Early Childhood Studies - BA (Hons)

Are you passionate about providing children with the very best start in life? Our Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons) course seamlessly combines theory with practical experience, so that you can achieve your career goals and make a positive impact on young children’s lives.

Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses.  Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.  

 

Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City South
  • School School of Education and Social Work
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Overview

Are you passionate about providing children with the very best start in life? Our Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons) course seamlessly combines theory with practical experience, so that you can achieve your career goals and make a positive impact on young children’s lives.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The well-being of babies and young children is at the heart of this degree, which will prepare you to become a confident and competent advocate for children from birth to 5 years. Studying at our recently extended state-of-the-art £71 million City South Campus, you will have access to excellent facilities to enhance your understanding and knowledge.

You will gain a complete understanding of young children’s needs, how they learn, develop and grow and how their early experiences are so fundamentally important. You will also explore wider concepts to support your understanding such as social justice, social mobility and social responsibility.

As you progress through the course, you will develop your personal and professional skills so that after university you should be influential in developing practice, provision and policy, as well as resilient and self-assured as you progress in your career.  

This course should present many rewarding opportunities for you to explore once you have graduated in many different UK institutions, such as schools, nurseries and charities. Our staff are dedicated to preparing you for the world of work and will help you to decide which role you want to pursue after graduating.

There will be opportunities for you to work, and learn, alongside a variety of professionals delivering services that support the wellbeing, development and learning needs of babies and young children, with this in mind you will have placement opportunities throughout the programme.

“I was surprised how interactive seminars are. Before I came to University, I thought every day would be lectures, but with Early Childhood Studies, most of our learning is through seminars. This is a great way to share ideas, challenge yourself and make friends with people on your course.”
Naomi Evans

Why Choose Us?

  • Strong commitment to social justice and the rights of babies and young children, which you will be exposed to for best practice throughout the course
  • High employability rate - we will make sure that you are ready for employment when graduating and will support you to gain experience in the areas you are most passionate about. We are Top 15 for graduate outcomes for Education courses (Complete University Guide 2022).
  • Study in our recently extended £71 million City South Campus - You will have access to state-of-the-art facilities which will inspire and motivate you
  • Accreditation is available for Early Years Educators who provide core competences throughout this course
  • Strong links with industry - we offer placement opportunities both locally and internationally, as well as the chance for you to network and develop your contacts
  • Experienced staff - our tutors are experienced and active researchers in the field, which means you will always have access to the most up-to-date information and methods of working

Similar Courses

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

96 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Level 2 Qualifications
UK Qualification Requirements
GCSE
  • 4 GCSE's including English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above
  • Equivalent level 2 qualifications can be accepted
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates in Adult Numeracy/ Adult Literacy
  • Adult Numeracy only
  • Pass
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2
  • Maths only 
  • Pass
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Key Skills level 2
  • Application of Number only
  • Pass
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
  • See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish Intermediate 2
  • English language and Maths at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish Credit Standard Grade
  • English language and Maths at grade 2 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish National 5
  • English language and Maths at grade C or above 
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
IELTS
  • Minimum overall IELTS score of 6.0 with no subtest below 5.5
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
UK Qualification Requirements
A level and Advanced VCE
  • CCC / 96 UCAS points 
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents
AS and AS VCE
  • 96 UCAS points
  • These can be a combination of AS and other A-levels or level 3 equivalents
Access to HE Diploma
  • Education subjects preferred but other subjects also considered
  • Pass with minimum 18 Merits/Distinctions at Level 3
British bachelor's degree
  • Minimum 3rd at full honours
  • In a related subject. Non-relevant subjects may be considered
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
  • MMM / 96 UCAS points
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF) (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate(2002 – 2010)
  • 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification 
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)
  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification 
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Award (2002 - 2010)
  • 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate (2016 - present)
  • BTEC Level 3 Certificate (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) (from September 2014)
  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)
  • C / 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children’s Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)

  • C / 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce

  • C / 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)
  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)
  • A / 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • C / 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall with English Language or a History subject at HL grade 5
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted

Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)

  • Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 96 UCAS tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects. This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or or Higher level (minimum grade H1-H7 (or A-D/A1-D3 up to and including 2016))

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

  • MMM / 96 UCAS tariff points

OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma

  • 96 UCAS tariff points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification 
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma (2016 - present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Subsidiary Diploma (until-2016)
  • 96 UCAS point
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification 
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate (2016 – present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma (until 2016)
  • 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

Scottish Advanced Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 96 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades DDD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CD in two Highers)

T-Levels

  • 96 UCAS points (Merit overall)
  • Must be in either Education related subject

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma (graded A* - E)
  • WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma (graded D* - P)
  • 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Please note we will make offers on the following qualifications:

  • CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education
  • CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce (QCF).
Please note we will not make offers on the following qualification:
  • CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce (QCF)
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
Essential
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 24 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Please note: successful candidates will be required to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance via the Faculty.

