BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
Why choose this course?
If you’d like to make a genuine and lasting difference to children’s lives, our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies is an excellent foundation for vital roles in health, education and social care.
- Gain the ideal introduction to a fulfilling career: statistics show that 98.2% of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of completing this course
- Explore how children develop, learn and think from birth to eight years, building the professional skills and knowledge to meet their needs
- Enjoy valuable practical experience with young children by undertaking a work placement for one or two days each week
- Broaden your horizons with the chance to go on a four-week international placement at a school in Milan
- Benefit from the expertise of a committed multi-disciplinary academic team who will ensure your learning is relevant, up to date and meets the highest professional standards
- Join a course with a 95% satisfaction rating in the latest National Student Survey
UCAS code: X310
Start date: Full-time: September. January starts available for part-time, level 6 students only.
Course length: Full-time: three years. Part-time: up to six years.
Campus: Kedleston Road, Derby
College: College of Arts, Humanities and Education
This course is available to international students
You can also study Early Childhood Studies (Joint Honours) as part of a Joint Honours degree.
About this course
There can be few more rewarding professions than working with young children, helping them to reach important milestones and to develop skills that will last a lifetime. Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies degree is your first step to a successful and worthwhile future.
Explore how children develop
You’ll gain a thorough understanding of early childhood from birth to eight years, exploring how children develop, learn and think. You’ll look at the importance of early childhood from a broad range of perspectives.
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.
The role of professional and personal development is an important theme for this course. By spending a substantial amount of time on placement, you'll draw on your own practical experiences with young children to advance your knowledge.
Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies course enables you to gain practitioner recognition if you do not already hold a practical qualification relating to the field.
A contemporary and relevant course, it is included in the Department for Education’s new qualifications list for settings that deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage for children.
It means that your qualification will be well regarded by prospective employers – and this is reflected in our strong track record for enhancing students’ career prospects. Latest statistics show that 98.2% of our Early Childhood Studies graduates were in employment or further study within six months of completing the course.
You have the opportunity to achieve extra qualifications as part of your studies, such as the British Red Cross Paediatric First Aid certificate which is an important asset for employers.
Practical experience on placement
Real-world learning lies at the heart of this course. You’ll undertake a placement for one or two days each week, building your skills in working with children and boosting your employability.
We liaise closely with nurseries, children’s centres and other early years employers across the region, so you’ll gain practical knowledge of what it is like to work in different settings as well as developing your observational and reflective skills.
Broaden your horizons
Thanks to our strong professional links overseas, you’ll have the chance to apply for an international placement. Successful applicants spend four weeks in Milan, working in a pre-school and living with a local family. It’s an experience which will build your independence, give you valuable new perspectives and provide an impressive addition to your CV.
Other European fieldtrips have seen our students visit the famous Peto Institute in Budapest to gain insights into its ground breaking work with children who have complex disabilities.
If you would like to widen your international outlook further still, you also have the opportunity to study abroad in the second semester of stage two. Under the Go Places, Go Further scheme, we have agreements with universities in Amsterdam and Brussels where you can explore a new culture and enhance your career potential.
Be inspired by leading experts
Our course is delivered by a highly experienced team, including influential researchers and published authors. It means your course is shaped by the latest thinking and innovative ideas which are changing the face of early childhood studies.
Our staff have conducted important studies into a wide range of subjects, 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.
You may even take part in fascinating research initiatives yourself. Our students have, for instance, worked with school children and community groups to draw up ideas for improving the play and educational potential of various parks in Nottinghamshire.
Our annual conferences also give you the chance to share findings from your own projects with an audience of fellow students and practitioners.
A vibrant learning experience
The results of the 2016 National Student Survey speak for themselves: 95% of our students said they were satisfied with the overall quality of this course.
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.
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.
Flexibility and choice
If you already have appropriate qualifications and experience, you could start this course at stage two or three.
We offer a variety of optional modules so that you can tailor your studies to match your personal interests and career aspirations. These could cover themes as diverse as children’s literature, family dynamics, health and inequality, child protection and children across the world.
