Early Childhood Studies with Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

UCAS Code:
X32F
Attendance:
Full Time (4 years)
Starting:
September 2019
Campus:

Are you passionate about providing children with the very best start in life? Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with a Foundation Year 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.

Tailor your Children, Childhood and Education Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the Birmingham City School of Education and Social Work. These include:

  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) Education Studies
  • BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS
  • BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in either Children, Childhood and Education, your first year will be spent learning a wide range of broad subject areas which then open up opportunities for you to specialise further in your next year –  which would be the first year of a full degree programme. 

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses and not just one particular BSc or BA degree. 

So although you are studying a BA or BSc in a specific course –BA Early Childhood Studies – the foundation year sets you up for a number of other possible degrees starting the following year. It may be that you don’t end up doing a degree in precisely the same subject as your foundation year.

This flexibility is one of the great things about the foundation year category - Childhood, Children and Education, allowing you to find out more about your interests and talents before focusing on a three year degree. The foundation year also helps us at BCU to make sure we help to match you to the degree that fits you best.

Please note: entry requirements for degree course

Upon completion of your Foundation Year, if your chosen course is regulated by a professional body such as the National College for Teaching and Leadership, you will be required to successfully complete the University’s selection process for the specific programme which will include an interview in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. Entry onto year one of the degree programme will also be subject to a satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health Assessment. 

What's covered in the course?

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.

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.

Why Choose Us?

  • Strong commitment to social justice 
  • High employability rate 
  • Located in the heart of Birmingham
  • Study in our brand new £41 million City South Campus 
  • Experienced staff 
  • Accreditation is available for Early Years Educators 
  • Enjoy a diverse and flexible learning environment

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

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.

Register your interest
This course is not open to International students

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Solihull Inclusion Service
  • Family Action
  • Action for Children- Children Centre

And in jobs such as:

  • Children Centre Leaders
  • Early Years Practitioner
  • Parent Partnership Workers

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Entry Requirements
Essential

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.

72 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
GCE A Level/ AS Level 72 UCAS tariff points = DDD
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with minimum 18 credits with Merits or distinctions, also including GCSE English Language and Maths equivalence if not hold separately.
BTEC Diploma (12-units) DM in a relevant subject
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) MMP in a relevant subject
International Baccalaureate Diploma 24 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate Minimum 72 UCAS tariff points
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Minimum 72 UCAS tariff points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Accepted in combination with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 72 UCAS points.
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Please note: Upon completion of your foundation year, you will be required to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance via the Faculty in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. 

Worried about results?

Worried about your results?
Explore your options with Clearing

If you're worried about your exam results, changed your mind about your course choices or haven't applied yet - Clearing is a great time to explore your options. We explain what Clearing is and how it works.

Advice about Clearing 2018

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BA (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 4 years
TBC
Apply via UCAS

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

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.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

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.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Additional costs

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.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

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.

Year One

Academic Skills for Success
Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
Interpersonal Skills and Professional Behaviours
Negotiated Study
Birmingham’s Children and Society
Policy and Politics

Year Two

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.

Child Development

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.

Year Three

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.

Year Four

Contemporary Perspectives

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. 

You have the flexibility to transfer to any standard undergraduate programme from the School of Education and Social Work (Exc Social Work) upon successfully completing your Foundation Year including:

  • BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS
  • BA (Hons) Education Studies
  • BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families

Course structure

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:

  • Workshops
  • Virtual Learning Environment - Shareville
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group projects
  • Guest speakers –often professionals
  • Visits to settings and services
  • Field work – visits to art galleries and museums

Number of hours spent in the classroom per week

You will be expected to have between 12 to 14 hours of taught sessions across the week (Monday to Friday). 

Trips and Visits 

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.

Further study

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.

Enhancing employability skills 

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.

Placements

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.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Graduate jobs

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.

Our Facilities

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.

Campus

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.  

Departments

All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

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.

Mary Seacole Library

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.

Computer Facilities

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:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

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.

Rosemarie Lowe

Programme Director Early Childhood Studies

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.