Are you passionate about providing children with the very best start in life? Our Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons) course seamlessly combines theory with practical experience, so that you can achieve your career goals and make a positive impact on young children’s lives.
The well-being of babies and young children is at the heart of this course, which will prepare you to become a confident and competent advocate for children from birth to 5 years. Studying at our brand new £41 million City South Campus, you will have access to state-of-the-art facilities to enhance your understanding and knowledge.
You will gain a complete understanding of young children’s needs, how they learn, develop and grow and how their early experiences are so fundamentally important. You will also explore wider concepts to support your understanding such as social justice, social mobility and social responsibility.
As you progress through the course, you will develop your personal and professional skills so that in your future career you will be influential in developing practice, provision and policy, as well as resilient and self-assured.
This course will present many rewarding opportunities for you to explore once you have graduated in many different institutions, such as schools, nurseries and charities. Our staff are dedicated to preparing you for the world of work and will help you to decide which role you want to pursue after graduating.
There will be opportunities for you to work, and learn, alongside a variety of professionals delivering services that support the wellbeing, development and learning needs of babies and young children, with this in mind we have placement opportunities throughout the programme.
“I was surprised how interactive seminars are. Before I came to University, I thought every day would be lectures, but with Early Childhood Studies, most of our learning is through seminars. This is a great way to share ideas, challenge yourself and make friends with people on your course.”
Our next Open Day for this course will take place in Autumn 2018. Register your interest and we'll let you know details as soon as they are available.
To welcome all new home and EU undergraduate degree students starting in 2018 or 2019, we're giving at least £150 worth of credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials. Even better, it doesn’t have to be repaid. Terms and conditions apply.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
A minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (formerly Grade C), at the point of enrolment. These must include English language and mathematics.
If you do not already have the required GCSEs, (or their equivalent) for entry onto this course, and are not registered to take them, visit Equivalency Testing for further information.
Acceptable Mathematics GCSE Equivalents
96 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2019/20|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||96 UCAS tariff points = CCC|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass with minimum 18 Merits/Distinctions at Level 3, also including GCSE English Language and Maths equivalence if not hold separately.|
|BTEC Diploma (12-units) / Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma||DD|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) / Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma||MMM|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units)||Accepted in combination with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 96 UCAS tariff points.|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||24 points overall|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||Minimum 96 UCAS tariff points|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||Minimum 96 UCAS tariff points|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||Accepted in combination with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 96 UCAS points.|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Please note we will make offers on the following qualifications:
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2018/19|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||24 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
Please note: successful candidates will be required to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance via the Faculty.
Topping up to a full Honours Degree
If you would like to 'top up' an existing Level 5 qualification we would welcome your application into our Level 6 programme. You'll usually need a Foundation Degree or HND in Early Childhood Studies or similar. We require an average mark of 60 per cent or Distinction/Merit profile for entry at Level 6, as well as Level 2 qualifications in English and mathematics.
We will also consider applicants at Level 5 entry with a lower grade average, or with a Level 4 qualification such as a Certificate in Higher Education in an appropriate subject (for example Childhood Studies, Early Years Education, Children and Families).
Applications at Level 5 or 6 are via UCAS, please ensure you indicate you are applying for entry at Yr 2 or 3.
Those intending to apply for the PGCE Early Years or Primary course in the future as a route into teaching will need to have GCSE at grade C or above (or equivalent) in English language, mathematics and a science subject.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2019||FT||3 years||
|Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2019||FT||3 years||
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.
The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.
Included in your course fees are a range of specialist/visiting speakers and all mandatory field trips.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Working as a Professional
You will explore potential careers and the necessary skills, values and attributes to be a successful professional within a range of children’s services. Within this context, you will reflect on your existing skills and identify those needed to be a successful student of Higher Education as part of your journey to professional employment.
This module encourages you to become confident and reflective practitioners and to recognise the significance of how children develop as a vital part of understanding early childhood. This module will also support you to develop your understanding of domains of development, by this we means children’s physical, cognitive, personal and social development.
Children and Childhood
This module will support you in establishing your own philosophy of early childhood by examining what society thinks about children and childhood. Having identified what you believe we will examine what society believes and how this may have changed over time. You will have the opportunity to make some field trips to museums and /or art galleries to see how childhood has been represented over time.
