A group of four early years children stood in the classroom resources library

Learn to work with early years children and their families

3 years full-time
Bishop Otter Campus


Begin your journey towards becoming a skilled Early Years practitioner

Do you know that you want to work with children but haven’t yet decided what area of Early Years to go into?

This degree will give you the chance to experience all areas of Early Childhood Studies to give a better foundation for choosing which career path you wish to take.

Develop your knowledge and skills

Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies course offers an exciting range of modules, designed to increase your understanding of children and to develop your practice skills and knowledge.

Study areas include:

  • Child development
  • Children's behaviour
  • Safeguarding
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability

Practical placement options

With a minimum of two practice placements, you will be able to make critical links between theory and practice, building your confidence as an early year’s practitioner.

We believe it is invaluable to link theory that you learn on the degree, with practice. Alongside the placement opportunities on this course, we’ve introduced an optional qualification element to this course to enhance your employability prospects.

Gain your Graduate Practitioner Competencies

In the final year, this course offers you the option to complete a third practice placement in order to gain your Graduate Practitioner Competencies, enhancing employment opportunities within the early year’s sector.

If you follow the Graduate Practitioner pathway in your final year, you will graduate with both a practical and an academic qualification at Level 6. Many of our students also choose to specialise further in a career pathway such as teaching or social work.

Recognised qualification

Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies degree is a recognised qualification by the Department of Education.

This means you will gain a ‘full and relevant’ qualification, which is important should you wish to work in an early years setting and be included in an employer’s staff to child ratio.

Routes for all

We also offer an Integrated Foundation Year option for those looking to develop their academic confidence and skills before beginning a full degree.

In addition, we offer a Level 6 Top-Up option for those who already have a relevant foundation degree and are looking to complete a full BA (Hons) qualification.

On this course you will:

  • Investigate, understand and analyse the fast-changing landscape of working with young children.
  • Pursue specialisms that allow you to centre your learning around your passions.
  • Gain practical experience in different early years settings.
  • Provide a firm foundation for a career within educational settings.

The Course

Develop your practice skills and knowledge of working with children

Our diverse and interesting range of modules, taught by our highly experienced and engaging lecturers, ensure that you will graduate with knowledge and skills that are highly sought after.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Child Development (0-8 Years)

This module introduces you to the nature of developmental psychology and encourages a critical understanding of psychological theories in relation to children’s development.

Children’s Rights and Policy

This module introduces you to the development of social policy and children’s rights as applied to a range of Early Years provision. It engages with ideological debates to locate current early years policies and initiatives in their historical, social, political and cultural context.

Introduction to Childhood

This module aims to introduce students to the multidisciplinary nature of Early Childhood Studies and the different ways in which childhood is viewed, discussed, and analysed. It will focus on various sociological concepts and perspectives in trying to understand young children’s lives and experiences.

Play, Creativity and Expressive Arts

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the different perspectives of play in relation to child development and learning. It will explore the influence of key pioneers on contemporary concepts of play and make links between theory and effective practice in the early years sector.

Preparing for Professional Practice

The module will introduce you to how theory is linked and applied to effective Early Years practice. the topics covered in this module will be a precursor to your first practice placement.

Safeguarding Children and Integrated Practice

The module will enable you to develop knowledge and understanding of the safeguarding agenda and underpinning legislation. You will learn how to apply this in practice with children, parents and colleagues.

The Developing Practitioner

This module aims to enable you to gain assessed experience in a setting which is relevant to early years practice.

Childhood in Crisis: Global Perspectives

The module aims to explore international issues in Early Years Education and Care such as understanding globalization and migration and the possible impact it has on children and their families. You will also examine the impact of crisis on children in the short and long term.

Children’s Health & Wellbeing

The module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the issues that surround health and well-being as they affect children, young people into adulthood. 21st century living has highlighted an increasing concern over the health and well-being of children and adults alike and this is reflected in current government agendas.

Curricula Around the World

This module will focus on a range of early years curriculums from around the world (for example Reggio Emilia, the Whāriki, Montessori, High Scope and Steiner) and consider how these are delivered and the impact of their underpinning philosophies.

Preparation for Independent Project

The module aims are to prepare students on how to conduct an empirical research for their Independent Project, as well as to promote understanding of research in Early Years, increase awareness of ‘research mindedness’, qualitative, quantitative and mixed research approaches and to link evidence-based research to professional practice.

