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BA Early Childhood Studies

UCAS Code X310

Recognition of the need to provide quality early years services for young children is now widespread.  This has led to an increasing demand for professionals working in the field of early years and for graduates from the BA(Hons) Early Childhood Studies degree.

The BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies involve the in depth study of theoretical perspectives on the young child and provides strands relating to health and well being, professional communication and relationships, managment and professional experience.

The degree is aimed at both males and females and is offered on a full time and part time basis.  It is designed to give students a broader understanding of how young children think, learn and develop.  It takes account of developments within the field of early childhood and reflects the multi-professional and multi-disciplinary nature of contemporary early years services.  The course identifies and promotes best practice in caring for and educating young children and provides a strong theoretical underpinning of such practice.

Teaching and Learning

A substantial part of the teaching and learning process is related to the student's workplace experience. Students have the opportunity of working in a variety of settings and with children of varying ages between 0 and 8 years.  An exciting ERASMUS programme is also available which facilitates students who may wish to experience mainland European early years.  


Integration of theory and practice is central to the line of development of the degree.  Students will record their professional development and will be encouraged to become self-critical and reflective practitioners, thinking more deeply about their work with young children. 

Career Opportunities 

The degree provides the early years field with qualified competent early years professionals enabling graduates to work in a variety of early years establishments and contexts.  These include day nurseries and nursery/primary schools, creches, parents and toddler groups, playgroups, family centres, Sure Start projects and other early years organisations such as Barnardos.

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies degree also provides a relevant foundation for post-graduate study for example, an MA in Early Childhood Studies or a PGCE to gain qualified teacher status; fast track arrangements can also be accessed to allow for progression in the field of social work and play therapy.

Entry Requirements (Full Time Study)

UCAS Code X310 BA/ECSt
GCSE Minimum C in Maths & English
GCE / VCE Grades BBB
GCE A Level Subject Required Curriculum Subject or Psychology or Early Years or Health and Social Care
Access 75% average
Other Factors GCSE Profile, Interview, Personal Statement, Reference, Relevant Structured Experience

Course Leaflets

Timetables for part-time students

Draft Timetables are issued the part-time students in advance of registration in order to allow for negotiation with employers, et cetera.

Part-time students generally attend College on two evenings per week, usually between 4 and 6 PM. For the first two years of a part-time student’s study we attempt to hold classes on a Monday and Tuesday evening, so that students can develop a consistent pattern of attendance.

Access NI: Criminal record checks

It is a legal requirement that all students who are working with children/vulnerable groups are subject to criminal history checks.  They will be required to complete the online Disclosure Form for an ‘Enhanced Disclosure Check’ in order to progress their studies.  The cost of this check is £33 and for BA Early Childhood (Full and Part Time students, regardless of campus) this is undertaken when they first join the course and at the beginning of their 3rd year.

Further information on Access NI can be found by clicking here.