Observing and Assessing Babies and Young Children
This module encourages you to become confident and reflective practitioners and to recognise the value of observation and assessment in the context of childhood. Through placement opportunities you will examine how observation can be used to document the child’s learning journey and support planning for future development.
Working with Parents and Children (Optional)
This module encourages you to become confident and reflective practitioners and to recognise the value of working with families and children within an early years context. It is designed to provide you with an understanding of key government policy relating to children and families, strategies for, and challenges of, working in partnership with parents and families, as well as developing an awareness of organisations that support them.
Enabling Places (Optional)
This module will help you to develop knowledge and understanding of the impact of enabling environments on children’s learning and well-being making use of relevant policy, theoretical perspectives and research findings. You will explore, evaluate and analyse outdoor learning spaces, approaches to play, organisation and resources for play experiences and consider the role of the adult.
Celebrating Diversity (Optional)
This module explores the terms Diversity and Inclusion. It will examine our human rights and investigate whether these are universal. It will look at the rights movements in Britain and America and look at how these movements have influenced early childhood thinking. Definitions of social justice will be offered along with various views of how social justice could be achieved.
Reflecting on Play Learning and Pedagogy
The module is designed to support and extend your professional reflection so that you are able to articulate you own philosophy of learning in early childhood and promote the inclusion of play provision in all settings. Successful completion of this module and the linked placement will enable you to meet the criteria for Early Years Educator (EYE).
Safeguarding and Child Protection
You will explore safeguarding and child protection including the necessary skills, values and attributes to be a successful professional working with a range of children’s services. Building on your previous learning you will examine how to protect vulnerable children and young people from harm.
Research as a Driver for Policy, Practice and Provision
This module aims to provide you with an understanding of key research terms, potential challenges and processes involved in conducting a piece of research, as well as the skills needed to design a study. You will explore and examine current pieces of research relevant to children’s services and consider the connections between research, policy, practice and provision.
The Healthy Child
This module will support you to become knowledgeable and reflective practitioners on issues around children’s health at both national and international level. It includes principles and practices of effective health promotion for children from birth to five. By drawing on national and international research and development on the factors that contribute to the health and well- being of children.
Children’s Voice (Optional)
In this optional module, you will explore children’s voice and rights and the necessary skills, values and attributes to be a successful professional with a range of children’s services. Using this as the context you will reflect on and identify aspects of children’s rights and the value of their voice, as an individual and within an early years setting.
Looked After Children (Optional)
You will be supported in this optional module to become confident and reflective practitioners and to recognise the issues affecting the development of looked after children and the ways in which barriers to inclusion might be removed or minimised for this vulnerable group and outcomes improved.
Exploration, Creativity and the Child (Optional)
This optional module encourages you to examine you own personal perspectives regarding the definition of creativity and the role of the professional in fostering curiosity, imagination and creative experiences for the young child. You will explore aspects of creativity in Early Years settings and reflect on practice, previous and potential.
Researching Professional Practice in Early Childhood
You will be enabled and supported, as a member of the early childhood research community, to conduct a piece of small scale individual research attending to key ethical principles. This module encourages you to engage in independent as well as collaborative critical analysis of contemporary issues and debates in early childhood research, policy and practice.
This module will respond to contemporary perspectives and issues affecting children, young people, families and communities. A strong commitment to inclusive values will be reinforced and will empower you to address issues of equality, disadvantage, diversity and social justice to optimise the life chances of children, young people and their families.
Leadership and Management
This module encourages you to become confident in your leadership and management knowledge, enabling you to review, consolidate, extend and apply this within an early years context, at a graduate level. It will provide you with an understanding of key leadership and management strategies within early year’s settings and teams all of which will support your employability.
Personal Development Planning
As you prepare to finish your programme this module will enable you to practice and develop key skills necessary as you seek employment or post graduate study. You will have the opportunity to identify, reflect on and develop a range of effective professional skills, practicing them through work based real life projects such as applying for jobs, interviewing, recruitment and selection processes
International curricula (Optional)
You will examine the background to current provision for early childhood education and care across the UK and internationally in order to provide a context for early years education. You will examine international perspectives alongside different curricula approaches and make comparisons between these and UK policy, practice and provision.