Rocking the Cradle

This module explores how ethical discussion and legislation have both struggled to keep up with the fast-changing landscape of conception, pregnancy, the birth process, and the care of babies up to the age of two years. These developments have in turn fed into the sociological changes around the nature of parenting, the family and professional practice. the nature of attachment is shaped by the experience of pregnancy and the birth process. the first two years of the child’s life are important to various key child development theorists and the module will consider the links between theory and practice in relation to Early Years.

Special Educational Needs and Disability

This module develops your critical understanding of the issues that surround special educational needs and disability (SEND) in society and Early Years settings, with reference to government policy initiatives and legislation. the history, economic and social dimensions of issues relating to special educational needs and disability will be explored, along with an analysis of the impact upon children, families and working practices. the origins and meanings of related terminology will be explored and debated.

The Reflective Practitioner

The aim of this module is to enable you to gain assessed experience in a setting which is relevant to Early Years practice. This will help you form a critical understanding of the ways in which theory and practice relate to one another within an Early Years setting as well as to develop appropriate skills and gain experience.

Understanding Children’s Behaviour

This module will enable students to develop knowledge and critical understanding of the differing theoretical perspectives on children’s behaviour in the Early Years. Factors relating to children’s specific needs, family, Early Years settings, wider society and culture will be critically analysed including concepts and principles of inclusion. You will have the opportunity to explore theories, significant and emerging, relating to the psychology of children’s behaviour.

Working With Families

This module will enable you to explore the reciprocal relationships that need to exist between the early years setting, the child and their family. It will encourage you to develop a detailed understanding of the importance of partnership working for the child and their family to promote inclusion and collaboration.

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. It assesses 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.


Discover facilities that help support your learning



BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies graduate
"The module choices on the course meant I always had something I was interested in and engaged me which kept University fresh and exciting. The hands-on activities during lectures made them so much more fun: sensory experiences, forest schools, Story sacks. the list is endless! Every tutor is so keen on keeping you interested and making the theory you learn easily transferable into the real world."


BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies graduate
"I enjoyed how practical our lectures were. We went to the forest schools and had a go at different activities. It allowed us to get in the mindset of the child and fully understand how it can help learn. I found the lecturers so supportive. If I ever had a question, I knew there was someone to go to ask for help or the check I was doing something right. It felt like a family away from home, which provided a safe, trustworthy environment where you can provide personal experiences."

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.

Work Placements

Gain vital experience within a professional environment to support your learning

As part of our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, you will gain the opportunity to experience placements during both your second and third years.

These placements will allow you to work directly within local early years settings as you apply your theoretical learning within a real-world classroom environment.

Placements are assessed, which means you will exit the course with the equivalent of the Department for Education (DfE) full and relevant requirements for Early Years practice.

We have incorporated the option of the Graduate Practitioner Competencies into your placements, which gives allows you to finish the course as a Graduate Practitioner.

On this course, you could gain a total of 80 days of work-based placements. You’ll get the chance to attend three different registered organisational settings to gain a mix of experience. You’ll also gain the opportunity to work with babies, 3-5 and 5-7 year olds.

The placements gained in Year’s 1 and 2 (Level 4 and 5) will be counted as ‘full and relevant’ which means with this degree, you will be counted at Level 3 in staff: child ratios.

  • Year One – 25 days
  • Year Two – 30 days
  • Year Three –25 days – Graduate Practitioner Competencies (optional placement)

If you choose to take our dedicated third-year placement module, you will receive a separate certificate stating that you have been awarded the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies.

International Exchange

See our opportunities for incoming and outgoing international study

Whether you are considering studying here and want to take either a semester or year out to study abroad, or if you are currently studying at a University who has a partnership with the University of Chichester – engaging in an international exchange study programme enriches and broadens your educational experiences.

Outgoing students

As a student at the University of Chichester, you will have the opportunity to study at one of our partner institutions in your second year of study.

Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their dance horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.

See our Outgoing Exchanges page for more information.

Incoming students

Coming to study at the University of Chichester, you will be welcomed into our community and discover a new culture. The city of Chichester is a beautiful and historic place for you to get to know.

You are also close to the lively cities of Brighton, Portsmouth and Southampton as well as a train journey away from getting into London.

See our Incoming Exchanges page for more information.

Study Abroad

Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad

As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.

Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.

You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.


