Throughout this course, you will learn to make a difference to the education and welfare of young children. You will have the chance to inspire the next generation of children and have a positive impact on their futures, exploring a wide range of issues and principles and applying these to real-life situations.
This course focuses on the educational, social and emotional development of children from birth to 8 years of age. You will gain an appreciation of how children think and learn and will identify the role of the adult in facilitating this learning through a range of strategies. Theoretical aspects of learning will be studied and you will gain an understanding of children’s physical, intellectual, emotional, social and language development.
Use your enjoyment and passion of working with children under 8 and work towards a career in early years education, social work, play therapy or manage early years setting.
About Early Childhood Studies at BGU
Over the duration of the course you will study aspects of the education, health and social care of babies and children from 0-8 years, which will provide excellent foundations for working in a range of early years settings. You will gain an appreciation of how children think and learn, as well as the policies and practices which can support them and their families. You will have the opportunity to put this learning into practice through a relevant early years placement in each year of study.
Throughout the course you will acquire the necessary skills for working with young children in a challenging and changing environment. Your academic skills will equip you for a variety of job roles or further study. Personal and transferable skills in time management, teamwork and stamina are vital to any role in early years.
In your final year you will be able to tailor an individual research project to your particular interests or career aspirations, and you may also be able to choose the setting of your final-year placement.
We employ a variety of learning and teaching techniques to help you develop your understanding of early years theory and practice. Whole group lectures are supported by small group seminar activities, from discussions and presentations to designing classroom environments and creating practical activities for children. You’ll be assessed through written essays, discussions, debates and presentations, as well as ICT and multimedia projects.
One of the advantages of this course is the flexibility and variety of topics you can study, which can lead to a wide range of options upon graduation. The course is practical and engaging, and you’ll have the support of a team of knowledgeable and enthusiastic tutors, as well as experienced visiting speakers from different educational settings.
What You Will Study
During your first year, you will be introduced to early years practice and provision, and develop a grounding in key psychological, sociological and physiological theories. There will also be an induction into the inter-disciplinary roles needed to support and safeguard children.
Your second year will see you focus on the rights of children, the changing perspective of childhood whilst gaining an appreciation of equality issues. In addition there will be an interdisciplinary module which considers other areas of study, along with a work placement for experience.
In your final year, you will study language and behaviour through building expressive relationships, and consider practices from overseas. Alongside this you will debate a range of current issues within the sector and examine what it is to be a professional within the children’s workforce, learning about leadership and management of early year’s provision. You will also undertake an independent study or project.
Assessments take place at the end of each module in order for you to demonstrate your understanding of the objectives covered. A wide range of assessment methods are used to support your learning, including portfolios, presentations, displays and examinations.
You’ll be assessed through written essays, discussions, debates and presentations, as well as ICT and multimedia projects.
Assessments are not only designed to assess your knowledge and understanding but also help you to develop transferable skills which will support you as you enter the early years workforce.
What Our Students Say
My favourite thing about this course would have to be learning the new theories related to child development and then applying this knowledge when in my pre-school placement setting. Also, I have made good friends on my course that I can share and consult with.
Sophie, Second year
This course is great as it covers a broad range of issues regarding children, wellbeing, development and education.
Maria Charalambous, Graduate
The lecturers are great, they are always happy to help with anything, respond to emails very quickly and they give ideas to help with your work.
Francesca Cameron, Third year
Careers and Further Study
Early Childhood is a growing sector and the skills learned on this course will enable you to enter the children’s workforce in a range of different roles. Some of our students seek a route into teaching through PGCE qualifications here at BGU (see our Postgraduate Courses section for more information), whilst others enter other teacher training routes as well as working towards Early Years Teacher Status. This will present you with opportunities to work in different early years environments, such as nursery schools and privately run nurseries.
This course is an ideal platform if you are looking for a career in teaching within early years. Many of our graduates have gone on to further study in areas of specialism including psychology, speech and language or midwifery, whilst others have gone straight into the workforce as managers of early years settings.
The diverse nature of this course will also enable you to go on to further study, seeking wider opportunities in many different fields, including health and social care, children’s social work, play therapy and speech and language therapy.
Possible future careers for Early Childhood Studies graduates may include:
- Teacher or classroom assistant
- Speech and language therapist
- Early years manager
- Social work
- Play therapy
Fees and Funding
A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sorting out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step. Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.
How To Apply
Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. The application fee is £12 for a single choice or £23 for more than one choice. For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.
Tools for Learning
This module introduces traditional and contemporary learning theories.
Early Emotional and Social Development
A study of early childhood development in respect of social and emotional development. Students will be introduced to key theories of development including Bowlby and Bronfenbrenner
Philosophies, Policy and Provision
This module considers the historical background and rise of the welfare state, introducing legislation appropriate to the study of and current provision for children and young people.
Early Language and Communication
This module investigates how children develop skills in language and communication, from non verbal communication to development of verbal communication skills looking at the work of Noam Chomsky and Vygotsky. This module has a 14 day placement in an EY setting
Approaches to Pedagogy and Curriculum in the Early Years
This module will explore educational provision and curriculum delivery in a range of early year’s settings. It will focus on high quality learning environments for babies, toddlers and young children, and highlight the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum at Key Stage 1. It will build on placement experience of the curriculum in action and make links with the realities of everyday practice.
