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Institution C58


Bishop Otter campus (Chichester)

2 years 1 day per week full-time or 3 years part-time

Top 30
UK University
overall satisfaction for Early Childhood Studies
Top 25
best university in the UK
1. Guardian University Guide 2021 | 2. National Student Survey 2021 | 3. National Student Survey 2021

Entry Requirements and Fees

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary):

  • All students must be employed or carrying out voluntary work in a relevant early years setting (minimum of 12 hours per week)
  • Two years’ experience in the sector
  • At least one Level 3 qualification (A level / BTEC / Cambridge Technical / NVQ3 / Advanced Apprenticeship)
  • Interview - read about Lauren's Early Childhood Studies interview experience


2021/22 UK fee: £5,500 per year

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

Student view

Elaine, Foundation in Early Years Alumni

I am an Early Years practitioner in the baby room 0 – 3 years and I work full-time alongside my degree. This course is giving me an understanding of the theory and giving me the opportunity to put this into practice the knowledge that I gain at University.  I feel that I am becoming a better quality practitioner in the process.

Foundation Degree in Early Years student Jemima

I work in the toddler room of a small nursery alongside my studies – I get the best of both! The Foundation Degree is definitely more suited to me than the traditional route to gain the full honours degree because I can study and work at the same time. The lecturers have been really supportive and amazing to fit the whole course into one day a week.

Foundation Degree in Early Years student Gemma

I am a qualified Level 3 Nursery Practitioner and currently working within a primary school in a reception class. I'm a mum of two young children so attending university one day a week supports my working and family life. The lectures each week are really enjoyable and informative and the lecturers are so supportive and friendly. This degree is really boosting my knowledge and confidence. On completion of my full degree, I hope to follow my passion of becoming an Early Years Teacher. I would recommend this course to anyone looking to further their childcare knowledge and education.

Course content

100% satisfaction for Early Childhood Studies (National Student Survey 2021)

Course overview

Our course combines theoretical study with practical work, to help you explore how children learn and develop in the early stages of their lives. You will enhance your skills in reflection, independent thinking and critical analysis on your journey to becoming a more confident and skilled Early Years practitioner. This course provides the opportunity to progress to the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Top-up and is an excellent pathway to enable busy practitioners to gain a degree.

Who is this degree for?

Are you an enthusiastic and committed Early Years professional? Are you looking to enhance your professional practice? This programme has been designed for those already working or volunteering in an Early Years setting (for a minimum of 12 hours a week).

This two-year, full-time or three-year part-time degree is structured so that you attend University one day per week, enabling you to study without giving up work. It is therefore an ideal way to continue your career development in the rewarding field of Early Years.

Why study this course?

Take a look at our Childhood brochure. 

Our facilities

We’ve developed both of our campuses to have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

Learning Resource Centre

Learning Resource Centre facilities

Our Learning Resource Centre is at the heart of the Bognor Regis campus.  It hosts:

  • A modern library service with areas for quiet and silent study on both floors 
  • A range of study areas for group study
  • Over 80 open access PC and Mac stations
  • Wi-Fi areas for laptop use
  • A substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research
  • Online library resources you can access from anywhere at any time
  • Costa Coffee
  • Also situated in the Learning Resource Centre is the Support and Information Zone (SIZ) to help with any enquiries while at university
  • At SIZ, there's an equipment loans centre offerings laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long-term loans

Teaching Resources

Education and teaching resources

Becoming an exceptional teacher means you’ll need to bring your lessons to life. We offer a collection of over 20,000 classroom resources for you to borrow while on placement in schools. Head to the Learning Resource Centre to see our assortment of materials.

The local area

The local area surrounding the University of Chichester's main Campus including Chichester Cathedral, Chichester Town Centre, The South Downs and West Wittering Beach

It’s important to love where you live and study and the local area surrounding the University has so much to offer. With the seaside town, historic city, rolling countryside and stunning beaches, there’s plenty to explore

Where this can take you

The programme is designed to support the development of the role of the early childhood worker through an intermediate level of study.

On successful completion, students can continue their studies to a full degree by taking the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies Level 6 Top-up programme.

Other careers include:

  • A range of work with Early Years (0 to 8 years) management and policy-making
  • Nursery day-care manager
  • Hospital support worker
  • Health and social care
  • Special needs (for example, Portage)
  • Good preparation for teaching and social work with young children
  • Study a PGCE leading to Qualified Teaching Status

Indicative modules

Year One:

Introduction to Early Years

The module will support and develop academic expression, academic writing, reasoning, argument and critical thinking. You will read a range of literature and study different approaches to topics that are covered within the subject area of early years. You'll be encouraged to use web-based resources and to distinguish between different types of information including government documents, multi-disciplinary research and practice-based information that is relevant to Early Years. Particular emphasis will be placed on issues around handling confidential information and using the Harvard referencing system.

Child Development in the Early Years

This module will consider developmental psychology relevant to those working with young children and families, aged 0-8 years by introducing students to some of the main theorists. You will be encouraged to examine differences between several approaches to developmental psychology and begin to critically evaluate these contributions to the field of child development. The module will also look at ways in which new techniques in developmental psychology and ideas from cognitive-developmental neuroscience are changing our understanding of the developmental process. You will have the opportunity to work in small self-directed groups to explore the link between theory and practice.

Children’s Rights

The module will outline the historical development of the Welfare State and explore the ideology and concepts of social policy. Modern developments in relation to a range of services for young children will be examined and the relationship between poverty, inequality, social class, cultural capital, and social exclusion will be explored. The significance of the ‘voice of the child’ will be explored in the contemporary context; this will be linked to recent and current policy initiatives relating to Early Years provision.

