Early Childhood Studies

Study options


BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time, long top-up
1 Year
Start date:
19 September 2022
26 September 2022

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Guardian League Tables 2021

Top up to BA (Hons)

Top up your foundation qualification into a full degree

7th for student satisfaction for education

Complete University Guide 2021

Top-up your Foundation Degree to a full BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies and complete the learning that is essential for successful work in the care and development of children aged from 0-8 years.

If you have recently completed the Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies or similar and wish to continue your studies and gain a degree level qualification, then our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies Top-up course is for you.

On this course, you'll build on your foundational knowledge of learning a development strategy for young children, exploring early mathematical and early literacy acquisition with links to theoretical perspectives, research and reflective practitioner work and develop an expertise on the global perspectives that influence the development of children. A part of this course will involve practical experience in putting the standards and practices in place across a range of ages in the early childhood stage, so whether you're currently in work or you're looking to break into a new career in early childhood education, you will get the experience you need to thrive in a evolving field.  

Attendance is four hours per week from September to July at one of the university or college locations where the course is run. Throughout the programme you are encouraged to reflect critically, to listen carefully to the views of others, to question values and opinions, to investigate evidence and to draw upon your own informed conclusions. You are encouraged to develop as independent learners and to extend your skills of collaborating and negotiation. The teaching approach is often activity-based and participatory, so you are expected to take a full and responsible part.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

Course content

As a top-up to a full BA (Hons), you will be expected to complete four modules to complete your study. 

The modules cover the advanced theory and practices involved in early childhood education. The course will help with raising your awareness of current international economic, political and social trends, and how they impact on children in the developing world, giving you a wider perspective on childhood development. You will also cover strategies and approaches to literacy and numeracy, such as phonics and numicon, delivered through a series of innovative learning sessions that include the planning of and implementation of strategies within a working environment. 

Research is also a large part of the top-up course. This will give you an edge on management and advanced level career skills. Our two research modules include an independent research project and a broader research methods focus. in the research methods area you will develop your expertise in research in an educational setting, and learn methods that will be applied in an ethical sense, such as preserving anonymity, obtaining permission, checking authenticity of data etc. Your independent Research project will be tailored to your career aspirations within the Early Childhood field, it will allow you to build on and develop your research skills, to implement different research methodology and to undertake small scale research utilising appropriate academic conventions.

Beth Hobson - BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

Beth Hobson - BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies


BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies graduate Beth discusses her time at Staffs.


The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Entry requirements

Applicants for the programme must be in employment (paid or voluntary) within an early years setting for at least two days per week. As the programme involves "substantial access to children" it will be a condition of acceptance to obtain satisfactory enhanced

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. If necessary, this check can be processed through the university, with students required to pay the appropriate fee. This course is designed to enable students with a Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies or Early Years (or a similar, relevant qualification, such as foundation degree or HND in an early years or educational setting) to top up to a full honours degree in Early Childhood Studies

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.

Placements on our Education degrees

Placements on our Education degrees


Senior Lecturer Ruth Hudson-Gill explains how useful placements are for Education students.



You will have the opportunity to train within a variety of schools based across the region, including Stoke, Crewe, Congleton, Stafford and Tamworth. Placements will aim to be arranged to minimise travel as much as possible

School Setting

You will be placed within a range of different schools, working across the primary age range. You will have the opportunity to work within diverse contexts, within a variety of classrooms with experienced school-based mentors and university tutors.


You will be provided with opportunities to prepare you for employment.

Many graduates from our Early Childhood Studies degrees work as education welfare assistants, nursery managers or within social work teams, supporting vulnerable children and their families.

Others have progressed into primary and early years teacher training. Some have entered postgraduate study.

Studying Education - The Highlights

Studying Education - The Highlights


Our students discuss their favourite parts of our Education degrees.

Teaching and assessment


Students learn in different ways. To help everyone get the most out of their studies, we teach through a combination of lectures, workshops, small group and practical sessions. Small group sessions enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor at least twice a year. You will be taught in first-class learning spaces throughout your course. Many of our courses are accredited or recognised by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.


Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally includes practice or ‘formative’ assessments, for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

Our Student Inclusion Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.


You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission. Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.


For the course starting on 19 September 2022 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for BA (Hons)-Full-time, long top-up
Study option UK / Channel Islands
Full-time To be confirmed

For the course starting on 26 September 2022 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for BA (Hons)-Full-time, long top-up
Study option UK / Channel Islands
Full-time To be confirmed

UK and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by visiting: www.gov.uk

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus BA (Hons) Full-time, long top-up 19 September 2022 Apply now
Stoke-on-Trent campus BA (Hons) Full-time, long top-up 26 September 2022 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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