BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Foundation Year


This course allows you to study Early Childhood Studies as a single honours degree, giving you an in-depth knowledge of the subject.

If you don’t have, or don’t think you will attain the normal tariff points for studying at BGU, this course will enable you to study for a degree without any UCAS points. The course is delivered over four years and includes a Foundation Year, which gives you a perfect introduction in what it means to be a university student, equipping you with the necessary skills and knowledge for effective undergraduate study. In addition, during your Foundation Year, you will study eight modules, all of which are designed to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to progress your studies in your chosen subjects.

In studying Early Childhood Studies you’ll have the chance to inspire the next generation of children and have a positive impact on their lives. You’ll mainly focus on the educational, social and health care of children from birth to 8 years of age, gaining an appreciation of how they think and learn, as well as developing an understanding of how to facilitate learning through a range of strategies. You will have the opportunity to put your learning into practice through a relevant early years placement in each year of study.

Key Facts
Award: BA (Hons)
UCAS Code: X32F
Academic School: School of Social Sciences
Duration: 4 years
Mode of Study: Full-time
Start Date: September
Awarding Institution: Bishop Grosseteste University
Institution Code: B38
Why Study This Course?
Always wanted to work with young children (ages 0-8) but unsure on the career pathway, then this course is ideal for you
Flexible course covering aspects of health, education and social care.
Strong vocational focus, including clear connections to employability and further study. Ideal for students seeking a route into teaching.
BGU have over 150 years of experience in education and uphold an excellent and long-standing national reputation within the field.
Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements for Foundation Year

Application for this course is via UCAS, although there is no formal requirement for UCAS points to access the course (normally GSCE English or equivalent is desirable). As part of your application you will have the opportunity to speak with a member of BGU Admissions staff to resolve any questions or queries you may have.

Different degree subjects may have specific entry requirements to allow you to progress from the Foundation Year. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, you will need to have met these by the time you complete the first year of this four year course.

The Foundation Year syllabus does not include any specific element of upskilling in English language and you are not entitled to apply for Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L into a Foundation Year. International applicants are not eligible to apply for an undergraduate course with a Foundation Year.

If you are asked to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check as part of the conditions of your offer, this must be completed prior to the start of your course at a cost of £57.20.

Further Information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

In accordance with University conditions, students are entitled to apply for Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit Awarded for Experiential Learning, (AP(E)L).

About The Course

It is often said that children are the future. Here at BGU, we offer you the chance to shape that future. This course offers students the ability to use their enjoyment of and passion for working with children under 8 to work towards a career which might encompass early years education, social work, play therapy or management of an early years setting.

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. 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.

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.


There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.

You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars, to practical workshops, coursework and work-based placements. Small group seminars and workshops will provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study.

Placements are a key part of degree study at BGU. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.

Foundation Year 0 Modules

Self As Learner

In this module you will explore and consider what it means to be a successful learner at university. You’ll explore the principles of effective learning and engage with a range of tools and techniques to practice and develop strategies for your own learning. These include for example, understanding your needs as a learner, effective time management and organisational skills.

Resourcing Learning

You will learn about a range of resources and practice locating and using these resources to support effective learning. These resources will include, for example, textbooks, websites, academic journals, and popular press. In addition to these key techniques, the module covers academic conventions including referencing, citation and the risks of plagiarism.

Critical Engagement

This module will allow you to learn to utilise sources in a considered and critical way. You will begin to engage effectively with literature and other sources in a meaningful manner that promotes deep learning and enables knowledge and understanding of a topic. You will also begin to differentiate qualitative and quantitative data and consider their appropriate interpretation and use.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is an integral part of university study. While studying this module you will define critical thinking, its importance and how it can help you in your learning. A range of critical thinking models will be utilised to demonstrate how this works in action, allowing you to recognise critical thinking and identify barriers and challenges.

The Digital Learner

The skilled use of digital technologies is an important element in university study and is used to support both the obtaining and demonstration of knowledge. This module will develop your digital capabilities and confidence, encouraging you to develop techniques for the purposeful use of a range of digital tools to support learning. These include specific tools such as the Virtual Learning Enrivonment and appropriate and effective uses of wider applications such as social media, email and the internet.

Effective Communication

This module explores, compares and evaluates a range of communication types, giving you opportunities to combine written and spoken communication in a range of contexts and for a range of audiences. From a theoretical, sociological perspective you will explore different communication media and styles of discourse, for example, discussion, debate, enquiry and reporting.

Reflective Learning

Reflection is a powerful learning tool that enables you to consider your existing knowledge and also to plan for your future learning and professional development. The module content includes the principles of reflective learning and collaborative planning with reference to structured models. As part of this module, you will have an opportunity to attend live delivery of an ongoing degree programme which will provide a taster of discipline-specific undergraduate study.

Academic Writing

Academic writing is an essential element of successful university study, so this module explores a range of techniques to help develop your own academic writing style. It will enable you to draw together your learning throughout the Foundation Year and reflect on the feedback you have received. You will structure a clear and effective piece of academic writing on a subject-linked topic in which you will apply standard academic conventions.


We recognise that individuals come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, so we use a variety of assessment strategies on our courses.