Global and Future Childhoods (Optional)
This module will encourage you to look beyond the familiar constructs of ‘childhood’ that you may have already encountered, supporting you to confidently examine the past and present contexts, challenges and possibilities of global and future childhoods. As final year students the emphasis will be on debate, questioning and shared exploration of key issues.
Politics of Inclusion (Optional)
This module will engage you in an exploration of issues of inclusion for children and families in diverse social and educational contexts from both the UK and international perspectives. It supports you in engaging with differing perspectives on equality, participation and inclusion, and in developing your own perspectives.
On the BA Hons Early Childhood Studies programme you will experience a wide variety of learning and teaching approaches that are designed to develop your confidence, knowledge and skills as you progress through the programme. We will support you as you make the transition to university through carefully planned induction processes. This will include social and group work activities, confidence building activities and a scaffolded approach so you can understand the thinking behind how your modules and assessments are planned. Managing your transition to Higher Education is more than just a week of activities so we have generated a core module that goes through the whole of the first year to support your developing personal, professional and academic skills.
Some modules are shared with students on other programmes in the department. For example when thinking about safeguarding and child protection there are common themes and common professional skills required, regardless of the age range you are focussing on. This is one modules that would be shared with students studying Working with Children, Young People and Families. We believe that whilst it is good to have a focus on your particular field of study, sometimes your learning experience can be enhanced by working with others who are exploring different, but similar contexts. For this reason there are 40 credits of shared modules between your BA Hons Early Childhood Studies and the BA Hons Working with Children, Young People and Families in each year.
Placement is an integral part of the programme, there will be chances in your first year to explore and find out information about a range of Early Childhood settings and to visit and shadow professionals working there – this is so you can not only develop professional skills but can also find out about the wide range of professional careers open to you within the field. It also about developing transferable skills so that after you have completed your degree you already have a strong CV that makes you really employable. These experiences are an integral part of the module ‘Working as a Professional’. Later in the first year you will have a block period of time in an Early Childhood setting so you can develop your observation skills and experience how an early years curriculum is planned, delivered and assessed. In the second year of the programme you will again have a period of placement to build on your previous skills about how babies and young children develop and learn.
We link into our Graduate+ scheme throughout the programme; you will be able to get credit from positive placement outcomes that will contribute to the Graduate+ award scheme. Some modules relate specifically to placement and in order to complete the assignments set you will need to take a proactive approach to placements and actively engage with the work based learning aspect of the programme. This will be the case for ‘Observing and Assessing Babies and Young Children’, completed in your first year. Actively engaging with placement and successful completion of a second year module ‘Reflecting on Play, Learning and Pedagogy’ will also help you to meet the criteria for Early Years Educator. This is the level 3 qualification that means you can be employed in an Early Years Setting as a qualified member of staff.
In the third year there is no scheduled placement, although depending on the topic you choose to examine as part of ‘Researching Professional Practice in Early Childhood’, you may choose to conduct your enquiry in an early years setting.
As well as learning through practice a variety of approaches to teaching are used. These include:
You will be expected to have between 12 to 14 hours of taught sessions across the week (Monday to Friday).
We aim to plan for visits to settings and services to support your learning and development. These vary from year to year but may include museum and art galleries, nurseries and early years settings.
|38||Scheduled Learning and Teaching||MidnightBlue|
|51||Guided independent study||RoyalBlue|
|11||Time on placement||LightSkyBlue|
Mary Turner explains to us why chose to study at Birmingham City University, and how studying Early Childhood studies gave her the confidence to succeed in a career in childcare.
I had studied BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education Studies at Birmingham City University prior to doing my PGCE so knew I was in good hands.
The course has contributed hugely to me fulfilling my ambitions to become a teacher. The assessment strategies used were most appropriate for me personally as the course was assessed through both lecture and experience based work.
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
There are a range of post graduate programmes available across the school, faculty and university. Our graduates often go on to study education, social work and health courses at post graduate level.