Topping up to a full Honours Degree
If you would like to 'top up' an existing Level 5 qualification we would welcome your application into our Level 6 programme. You'll usually need a Foundation Degree or HND in Early Childhood Studies or similar. We require an average mark of 60 per cent or Distinction/Merit profile for entry at Level 6, as well as Level 2 qualifications in English and mathematics.

We will also consider applicants at Level 5 entry with a lower grade average, or with a Level 4 qualification such as a Certificate in Higher Education in an appropriate subject (for example Childhood Studies, Early Years Education, Children and Families).

Applications at Level 5 or 6 are via UCAS, please ensure you indicate you are applying for entry at Yr 2 or 3.

Teacher Training
Those intending to apply for the PGCE Early Years or Primary course in the future as a route into teaching will need to have GCSE at grade C or above (or equivalent) in English language, mathematics and a science subject.

 

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £13,500 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

DBS check

You will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for this course. Your first DBS check is included in your fees.

Placement expenses (mandatory)

Placements are a compulsory element of many health and teacher training courses. You'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Year One

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits).

This first module will explore the potential career pathways for your programme and the necessary skills, values and attributes to be a successful professional within a range of children services. Using this as the context, you will reflect on and identify your existing skills and identify the skills necessary to be a successful student of Higher Education as part of your journey through to professional employment.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the programme, this module encourages you to become confident and reflective practitioners and to recognise the significance of how children develop as a vital part of understanding early childhood. This module will also support you to develop your understanding of domains of development, by this we means children’s physical, cognitive, personal and social development. You will also explore what different theorists have contributed to our understanding of how babies and young children develop. This module links with ‘Observing and Assessing Babies and Young Children’ that you will study later in the year.

This is a core module that all student on the programme will study, we think this is important as it is about what we understand by the concept child and childhood. We have to understand this in terms of our own understanding and society’s understanding if we are to make sense of what it means to study Early Childhood as an academic subject.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the programme, this module encourages you to become confident and reflective practitioners and to recognise the value of observation and assessment in the context of childhood. This module will also support you to develop your understanding of how observation can be used to document the child’s learning journey and support planning for future development.

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the programme, this module encourages you to become confident and reflective practitioners and to recognise the value of working with families and children within an early years context. It is intended that this module will also support you to develop their intellectual capabilities by encouraging you to engage in identifying, reviewing and discussing contemporary issues and debates in working with children and families, policy and practice.

In line with the aims and philosophy of the programme, this module helps you to develop knowledge and understanding of the impact of enabling environments on children’s learning and well-being making use of relevant policy, theoretical perspectives and research findings. You will find close links with several modules throughout the course but particularly the Level 5 module, ‘Reflecting on Play, Learning and Pedagogy’ and the Level 4 module, ‘Child Development.’ It also forms a thread with optional modules at level 5 and 6, ‘Exploration, Creativity and the Child’ and ‘International Curricula.’

This module explores the terms Diversity and Inclusion. It will examine our human rights and investigate whether these are universal. It will look at the rights movements in Britain and America and look at how these movements have influenced early childhood thinking. Definitions of social justice will be offered along with various views of how social justice could be achieved. An examination of the term ‘Diversity’ will be offered along with suggestions of what a diverse society may look like.

Year Two

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits).

This module builds on the skills and knowledge introduced at Level 4, making connections with child development, assessment and observation to develop your understanding of the central importance of play in young children’s development and learning. The module is designed to support and extend your professional reflection so that you are able to articulate you own philosophy of learning in early childhood and promote the inclusion of play provision in all settings.

This module will explore safeguarding and child protection including the necessary skills, values and attributes to be a successful professional working with a range of children’s services. You will build on your previous learning by focusing on the roles and responsibilities of professionals in a safeguarding context. This will include key legislation, policy and evaluate processes that exist to support children who have or are likely to suffer significant harm. You will consider discrimination, which affects individual children, young people and families.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the programme, this Level 5 module encourages and supports you to become a confident and reflective researcher and to recognise the value of conducting research within relevant children’s services. You will be given the opportunity to explore and experience what it feels like to work within small research cluster groups. During this process, the module will support you to engage in a critical analysis of contemporary issues and debates in research, policy and practice related to your field of study. You will work collaboratively to identify and then design a small scale study to explore one of these issues.

