Two early years pupils playing at a table

Gain your full BA Honours degree with this flexible and accommodating top-up course

1 years full-time or 2 years part-time
Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)

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Saturday 1 July  |  Sunday 8 October  |  Saturday 28 October  |  Saturday 18 November

Saturday 1 July

Sunday 8 October

Saturday 28 October

Saturday 18 November

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Conclude your journey towards a full BA degree in Early Childhood Studies

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (level 6 top up) is a one-year full-time or two-year part-time course.

This course provides a progression for those who wish to ‘top up’ their Early Years Foundation Degree or equivalent foundation qualification to a full BA Honours degree.

It is delivered one day a week making sure it’s flexible to accommodate your other commitments.

The range of modules enables you to explore key aspects of childhood from the psychological and sociological, to the global and cultural, to the economic and educational.

You will develop problem-solving, critical analysis and independent thinking skills as well as gaining knowledge of areas which are of particular interest.

On this course you will

  • Investigate, understand and analyse the fast-changing landscape of working with young children.
  • Gain your full BA degree in Early Childhood Studies.
  • Provide a firm foundation for a career within educational settings.

The Course

Explore key psychological and sociological aspects of childhood

You will explore fundamental aspects of childhood development and the factors that affect it. Our range of modules allow you to examine the effects of global economic cultural factors on child development.

You will develop problem-solving, critical analysis and independent thinking skills as well as gaining knowledge of areas which are of particular interest.

Graduate Practitioner Competencies

If you already have a ‘full and relevant’ level 3 qualification and Level 2 qualifications in Maths and English, you may be eligible to apply for Graduate Practitioner Competencies. These provide an opportunity to strengthen and enhance practice, skills and knowledge.

For further information please contact Sandra Lyndon (

If ‘full and relevant’ status (level 3) is not already held, there is an opportunity to gain this via our Foundation Degree in Early Years.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Children’s Literature & the Media

This module uses children’s stories and the media to explore current and past constructs of childhood. Specific examples of these media are used to consider the wider social, cultural and educational issues that surround their production and consumption.

Criminology & Childhood

This module aims to explore aspects of criminal law and offending in relation to childhood.

Case studies will be used to illustrate how criminal law and childhood is given particular significance, including use of media coverage.

Graduate Practitioner Placement

This practical placement module builds on theory from taught modules in the programme and placements at both Levels 4 and 5. It gives you opportunities in relevant settings to achieve the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competences. You will complete 25 days in a placement setting and workshop sessions in the university.

Independent Project

The independent project is designed to engage you in a longer-term and analytical piece of research on a topic relevant to Early Childhood Studies. The module includes a focus on the research process. This includes guidance on research design, writing a literature review, application of methodological approach and method(s) used, ethical issues, data collection and analysis.

Leading Professional Practice

This module aims to introduce you to the key factors that affect strategies for leading and managing in Early Years provision. You will develop knowledge and understanding of how to improve practice through working alongside staff, children, families and other professionals.

Learning, Teaching & Caring in Adventure Education

This module enables you to gain experience in innovative and adventurous environments in which children can develop, learn and play such as Forest School and Beach School. You will examine the theoretical, psychological, physical and social processes and benefits for children and early years professionals and teachers that come with activities away from conventional environments.

The Digital Child

The module introduces you to the digital experiences of childhood, and the effects of technology on children in a fast-changing world, as you assess the benefits and drawbacks from social, emotional, and behavioural perspectives.

The module examines access to the online world, and policy and parental attempts to control children’s digital consumption.

Therapeutic Play

This module aims to explore and critically analyse the centrality of play in enabling children to make sense of the world around them and their place within that world, especially when experiencing trauma.

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of our staff as you gain confidence in your abilities


You will learn from expert practitioners and accomplished academics with a wide range of experience within the field of Early Childhood Studies.

We bring new research together with established theory into the classroom through a mix of direct teaching, seminars, and activity-based learning.

Within your learning sessions, you will be challenged to go further and be encouraged to be proactive, responsive and responsible for your own learning and ideas outside of the classroom.

Our focus on group discussion and the consideration of the thoughts of others allow you to develop your own ideas.


It is important that our assessments are designed to meet the various learning needs of students.

We offer a variety of assessment methods that include presentations, assignments, exams, academic posters and placement portfolios.

We also encourage our students to publish their work. Past students have had articles accepted in sector publications such as Early Years Educator.


Discover facilities that help support your learning experience



BA (Hons) Early Childhood Level 6 top-Up graduate
"I had always worked with children but learning about the theories behind why we do certain things is fascinating. Such as attachment theory. The course has helped me to see different perspectives and appreciate that there are so many different ways of working with children and families. The lecturers made the topics really interesting and clearly had lots of experience surrounding the subjects."


BA (Hons) Early Childhood Level 6 top-Up graduate
"The course helped me to develop and expand my knowledge of child development, as well as improving my professional practice. It has also helped me to achieve my aim of training to become a primary school teacher."


BA (Hons) Early Childhood Level 6 top-Up graduate
"I left school at 15 without qualifications. At age 47 I achieved a First Class BA (Hons) in Early Childhood! The last three years have been the most challenging but rewarding of my life, my knowledge and understanding of childhood has been expanded beyond the boundaries of my own beliefs. The tutors were astounding, provocative and supportive, empowering and enlightening and empathetic. They ignited a flame within me that will not be doused!"


Develop your career opportunities within early years professions

With this degree, you can pursue a career as an Early Years Practitioner.

You’ll foster and develop the abilities, social skills and understanding of children aged three to five, focusing on optimum child development and preparation for a successful transition to primary school education.

Possible career paths include:

  • Early Years management
  • Teaching
  • Health and social care
  • Policy-making
  • Nursery management
  • Hospital support
  • Outreach worker with family centres
  • Community development

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

Course Costs

Course fees 2023/24

UK fee
International fee

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Course specific costs

You will be required to have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check costing £40 which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

Entry Requirements

120 at Level 4 and 120 at Level 5 in a related subject, such as Early Childhood. International equivalents also accepted.
Early Years
Foundation Degree
or Teaching and Learning Support.

Professional experience of working and/or volunteering in an early years setting, such as, nursery, day care, childminding, school (Year R or Key Stage 1), children’s centre or other.

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