Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: up to 6 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112* (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



Joint Honours

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

What is Joint Honours?

A Joint Honours degree gives you the opportunity to study two subjects as one degree. This type of degree will broaden your skill set and enhance your career prospects.

You can combine any two subjects as long as they’re in different zones, find out what you can combine this subject with.

Course description

Top25for Education**The Guardian University Guide 2020

Combine Early Childhood Studies with another subject – and build a versatile portfolio of skills and knowledge which will impress potential employers.

This is a challenging and varied joint honours degree which opens the door to fulfilling careers in many walks of life, including roles where you can shape and influence young lives.

Explore how children develop

You’ll gain a thorough understanding of early childhood, exploring how children develop, learn and think from birth to eight years.

Our focus is on the importance of identifying and meeting children’s needs, so you’ll also consider all the challenges and opportunities faced by early years professionals working in a variety of children’s services.

The course offers fascinating insights into childhood from a broad range of perspectives. We encourage you to draw on your own experiences in early years to enhance your knowledge.

Expertise to inspire you

Our course is delivered by a highly experienced team who come from wide-ranging professional backgrounds including early years, primary teaching, school and nursery management, social work, health visiting, nursing and midwifery.

They include influential researchers and published authors, which means your course is shaped by the latest thinking and innovative ideas which are changing the face of early childhood studies.

Our staff have investigated important subjects spanning everything from creativity for early years professionals to social constructions of childhood, from the pressures faced by new parents to ways of engaging fathers in early years settings.

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.

An exciting choice of combinations

The benefits of a Joint Honours degree are that you can keep your options open, extend your career scope and build a flexible, wide-ranging set of skills.

You can combine Early Childhood Studies with a variety of other subjects at Derby. Popular choices include Sociology, Education Studies, Psychology, Popular Culture and Media, Theatre Arts, Sport and Exercise Studies, Maths, English and Law.

What you will study

You can study Early Childhood Studies as either a joint or minor subject. This will determine how many modules you’ll study at each stage. Please check your other subject to ensure it is possible to create your chosen combination.


The modules you study will depend on whether you select Early Childhood Studies as a major, joint, or minor subject. You will study modules such as:

  • Early Emotional and Social Development
  • Early Language and Communication
  • Self-Management and Study Skills
  • The Growing Child
  • Children's Health
  • Child Protection
  • Developing Employability
  • The Early Years Researcher
  • Children Across the World
  • Emerging Literacies in the Early Years
  • Creative Approaches to the Curriculum 0-8 Years'
  • Family Dynamics
  • The Young Child in School
  • Wellbeing from Birth
  • Technology in Early Childhood (New for 2018/19)
  • Contesting Childhood
  • Critically Reflective Practitioner
  • Independent Study
  • Child Protection
  • Children’s Voices
  • Creative Possibilities and Opportunities in Early Childhood
  • Health and Inequality
  • International Perspectives
  • Leadership in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • The Young Child in Transition
  • Vulnerable Children and the Law
  • Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability (New for 2018/19) 

Please note that modules may be adapted or added to ensure that the degree meets changing requirements in the sector.

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.

University of Derby student drinking coffee

How you will learn

You'll be taught through lectures, seminar activities and tutorials to support you through your assessments and group work.

Whilst the majority of modules are taught, the professional practice modules and research modules are much more self-directed, promoting independent learning. You'll be encouraged to undertake personal development planning throughout the course and produce action plans related to career goals and progression.

How you're assessed

You will be assessed using essays, reports, posters, presentations, case studies, online tests, and independent research. There are no exams.

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112* (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

For joint honours degree entry you will need to choose two subjects. The entry criteria here is for this subject only. Your offer will be based on the higher entry criteria from the two subjects you choose to do. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

*The UCAS Points required for entry will depend on the subjects you choose to combine. The subject with the higher entry requirements will determine your offer.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*

£1,155 per module*


£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

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

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


By taking Early Childhood Studies as a Joint Honours subject, you’ll broaden your career potential and can seek out opportunities across the independent, private, public or voluntary sectors. Our graduates have a particularly strong track record for securing  roles working with children and families.

Demand for well qualified and dedicated early childhood professionals is burgeoning across health, education and social care settings. With your specialist knowledge of childhood, you will be ideally positioned to achieve your ambitions in a rapidly growing employment field.

Some of our students also use this degree as a platform to join graduate training schemes or to progress to postgraduate courses such as our PGCE Primary or PG Cert Early Years with Early Years Teacher Status (0-5).

93.6%for Early Childhood Studies**overall satisfaction, NSS, 2018

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.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

You will typically study your two subjects equally at stage one, before choosing whether you want to major in one subject at stages two and three.

Download programme specification

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.

Included in your fees

Depending on your chosen Joint Honours course combination, you will be entitled to approximately 50% of the following: 

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.

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