Inclusive and Collaborative Practice
Although matters relating to inclusion are embedded in all modules, this one gives you the opportunity to study the topic in depth and to critically analyse the theories underpinning special needs provision along with how these differing needs are met in practice. There will also be opportunities to study the development of the early years workforce, focussing on the importance of collaborative provision.
Health and Well-being in the Early Years
This module enables you to understand the importance of child health and well-being with other aspects of development through critical analysis of issues, theories and practice. Through the module you will develop your analytical skills, enabling you to generate arguments regarding the factors that affect child health.
Play and Creativity
In this module you will learn about the importance of play in early childhood with a focus on some of the key philosophies and principles behind a play based curriculum. An examination of the place of creativity in the curriculum will be undertaken with an opportunity to plan creative activities for children through a 14 day work placement.
Perspectives on Childhood
This module focuses on the changing perceptions of childhood, family life and social values and builds on themes previously studied. It also introduces the rights of the child and reflects upon childhood in contemporary Britain.
Research for Enquiry
This module will be an introduction to research with a focus on the skills required to undertake your own research. You will be introduced to different types of research methodology e.g. action research, case study, and the methods used to undertake research projects in an ethical and responsible manner.
In this module you will begin to consider why children behave the way they do and will be introduced to techniques and strategies to help you manage challenging behaviour in early years and school settings. The module will build on some of the theories introduced at level 4 but these will be contextualised in relation to the behaviour of children in early year’s settings. You will be introduced to some of the medical conditions which might impact on children’s behaviour.
Leadership and Management in the Early Years
In this module you will be introduced to leadership and management theories, including historical concepts of leadership and styles of leadership. Teamwork will be discussed in relation to the professional roles and responsibilities of the early years professional, and consideration will be given to school improvement mechanisms such as staff development and quality assurance processes. This module is designed as a preparation for the workplace.
Taught over two semesters this module presents you with the opprtunity to apply some of the research skills, taught at level 5, in a practical situation. Students will negotiate an area of focus with their placement setting, and will then use this is a basis for study over the course of the year.
Students will have an opportunity to study aspects of early years issues, practice and provision from an International Perspective. A variety of issues relating to education, health and social care will be examined within historical, cultural and political contexts. Students will compare and contrast how attitudes towards children differ globally, and will consider some of the challenges faced by children and families.
Issues in Early Childhood
In this module you will study some of the common issues affecting children, their families and practitioners. The module is designed so that that learning is current and continuing, and is intended to ensure that students are fully informed of current developments in the sector, thereby contributing to their employability as future early years professionals.
Alison Riley – Academic Coordinator for Early Childhood Studies
Alison Riley coordinates and teaches on our successful BA Early Childhood Studies programme. She joined Bishop Grosseteste University in 2007 as a lecturer on the work-based learning courses for classroom assistants and other educational support workers. Prior to this Alison worked in a variety of school based roles including senior leadership. Alison is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Alison teaches on the undergraduate Early Childhood Studies programme. Her teaching interests include the influence of policy, provision and legislation in educational settings and leadership and management in Early Years settings. Alison’’s interests focus predominantly on the role of the early years practitioner, enabling her to utilise her former role in education to support students seeking a route into teaching or other roles within early years settings. Building on her Masters research, Alison also has a particular interest in the development of study skills in higher education.
Daphne contributes to the undergraduate Early Childhood Studies programme. Her teaching interests include the influence of politics on educational provision and leadership and management in primary and early years settings and in the interface between policy, theory and practice.
Prior to working at BGU Daphne was a primary school headteacher. Interested in governance, law and human resources as they pertain to the roles of educational leaders her voluntary activities over the years have included: Branch Secretary of the National Association of Headteachers (Cambridgeshire), Headteacher representative on the Joint Council Negotiating Committee (Cambridgeshire Local Authority) and Chair of Governors of a Lincoln infant and nursery school. She currently serves on the Diocesan Board of Education for the Diocese of Lincoln and as a Trustee on the Leeke Educational Trust.
Louise contributes to the undergraduate Early Childhood Studies programme. Her teaching interests include social and emotional development in children, the changing nature of childhood and play and creativity.
Louise has been teaching at Bishop Grosseteste University since 2008, initially as a visiting tutor and as a full-time member of staff from 2012. Prior to working at BGU Louise worked as a primary teacher in Kent and Lincolnshire and for a Schools Library Service, where she advised teachers on how to set up and manage school libraries. She has also had a career as a museum educator, working with children and young people in a variety of museums including the Apprentice House at Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire and the Natural History Museum in London where she managed their hands-on ‘discovery centre’.
Head of School
Dr Graham Basten – Head of School of Social Sciences
Graham holds a PhD from the UK Government’s Institute of Food Research and has researched and lectured extensively over the past 10 years on clinical biochemistry, nutrition and folate at the Medical Universities of Sheffield and Nottingham (UK). He was previously Acting Head at the School of Allied Health Science at De Montfort University (DMU) and a DMU Teacher Fellow. As a expert in Clinical Chemistry, and Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science he has written and published several journal articles and textbooks on interpreting blood results. Graham has completed the award winning DMU Leadership, Management and Development Programme, as well as a series at BGU from the Leadership Foundation in Higher Education. He is an advocate of authentic, empowered leadership.