Early Childhood Education BA (Hons)





About the course

This course will give you in-depth knowledge of Early  (0-8), and children’s development in learning and thinking – taking a holistic approach to child needs.

You will explore early years curricula, inclusion and special educational needs and disability, early representations of literacy and numeracy, leadership and management in the early years and reflect upon the role of adults in a child’s education and care. You will undertake a number of placements in early childhood settings to embed your learning and increase your employability options after the degree. This will fully prepare you for a diverse range of professions in the Early Years, and for further, possibly postgraduate, study or teacher training.

You will explore your individual interests through guided study and independent primary research in settings  across the three years. You are encouraged to take up voluntary positions in a range of contexts and reflect upon your experiences gained there  to develop your  professional and scholarly identify  in your academic work.



Early Childhood Education - BA (Hons) - Bedford Campus

  • Apply Via - UCAS
  • Course level - Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code - X311
  • Campus Location - Bedford Campus
  • Start dates - Feb,Oct
  • Duration - 3 Years
  • Attendance - Full time | Part-time day
  • Download Course Specifications

Early Childhood Education with Professional Practice Year - BA (Hons)

  • This course has the option to be taken over four years which includes a year placement in industry. Undertaking a year in industry has many benefits. You gain practical experience and build your CV, as well as being a great opportunity to sample a profession and network with potential future employers.

    There is no tuition fee for the placement year enabling you to gain an extra year of experience for free.

    *Only available to UK/EU students.

Early Childhood Education with Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

  • Our degrees with a Foundation year provides a supportive way for you to work towards a degree level qualification.

    In the Foundation year you will study three days per week. The focus will be on academic writing skills and numeracy, plus subject-specific content to fully prepare you for entry to an Undergraduate degree.

    There is a £500 Foundation Year Bursary available to UK students starting September 2017.

    More information about Early Childhood Education with foundation year

Early Childhood Education with International Year Zero - BA (Hons)

  • *International Year Zero (IYZ) is the first stage of a four-year International Incorporated Bachelor's degree. IYZ is designed to help you gain extra skills in your subject area, as well as English language, before you continue to year one of your undergraduate degree course.

    IYZ is delivered by London Bedfordshire International College in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire.

    Find out more about International Year Zero

    *IYZ is only available to international students





Why choose this course?

Education in Guardian League 2018

  • Learn about the holistic development and uniqueness of young children and babies
  • Gain experience through a series of placements and a strong focus on employability
  • Explore contemporary and innovative practices in Early Years education  and care
  • Benefit from acquiring the academic skills you need to analyse research, policy and practice linked to the study of Early Years Education  in order to lead outstanding pedagogical practice and enhance children’s life chances at this crucial time
  • Gain a critical understanding of national and international research, policies and debates in the field of Early Years Education



Unit Information – What Will I Learn?

Year 1
  • Introduction to Degree Study
  • Early Child Development
  • Early Years Curriculum Studies
  • Sociology of Education and childhood
Year 2
  • Early Representation of Literacy and Numeracy
  • Inclusive Education in the Early Years.
  • Research Methods
  • Creativity and the Curriculum*
  • Understanding the Workplace*
  • Family, Community and Culture*
  • The Lifelong Curriculum*
Year 3
  • Early Years Education Dissertation
  • Supporting Early Learning from Birth to Five.
  • Leadership and Management in the Early Years
  • Contexts for Learning in the Early Years
  • Analysing the Workplace*
  • Developing Teaching*

*denotes options



Discover the School of Education and English Language


Our aim is to provide the support, subject knowledge and skills to allow you to achieve your career or personal goals. That may be to enter teacher training in the future, to work with vulnerable young people or children, to follow subjects that you have personal interest in or, simply, to develop yourself into someone able to enter a range of professional graduate careers with confidence.

Discover the facilities, see examples of students’ work, read about graduate successes, browse courses, view staff profiles and much more.



How will I be assessed?

This course provides a range of assessment methods to support the diverse needs of all learners. Assessments include exams, essays, case studies, webfolios, presentations, reflections on work-based learning, and culminate in a research-based dissertation.  

The assignments will build directly on the teaching sessions and you will be supported by lecturers to develop your individual assignments through tutorials and in class activities.

  • Written – case studies, essays, portfolios, dissertation, artefact, webfolio, reflective journal (approx. 72%)
  • Presentations, posters, vivas (approx. 21%)
  • Exams and tests (approx. 7%)

Entry requirements

  • We will consider you as an individual and take into account all elements of your application, not just your qualifications. We are looking for breadth and depth in your current studies and enthusiasm for the subject you wish to study.

