Course Details


If you are aspiring to be an early years specialist, and passionate about working with children then this course could be for you. This course ensures that you have the essential practical and professional skills to work with children and families in the early years, including the ability to work collaboratively with parents, colleagues and other professionals.

How long is the course?

This course runs for three years, commencing in September.

What qualification will I achieve?

Early Years (BA Hons).‡

What will I study?

This course reflects a well-established programme of study supporting career routes for the children’s workforce including early years practitioners, parent support workers and Children’s Centre managers.


You will be on placement for two days per week for a total of three placements in the first two years of study. We will work with you to find the type of placement suitable for your needs. You will be asked to look at different types of early years settings.

Successful graduates can go onto seek employment, or to gain early years, teaching qualifications or other postgraduate study.

Studying this course will benefit you because:

  • Our graduates have excellent employment and further study outcomes
  • The course is designed to lead onto further professional qualifications such as Qualified Teaching Status or Early Years Teacher Status, which is a new teacher status for children aged 0-5 years.
  • The course includes exciting and valuable placement opportunities

You study four modules each year. These place an emphasis on work-based practice. Module content provides you with the underpinning knowledge in a range of essential Early Years subjects. You develop your skills as a reflective practitioner and have the opportunity to improve your academic ability.

Year 1

Theories and Strategies for Learning

This module will encourage the development of the academic study and communication skills necessary for success on your course. In preparation for an essay worth 60% of the module marks, you will explore contemporary issues and theories relating to your course of study. Through a portfolio of evidence supported by a brief, reflective essay on your own development (together worth 40%), the coursework will demonstrate a range of skills essential for successful study at degree level. 

Perspectives in Learning and Development

You will be introduced to the theories and research that underpin development and learning for children, young people and adults and consider key concepts that explain the basis of development and learning. You will identify the cognitive, linguistic, social and moral dimensions of development and consider the transitions that children and young people make as they develop into adults. You complete two pieces of assessment, which involve the production of a display (worth one third of the marks) which demonstrates a perspective of the experience, learning and development of a child, young person or adult learner; and a timed test (worth two thirds of the marks).

Professional Practice

While exploring work-based learning opportunities, this module will nurture independent learning and a holistic approach to enhancing your own professionalism and practice. Building on a skills gap analysis in which you will identify a personal and professional development need, you will produce one submission (worth 100% of the module marks) consisting of two parts; a reflective summary of an area of interest to you within your professional context will be supported by a portfolio of evidence. 

Self Society and Welfare

This module develops your understanding of society. Firstly, it examines social issues in society, such as poverty and inequality, and how the state responds to them through ‘welfare’, as well as through ‘rights’ and ‘citizenship’. Your understanding will be examined through a timed test that represents 35% of the overall marks. You will then investigate the formation of identity and social differentiation by examining key sociological concepts such as social class, gender, the family, ethnic identity and race, sexuality and crime. You will be invited to explore one of these key topics in an assignment worth 65% of the total marks.

Year 2

Safeguarding Children and Young People

This module will raise your awareness of current legislation, policies and procedures which exist to promote children and young people’s rights and to keep them safe from harm. It emphasises the knowledge, skills and qualities required to work with children, young people, their families and carers and other professionals in safeguarding contexts; and critically explores broader concepts of child abuse. You will undertake an online multiple choice timed test, worth 40% of the marks, and present a seminar paper to a small group of your peers, worth 60% of the marks.

Advanced Professional Practice

This module requires you to look back at your learning journey so far, then look forward to what you hope to achieve whilst you are studying the degree. Topics covered by this include setting SMART goals, current issues in education and professional development, using self-assessment tools, such as Johari Window, to identify areas for professional and academic development and writing SMART action plans. The assessment for this module requires you to write a 5,000 word assignment in which you will initially set some academic and professional goals to be achieved whilst you are on the course, then provide an account of your personal learning journey so far, move on to discuss a current issue in your professional setting, draw on this information and your goals to undertake a skills audit that identifies your existing strengths and areas for development and from this you will produce an action plan to help you realise the goals you have set yourself (course work 100% of the marks).

