Through our Early Childhood Studies degree, you will become an early years specialist and will learn how to make a difference to young lives. We cover the 0 to 8 age range, with a particular focus on pre-school children.
You’ll develop a deep understanding of the factors which affect children’s learning, health and wellbeing. You will then put the theory into action, using teaching techniques, play therapy and other practical approaches.
You’ll also build experience across a range of placements. And there’s even an opportunity to spend a summer or a year abroad.
Our graduates go on to work in a variety of places, including schools and nurseries, local authorities, health organisations and charities. Some train to become teachers or move into social work.
There’s no better time to specialise in supporting children and their families.
We offer fantastic University facilities, including access to our £4.4 million Woodlands Day Nursery and Forest School. Our strong links with community groups mean you could also be working with real families alongside experienced professionals.
In your second and third years, you can tailor your degree to your individual interests. Either continue with a more general route, or choose one of the following pathways:
- Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Education for our sustainable world
The sustainability pathway includes outdoor learning using the amazing forest school setting.
For those exploring mental health and wellbeing, placements could focus on pastoral care or other aspects of education welfare and support. The SEND pathway provides an ideal platform for students wanting a career working with children who have additional needs.
The course will also cover the leadership and management of early years settings, what childhood looks like around the world, and early years policy.
As an Early Childhood Studies student, you will also be eligible to:
- Gain an approved qualification which meets the Department for Education criteria for counting in the EYFS staff-to-child ratios
- Earn the title of Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner through assessment against the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (ECSDN) graduate competencies.
On successful completion of study, depending on your choice of specialism pathway, we will issue you with one of the following awards:
- BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
- BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Special Education Needs and Disabilities)
- BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Mental Health and Wellbeing)
- Ba (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Education for our Sustainable World)
This will give you first-hand experience for future careers. You can immerse yourself in a team, work alongside children and put your skills into practice.
Typical settings include day nurseries, pre-schools, reception classes, children’s centres, and voluntary and community groups.
Students could also be working with a local authority on roles as diverse as safeguarding support and speech and language intervention. Or you could work with a charity and learn how to manage a project.
All students will attend work-based learning in early years settings throughout the programme. It may include observations of children, planning and evaluating activities, and being able to locate relevant policies and resource audits for review and discussion.
Students will be supported by a work-based supervisor within the setting.
We also have international links, including with a university in Cantabria where you can study for a year.
All students will attend work placements in early years settings throughout the programme, they will be expected to undertake work based activities in preparation for their teaching and learning sessions. These may include information exercises such as locating relevant policies and resource audits for review and discussion. Observations of children or work processes in the placement/work setting may be used to inform discussion, such as analysing children's needs, involvement in the planning process or the preparation of work focused learning materials. Placement records will provide support for learners on placement and all students will be supported by a work-based supervisor within the setting.