Undergraduate Course

Psychology and Early Childhood Studies

BA/BSc (Hons)*

 * This course is subject to validation 

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 per year (2024/25)

UCAS points

120 (September 2024 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA/BSc (Hons)

Start date


Course description

Become a stand-out graduate by studying a course that brings together the best of Psychology and Early Childhood Studies, enhancing your analytical and people skills for a rewarding and compassionate career. You’ll be encouraged to think creatively, challenge established beliefs and develop your own research interests.

You will cover the fundamental psychological theories to explore human behaviour and development as well as gain a thorough understanding of how children develop, learn and think from a broad range of perspectives. This course offers you the opportunity to learn how to make a genuine and lasting difference to children’s lives and create a foundation for vital roles in health, education, social care, and psychology-based careers. Our focus throughout is on identifying and meeting children’s holistic needs, so you’ll consider all the challenges and opportunities faced by early years professionals working in a variety of children’s services. 

Specialist facilities

Our Psychology facilities are used for both teaching and research. They include computing labs with specialist software for designing experiments and research. You'll use a range of psychological recording equipment such as the latest eye-tracker equipment for analysing eye movement and our Babylab for ethical research with babies and young children. 

Top20for student satisfaction in Psychology**The Complete University Guide 2024
95%rated positively for teaching for Early Childhood Studies**National Student Survey 2023
Top25for Psychology**Guardian University Guide 2024
A student conducting an observation suite activity.

A vibrant learning experience

We pride ourselves on offering a friendly, welcoming learning environment where you will receive plenty of encouragement and guidance. Our tutors are approachable, dedicated and passionate about their subjects. For Early Childhood Studies modules, you’ll learn in our Kirtley Building which offers first-rate facilities for our Education and Childhood Studies students. It includes specially designed collaborative learning spaces and a large hall for practical activities and observing learning in action. Students will also learn off site which includes opportunities to learn off site e.g. forest school sessions.

Children playing in a forest area

Outdoor Learning Space

Learn how to apply education in an outdoor setting, using nature to improve the personal, social and technical skills of children.

Explore our Outdoor Learning SpaceExplore our Outdoor Learning Space

Be inspired by our teaching team

Our Psychology and Early Childhood Studies teaching teams are experts in their field and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to your course. Our Psychology team have a history of research in a variety of fields such as mental health and wellbeing, compassion and mindfulness, autism and maths anxiety. With a team of enthusiastic and experienced lecturers and researchers, your learning will be underpinned by internationally renowned research activities and your modules will feature the latest thinking and contemporary materials.  

Accredited course*

British Psychological Society accreditation means we're delivering a high standard of psychology education. It shows we've met BPS standards for course content and design, and student development. It also means you can apply for BPS student membership. This provides:

You will also have the opportunity to progress to accredited postgraduate qualifications and training to gain chartered membership of the BPS.

For students to receive the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS), students need to do the following:

Choose your pathway

Studying a Psychology and Early Childhood Studies Joint Honours degree allows you to choose whether you major in one subject or study them both equally.

You begin this degree by studying both subjects equally in your first year. By the end of your first year, you will then decide whether you would like to major in Psychology or continue to study them both equally. 

In this pathway, Psychology is the major subject and includes all prescribed credit bearing modules. Early Childhood Studies is the minor subject. Students receive BPS accreditation with this pathway. If students majoring in Psychology do not pass all prescribed credit bearing Psychology modules, the title of the degree will alter to say Psychological Studies. 

In this pathway, you study Psychology and Early Childhood Studies equally.

In this pathway, you study Early Childhood Studies and Psychology equally.

What you will study

The modules below indicate the range of modules you may study as part of this combination, however prescribed and optional modules will vary depending on whether you choose to study both subjects equally, or choose to major or minor in a subject. To find out exactly which modules you would study as part of your chosen combination please contact jhs@derby.ac.uk.

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.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

How you will learn

For Psychology modules, you will learn from lecturers and tutors who are carrying out research designed to offer fresh perspectives on issues that are significant at every stage of life. Your lecturers bring their latest thinking to your studies. And, in some cases, you’ll have opportunities to get involved in research projects yourself. Quality inspectors have commended us for being “at the forefront of technology-enhanced learning” in Psychology. For both Psychology and Early Childhood Studies, you will be taught through lectures, seminar activities and tutorials to support you through your assessments and group work. 

How you are assessed

For Psychology modules, you’ll be assessed mainly through assignments, via essays, posters, presentations, and reports. You may also have to take some exams. These can include essay questions, multiple choice and short answer questions. For Early Childhood Studies modules, you’ll be assessed using case studies, essays, independent research, online tests, posters, presentations and reports. There are no exams. 

Who will teach you

You will be taught by our team of engaging, passionate and inspiring subject experts.

Subject Leaders 

Dr Kay Owen
Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies

Kay previously worked as an Associate Lecturer in the Psychology Department at the University of Derby before moving across to the College of Education where she now teaches full-time on the Early Childhood programme.

View full staff profileView full staff profile
Female Smiling

Dr Carol Stalker
Lecturer in Psychology

Carol is a lecturer in Psychology on the campus BSc Psychology programme. Dr Stalker is the Level 4 lead for the programme and also teaches across the undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Dr Stalker is an active researcher, currently researching acceptance approaches in patients with chronic kidney disease and compassionate approaches in higher education. 

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Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Entry requirements

2024 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2024 entry. Contextual offers may apply to students who meet certain criteria.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120
GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
Access to HEN/A

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each skills area)

Fees and funding



£9,250 per year



£14,900 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

If you are in Year 13 and applying for a full-time undergraduate course (including our joint honours courses), we recommend that you apply through UCAS.

Apply through UCAS

If you are applying to study part-time, or already have your qualifications, or wish to join at Year 2 or 3, you should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

Please note direct applications for this course are not currently available. Please check back for further updates. 


This degree is your chance to shape and influence many young lives. Studying Psychology opens doors to many different sectors and professions – anywhere an understanding of people is valued. Early Childhood roles is a rapidly growing area of employment with opportunities to careers in the independent, private, public or voluntary sectors.

Our graduates have gone on to successful roles in sectors such as:

Through our Professional Development Package, you'll gain valuable transferable skills, including:

If you want to become a Psychologist or progress to Postgraduate study in Psychology, we advise that you major in Psychology including all prescribed credit bearing modules. This means you will receive accreditation from the British Psychological Society.

Well qualified and dedicated early childhood professionals are in demand across health, education and social care settings. Our Early Childhood Studies graduates are now enjoying successful careers as early years practitioners and managers. You’ll also find there are ample opportunities for promotion and progression to leadership positions in children’s services. Some of our graduates have, for instance, gone on to train as children’s nurses by undertaking a shortened two-year Paediatric Nursing qualification. You can also consider our exciting range of postgraduate courses, including the MA Education or MA Social Work.

Please note that this course does not lead to Qualified Teacher Status. However, if you’d like to train to be a teacher, you will be guaranteed an interview for our PGCE Primary if you meet the entry requirements.  You could also apply to study our PGCE Post-14 (Education and Training)

Careers and Employment Service

Our Careers and Employment Service can help you boost your employment skills by connecting you with employers for work placements, part-time jobs, and volunteering. They can also offer guidance on career options, CV writing, or starting your own business. 

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Included in your fees
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

Minimum numbers

Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.

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