Associate Lecturer (Early Years)
Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons)
Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons)
3 years Full Time
4 years with Foundation
3-6 years Part Time
Full Time £9,250
Part Time £1,465 per 20 credit module
Integrated Foundation Year £6,780
Full Time £13,000
Integrated Foundation Year £13,000
Get in touch
For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:
UK/EU Students enquiries
International Students enquiries
The Early Childhood Studies degree takes a holistic approach to the development of young children, from birth to the age of eight and provides opportunities to apply this learning in placement settings. The degree draws on a range of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, early years pedagogy, policy, law, health, philosophy, and leadership and management, providing you with the breadth of knowledge to pursue careers in early childhood education and care, education, health and social care.
- Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies.
- Arranged placements are an integral part of the course
- Trips and opportunities to visit a European country to enhance learning*
- Paediatric First Aid training included as part of the course
- HP Laptop and software included with this course for eligible students.**
- Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.
Take a look around our Waterside campus
If you’d like to see more of our Waterside campus, come and join us for a socially distanced CAMPUS TOUR.
*All trips subject to national and local Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions. See our situation updates page for more on the University’s response to Covid-19
**See eligibility criteria, terms and conditions apply
This course will give you a broad understanding of the theoretical and professional issues that underpin the care and education of infants and young children. By studying the perspectives of various disciplines and professions you will be prepared for a career in any aspect of Early Childhood Education and Care, equipped to work with families and colleagues from a variety of professions.
You will gain an understanding and awareness of the rapidly evolving nature of early childhood education and care provision in England, Europe and throughout the world. Divided into specific modules, this course covers children’s development and learning in the context of the family, the community and wider national and international contexts. You will benefit from specialist sessions with professionals in the fields of special educational needs, social work, cultural diversity and creative and therapeutic approaches. You will receive paediatric first aid training as part of the course.
You will study a range of subjects relevant to early childhood over the three years of the programme including:
- child development and theories of learning and play
- children’s health and wellbeing
- respecting and protecting children’s rights
- Safeguarding children
- equality of opportunity
- family and community experience and support
- multi-professional and inter-disciplinary collaboration
- reflection on your own experience and learning
Taught sessions, reflective written tasks and self-evaluation in the Personal Learning Portfolio (PLP) will ensure that you have the opportunity to fully analyse the significance of the context for your academic study and research. Your tutors and placement mentors will provide ongoing feedback to support your personal, professional and academic development.
We are so committed to Early Childhood Development, we have campaigned to ensure that Early Childhood Development is at the heart of the post-2015 Development goals. For more information, watch our video on the campaign for Early Childhood Development.
The Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies evidence your development of skills within this field and indicate that you have the enhanced skills, and knowledge, that are needed when working with young children and their families.
Placement opportunities are a real strength of this course enabling you to consolidate your academic learning in practice. You will also have an opportunity to visit or study in a European country to see the early years provision in a different context.
Your first placement will give you a grounding in the field of Early Childhood, developing your knowledge and understanding, with a particular focus on the role of communication when working with young children.
As you move into your second year you will be more informed and comfortable with the basics of Early Childhood Studies and your placement will focus on the importance of diversity and inclusion.
The final placement of your degree normally takes place in a setting that supports your pathway module choice. There will be a focus on how government policy is translated in practice, giving you the opportunity to distinguish between different services for young children, see exactly what services are on offer and the benefits they can have for families. There is the opportunity to arrange your own placement in consultation with the placement co-ordinator. You will also undertake a self-organised placement to support your individual research project.
The course is taught by a team of experts in the fields of education, health, inclusion and social care, giving you real, practical knowledge that will be invaluable in your future career.
This course will help you to:
- develop knowledge and understanding of early childhood within diverse cultural, inter-disciplinary and multi-professional contexts
- acquire a critical understanding of relevant theory and research in the field of early childhood and equip you with the skills for independent investigation
- critically analyse contemporary issues and debates in early childhood policy, practice and services for children and families including international perspectives
- become an articulate, confident and reflective graduate, capable of making informed career choices and transferring your knowledge to a range of relevant contexts
Read about how Early Childhood Studies graduate Kym Chalmers is set to join the challenging mission of transforming the lives of the most vulnerable members of society as she joins the Frontline programme.
Dr Eunice Lumsden, Head of Early Years gives her take on the current Early Years situation.
Children's Health and Well-Being (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS1012Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is to enable students to develop the underpinning knowledge necessary to understand the role of health in a child?s holistic development and inter-agency approaches in Early Childhood.
Personal, Academic, and Professional Development 1 (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS1118Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is to promote personal academic and professional development. It supports the transition to higher education and lays down the foundations for reflective professional practice through engagement with the theoretical perspectives in Early Childhood Education and Care. Research and academic writing skills will be developed.
Ethical Approaches to Early Childhood (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS1120Status: CompulsoryThis module introduces students to ethical principles and practice in the study of Early Childhood Education and Care. Students will be introduced to ethical procedures when working with children and families.
