School of Education

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Foundation Year

BA (Hons) Full-time 4 years

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Foundation Year is designed to help you to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to succeed in your studies with the University of Wolverhampton at degree level.

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Foundation Year is designed to help you to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to succeed in your studies with the University of Wolverhampton at degree level.

BA (Hons)
Start date(s)
16 September 2024
Course specifications
Course length
Full-time (4 years)
Campus location
University: Walsall Campus
School of Education
UCAS points calculator

Why choose this course?

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Foundation Year is designed to help you to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to succeed in your studies with the University of Wolverhampton at degree level.  Our Foundation Year programme has been designed to prepare you for studying at undergraduate level and provide you with the required skills and knowledge to transition effectively into Level 4 study. During your Foundation Year you will develop skills appropriate to University such as finding and using information, working collaboratively with others, challenging, and debating ideas and expressing yourself with greater confidence. The foundation year helps you to become familiar with University life and to feel at home on campus.

The course is suitable for people new to this area or experienced staff searching for career development.  We recognise that you will have a unique learning journey and we will maximise your potential through optional assessment choices such as presentations, written assessments, reflective journals, reports and written plans.

The linking of theory and practice is integral throughout the whole degree and you will undertake placements to gain work based experiences with babies and young children.  This will allow you to consider theory in relation to the implications for practice so you can evaluate and develop creative approaches to working with babies and young children.  You will also develop the skills of critical reflection and appraisal which will enable you to understand and analyse ethical principles, child development, children’s rights, health and wellbeing, child protection and safeguarding, early years pedagogy, multi-agency working and disability, diversity, and inclusion.

The Early Childhood Studies degree at the University of Wolverhampton offers you a choice of pathways from level 4-6:

  • Early Childhood studies with Assessed Practice (Level 3 full and relevant equivalent) Completion of the placement aspect of the degree includes the award of level 3 Early Years Educator.
  • Early Childhood Studies with Assessed Practice (Graduate Practitioner Competencies)

The Graduate Practitioner Competencies are a proactive approach to shape the identity of the early childhood workforce and strengthen the professional practice aspect of the Early Childhood Studies degree. Graduate level practice makes the distinction between level 3 and 6 practices explicit for practitioners and employers  

We also offer the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies PART-TIME which requires you to attend daytime sessions. However, if you are employed in Early Years and already have a level 3 qualification, we offer a part time Foundation Degree in Early Years Services at our partner colleges. After completing your part time Foundation Degree you can then progress onto a final year of a part- time BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies course in order to gain a full honours degree.

This degree sits within an exciting range of Childhood and Family Studies courses we offer within the School of Education.


We are members of The Early Childhood Studies Degree Network 

Sector Endorsed Foundation Degrees in Early Years Professional Association Logo

We are sector endorsed for our Foundation Degree in Early Years Services by SEFDEY.


What's unique about this course?

  • Our Foundation Year programme has been designed to prepare you for studying at undergraduate level and provide you with the required skills and knowledge to transition effectively into Level 4 study
  • Ranked 4th in the region for Graduate prospects
  • Opportunities for you to interact, and to demonstrate practice, application, exploration, critique, dialogue and analysis of theory

What happens on the course?

At level 3 you will develop your underpinning knowledge of studying in higher education, the developing child, and the principles of inclusive education. 

At level 4 you will have opportunities to develop your knowledge and skills of early years theory and practice.  Modules in the second year (level 4) focus on the following topics:

At level 5 you will begin to develop your critical capabilities through the selection, analysis and combining of relevant perspectives and be able to justify different positions on matters relating to early childhood studies.  Modules in the third year (level 5) focus on the following topics:

At level 6 you will be able to reflect on your own value systems, development and inclusive practices, question concepts and theories you have encountered in your studies and interrogate the assumptions underpinning research and your own practice.  Modules in the fourth year (level 6) focus on the following topics:

At level 4-6 you will also be required to attend an appropriate registered setting (0-8) in order to experience, participate in and develop your skills through a range of tasks associated with practice in an early years setting.  Placement expectations are as follows:

  • 150 hours at level 4 (with a named professional partner) linking to the module 'Developing Professionals'
  • 150 hours at level 5 (with a named professional partner) linking to the module 'Enquiring Practitioner'
  • 50 hours at level 6 (with professional partner) linking to the module 'Leading Quality'

At the University of Wolverhampton there are a range of teaching and learning activities to help you achieve successfully on your course. Your sessions will have formative learning opportunities and formative feedback from your tutors which will help you prepare for your final marked assessment (summative assessment). You will also be provided with feed forward written and/or oral feedback on your summative assessments that will help you develop your academic skills as you progress through your course.

All your modules will offer opportunities for you to interact, and to demonstrate practice, application, exploration, critique, dialogue and analysis of theory.   In each of your modules you will be provided with a structure of scheduled learning and teaching activities (both on campus and online) combined with guided and independent learning, to enable you to fully engage to achieve specified learning outcomes. These include :

  • Active contribution to lectures, group activities, including critical debate and discussion in seminars
  • Additional online consolidation activities
  • Guided reading 
  • Asynchronous discussion forums
  • Non-timetabled one-to-one meetings with Module Leader / Module Team
  • Preparation for scheduled learning and teaching activities
  • Preparation/Completion of assessment tasks
  • Revision tasks
  • Non-synchronous webinars
  • Wider reading and research activity

There are also a variety of assessment types are used to support and test your learning and progress and to help you develop employability skills that are valued beyond your University studies and into your working life. Your course will include a variety of assessment activity, which may include:

  • Coursework (for example, essays, reports, development of early year’s resources)
  • Practical (for example, oral presentations).

