Online course details
Part-time: 1-2 years
£5,040 (2021/22)/EU ‡
Online course description
If you already work in an early childhood setting and hold a Level 5 qualification, this course allows you to top-up to a full BA (Hons) degree with one or two years of online study. This course will deepen your knowledge of early childhood studies to meet the demands of integrated care and education for children from birth.
An online top-up degree is ideal if you currently juggle work and family commitments.
Your learning is supported by a research active academic team
You will develop a broad understanding of early childhood education and care that can be applied in social care and health, education and related areas. You will be taught by experts in the field and will benefit from the latest research discoveries from a committed multi-disciplinary academic team. This will ensure your learning is relevant, up to date and meets the highest professional standards.
Critical application of theory to practice
Explore how children develop, learn and think from birth to eight years, building the professional skills and knowledge to meet their needs. You’ll advance your professional development through studying core modules including The critically reflective practitioner, child protection and leadership. The curriculum is structured to provide a cohesive focus on the key aspects of childhood studies from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
By working in a collaborative online learning environment, you will broaden your horizons in your learning by sharing experiences with your fellow students from across the world.
Enhance your professional development plan (PDP)
This online course will allow you to integrate personal development planning (PDP) into your workload. Opportunities throughout the online course for PDP are included through the application of learning materials to current practice within early childhood studies, as well as the use of critical reflection within modules.
We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.
This course supports your development of early years study, synthesising theory and practice in an applied and critical manner. The course is structured into five key modules including:
- Child protection
- Contesting childhood
- Leadership in early childhood education and care
- The critically reflective practitioner
- Independent study
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Pace of study
We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester. If you aim to study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.
This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.
You’ll need one of the following:
- HND or Foundation Degree in a relevant subject (equivalent of 240 credits),
- Evidence of significant work and life experience may be taken into consideration upon application. In order for experiential learning to be considered, you would need to hold at least 60 credits at both level 4 and 5 in a relevant subject.
Exemptions can be made on the basis of prior academic study, professional qualifications or professional experience. Students that have already studied at another institution, completed a training course or have work experience which appears equivalent to one or more modules of this programme, may be able to translate this prior learning into credits towards course modules so that they do not have to study them again. This is called recognition of prior learning or RPL.
English language qualifications
If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills test)
For international students, if you do not hold IELTS, we will accept the following:
- 12 English Language credits at Level 2 from a pre-2014 Access to HE Diploma
- Cambridge English Scale: B2
- International GCE O-Level English Language: Grade C
- International GCSE English/English as a Second Language: Grade C
- Functional Skills Level 2 English
If you are unable to take an English Language Test locally, you may wish to consider our Derby English Language Test (DELT), which is an online test in two parts: reading and writing, and listening and speaking. Take a look at our Derby English Language test (DELT) page for full course details, online exam dates and how to book.
‡2021/22 Fees for new entrants
Starting between September 2021 and August 2022.
| ||Per 20 credits||Modules||Cost|
About your fees
This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.
However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:
- Pay your full course fees upfront, or
- When enrolling in September, pay for all of your modules to be studied in that academic year upfront
Flexible payment plans available
Choose from three payment plan options:
Pay monthly and only for the modules you are studying
Pay your full course fees upfront, receive 5% discount and avoid annual increases
Pay for all modules studied in the year and receive a 5% discount (September enrolment only)
Undergraduate funding options
Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for an undergraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to meet the cost of tuition fees.
If you already hold an honours degree, and you are looking to re-skill or up-skill, you may still be eligible for a loan to study this course.
Students should apply directly to the University.
For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.
Documents to support your application
You'll need to provide:
- Photo ID – this could be your passport or driving licence
- Current CV
- Written reference supplied on headed paper from either a manager, supervisor, tutor or teacher
- Copies of certificates and transcripts or a letter of testimony for previous qualifications*
*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:
- Confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document
- The date of the translation
- The full name and signature of the translator, or an authorised official of the company
- The translator’s contact details
A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.
All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.
This course is ideal for anyone currently working with children across health, education and social care, or anyone interested in early childhood as an academic discipline. It is suitable for those wishing to broaden their skills and career by taking additional qualifications. Well qualified professionals will find there are ample opportunities for promotion and progression to leadership positions in children’s services.
Following completion of this course, graduates can also consider our exciting range of postgraduate courses, including the MA Education or MA Inclusion and SEND.
Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:Contact usFrequently asked questions