Literacy and Numeracy

This module will raise your awareness of the basic principles, concepts and processes underpinning literacy and mathematics in early years and KS1. It emphasises the knowledge and skills required to support children’s learning and development in these areas in early years and KS1. You will examine teaching and learning strategies which support progress and outcomes in each area and through cross curricula links. You will be aware of how learning and development is assessed with reference to the relevant frameworks. You will be assessed through coursework which will include an analysis of children’s work and a written evaluation of the teaching and learning strategies used

Senior Practitioner

This module is designed to recognise the qualities of the Senior Practitioner to ensure continuous development and to evaluate the influences of theories of child development and learning in early years settings today. Through a detailed study (coursework worth 100% of the module marks) of an individual child you will have the opportunity to explore how the setting and the practitioner support care, learning and development needs.

This module is designed to recognise the qualities of the Senior Practitioner to ensure continuous development and to evaluate the influences of theories of child development and learning in early years settings today. Through a detailed study (coursework worth 100% of the module marks) of an individual child you will have the opportunity to explore how the setting and the practitioner support care, learning and development needs.

Year 3

Core modules

Health and Wellbeing

Through this module you will explore different aspects of the health and wellbeing of children and young people and become equipped to evaluate the wider public health agenda, national trends and supporting legislation. For the first part of your assessment (50%) you will present to your peers a discussion of a health promotion aimed at children or young people. For the second part (50%), you will evaluate how legislation, policy and research support the chosen promotion and how it may impact on a selected group of children or young people.

Research Methodologies

This module explores a range of research strategies and methods, preparing you to assess the value and significance of different approaches to data collection and analysis within your field of study. Your coursework allows you to develop your own research proposal (worth 50% of the marks). You will then have an opportunity to pilot an aspect of your proposal with your peer group and to write a report on the process (worth 50% of the marks).

Major Study

This module allows you to pursue your particular interests and to demonstrate the breadth of knowledge, understanding and strengths that you have developed during your degree studies. You will be supported in the selection of a topic relevant to your degree, in the development of a proposal and at each stage of your study. Your coursework for this module will consist of a dissertation which may be literary (an in-depth study of theories, texts, themes) or empirical; or a combination of both. This module is your opportunity to bring together everything you have learned in a study of your choosing. 

Option modules – one from these two

Leadership and Management in Professional Contexts

This module will develop your understanding of theories of leadership, management and the organisation of professional practice. You will explore relevant theory and practical factors such as mentoring arrangements, developmental supervision, group structures, staff development and the management of change in professional practice. Coursework will consist of an annotated bibliography on a relevant topic of your choice (75% of the marks). For the other 25%, you will discuss management structures and leadership roles while exercising your creativity with a poster presentation.  

Support Learning in Young Children

Students will be introduced to the principles of effective pedagogy for supporting children’s learning from the ages of 0 to 8, including key delivery strategies and the principles of both medium and short term planning. Multi-disciplinary approaches to planning and teaching and international perspectives will be addressed. Students will explore the concept of inclusion and its implications for supporting the learning of children aged 0 to 8. Finally students will apply the principles of reflective practice to evaluate their own practice in planning and supporting and learning.

Where will I study?

University Campus Barnsley, Church Street, Barnsley, S70 2AN.

What equipment will I need?

No equipment needed. 

How will I be assessed?

There is a combination of teaching styles, including lectures, tutorials, online learning, independent study and work based learning. Assessments vary and include essays, creative resources (for example posters) and teaching resources to support children’s learning, student-led seminars, presentations and timed tests.

What can I do next?

The degree provides skills and abilities as a senior practitioner. Successful candidates may pursue professional status and then take their place as graduate leaders of the workforce.

How do I apply?

Apply directly via UCAS.

How much does the course cost?

Course fees: £5,995 per year. 

Student Finance

As a Higher Education student living in England you may be eligible for the non-means tested Tuition Fee Loan from the Government. See the Fees and Finance page for further information.

Disability and Dyslexia Service

Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can provide you with the support you need

Further information

For further information please contact our friendly Information Team on +44 (0)1226 216 165 or email

Any changes to the information on this page can be found on the Updates to UCB Information page

‡ is an award of the University of Huddersfield