development with children aged 0-8 years.

Graduate Practitioner Status

The course has the Graduate Practitioner Competencies embedded throughout the modules and placement opportunities. Leading Pedagogy will become a key focus whilst demonstrating a range of the competencies. The graduate competencies will, provide students opportunities to gain graduate skills and strengthen their practice, which will help to improve outcomes for children.

We involve industry experts in our courses in a number of ways.

  • We consult with employers when we design and update our courses
  • We ensure you are prepared to meet the demands of the workplace by continually checking the currency and validity of our courses with employers
  • You will have the opportunity to have a work placement (if not already in paid or voluntary employment)
  • Employers may input directly into your course through guest lectures, projects, and other work-related activities.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BCC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or CACHE diploma at Level B
  • 104 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade 4.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

Other requirements

You will also need to complete:

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

For this course, you will need one of the following:

  • A-levels – BCC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or CACHE
  • 104 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade 4

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

Other requirements

You will also need to complete:

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before.  This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The UCAS Tariff

We’ve created this calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

Foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study.  We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on telephone +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Interviews

All suitable candidates for this course will be required to sit an interview.

Diversity of our students

We are committed to promoting a diverse and representative body of teacher trainees. We welcome applications from under-represented groups, such as male applicants, applicants from BME communities, mature applicants and those with disabilities.

All applicants welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Mature applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications. All applicants will need to apply through UCAS.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page.

Good luck with your application!

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.  If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies.  If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

Interviews

All suitable candidates for this course will be required to sit an interview.

Diversity of our students

We are committed to promoting a diverse and representative body of teacher trainees. We welcome applications from under-represented groups, such as male applicants, applicants from BME communities, mature applicants and those with disabilities.

All applicants welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Mature applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications. All applicants will need to apply through UCAS.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!