What you will cover
You’ll study modules such as:
- Early Emotional and Social Development
- Early Language and Communication
- Play and Creativity
- Self-Management and Study Skills
- The Emerging Practitioner
- The Growing Child
- Children’s Health
- Child Protection
- The Developing Practitioner
- The Early Years Researcher
- Optional modules:
- 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
- Contesting Childhood
- Critically Reflective Practitioner
- Independent Study
- Optional modules:
- 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
Please note that modules may be adapted or added to ensure that the degree meets changing requirements in the sector.
The way UCAS Tariffs are calculated is changing in 2017. The entry requirement below reflects this change. Read more about these changes.
September 2017 typical entry requirements UCAS points 104 (up to 16 from AS-levels) Specific requirements at A-level N/A Specific requirements at GCSE Five GCSEs at Grade C or above, including Maths and English Interview / Audition N/A Portfolio N/A
Please Note: A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is required to commence this course at the University. The Disclosure and Barring Service was established when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged in 2012 and will now provide the criminal records checking service for this course.
If you have lived outside of the UK in the past five years (excluding holidays), you will need to provide a current satisfactory Certificate of Good Conduct from the country you were resident in. You will need to submit this at your course induction. Further information can be found on the gov.uk website.
Use our UniPoints app as a guide to calculate your UCAS Tariff points, search for courses and check entry requirements for 2017 and beyond.
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.
How to apply
- Full-time students applying in January should apply directly to the University
- Full-time students applying in September should apply for this course through UCAS
- Part-time students should apply directly to the University
- Students applying in January should apply directly to the University
- Students applying in September should apply for this course through UCAS.
Information for international applicants
Fees and finance
Full-time Part-time UK/EU
£9,250 per year
£1,155 per module
£11,750 per year
Fees for 2018/19 entry are still being decided, so please check back later in the year for more information.
How you will learn
You’ll be taught through lectures, seminar activities and tutorials to support you through your assessments and group work.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed using case studies, essays, independent research, online tests, posters, presentations and reports. There are no exams.
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 be communicated after enrolment on your course.
Careers and employability
This degree is your chance to shape and influence many young lives. Early childhood roles are a rapidly growing area of employment in the UK – opening doors to stimulating careers in the independent, private, public or voluntary sectors.
Well qualified and dedicated early childhood professionals are in demand across health, education and social care settings. Our 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.
Our degree is an excellent platform to broaden your career scope by taking additional qualifications. 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 can apply to study our PGCE Primary. If you’re interested in leading the curriculum in the Foundation Stage, you could also apply to study our PG Cert Early Years with Early Years Teacher Status (0-5).
What our students say
“I am so glad I chose Early Childhood Studies as my undergraduate degree; it has equipped me with valuable knowledge about the holistic child, how children learn, the importance of play and creativity and the importance of supporting transitions. I am now nearing the end of my PGCE Primary, and I believe what I learnt during my time on the Early Childhood Studies course will make me a more effective teacher.”
Chelsea Noon, graduate
"The teaching team were with us every step of the way, helping to shape and develop our ideas and supporting us to go into a range of different careers."
Jo Slater, graduate
"It is a fantastic course with enthusiastic, supportive lecturers."
Hana Gill, graduate
"I would highly recommend this course, it has set me up well in my career and the support of the lecturers has helped me to progress and exceed my expectations of myself."
Amanda Prince, graduate
"The University helped me to find my love of writing, and although it has been challenging working, studying and writing, it has been a fantastic experience and I know it has made me a better nursery nurse for it."
Jane Blant, graduate
"Because I didn't start higher education until my early forties, I sometimes can't believe I'm achieving what I am. All those years of not knowing I could study at university, never mind do so well at it!"
Debra Dawson, graduate
"A welcoming environment to study in, and the part-time option has been such a great opportunity, especially as I have young children."
Carol Lewis, graduate
"I have really enjoyed my time on the course and the tutors were so helpful and always available for that extra support."
Laura Gill, graduate
Key Information Sets