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Early Childhood Studies with Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.

Are you passionate about providing children with the very best start in life? Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with a Foundation Year 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....

  • Level Foundation
  • 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 BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with a Foundation Year 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.

Please note: entry requirements for degree course

Upon completion of your Foundation Year, if your chosen course is regulated by a professional body such as the Department for Education, you will be required to successfully complete the University’s selection process for the specific programme which will include an interview in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. Entry onto year one of the degree programme will also be subject to a satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health Assessment. 

Tailor your Society, Childhood and Education Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the Birmingham City School of Education and Social Work. These include:

  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) Education Studies
  • BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS
  • BSc (Hons) Social Work
  • BSc (Hons) Secondary Science with Biology with QTS
  • BA (Hons) Secondary Physical Education with QTS
  • BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in Society, Childhood and Education your first year will be spent learning a wide range of broad subject areas which then open up opportunities for you to specialise further in your next year –  which would be the first year of a full degree programme. 

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses and not just one particular BSc or BA degree. 

So although you are studying a BA or BSc in a specific course –BA Early Childhood Studies – the foundation year sets you up for a number of other possible degrees starting the following year. It may be that you don’t end up doing a degree in precisely the same subject as your foundation year.

This flexibility is one of the great things about the foundation year category - Society, Childhood and Education, allowing you to find out more about your interests and talents before focusing on a three year degree. The foundation year also helps us at BCU to make sure we help to match you to the degree that fits you best.

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 course, which will prepare you to become a confident and competent advocate for children from birth to 5 years.

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 in your future career you will be influential in developing practice, provision and policy, as well as resilient and self-assured. 

This course will present many rewarding opportunities for you to explore once you have graduated in many different 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 we have placement opportunities throughout the programme.

Why Choose Us?

  • Strong commitment to social justice 
  • High employability rate 
  • Located in the heart of Birmingham
  • Study in our brand new £41 million City South Campus 
  • Experienced staff 
  • Accreditation is available for Early Years Educators 
  • Enjoy a diverse and flexible learning environment

Similar Courses

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Days: Autumn 2022

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements

72 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 for level 2 Maths can be accepted - please see below
  • 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
  • DDD / 72 UCAS points
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents
AS and AS VCE
  • 72 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
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
  • MMP / 72 UCAS points
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF) (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate(2002 – 2010)
  • 72 UCAS points 
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)
  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • 72 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)
  • 72 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)
  • 72 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)
  •  D / 72 UCAS points

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

  • D / 72 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

  • D / 72 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)
  • B / 72 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
  • D / 72 UCAS points
  • Considered with A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce (QCF)
  • 72 UCAS points, considered with A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall
  • 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 72 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 Higher level (minimum grade H1-H7 (or A-D/A1-D3 up to and including 2016)

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

  • MMP / 72 UCAS tariff points

OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma

  • 72 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)
  • 72 UCAS points
  • 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)
  • 72 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-level or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

Scottish Advanced Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 72 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 DD in two Highers)

Scottish Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 72 tariff points achieved in either five Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers
  • Where only Highers have been taken a minimum of grades DDDDD is required
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers)

T-Levels

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

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

  • 72 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

  • 72 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)
  • 72 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.

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.

Please note: Upon completion of your foundation year, you will be required to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance via the Faculty in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. 

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree
  • £9,250 in 2023/24
  • Apply via UCAS

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree
  • TBC

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.

Please note, we operate a gathered field for applications to this course, which means that candidates who apply before 26 January will receive a decision on their application by the end of April 2022.

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

Course in Depth

Foundation Year

In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Year One

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

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.

Year Two

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

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.

Year Three

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

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.

Download course specification

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You have the flexibility to transfer to any standard undergraduate programme from the School of Education and Social Work upon successfully completing your Foundation Year including:

  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) Education Studies
  • BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families
  • BSc (Hons) Social Work*
  • BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS*
  • BSc (Hons) Secondary Science with Biology with QTS*
  • BA (Hons) Secondary Physical Education with QTS*

*Please note: Entry on to the first year of these courses requires an interview, as well as successful completion of six taught modules. If you complete all modules but are unsuccessful at the interview, you will instead be able to join BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, BA (Hons) Education Studies or BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families.

Course structure for BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

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

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.

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

International

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:

Facilities & 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

Mark Hetherington

Course Leader HELS Foundation Year / Professional Navigator / Senior Lecturer

Mark joined the Professional Development Department (PDD) in 2018 as a Professional Navigator and as a Academic Skills tutor. During this time he has been involved in the development and running of the Faculty of Health Education and Life Sciences Foundation Year as both a course leader and module leader. At current there are two iterations of the...

More about Mark