This Level 5 module will support you to become knowledgeable and reflective practitioners on issues around children’s health at both national and international level. It includes principles and practices of effective health promotion for children 0-7 years of age in line with national and international research and development on the factors that contribute to the health and well- being of children. The Healthy Child will be explored within a holistic framework to include the impact of families, immunisation, attachment, poverty and growth and nutrition. You will learn how to recognise and understand the contributing factors to healthy child development. You will learn the importance of resilience in the development of good mental health.

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

This optional module will explore children’s voice and rights and the necessary skills, values and attributes to be a successful professional with a range of children’s services. Using this as the context you will reflect on and identify aspects of children’s rights and the value of their voice, as an individual and within an early years setting.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the programme, this module encourages you to become confident and reflective practitioners and to recognise the issues affecting the development of looked after children and the ways in which barriers to inclusion might be removed or minimised for this vulnerable group and outcomes improved. This module will also support you to make links with other modules (Child Development and Safeguarding and Child Protection), and to consider strategies that will support the child and the family, and the corporate parent.

This optional module encourages you to examine you own personal perspectives regarding the definition of creativity and the role of the professional in fostering curiosity, imagination and creative experiences for the young child. Creativity is ‘the word of the moment’ in education and it is considered to be at the heart of educated people’s lives. There are significant differences between creativity and creative development and the module aims to explore these as well as provide students with opportunities for theoretical and practical knowledge and skills. You will explore aspects of creativity with reference to Early Years settings. You will experience activities relevant to each aspect of the QCA definition of creativity and will explore the possibilities of how ideas can be used in developing both your own and children’s creativity in the Early Years environment. You will reflect upon creative activities explored with young children.

Year Three

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits).

In line with the philosophy and aims of the programme, this Level 6 module enables and supports you, as a member of the early childhood research community, to conduct a piece of small scale individual research that attends and adheres to key ethical principles. This module encourages you to engage in independent as well as collaborative critical analysis of contemporary issues and debates in early childhood research, policy and practice. You will be provided with an opportunity to clarify your understanding of key research terms, as well as to consider the link between epistemology, methodology and methods and the impact that your own personal philosophies have upon the design of your study.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the programme, this module encourages you to become confident in your leadership and management knowledge, which allows you to review, consolidate, extend and apply this knowledge within the Early Years’ context, at a graduate level. It is intended that this module will support you to develop your intellectual capabilities by encouraging you to engage in identifying, reviewing and discussing leadership and management issues. This module is designed to provide you with an understanding of key leadership and management strategies within early year’s settings and teams. The module is also designed to support you to consider the connections between services, teams and service users. You will also explore the different ways in which leadership and management impacts on quality and outcomes.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the programme, this module will respond to contemporary perspectives and issues affecting children, young people, families and communities. A strong commitment to inclusive values will be reinforced and will empower you to address issues of equality, disadvantage, diversity and social justice to optimise the life chances of children, young people and their families. In line with the learning, teaching and assessment strategy, the module will be interactive, engaging and challenging; designed to promote your independence and confidence to enable you to be an advocate for children, young people and families and an agent for change. The module is highly responsive to changes and developments, and will provide you with an in depth understanding of how issues may impact your work in your chosen field.

This Level 6 module will further explore the potential career pathways and enable you to manage the next steps in your career. As you prepare to finish your programme it will enable you to practice and develop key skills necessary as you seek employment or post graduate study.

You will have the opportunity to identify, reflect on and develop a range of effective professional skills, practicing them through work based real life projects such as applying for jobs, interviewing, recruitment and selection processes. Using services for children and families as the context you will meet with a range of key stakeholders including recruitment companies, careers services, post graduate programme leaders and leaders and managers in services that work with and for children and their families.

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

You will examine the background to current provision for early childhood education and care across the UK and internationally in order to provide a context for early years’ education. You will explore the historical context of a range of early years’ educational approaches. Emphasis will be placed on the holistic nature of early learning based on the promotion of children's first-hand experience and the provision of a rich environment. You will examine international perspectives alongside different curricula approaches and comparisons made between alternative approaches to learning. Similarities and differences will be analysed through key issues including the learning environment, ‘sustained shared thinking’, and creativity and inclusion.

