Why study this course
Have you always wanted to work with young children (ages 0-8) but are unsure on your career pathway? If so then this course is ideal for you.
This is a flexible course covering many aspects of health, education and social care.
This course has a strong vocational focus, including clear connections to employability and further study. It is ideal if you are seeking a route into teaching.
BGU has over 150 years of experience in education and upholds an excellent and long-standing national reputation within the field.
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.
Mode of study
Bishop Grosseteste University
About this 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.
What will you study
During the course of your undergraduate, you’ll cover the following modules:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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’.
You will be introduced to leadership and management theories, including historical concepts of leadership and styles of leadership emanating from conceptual understandings, e.g. transformational, transactional and distributed leadership. Functional approaches to leadership analysis and working with professionals through team work and the application of different leadership styles will be critiqued, e.g. Belbin, Tuckman, and Adair.
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.
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.
You will normally need 96-112 UCAS tariff points (from a maximum of four Advanced Level qualifications). We welcome a range of qualifications that meet this requirement, such as A/AS Levels, BTEC, Access Courses, International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge Pre-U, Extended Project etc.
However this list is not exhaustive – please click here for details of all qualifications in the UCAS tariff.
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).
How you will be taught
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.
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.
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.
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.