The Developing Professional (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS1121Status: CompulsoryThis module underpins the professional expectations of roles within Early Childhood Education and Care. This explicitly links the skilful application of knowledge to practice and practice to knowledge developed in other modules laying the foundations for reflective professional practice through engagement with the theoretical perspectives.
Child Development (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS1122Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is to provide an introduction to the development of children with detailed reference to Early Childhood theories. Students will gain the underpinning knowledge necessary to enable them to develop a holistic understanding of all aspects of young children's development that will support all other studies on the programme.
Professional Practice in Early Childhood 1 (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS1123Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is students? professional development. It supports the application of theoretical perspectives of Early Childhood Education and Care in a placement setting and the development of reflective professional practice and employability skills.
Interprofessional Education (IPE)
Module code: FHS_IPE20Status: Compulsoryinterprofessional education IPE
- Children's Health and Well-Being (20 Credits)
Creative and Therapeutic Approaches in Children's Services (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS2113Status: CompulsoryThr purpose of this module provides students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of children's aesthetic development. Students will be introduced to a range of creative and therapeutic approaches to working with children. Connections will be made with students practice and placement experinces.
Safeguarding and Child Protection (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS2117Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is to provide interdisciplinary insights into safeguarding children child abuse and the needs of children 'Looked After' by local authorities. It will provide essential grounding in multi-professional work and holistic approaches to working with children and families.
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS2118Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is to provide students with an understanding of legislation policy and contemporary issues related to living in a diverse society. Module content will focus on the features and impact of this diversity allowing students to analyse a range of contemporary issues related to childhood.
Promoting Children's Development (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS2119Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is to focus on young children as active learners in the context of play. It builds on previous modules by examining theories of learning and how these translate into everyday practice. Understanding of the importance of factors influencing children?s learning and ethical research will be developed further.
Professional Practice in Early Childhood (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS2120Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is to support continuing development of personal academic study and professional skills. It extends previous learning on communicating and engaging with children and families/carers. It will have a specific focus on reflective practice multi-professional working and anti-discriminatory practice. Placement opportunities allow the application of this learning and the development of reflective practice. It will also support understanding about the importance of research methods and ethics.
Special Educational Needs and Disability (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS2121Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is to give students a sound understanding of the issues and debates related to Special Educational Needs and Disability inclusion and the impact on learners. Students are encouraged to apply knowledge of and reflect upon these contemporary issues.
- Creative and Therapeutic Approaches in Children's Services (20 Credits)
Research and Inquiry in Professional Contexts (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS3126Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is to provide a framework for students to develop their understanding of research to enable them to critique and evaluate published research in relation to work with children and families. Practical exercises will help students to build their own research capacities prior to undertaking research for their Dissertation.
Specialist Option: Health and Social Care (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS3136Status: DesignateThe purpose of this module is to build on and extend previous learning. It is designed to support students in their application of knowledge and skills in health and social care and to inform their practice and research in early years.
Professional Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education and Care (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS3137Status: DesignateThe purpose of this module is to support students' further development as reflective Early Years practitioners who are able to apply their knowledge of theories and principles of child development and organisational and regulatory requirements to their individual practice and pedagogy. It aims to establish confident Early Years graduates who draw on integrated knowledge to lead and support colleagues raise expectations manage change transitions and improve practice within Early Years settings and services being mindful of multi-agency working.
Personal, Academic and Professional Development 3: Graduate Leadership (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS3139Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is to involve students in the study of the theory and practice of leadership and management techniques used in the provision of Early Years and children's services. The growing body of international research concerning management and leadership in early years and children's services is analysed and considered in the context of preparing students for future professional roles in leading and supporting others.
Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies (Zero Credit Module)
Module code: EYS3140Status: Designate
Graduate Practitioner Practice (20 Credits)
Module code: EYS3141Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is to focus on students? professional development. It supports the application of theoretical perspectives of Early Childhood Education and Care in a placement setting and the development of reflective professional practice and employability skills. Students are encouraged to seek placement opportunities authorised by the Partnership Tutor to ensure that the organisation is providing a suitable safe learning experience. Students will be expected to adhere to the expectations of the placement and that of the placement organisation. All students will either have a placement visit or for those students who have organised a placement at a distance from the University a telephone conversation with a member of the module team.For work-based students the placement is their employment setting.
Dissertation (40 Credits)
Module code: EYS4105Status: CompulsoryThe purpose of this module is to support students design and carry out a small-scale investigation into a topic/aspect of practice or policy of their own choosing within the broad area of services for young children and families. In doing this students are demonstrating graduate skills associated with a significant piece of small-scale independent research. Normally students are expected to have had some preparation in research methodologies and methods before embarking on this module through the completion of EYS 3126.
- Research and Inquiry in Professional Contexts (20 Credits)
In addition to general entry requirements, applicants are normally expected to hold GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent in English and Mathematics. A typical offer would be CCC at A Level or MMM at BTEC.
You will be expected to demonstrate your commitment to Early Childhood Studies by having previous experience of working with children under the age of eight.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are also required.
Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) Entry Requirements
The standard entry requirements for the Integrated Foundation Year are DEE at A level or MPP at BTEC.