    UCAS has introduced a new tariff for courses starting from September 2017. This means the points you will be asked for are different to previous years but the grades you receive have not changed.

  • At least 96 points with 80 points from at least 2 A level passes
  • At least 96 points with Merit Merit Merit in BTEC Extended Diploma or Distinction
  • Distinction in the BTEC Diploma
  • A completed Access to Higher Education Diploma
  • Equivalent qualifications such as Irish Leaving Certificate, OCR Nationals, International Baccalaureate and CACHE Level 3 awards.
  • For more clarification about your qualifications in the new tariff see the UCAS tariff calculator

    Contact the Admissions Team for additional guidance on whether the qualifications you currently hold or are taking would be suitable for entry.

    T: +44 (0)1582 743500
    E: admission@beds.ac.uk

  • As a general guide, to apply for a place on an undergraduate course (BA/BSc) at the University you need to have completed your high school education and have the required English qualification.

    We have students from all the European Union member countries so we are quick to make decisions on most qualifications. See your country page for more details

  • Check Your Country page to confirm that your local qualifications are suitable or contact your International Admissions Team.

  • Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

Developing your employability is central to the degree both within the curriculum and in the extra-curricular activities promoted by the course team. You will undertake placements in Early Years  settings each year in a core unit where you will gain practical experience of teaching and learning in the Early Years; you will have the option of taking another work-based learning unit in levels 5 and 6.

Real-life case studies drawn from Early Years  practice are used which will allow you to make the links between your academic work and professional practice. This will help you develop your professional skills in readiness for the workplace.

Visiting speakers from a range of disciplines within the Early Years  field support your awareness of professional practice in context. The course team works closely with the Careers and Employability Service to promote relevant paid and volunteer work.

As well as providing the background needed for application to teacher training, this course offers graduates potential career options within a wide range of careers working with children such as working in a leadership capacity in private, voluntary or independent nurseries or children’s centres, social care, education welfare, charities.

This highly successful course is taught by very experienced staff, with varied direct experiences of working in the Early Years sector. The course offers you the opportunity to explore the importance of identifying and meeting children’s needs, and consider the challenges and opportunities of diverse educational contexts, looking at childhood from a range of perspectives. We’ll encourage you to use your own experiences to enhance your knowledge and develop your opportunities for employment in the future.
Quote from a lecturer

Professional placements

We value real-world experience to prepare you for life beyond university, which is why we’ve forged connections with thousands of companies locally, nationally and internationally. Through our placements, you can gain that all-important practical experience whilst you complete your course.

From volunteering, internships and placements, through to a fee free year in industry, we offer a whole host of opportunities to enhance your employability. Discover more



Go Global

Whether you want to learn a new language, build networks, simply have the travel bug, or want to develop new skills and life experiences, our Go Global programme offers the opportunity to broaden your horizons, enhance your CV, and gain a truly international experience, all at the same time as studying towards your undergraduate degree. The Go Global programme is open to students from the UK and EU.

Travel to exciting destinations, including:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • India
  • New York
  • Malaysia and Singapore

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Go Europe

Our International students meanwhile, can make the most of trips to a series of exciting European destinations. From France and Belgium, to Holland and Germany, there are plenty of places to visit, network and broaden your knowledge of the global market place, by seeing and experiencing it for yourself, first-hand.

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.



Fees and Funding

  • The full-time undergraduate tuition fee is £9,250 per year. The part-time undergraduate tuition fee is charged pro-rata to £6,160. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees. You can also apply for a maintenance loan from the Government to help cover your living costs.

    See www.gov.uk/student-finance

    The University of Bedfordshire offers a number of scholarships and bursaries to help you finance your studies.

    See www.beds.ac.uk/scholarships

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • The full-time undergraduate tuition fee is £9,250 per year. The part-time undergraduate tuition fee is charged pro-rata to £6,160. You can apply for a loan from the Government to help pay for your tuition fees.

    See www.gov.uk/student-finance

    The University of Bedfordshire offers a number of scholarships and bursaries to help you finance your studies.

    See www.beds.ac.uk/scholarships

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • The full-time tuition fee is £11,500 per year A prompt payment discount is available if you pay the full Year 1 fee before or at registration. There are also special scholarships available.

    See www.beds.ac.uk/intfees

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

Extra costs for this course

You will need to pay £40 towards a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS).