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

tariff points.
A Levels
Cambridge Technical
CACHE Level 3 Diploma
in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator).
or above in English Language and Mathematics (or Level 2 Functional Skills Literacy and Numeracy).
Access to HE Diploma
26-28 points


BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies applicants are required to have an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service check which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

We strongly suggest that all students sign up for the Disclosure and Barring Service update service for which there is a small annual charge, this makes the DBS portable both during and after the degree.

Failure to sign up for the update service might require the student to gain a further enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check which will incur additional costs.

Integrated Foundation Year Option

Build your academic knowledge, skills and confidence before your studies begin

Are you interested in studying for an early years degree but feel you would benefit from a better foundation of knowledge? Then the BA (Hons) Education with Integrated Foundation Year is an ideal option for you.

This four-year route will build your academic skills and enable you to confidently embark on an undergraduate degree, as you focus on work with young children up to the age of eight after building a strong foundation of academic knowledge.

Studying at university can be challenging, so this course includes an introductory year to build your academic knowledge, skills and confidence.

Foundation Year

  • Foundation in Knowledge and Skills
  • Learning Outdoors
  • Academic Support and Guidance
  • Professional Studies: Learners and Learning
  • Valuing Individual Differences
  • Education, Philosophy and Thinking: Historical Perspectives
  • From Bognor to Bogota and Beyond: An Introduction to the UN and SDGs
  • Arts in Education and Society

Year One:

  • Child Development (0-8)
  • Preparing for Professional Practice
  • Safeguarding Children and Integrated Practice
  • Children’s Rights and Policy
  • Play, Creativity and Expressive Arts
  • The Developing Practitioner (Placement)


Year Two

  • Children’s Health and Well-Being
  • Rocking The Cradle
  • Curricula Around The World
  • Childhood in Crisis: Global Perspectives
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability
  • Preparation for Independent Project
  • Working with Families
  • Understanding Behaviour
  • The Reflective Practitioner (Placement)


Year Three

  • Independent Project
  • Children’s Literature and the Media
  • Criminology and Childhood
  • Learning, Teaching and Caring in Adventure Education
  • Reflective Practice Placement 2
  • Special Needs and Disability

This list is indicative and subject to future change.

This course offers

  • An additional year to build academic skills.
  • Lower entry requirements than the main degree pathway.
  • More insight into education degree pathways and careers.
  • Includes a school placement to give you a taster of a career in teaching.

Learn more about our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Integrated Foundation Year option.

Course costs and entry requirements

  • 2022/23 UK fee: £9,250
  • 2022/23 International fee: £14,500


  • A minimum of 48 UCAS tariff points or equivalent.
  • Enhanced DBS check required
  • If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent
  • Non-standard Application Entry Routes: The University has an alternative entry route for applicants who have relevant skills and experience but who do not hold the formal minimum entry qualifications required. Applicants who demonstrate the necessary skills and experience to enter a course of higher education will be asked to complete an entry task involving the completion of specially set assignments.

Level 6 Top-Up Option

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

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood (Level 6 Top-Up) is a one-year full-time or two-year part-time course. 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.

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.

Indicative module list:

  • Independent Project (Dissertation)
  • Therapeutic Play
  • Children’s Literature and the Media
  • Criminology & Childhood
  • Learning, Teaching & Caring in Adventure Education
  • Reflective Practice Placements 2
  • Special Needs & Disability
  • Graduate Practitioner Option

Why study this course?

  • The degree equips you to explore a range of careers in the early years sector.
  • It is a recognised qualification by the Department for Education.
  • It also offers pathways into a variety of careers. We offer postgraduate qualifications, in order to work within the fields of health, education and social work.
  • You’ll learn from a dedicated and highly-skilled team.


Learn more about our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies Level 6 Top-Up option here.

Course costs and entry requirements

  • 2022/23 UK fee: £9,250
  • 2022/23 International fee: £14,500
  • 240 credits (120 credits at Level 4 and 120 credits at Level 5) in a related subject, such as, Early Childhood.
  • Relevant Foundation Degree in Early Years or Teaching and Learning Support.
  • International equivalent 240 credits (120 credits at Level 4 and 120 credits at Level 5).
  • 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.


Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.

What are UCAS tariff points?

Many qualifications have a UCAS Tariff value. The score depends on the qualification, and the grade you achieved.

How do I know what my UCAS tariff points are?

Head to the UCAS Tariff Points web page where you can find a tariff points calculator that can tell you how much your qualification and grades are worth.

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