School of Education

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

BA (Hons) Full-time 3 years, Part-time 2 years, Part-time 6 years

BA (Hons)
Start date(s)
16 September 2024,13 January 2025
Course specifications
Course length
Full-time (3 years),Part-time (2 years),Part-time (6 years)
Campus location
Walsall Campus,The Bournemouth and Poole College
School of Education
UCAS points calculator

Why choose this course?

97.3% of students felt that they benefited from learning opportunities

NSS, 2023

Ranked 4th in the Region for Graduate Prospects

(The Complete University Guide, UG Subject League Tables, West Midlands Region, 2023)


The BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies will develop your understanding of a young person’s most formative years, when their body, personality, and understanding of the world are still growing. The course is suitable for people new to this area or experienced staff seeking career development.

The linking of theory and practice is integral throughout the 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 consider 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:

  • 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

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood is three years full-time, and this course is also offered 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  Early, 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?

  • 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
  • Develop your professional and ethical practice to improve outcomes for children and families

What happens on the course?

Your lived experience of this course will extend beyond the classroom. You will be taught in our state-of-the-art teaching buildings at Walsall Campus, just a short walk from Walsall town centre, and a bus ride from the centre of Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Our provision includes: buildings which are fitted with interactive whiteboards, lecture theatres, and classrooms as well as social learning areas which include the Students’ Union and a Starbucks coffee shop.

At level 4 you will have opportunities to develop your knowledge and skills of early years theory and practice.

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.

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.

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 is 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.

  • Coursework (for example, essays, reports, development of early years resources)
  • Practical (for example, oral presentations)

Course Modules

Potential Career Paths

Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

Our tutors are experienced professionals from a variety of fields within early years, education, health, special needs and inclusion, and social care. Your teaching staff at the University of Wolverhampton are active researchers and these interests contribute to high quality teaching, curriculum development and innovation which underpin the teaching and learning that you will experience. You will benefit from the latest research in the areas of early childhood such as ‘mental health and resilience,’ ‘early year’s professionalism,’ ‘men in childcare’ and ‘pedagogy of play.’

Our Early Childhood Studies course at the University of Wolverhampton was one of the first degrees to embed the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network’s (ECSDN) Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies in England. 

The Library will provide you with academic skills support via the Skills for Learning programme. You can attend workshops on campus or online, or ask for one-to-one help on a range of skills such as academic writing and referencing. 1:1 online skills appointments are also available.

The University Student Support website offers advice on a variety of matters (careers, counselling, Student Unions’ advice, etc.) You can also access these services by booking appointment with the SU, careers, counselling services, etc.

Course-specific support

  • You will be allocated a personal tutor
  • Specific assessment support will be factored into each module.
  • If you have disabilities and/or specific learning difficulties you can gain a wide range of support from Student Support and Wellbeing team at the university.

Higher education academic skills will be embedded throughout the curriculum.


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  • 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, and communities
  • Act as an advocate for children, families and communities including promoting children’s welfare and safety needs
  • Become critical in your approach of issues relating 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
  • Become 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 £3083 per year# 2022-23
Home Part-time £3083 per year# 2023-24
Home Part-time £3083 per year# 2023-24
Home Part-time £4625 per year# 2023-24
Home Part-time £4625 per year# 2023-24
Home Part-time £4625 per year# 2024-25
Home Part-time £3083 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

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

Please note that the January intake is only available for Level 6 (Year 3) entry

Applicants should hold a Foundation Degree in either Supporting Children in Primary Education or Early Years Services.

September intake

Typical entry requirement: 96 UCAS points

  • A Levels - grades CCC / BCD
  • BTEC L3 Extended Diploma or OCR Cambridge L3 Technical Extended Diploma - grades MMM
  • BTEC L3 Diploma - grades DD
  • NCFE CACHE L3 Diploma in Childcare and Education or NCFE CACHE L3 Technical Diploma in Childcare and Education - grade C
  • Access to HE Diploma (60 credits) of which a minimum of 45 must be at Level 3 (96 UCAS point equivalence, minimum 45 credits at merit)

Use the UCAS Tariff calculator to check your qualifications and points

Other Requirements

Entry to this course requires a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health Checks.

Free Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health Check:

Due to the professional nature of some of our courses you may also be required to complete a Declaration of Health and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check.  We will coordinate both of these non-academic conditions with you should your course require this and you receive an offer from us

There will be no cost for the DBS this is free to applicants who have secured an offer and have chosen to study at the University of Wolverhampton.

Students must usually have studied for a minimum of two years post GCSE level. However, we will consider applications from mature students who do not have two years of post-16 study, where they have relevant work experience. Please see for further information.

"Whatever area you are going into - you get much more experience and responsibility [with this course]. I wouldn’t have done this otherwise and got as much out of my placement experience."​Abbie Martin (Early Childhood Studies Graduate)

“You have the opportunity to take on more of an active role with the competencies. You can then take this knowledge with you if you choose to carry on working or studying. For example, I am studying the PGCE – I feel really prepared, as already I have so many of the skills needed"  Jenny Carver (Early Childhood Studies Graduate)

“An experience that I enjoyed most on my course was my placement. It allowed me to really increase my professional knowledge and experience, and also allowed me to put into practice things that I had learnt during lectures. I also enjoyed attending, and having the opportunity to take part in, the BECERA conference. Completing a placement was useful because it led me to gaining a position on a school centred salaried teacher training course, and subsequently getting a teaching job within the same setting. Now that I have graduated, I am aiming to establish myself within my teaching career and gain a range of experiences that will allow me to continue to further my professional knowledge. My future aspiration is to eventually become an Early Years Lead. I also aspire to complete a master’s degree in education once I am fully established within my career.” Jennifer Stanley (Early Childhood Studies Graduate)

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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