During the Foundation Year, you will have opportunities to experience a range of formative and summative assessments. These include, short-form writing, annotated bibliography, presentations, micro-teach, use of digital technologies, reflective journal and academic essay. Assessment strategies are designed to be supportive, build confidence and also aim to ensure you will develop the core skills required for successful study throughout your degree. Assessment strategies are balanced, comprehensive, diverse and inclusive, ensuring that you will experience a range of assessments to support your preparation for undergraduate study. All modules involve early, small and frequent informal and formal assessments, to ensure that you gain confidence in your knowledge and abilities as you progress through the Foundation Year. You will also have opportunity for self-evaluation and reflection on your own learning progress and development of skills.

We recognise that individuals come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, so we use a variety of assessment strategies in our courses. Assessments in Early Childhood Studies 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 is used to support your learning, including the production of portfolios, presentations and displays. You’ll also be assessed through written essays, discussions, debates 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 year’s workforce.

Careers & Further Study

Early Childhood is a growing sector and the skills learnt 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 a PGCE qualifications here at BGU, whilst others enter other teacher training routes. Many of our graduates have gone on to further study in areas of specialism including psychology, speech and language or midwifery, whilst others have entered the workforce as managers of early years settings. The diverse nature of this course will also enable you to go on to further study such as postgraduate study on a master degree, 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 as a Teacher or classroom assistant, Speech and language therapy, Early years management, Social work or Play therapy.

Year 1 Modules

This module includes a study of historical practice and provision for children and young people and covers the work of early social, educational and health reformers such as Froebel, Isaacs, Pestalozzi and Rousseau. You will be encouraged to question underlying philosophies of the social and political motivations for shaping policy in the provision made for children and young people.

Starting from the earliest influences on children’s language development before birth, you will learn how children become confident and capable communicators, drawing upon a range of developmental, sociological and psychological theoretical perspectives. Through placement experience you will be introduced to observation as a research tool and the ethical issues which this raises when working with young children.

You will develop knowledge and understanding of the cultural context of social and emotional development in children from birth to 8 years and the factors which can impact upon it. You will be introduced to a range of theoretical approaches such as Bowlby’s Attachment theory, Erikson’s Psychosocial theory and Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems theory in order to appreciate that social and emotional development is complex and can be viewed from differing perspectives.

This module introduces you to some of the key theories associated with learning. Commencing with an examination of theories underpinning learning in childhood you will then have the opportunity to reflect on your own learning through the lens of adult learning theories.

Year 2 Modules

In this module you will consider childhood within a historical timeline, looking at ways in which childhood has been influenced by key social issues such as the role of religion in society or the rise of family life in eighteenth century England. The module will consider the arguments surrounding children’s rights.

You will be introduced to various research methodologies and approaches and develop an understanding of how research can be used to investigate provision and practice in early years. You will consider ethical issues in researching babies and young children, and consider conceptualisations of the child as subjects, objects or participants and the role of child as co-researcher.

The module considers the factors affecting child well-being and health, analysing the role and influence of wider determinants such as poverty, vaccination and inoculation, abuse/neglect, diet and exercise. Measures of health and well-being will be discussed and assessed from both adult and child perspectives.

You will consider the diverse needs of young children for example in areas of disability, gender issues, race and culture, special educational and social needs and gifted and talented children. The roles of the practitioner and the importance of inter-disciplinary working to support these needs and safeguard young children will be considered, using case histories to see how policy and practice has evolved.

During this module, you will consider current understandings of the meaning of play and creativity and the interrelationships between them. Concepts of ‘adult-led’ and ‘child-led’ play will be explored, and you will be encouraged to evaluate current arguments about the role and function of both play and creativity especially in educational contexts.

This module includes a study of the holistic nature of learning, focusing in depth on guidance in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and its relationship to Key Stage 1. You will engage in analysis and reflection and will consider the influence of the adult role in a variety of settings.

Year 3 Modules

In this module you will focus on current, and perceived future, common issues affecting children, their families and practitioners. You will be guided in researching these developments in terms of the political, economic and cultural contexts which surround them, considering the historical influences on current provision and practice.

This module will include critical analysis and comparison of international early years issues, practice and provision. A variety of issues relating to education, health and social care will be considered within historical, cultural and political contexts.

This module allows you to design and conduct an in depth study of personal interest and/or related to potential future training or employment. It will enable you to contribute to the work of your placement setting, creating and leaving a ‘legacy’ from your research as you make the transition from ‘knowledge consumer’ to ‘knowledge producer’.

This module will examine some of the causes of challenging behaviour in the early years and will identify some of the strategies for managing behaviour in early years settings and schools. You will explore the shared responsibilities of parents, professionals and support agencies, alongside government and local authority policy.

You will be introduced to the development of theoretical approaches to leadership and management; such as those of Drucker, Herzberg and McGregor and critique contemporary ideas such as those of Belbin, Tuckman, and Adair’s functional approach to leadership analysis. Evaluation of practice appropriate to a range of settings will cover areas such as: managing and motivating teams, change management, communication and planning.

Academic Staff
Dr Mary-Louise Maynes
Academic Staff

Louise has been teaching at Bishop Grosseteste University since 2008, initially as a visiting tutor and as

Alison Riley
Academic Staff

Alison Riley coordinates and teaches on our successful BA Early Childhood Studies programme. She joined Bis

Dr Daphne Whiteoak
Academic Staff


Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests. We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

Fees & Finance

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 sort 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.

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.

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