I plan to take PGCE
I spent my first placement in a children’s playgroup and nursery, a setting I had not experienced before. I found this so beneficial to my understanding of the course and it was also a practical tool to relating, and putting into practice, the skills we had learned. Birmingham itself is a multicultural city with people from a range of social and economic backgrounds, which I find is extremely beneficial to my learning as I am able to experience different school settings and aid the learning of children from different backgrounds.
Successful completion of the programme, including the level 5 module ‘Reflecting on Play, Learning and Pedagogy’ and the linked placement, will enable you to meet the criteria for Early Years Educator (EYE). The Programme as a whole is matched to QAA Benchmarks Statements for Early Childhood Studies, this together with the required GCSE in English and Maths (already a requirement for entry the programme) meets the criteria for Early Years Educator as determined by DfE.
A BCU Graduate is professional and work-ready, a creative problem solver, enterprising and has a global outlook. This expectation is realised through the BA Hons Working with Children, Young People and Families programme which provides you with the skills and knowledge to meet the needs of vulnerable children, young people and their families. Transferrable skills are considered very highly throughout the programme should you decide not to work directly with children and young people in the future. We have embraced the Gradate+ scheme and there are opportunities throughout the programme for you to receive credit for developing your employability skills. We have a commitment to learning for life and actively encourage you to develop your own research skills and to pursue your learning journey by building on your first degree to Masters level and beyond. From induction through to your final module your tutor team will support you in exploring career pathways linked to vulnerable children, young people and their families. Working closely with local services will enable you to network and find out what it is like to work in the field.
Adam Nickels talks about the variety of roles he could go into with the modules on offer on the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies course.
Claire Fitzgerald secured a job at Busy Bees Training Academy which delivers bespoke training to early years staff.
Placement is an integral part of the programme, there will be chances in your first year to explore and find out information about a range of Early Childhood settings and to visit and shadow professionals working there – this is so you can not only develop professional skills but can also find out about the wide range of professional careers open to you within the field. These experiences are an integral part of the module ‘Working as a Professional’. Later in the first year you will have a block period of time in an Early Childhood setting so you can develop your observation skills and experience how an early years curriculum is planned, delivered and assessed, This will be part of the module ‘Observing and Assessing Babies and Young Children’.
Actively engaging with placement and successful completion of a second year module ‘Reflecting on Play, Learning and Pedagogy’ will also help you to meet the criteria for Early Years Educator. This is the level 3 qualification that means you can be employed in an Early Years Setting as a qualified member of staff.
In the third year there is no scheduled placement, although depending on the topic you choose to examine as part of ‘Researching Professional Practice in Early Childhood’, you may choose to conduct your enquiry in an early years setting.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Many of our students go on to study postgraduate courses, often staying with us for another year. Those that don’t move onto leadership and management roles within the Early Childhood sector, often after short period developing their practical skills. As graduates with a range of transferable skills others move in to areas such as human resources, project management and community based projects.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
Our students come from around the world but our early childhood course is most popular with international students from:
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
As part of these plans, the University's Education provision will join the rest of the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences at our City South Campus in Edgbaston during 2018.
This is the third phase of the University's project to move all teaching and learning to two campuses, City Centre and City South. By moving our Education provision, we are creating a hub for the provision of public service contracts and professional development at City South Campus and improving the student experience with a stronger sense of community and more consistent support services and facilities.
In addition to classrooms, a lecture theatre, social learning spaces, an open access IT suite and cafe facilities, the new £41 million extension to our City South Campus offers a range of specialist teaching and learning facilities for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.
All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.
Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to.
The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.
The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:
Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.
The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.
Having spent 10 years teaching in a variety of primary and infant schools in Birmingham, Rosemarie had the opportunity to develop a service within the local authority of a team of early years specialist whose role was to support and develop early years practice and provision across the maintained and non-maintained sector.
This move into an advisory role, training and development combined interests in adult learners and a passion and commitment to high quality effective early years provision. Moving to Higher Education seemed a natural progress and she spent some time teaching and developing Early Childhood courses at Newman University College before joining Birmingham City University in 2008.
The rights of children and the need to work in partnership with parents remain a core value in Rosemarie's teaching and research interests, which is reflected in her current studies and recent evaluation projects for local authorities.