This Level 6 module will encourage you to look beyond the familiar constructs of ‘childhood’ that you may have already encountered and instead it will support you to confidently examine the past and present contexts, challenges and possibilities of global and future childhoods. In doing so, you will consider a number of exciting and thought-provoking debates, including the moral debate surrounding child labour and child soldiers, future reproductive technologies and the ethical implications of ‘designing’ children, as well as the use of social media in childhood. This module will also enable you to develop a sense of your own personal philosophy in relation to these topics as well as to consider and debate the ethical implications of global issues surrounding childhood across the world.

This module will engage you in an exploration of issues of access for children and families in diverse social and educational contexts from both the UK and international perspectives. It explores the development of approaches and pedagogies for inclusive learning environments, which take account of diversity. It supports you in engaging with differing perspectives on equality, participation and inclusion, and in developing your own perspectives. You will address the dimensions of social exclusion, SEN, disability, disaffection, behaviour and learning difficulty in the context of wider diversity across a breadth of childhood and youth themes.

Course structure

On the BA Hons Early Childhood Studies programme you will experience a wide variety of learning and teaching approaches that are designed to develop your confidence, knowledge and skills as you progress through the programme.  We will support you as you make the transition to university through carefully planned induction processes.  This will include social and group work activities, confidence building activities and a scaffolded approach so you can understand the thinking behind how your modules and assessments are planned.  Managing your transition to Higher Education is more than just a week of activities so we have generated a core module that goes through the whole of the first year to support your developing personal, professional and academic skills.

Some modules are shared with students on other programmes in the department.  For example when thinking about safeguarding and child protection there are common themes and common professional skills required, regardless of the age range you are focussing on.  This is one modules that would be shared with students studying Working with Children, Young People and Families. We believe that whilst it is good to have a focus on your particular field of study, sometimes your learning experience can be enhanced by working with others who are exploring different, but similar contexts. For this reason there are 40 credits of shared modules between your BA Hons Early Childhood Studies and the BA Hons Working with Children, Young People and Families in each year.

Placement is an integral part of the programme, there will be chances in your first year to explore and find out information about a range of Early Childhood settings and to visit and shadow professionals working there – this is so you can not only develop professional skills but can also find out about the wide range of professional careers open to you within the field.  It also about developing transferable skills so that after you have completed your degree you already have a strong CV that makes you really employable.  These experiences are an integral part of the module ‘Working as a Professional’. Later in the first year you will have a block period of time in an Early Childhood setting so you can develop your observation skills and experience how an early years curriculum is planned, delivered and assessed.  In the second year of the programme you will again have a period of placement to build on your previous skills about how babies and young children develop and learn.

We link into our Graduate+ scheme throughout the programme; you will be able to get credit from positive placement outcomes that will contribute to the Graduate+ award scheme.  Some modules relate specifically to placement and in order to complete the assignments set you will need to take a proactive approach to placements and actively engage with the work based learning aspect of the programme.  This will be the case for ‘Observing and Assessing Babies and Young Children’, completed in your first year.  Actively engaging with placement and successful completion of a second year module ‘Reflecting on Play, Learning and Pedagogy’ will also help you to meet the criteria for Early Years Educator.  This is the level 3 qualification that means you can be employed in an Early Years Setting as a qualified member of staff.

In the third year there is no scheduled placement, although depending on the topic you choose to examine as part of ‘Researching Professional Practice in Early Childhood’, you may choose to conduct your enquiry in an early years setting.

As well as learning through practice a variety of approaches to teaching are used.  These include:

  • Workshops
  • Virtual Learning Environment - Shareville
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group projects
  • Guest speakers –often professionals
  • Visits to settings and services
  • Field work – visits to art galleries and museums 

Trips and Visits 

We aim to plan for visits to settings and services to support your learning and development. These vary from year to year but may include museum and art galleries, nurseries and early years settings.

Employability

Enhancing employability skills 

A BCU Graduate is professional and work-ready, a creative problem solver, enterprising and has a global outlook.  This expectation is realised through the BA Hons Working with Children, Young People and Families programme which provides you with the skills and knowledge to meet the needs of vulnerable children, young people and their families.  Transferrable skills are considered very highly throughout the programme should you decide not to work directly with children and young people in the future.  We have embraced the Gradate+ scheme  and there are opportunities throughout the programme for you to receive credit for developing your employability skills.  We have a commitment to learning for life and actively encourage you to develop your own research skills and to pursue your learning journey by building on your first degree to Masters level and beyond.  From induction through to your final module your tutor team will support you in exploring career pathways linked to vulnerable children, young people and their families. Working closely with local services will enable you to network and find out what it is like to work in the field.