Play and Creativity & Expressive Arts

There will be an introduction to the different ways play has been perceived by play protagonists and how play has become an essential and contemporary subject in its own right. There will be critical links made to child development, inclusion and age and stage play for all. It is expected that you will become reflective in their thinking about how their role as playful practitioners is crucial to the developmental potential of young children in their future work.

Reflective Practitioner: Babies, Toddlers and Pre-School

This module will focus on developing awareness of the purposes of reflective practice within the early years setting and managing the reflective process for changing and improving practise in your setting. Using the current Early Years Curriculum and its principles as a framework, the module supports early years professionals in dealing with possible issues arising from professional practice and reflecting on possible challenges in a sensitive and professional manner to make a real difference to the lives of babies, young children and their families. This module also supports Early Years professionals in thinking through their roles to address and make decisions, on issues they may encounter. You will be encouraged to reflect on your professional practice and through that reflection to identify your personal and professional development in the light of theory.

Safeguarding and Integrated Working in the Early Years

The module content will place the notion of safeguarding the child within the context of need and risk and will explore key concepts that impact this. These will be explored with particular reference to the concepts of 'significant harm’ and ‘good enough parenting’. This understanding will be located within a relevant legislative, policy and procedural framework such as the Children Act 1989 & 2004. You will be supported to explore signs and symptoms of abuse, issues of disclosure and confidentiality, and the appropriate referral process if child protection issues are involved. The notion of Safeguarding will be placed within the context of children’s rights, and debates surrounding the UNCRC (1989) will be explored.


Year Two:

Understanding Children’s Behaviour

Students will have the opportunity to explore a range of factors relating to children’s behaviour, including individual needs, triggers and patterns of behaviour. Other influences including transitions, our values and belief systems and the impact of these will be analysed. Students will explore through case studies how to provide for and support children with social and emotional needs within early years’ settings working with and in partnership with parents and other professionals.

Curricula Around the World in Early Years

This module will focus on the different approaches to early years curricula including Beach school, Forest School, Montessori, High Scope, Waldorf and the Te Whāriki, and how these approaches influence the UK approach. It will also look at the roles and responsibilities of the early years educators working in a multi-professional environment. How babies and young children learn and the curricula will be investigated taking into consideration global, national and local policies (including the UNCRC and sustainable development goals).

Working with Families in the Early Years

This module will enable you to explore the 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. You will critically analyse legislation and policy that supports this key aspect of contemporary early years practice. The challenges that can sometimes occur when working with families in practice will be explored and effective strategies to overcome these will be debated.

Importance of Research in Early Years

The module will scrutinise the process of designing, reporting and evaluating research, using real-life examples of research projects. The “qualitative versus quantitative” debate will be examined and you will experience a range of qualitative and quantitative methods for gathering and analysing data. These include the design and use of questionnaires, interview techniques and controversies around observation as a research tool. Ethical issues in research will be examined, especially those related to power relationships. Innovative methods for research with young children will be explored, including discussion of the special ethical issues which arise when researching babies and young children.

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. The impact of crisis on children in the short and long term will be explored. You'll examine the adult responsibilities for children’s crisis situations, and adult systems for helping children out of crisis. Implications for child development and children’s rights will be considered. You will be encouraged to review early childhood and education using historical, cultural and philosophical perspectives. You will have the chance to critically reflect on their own practice and recognise the complexity of caring for babies and young children. 

Health and Wellbeing of Young Children

The course will include materials related to ‘the health and well-being of children together with ideas for developing self-assurance and a sense of belonging in young children. Issues such as the practitioner’s view of the child’s sense of individuality, self-esteem and autonomy will be studied together with the role of early year’s provision to nurture children’s self-confidence and well-being. The module will explore all aspects of children’s physical, emotional and social health and wellbeing, with consideration for keeping safe and making healthy choices, thus reducing health inequalities. Furthermore, wider politics, economics and cultural factors will be discussed to ensure an understanding of both national and global issues facing child health and wellbeing.

SEND in Early Years

This module will consider the history and development of legislation, policy and practice for children with special educational needs and/or disability how their needs can be met. Your own philosophies and beliefs relating to the issues raised will be challenged to ensure issues are considered from different perspectives and the impact your own beliefs can have on their working practice will be explored. The module will also consider issues of labelling as well as models of disability and how these can impact attitudes and provision. Issues of assessment and early intervention will be debated in light of current policy and practice in the field. The effects of having a child with special educational needs and/or disability within the family will also be explored. 

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

Teaching strategies

The learning and teaching strategies employed by the programme are designed primarily to help you to gain knowledge and understanding of a broad base of concepts, skills, and practice which will enable you to become an effective Early Years worker. They include individual tutorials, lectures, group exercises, directed reading, role play, observations, discussion and presentations.  A large amount of the learning and teaching on this course takes place away from the University, at your place of work. Your learning will be monitored for taught elements and work-based learning through your Personal Development Plan.

Meet the lecturers

Our programmes are taught by a team of experienced academics who are at the forefront of their discipline. Take a look at their profiles to see who could be teaching you.


The close link between teaching, learning and assessments will be emphasised throughout the course. The development of a variety of assessment tasks integrated with the learning and teaching programme will ensure that you are given meaningful activities that are relevant to professional practice. Consequently, your assignments will enable you to draw on your experience and work-based activity. Examples include:

  • Observations and interpretation of children’s activity
  • Evaluation of given case studies
  • A critical review of literature on a specific topic
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Analysis of theoretical and research-based evidence
  • Pod-casting, emails and discussion boards.

You will also have the opportunity to attend a tutorial after each teaching day if you require any further guidance.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 


Are you interested in this course and would like to learn more? Get in touch with our Admissions Team for more information.