Head of Childhood, Youth & Families and Professor
Faculty of Health, Education and SocietyDiscover
3 years Full Time
4 years with Foundation
3-6 years Part Time
Fees UK 24/25:
Full Time: £9,250
Part Time: £1,540 per 20 credit module
Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250
Fees International 24/25:
Full Time: £15,200
Integrated Foundation Year: £15,200
For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:
The BA Early Childhood Studies degree at the University of Northampton takes a holistic approach to the development of young children, from conception 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.
The part time route for the degree in early childhood studies is ideal for anyone looking to fit study around existing commitments. You could expect to be on campus for approximately eight hours per week. If you are not already working in a related role you would also need to attend a placement for half a day per week. In addition to the taught sessions you would need to commit around six hours per week to independent study.
Top 10 For Childhood And Youth
The University of Northampton is a top 10 institution for Childhood and Youth Studies in the Complete University Guide league tables for 2022.
*See eligibility criteria, terms and conditions apply
The BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies degree has been designed to contribute towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: SDG3 Good Health and Wellbeing and SDG4 Quality Education.
This Early Childhood Studies 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 childhood studies degree 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:
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 our early childhood studies degree, 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.
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:
The BA Early Childhood Studies is taught by a team of experts in the fields of early childhood studies, 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:
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.
Please note the modules shown here relate to the academic year 23/24. The modules relating to the academic year 24/25 will be available from June 2024.
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.
In addition to general entry requirements, applicants are expected to hold GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent in English and Mathematics.
A typical offer would be:
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.
The standard entry requirements for the Integrated Foundation Year are:
All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:
For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 24/25 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 23/24 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
Placement is compulsory on this Early Childhood Studies BA degree 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:
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.
For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.
For more information about possible funding options, please visit our Fees and Funding pages.
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 our full-time Early Childhood Studies 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.
* UK fee payers only (see Terms and Conditions for further details)
The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for an Early Childhood studies course, 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.
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.
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.
The Early Childhood Studies degree 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.
There are no exams on this course. Instead, you will complete written assignments, presentations, projects, posters and professional development portfolios.
For more information about the Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons) please contact Tanya Richardson.
Head of Childhood, Youth & Families and Professor
Faculty of Health, Education and SocietyDiscover
If you complete your degree in Early Childhood Studies with us and apply for the PGCE Primary Education (5-11) (QTS) programme at the University of Northampton during your final undergraduate year, you are guaranteed an interview.
Terms and conditions apply:
Successful completion of this course can lead onto further studies if required. BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies graduates could progress on to study PGCE Primary Education (5-11) (QTS) MA Social Work, MSc Child and Adolescent Mental Health, MA Special Educational Needs and Inclusion and many more.
Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies graduates 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.