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Early Childhood Studies with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons) *

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

This course is:

Overview

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

Why choose a foundation year course?

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with a Foundation Year course has been specifically designed to support your transition to degree-level study in Education. As a student, you will undertake a foundation year situated at level 3 study, which has been designed as a prelude to your chosen degree course, providing opportunities for you to develop your knowledge, skills and understanding. Your learning journey through your foundation year will provide a secure platform on which you can build throughout your academic career in higher education.   

As part of the foundation year, you will explore and develop number of essential academic, interpersonal and professional skills that will help you succeed in your future degree level studies. Your foundation year includes four core modules and two subject pathway modules. 

On successful completion of your foundation year, you are guaranteed to progress on to the first year of the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies degree. If you are interested in progressing on to one of our other Education and Social Work degrees, this will be subject to space available on those courses and on meeting the relevant entry requirements, which may include passing an interview. 

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

    Open Days

    Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to meet us in person, hear from our trailblazing academics and explore our innovative £340m facilities.

    Next Open Day: 21 October 2023

    Register interest

    Entry Requirements

    These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

    All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

    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
    GCSE GCSE English Language or English Literature and GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
    Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level) See level 3 entry requirements under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.
    Scottish National 5 English Language or English Literature and Maths at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.
    Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications
    A level and Advanced VCE
    • CCC / 96 UCAS points
    Access to HE Diploma
    • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3
    • Education subjects preferred but other subjects also considered

    BTEC Extended Diploma

    • MMM

    OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

    • MMM

    International Baccalaureate Diploma

    • Obtain a minimum score of 24 overall
    • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above, we will accept Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma
    • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above, we will accept grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma

    Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)

    • Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 96 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects
    • This must include English Language and Maths taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O4) or Higher level (minimum grade H4)

    Scottish Higher/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 three Advanced Highers have been taken a minimum of grades DDD is required
    • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken, you must achieve grades of CDDD

    Welsh Baccalaureate

    • 96 UCAS points
    • Considered with two A Levels or equivalent level 3 qualifications

    T-Levels

    • Pass overall (C or above on the core)
    • Must be in an Education related subject
    Other qualifications

    Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

    EU/International students
    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 2024

    • Mode
    • Duration
    • Fees
    • Full Time
    • 1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree
    • £9,250 in 2024/25
    • 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 2024

    • Mode
    • Duration
    • Fees
    • Full Time
    • 1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree
    • £16,085 in 2024/25

    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.

    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

    Download now

    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

    Julie Davis

    Foundation Year Lecturer

    Julie joined the ADD (Academic Development Department) in 2018 as a Lecturer on the HELS Foundation Year programme. Prior to joining Birmingham City University, she worked at a number of local FE and HE institutions where she developed and delivered a range of Early Years and Education programmes.

    More about Julie

    Jessica Lowe

    Foundation Year Lecturer

    Jessica joined the ADD (Academic Development Department) in 2019 as a Lecturer on the HELS Foundation Year Programme. Her role is to lead and develop modules to support students on their journey on the Foundation Year Programme. Prior to joining BCU, she has worked in a FE and HE institution teaching students on a range of courses in Early Years...

    More about Jessica