English Language Requirements
All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:
- IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent)
for study at undergraduate level
For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
- IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent)
2021/22 Tuition Fees
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
- UK – Full Time: £9,250
- UK – Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
- UK – Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £6,780 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA/BSc rate).
- International – Full Time: £13,000
- International – Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £13,000
2020/21 Tuition Fees
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
- UK and EU Full Time: £9,250
- UK and EU Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credit module
- UK and EU Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £6,750 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA/BSc rate).
- International Full Time: £12,900
- International Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £12,900
Placement is compulsory on this course and this may involve you traveling between campus and the placement setting. You will be the responsible for the cost of this travel. There are a number of recommended texts to buy during your studies.
The typical price of course books for each year is as follows:
- First year: approximately £100
- Second year: approximately £60
- Third year: approximately £40
During the programme you will have the opportunity to join study trips. Previously, these have included a week in Sweden, a term in a European country (through the Erasmus scheme) and trips within the UK. All study trips are optional and the costs vary year on year. Typically, this is £400 for Sweden, flights and in-country expenses for the Erasmus scheme and UK trips vary from around £10. Students normally allow an additional £100-£250 for their overseas expenses.
Scholarships and Bursaries
For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.
Successful completion of this course can lead onto further studies if required. You will have the opportunity to study a PGCE or progress to the Early Years Teacher Status course. In addition to this you could progress to further studies at MA level in social work,mental health,special educational needs and many more.
At the University of Northampton, everything we do, from funded trips to paid internships, is to give you everything you need to make a difference when you leave.
If you join this full time degree at Northampton you will receive a laptop when your course begins. The laptops are built to a bespoke custom specification ideal for use in the seminar room, collaborative group work or studying at home.
Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.
To check out the full list of perks visit our Student Perks page.
The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.
If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.
Featuring a reduced tuition fee in the first year, our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.
Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies
These Competencies focus heavily on the application the academic elements of degree programmes in placements. You will meet the nine competencies through assessed observations of practice, practice-based tasks and academic assessment.
The nine Competencies are:
- Advocating for young children’s rights and participation
- Promote holistic child development
- Work directly with young children, families and colleagues to promote health, well-being, safety and nurturing care
- Observe, listen and plan for young children to support their well-being, early learning, progression and transitions
- Safeguarding and child protection
- Inclusive practice
- Partnership with parents and caregivers
- Collaborating with others
- Professional Development
Dr Tanya Richardson discusses the Graduate Practitioner Competencies with Aaron Bradbury on his Early Years Reviews podcast. Listen now.
Joanna shares her story of why she chose to study at the University of Northampton and study BA Early Childhood Studies.
I can honestly say that university has been the best opportunity and three years of my life to date. I would, and I do, encourage everybody I meet to go to university; not only for the degree itself, but for all the amazing memories and experiences that surround it.
One of the best parts of university is how everybody has different stories on how they ended up in higher education. For me personally, I finished sixth form and my A-levels and headed straight to uni. I went to a total of nine open days (I know, it’s a lot!) just because I was worried I would miss the best one for me; I went to a variety of universities, big and small, campus and city, modern and old, until I found Northampton.
A common question I get asked is why I chose Northampton, and the honest answer is, as soon as I walked onto the campus I just knew it was right. I know that sounds cheesy and cliché, but it’s true. Before university I struggled a lot with my mental health; on the open day we had a ‘taster session’ for my course and I had a panic attack, the lecturers didn’t make a fuss, but instead comforted me and did all that they could to reduce my anxious feelings. This one instance gave me the knowledge that this university would be full of support and I was not wrong.
Are there any study trips?*
In your second year, you will have the opportunity to spend a term studying and on placement in another European country. If a term is too long then you may prefer to spend a week in an alternative country to compare the Early Years in an alternative culture and context. This will cost around £370.
We also offer optional study trips within the UK, such as visits to London (approximately £10) and Burghley House (approximately £6). These costs have been covered by the University in the past.
Are there work placements?
The course includes placements in each of the three years, giving context to your academic study and providing you with professional development. You will have up to 25 days on placement in years 1 and 3, and 30 days placement in year 2. You may find that there are additional costs involved with your placements, such as travel. Placements are linked to the graduate competencies and ensure that you will be able to meet the full and relevant criteria at Level 3 to work in early childhood education and care settings.
How will I be assessed?
There are no exams on this course. Instead, you will complete written assignments, presentations, projects, posters and professional development portfolios.
Associate Lecturer (Early Years)
Lecturer in Education (Childhood, Youth and Families)
Faculty of Health, Education and Society
Senior Lecturer in Education (Early Years)
Faculty of Health, Education and Society
Senior Lecturer in Education (Early Years)
Tanya is Programme Leader of the Early Childhood Studies course. Prior to working for the university she owned and managed her own nursery so combines her practice wisdom with her academic knowledge.
Careers and Employability
Students have gone on to a range of professions, including, but not limited to: early years practitioners, teachers, social workers, child protection roles, advisory roles, play therapists, university lecturers and nursery managers.
Please see the careers map for more information.
Student Story: Deividas Misiunas
"The skills I gained from this degree helped me become more confident and critical with my thinking. The Early Years team and the university will work with you so that you are able to make the most of your degree."