Travel costs

You also need to budget for travel costs to your teaching placement.

*The information above is for guidance only. Exact costs may vary.

Facilities

Physical Education and Sports Science Centre

Sports Hall

The sports hall is an integral space in the School of Sport Science and Physical Activity, complementing discipline leading Sport and Exercise Science and modern muscle cell and molecular biology laboratories, all co-located on the Bedford campus.

The sports hall is a major teaching facility for the University's Sport and Physical Education degree courses which have trained physical educators in the UK for over a century.

Together with its associated facilities it provides our trainee teachers and coaches with a superb environment in which to coach and teach pupils from local primary schools who are also benefiting from this new facility.

The sports hall is proud to host all Bedfordshire Bulls students' sports matches as well as national standard sporting events including British University College Sports championships – one of the few indoor sporting venues in the county to host prestigious tournaments all year round.

The facility also plays host to a number of University promoted Get into Sport activities which are open to all University students and staff.

Specialist labs

Our specialist labs give students a fantastic environment to develop their research skills and expertise, where a student can explore the genetics of an elite athlete who could be performing simultaneously within the sports hall.

Few Sport Science courses in the country offer students such unique discipline leading research experience and skills, alongside intimate access to world leading researchers within their field. Students are regularly offered the opportunity to be involved within discipline defining Sport, Health and Exercise Science research

Our state-of-the-art laboratories are purpose built for research and teaching in the fields of exercise and nutrition science. This includes specialised equipment and facilities for assessing human health risk and delivering exercise and diet interventions for health promotion.

This includes:

  • Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for assessing bone density and body fat content
  • BodPod and underwater weighing tank for body composition assessment
  • Environmental chamber that controls temperature, humidity, and oxygen levels in the air
  • Wet lab for assessing metabolic and hormone markers in blood

Our £8m Physical Education and Sport Science Centre was used to train athletes in the 2012 Olympics.

Theatre and dance studio facilities

  • 280 seat theatre
  • 80 studio theatre
  • Four fully-sprung dance studios
  • Dance studios equipped with ballet bars, mirrors, audio playback, internet and projection
  • Large dressing rooms with en suite showers
  • A scenery workshop reserved solely for student productions
  • Large 6m by 12m white Cyclorama screen for projection and lighting
  • State of the art HD projectors
  • Full backstage comms system with audio and video relay
  • Extensive lantern stock including Led fixtures, strobes and moving lights
  • State-of-the-art, industry-standard lighting and sound consoles
  • Built in media desk and roll-down screen

Gateway Building

Opened in January 2015 the Gateway is an impressive building featuring high-quality teaching spaces, informal learning spaces, and lecture theatres (including a Harvard style lecture theatre); as well as a new student services centre.

Campus Centre

Campus Centre featuring a 280-seat professional theatre, dance studios, a fairtrade café and social space for students.

Accommodation at Bedford

For on-campus student accommodation choose from luxury living at Liberty Park's modern en-suite study bedrooms or the Student Village which offers standard rooms with shared bathroom facilities, and en-suite rooms with a private shower. All have fully-equipped kitchens. Our rooms are on-campus and have easy access to the town centre and train station.

Subjects studied at Bedford campus

  • Primary Education
  • Secondary and Post-Compulsory Education
  • Education Studies
  • Physical Education and Sport Studies
  • Sport and Exercise Sciences
  • Tourism and Leisure
  • Accounting and Business Management
  • Performing Arts and Dance
  • Social Work

Bedford town location

The Bedford campus is a 20-minute walk from the town centre. The University offers a free bus service for staff and students that runs between Bedford town centre and the campus.

Directions to Bedford campus

Bedford offers excellent transport links to the rest of the UK as it sits between the M1 and the A1. The town connects by train to Luton (20 minutes) and London (40 minutes).

How to Apply

  • Application for most full-time undergraduate and foundation courses is via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

    We expect to receive UCAS applications between 1 September and 15 January for courses starting in the following academic year, but may consider applications received after this date should places be available.

    Please contact admission@beds.ac.uk for further details.

    All UK schools and colleges are registered with UCAS to manage their students' applications. Advice on how to submit your UCAS application is available from your school or college.

    If you are not at school or college (including mature students) you should apply independently via UCAS

  • EU students applying for a full-time undergraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply via UCAS or direct using our admissions form

  • International students applying for a full-time undergraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form or via our representatives in your home country

    You can also apply online

    Find out more about how to apply

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Early Childhood Education - BA (Hons)

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