Course Modules

Potential Career Paths

Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

  • You will develop an independent, reflective, and self-managed approach to study and utilise skills appropriate for study in Higher Education.
  • You will Improve confidence in learning, study, and approaches to finding information and be aware of your existing transferable skills and new skills and how these may be developed
  • You will be able to reflect upon a range of ideas and consider how these underpin different understandings of young children and childhood
  • Gain knowledge and awareness of the skills needed for different pedagogical approaches when working with children, families, communities
  • Act as an advocate for children, families and communities including promoting children’s welfare and safety needs
  • Be critical in your approach of issues in relation to rights, diversity, equity and inclusion when working with young children, families and communities in the UK and globally
  • Develop your written and oral communication skills so you can communicate clearly for a range of purposes including the ability to take the lead, support, plan and work collaboratively in a multi-agency team.
  • Become digitally literate
  • Develop your professional and ethical practice to improve outcomes for children and families
  • To be entrepreneurial and enterprising when developing new ways of working with young children and families


Location Mode Fee Year
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2022-23
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2023-24
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2023-24
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2024-25
Home Part-time £3120 per year# 2022-23
Home Part-time £4625 per year# 2023-24
Home Part-time £4625 per year# 2023-24
Home Part-time £4625 per year# 2024-25
International Full-time £13450 per year 2022-23
International Full-time £14450 per year 2023-24
International Full-time £14450 per year 2023-24
International Full-time £14950 per year 2024-25

Additional Course Costs

Mandatory Costs

  • Enhanced DBS is required after your first year, at a minimum cost of £40. The cost of the DBS is determined by the Government and further information can be found here - GOV.UK / Disclosure and Barring Service.

Further information on these additional costs will be provided prior to the start of your studies

The University is committed to a transparent fee structure, with no hidden costs, to help you make an informed decision. This includes information on what is included in the fee and how fees are calculated and reviewed

Prepare for Foundation Pathway:- We will consider applicants who have not achieved 48 UCAS points (equivalence) from prior level 3 qualifications, if you have a keen interest in this subject area or hold relevant experience. You will be required to attend and pass a compulsory Prepare For Foundation assessment day where you will take part in a variety of activities which will assess your suitability for the course. If you would like more advise and guidance about this admissions pathway, please contact the Gateway team to discuss and support you in making an application to us.

Contact the Gateway - University of Wolverhampton (

The support I received from tutors has been positive and ongoing. During the pandemic I was worried that I wouldn't be able to support myself through online learning. However, the content available and the extent of resources was great. For me personally the pre-recorded lessons were a turning Point, I was able to pause and make notes. I felt I was able to go at my own pace to comprehend with the modules. Course leaders were also positive and encouraging to my peers at any questions posed to them. This was nice to see as it made tutors relatable to their students and empathic towards them. I felt supported and heard when it came to my communication with the tutors. All my emails are answered, and I felt I was at ease when I needed to ask questions. Tutors have gone above and beyond to support students both academically and personally. The FD has enabled me to link my practice and studies together this has made me and more informed and competent professional. The course it is a commitment to myself to continue with my passion for lifelong learning and working with inspiring children. The course has developed me to have big aspirations and not limit my career options. For this reason, I have decided to continue to complete a top up to level 6. I hope not only to support children but advocate for inclusion, SEN and families. The modules have given me a purposeful outlook on education, children, society and how I play my part to advocate for inclusion in my professional role. I have enjoyed the modules and utilise them in my professional role. I believe this course will enable me to go further in my career and can do the se for my peers. No matter your age or background the course and tutors will support and guide you through whatever your academic goal may be. (Simran Rhoad)

I have developed my knowledge and working practice on safeguarding, inclusion and being able to link my daily working practice in school to theory. After carrying out various research on these fundamental origins, looking back at a variety of situations through the eyes of theorists, teachers and families has given me an unbiased view to learn from. This foundation degree has really opened my eyes to the true challenges of working in partnership with professionals, families, and pupils. I have learned more about the challenges of following legislation, whilst trying to support families and always safeguard the well-being of the child as the priority. This has led to my working practice standards being improved, my self-belief has greatly increased in making better decisions for pupil’s wellbeing and holistic development. I have enjoyed the experience and now have a renewed hunger to continue my academic and personal development. (Joshua Merchant)

Tuition Fees Loan (Home Fee Status):

Most students will be able to apply for a loans to pay for these subject to eligibility. To find out more information please refer to the government Student Finance website.

Changes for EU students:

The UK government has confirmed that EU students starting courses from 1 August 2021 will normally be classified as having Overseas Fee status. More information about the change is available at UKCISA:

EU citizens living in the UK with 'settled' status, and Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland, will still be classified as Home students, providing they meet the usual residency requirements, for more information about EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) click here.


If you don’t want to take out a loan to pay your fees or if you aren’t eligible to receive a loan, you might want to take advantage of the University’s scheme to pay by instalments: See How to pay.

For more information please contact the Gateway.

Your employer, embassy or organisation can pay for your Tuition fees:

If your employer, embassy or organisation agrees to pay all or part of your tuition fees; the University will refer to them as your sponsor and will invoice them for the appropriate amount.

We must receive notification of sponsorship in writing as soon as possible, and before enrolment, confirming that the sponsor will pay your tuition fees.

Financial Hardship:

Students can apply to the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund.

for help with course related costs however this cannot be used for fees or to cover general living costs.

Bursaries and Scholarships:

In addition the University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships packages

You can find more information on the University’s Funding, cost, fee and support pages.


01902 32 22 22



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