The Early Childhood Team at the University of Warwick are delighted to offer a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood, to support you to extend the numerous skills and qualities obtained in your Foundation Degree and to then thrive at Level 6. During this time, you will be nurtured by fantastic tutors with a range of expertise in Early Childhood. You will engage with 3 key modules (see details below), that are designed in a way that provides you with plenty of tailored and individualised tutor support. We view the BA year very much as a celebration of you and your commitment to studying Early Childhood.
We are accredited Graduate Practitioner Competencies* by Early Childhood Study Degree Network from September 2022. Upon graduating with this BA degree, you will gain what the Department of Education terms as a 'Full and Relevant' level 3 practitioner certificate that will enable you to be counted in ratios in the Early Years sector.
The course offers you an opportunity to gain a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood in just over a year, from the summer term in the first academic year to the end of the summer term the following academic year. You will be able to study for the award while you work, part or full-time.
During this time, you will be given the exciting opportunity to undertake an investigation into a topic relating to early childhood that you are passionate about, ultimately enabling you to make informed recommendations for future policy, research and practice. You are encouraged to draw on your own personal experience and make links between your study at university, your personal experience and your professional practice in the field of early childhood. You will also explore a range of international perspectives on early childhood, which you can apply to your own research area.
You have the option to specialise in a particular area to gain a named award, i.e. a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Teaching, Learning and Assessment, Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability, or Leadership (see the Awards and Certificate section on this page).
Hear from our students about how they find the course, and their experience of learning during the pandemic in the video below:
This video is filmed in 2021 on Teams.
Once you have successfully completed your Foundation Degree in Early Childhood, either with us at University of Warwick or with another institution, you can progress onto this BA (Hons).
The programme is for people working in private or public contexts with responsibility for young children and families, including
- Early years practitioners in childminder, private, voluntary and independent settings
- Teaching and learning support assistants, classroom assistants and early years educators working in schools and other educational settings
- Health workers, parents and grandparents involved in supporting children's learning, welfare and development
It is for students progressing from the Foundation Degree in Early Childhood with us at University of Warwick, as well as applicants who have achieved a Foundation Degree in Early Childhood at other Institutions.
You will study the following modules:
Research methodologies in early childhood (30 credits)
This module is a significant stepping stone in your research journey with us. Drawing upon your own wisdom and passions relating to early childhood practice, you are supported to identify a suitable research question and to develop your methodology, some of the key components to designing research within this context. Additionally, ethical principles are a central part of this module and of our work with young children, and you are given the opportunity to explore different ethical dilemmas relating to research with young children, which supports you to begin the dissertation stage of your degree, with a particular focus on methodologies and ethical considerations.
Early childhood in a global context (30 credits)
This module aims to examine traditional and contemporary views of childhood across cultures and societies by exploring how factors, such as socio-culture, gender and actions towards social, environmental and economic sustainability, influence early childhood care, curricula and pedagogy. We will be analysing similarities and differences in Early Childhood policy and practice between England and other nation states, considering concepts such as play, inclusion, staffing and the environment, and how these are viewed and prioritised within different international contexts.
Early childhood investigation (60 credits)
This module presents you with an exciting opportunity to undertake an extensive investigation into a clearly defined early childhood topic that you are passionate about. Building upon your project proposal, you will demonstrate a developed understanding of ethics to enable you to conduct your own empirical investigation in order to make recommendations for future early childhood practice (your own and workplace setting), policy and future research. It is at this point that you can work towards a named award which aligns and significantly develops your understanding of one module undertaken in year 3. Within this module, you are assigned your own Dissertation Supervisor, drawn from the Early Childhood Team, who will provide one-to-one support as you progress with your research.
Each module on the top-up degree takes account of key social and political developments, and is also inspired and led by early childhood research, ongoing feedback from our students, employers as well as external examiners. Particular content of modules may, therefore, occasionally be subject to change, in the interests of ensuring that contemporary contexts are reflected, and best practice continues to be drawn upon.
You have the option to specialise in a particular area to gain a named award, including a BA (Hons) in:
- Early Childhood Teaching, Learning and Assessment,
- Early Childhood Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability,
- Early Childhood Leadership, or
- Early Childhood
This degree is accredited Graduate Practitioner Competencies* by Early Childhood Study Degree Network from September 2022. Upon graduating with BA Hons in Early Childhood, you gain a full level 3 practitioner certificate that will help you progress in the Early Years sector. Having gathered an evidence portfolio based on your vocational practice, you will be qualified under the DfE to work with children in a variety of roles.