Graduate stories

Adam Nickels

Adam Nickels talks about the variety of roles he could go into with the modules on offer on the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies course. 

Read Adam's full profile

Claire Fitzgerald - ECS

Claire Fitzgerald secured a job at Busy Bees Training Academy which delivers bespoke training to early years staff. 

Read Claire's full profile

Placements

Placement is an integral part of the programme, there will be chances in your first year to explore and find out information about a range of Early Childhood settings and to visit and shadow professionals working there – this is so you can not only develop professional skills but can also find out about the wide range of professional careers open to you within the field.    These experiences are an integral part of the module ‘Working as a Professional’. Later in the first year you will have a block period of time in an Early Childhood setting so you can develop your observation skills and experience how an early years curriculum is planned, delivered and assessed, This will be part of the module ‘Observing and Assessing Babies and Young Children’

Actively engaging with placement and successful completion of a second year module ‘Reflecting on Play, Learning and Pedagogy’ will also help you to meet the criteria for Early Years Educator.  This is the level 3 qualification that means you can be employed in an Early Years Setting as a qualified member of staff.

In the third year there is no scheduled placement, although depending on the topic you choose to examine as part of ‘Researching Professional Practice in Early Childhood’, you may choose to conduct your enquiry in an early years setting.

More about our placement opportunities

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Facilities and Staff

Our facilities

Our School of Education and Social Work is based at our City South campus in leafy Edgbaston.

We’ve spent £41million expanding the education facilities at City South. These facilities offer hands-on practical experience, replicating the spaces you will come across in professional practice. Alongside classrooms and lecture theatres, we also have a range of specialist teaching and learning spaces for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.

As well as subject-specific rooms, our facilities include the Primary Innovation Lab, which houses £24,000 worth of LEGO. This room is a special resource for our education students, offering an innovative and creative way to approach subjects across the curriculum – from computing to English, mathematics to art. The lab responds to research that children and young people learn best from practical experience.

Our Social Work students have access to a home environment room and mock hospital wards which offer an opportunity to gain experience of working with service users in different situations.

Computer facilities

The Seacole building has two open-access IT Suites which offer PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. There is also an IT Helpdesk for quick and easy help with your computing or internet issues.

Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

In addition to desktop PCs, we also offer a laptop loan facility, allowing students to borrow a laptop for up to six hours while on campus.

Our staff

Zoe Lewis

Senior Lecturer

Zoe worked in early years settings, schools and voluntary organisations in Warwickshire before joining BCU in 2014. She completed her Early Childhood Studies degree and trained to become a teacher as a mature student and then taught predominantly in Reception classes before becoming Head of Early Years.

More about Zoe

Shannon Ludgate

PhD Student / Part-Time Lecturer

Shannon completed her undergraduate studies in 2014 in Early Childhood Education, and in the same year started her PhD researching young children’s touchscreen technology experiences in the early years. She is also a part-time lecturer on the Early Childhood Studies course and teaches first year students. Shannon also has experience teaching externally on SCITT programs and focuses on digital technology in early childhood.

Shannon has spent time working in early years settings whilst studying at undergraduate level, and has also gained Early Years Professional Status alongside gaining her degree. She recently gained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, and also has two PgCert qualifications in Teaching in Higher Education and Research Practice. She has also worked as a research assistant on the Holiday Kitchen project in 2015.

More about Shannon

Dr Eleni Kanira

Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education Studies

Eleni Kanira is a PhD graduate of the University of Warwick and a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at Birmingham City University. She trained and worked as an Early Years teacher, co-ordinator and consultant in various Primary schools and Early Years centres and as a drama teacher in schools and Theatre spaces.

Her research interests draw on classical psychoanalytic theory and more recent research in child development as well as the uses and applications of drama as an impetus for children’s meaning-making in play and across the curriculum.

More about Eleni

Dr Paola Pedrelli

Senior Lecturer

Dr Paola Pedrelli teaches on the MA Education, AIC, Singapore programme, focussing on Leadership and Management; Coaching and Mentoring and dissertation modules as well as supervising MA dissertation students.

More about Paola

Vina Patel

Senior Lecturer

Vina has worked with children and their families in the private and public sector. She has developed, led and managed early years teams for a large chain in the private sector. Vina also area managed the Midlands region where she worked with host companies running childcare, including those in the car industry.

More about Vina