Read on to find out more about Graduate Practitioner Competencies, or visit ECSDN’s webpage.
*The Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies aim to:
- Remove the confusion in the sector about how ECS Degrees are aligned to practice requirements in the four nations of the UK.
- Address the inherent challenges of different types of Early Childhood degrees and study pathways, enabling the wider workforce to be clear about individual early career graduates’ expected level of knowledge, skills and actual experience in practice.
- Acknowledge the different pathways that lead learners to undertake the degrees, enhance their practice experience and enhance employability skills.
- Ensure that Higher Education academic routes are responsive to the changing needs and training routes in early years practice, education and the wider Children’s Services workforce.
- Make a significant contribution to strengthening a graduate-led Early Childhood workforce that is responsive to workforce needs and improves outcomes for children.
- Afford students with placement opportunities to critically apply theory to practice in a range of Early Childhood settings and/or schools, social care and health settings. This will enable students to develop graduate skills in the application of the inter-disciplinary Early Childhood knowledge base to reflective practice.
- Provide new opportunities for graduates who want to strengthen their practice in Early Childhood and/or progress to post-graduate academic programmes or professional training, including Early Years Teacher (0-5), Teacher (3-11), Social Work and health professions.
Full and Relevant Criteria in England
The Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network agree that a graduate can be counted as ‘Full and Relevant’ in Early Years settings in England if:
- They had an Early Years Educator, or equivalent Level 3 qualification before joining the degree.
Or their ECS degree is:
- mapped on to the ECS QAA benchmark statement – which it is with Warwick CLL.
- Includes placements with:
- academic assessment
- practice which is observed, assessed and developed by setting mentors
- one visit per placement by HEI staff to observe, assess and develop practice.
Note: It is the responsibility of the HEI to ensure that students have relevant assessed and observed practice that meets the Level 3 requirements. They cannot be counted as ‘Full and Relevant’ if they do not meet the criteria above. They need to undertake a relevant level 3 qualification.
Career benefits of attending this course include:
- Achieve a University of Warwick degree
- Gain knowledge and understanding of early childhood
- Build self-confidence as a scholar and professional
- Have the opportunity to apply to teacher training programmes
- Students are guaranteed an interview for the Early Years or Primary Core (university-led) PGCE courses delivered in the Centre for Teacher Education as long as they achieve the entry requirements of the programme.
- Our Early Childhood students who wish to progress into teaching are supported by the Centre for Lifelong Learning and the University.
- This degree is accredited Graduate Practitioner Competencies* by Early Childhood Study Degree Network from September 2022. Upon graduating with BA Hons in Early Childhood, you gain a full level 3 practitioner certificate that will help you progress in the Early Years sector. Having gathered an evidence portfolio based on your vocational practice, you will be qualified under the DfE to work with children in a variety of roles. Please see the Awards and Certificate section on this page for more information.
Opportunities to progress in your career during and beyond the course, with your study with us opening up a number of avenues for future career development in areas such as:
- Education: teaching, educational leadership and management, allied services relating to Inclusion and SEN, safeguarding
- Health: Children’s mental health, speech and language therapy, play therapy
- Social justice and community engagement: Family support worker, social work
- Academia: early childhood education and care research, publication
- Arts and culture: children’s author, storyteller
- Further studies in Early Childhood at postgraduate level
Applications for 2022/23 are currently closed.
Hear from Rachel Striniso, Assistant Professor in Early Childhood, about the application process.
This video is filmed in 2019.
- Tuition fees for Home/EU Students in 2022/23 are as follows:
£6,160 (120 credits)
- Currently, the University of Warwick is not sponsoring students on part-time or distance learning courses with a Tier 4 visa, and so if you require a visa to study a part-time or distance learning course in the UK which is longer than 6 months' duration, you may wish to consult the 'right to study' page on our Student Immigration & Compliance website before you make an application.
For 2022/23 sessions will take place on one evening a week. These dates are to be confirmed.
Applications currently closed
Length: One year part-time - October 2022-July 2023
Venue: The University of Warwick
"Warwick has an amazing body of staff who are always ready and willing to answer any questions you might have. From day one of the induction evening, expectations were clearly set out and we were signposted to any resources we might need and although the campus was a little intimidating at first, I think we all soon began to feel confident in our surroundings."Faye, 2020 graduate