Early Childhood Studies ​BA Welcome Pack

Welcome to BA Early Childhood Studies ​2022.

A very warm welcome to Early Childhood Studies. We are delighted that you have chosen to study with us. Our programme is designed to support you in making a real difference to the lives of children and their families, and to equip you for a stimulating and rewarding future in the early years. Our friendly and highly experienced multi-professional staff team are eager to support you on your personal and academic journey.

You will be exploring, over the next three years, a range of topics that relate to working with young children and their families and will also have the opportunity to go on placement to see how this learning is played out in practice. We will prepare you with the knowledge and skills you need to work in the field of Early Childhood, and help you to progress to the career path of your choosing.

You will learn through a range of experiences, at University and on placement, which blend together to ensure you develop academic and professional skills and a strong value base.

Each module is made up of ‘Learning Events’ which involve a whole range of activities that take place before, during and after formal sessions on the days you are in  University.

You will have other reading, online activities and work for your assignments to complete on your Private Study days.

We hope you have a happy, successful and rewarding time studying at the University.

Your Programme Leader

Tanya Richardson, Senior Lecturer in Education

Dr Tanya Richardson

​Professional Lead for Childhood, Youth and Families | ​Programme Leader for Early Childhood Studies | Senior Lecturer in Education (Childhood, Youth and Families

Supporting you before you arrive

As part of your Early Childhood Studies degree you will be asked to complete Case Study Research on a child.  This will support planning, preparation and focus for the studying Child Development module in year one (EYS1122) and the Promoting Children’s Development in year 2 (EYS2119).

The objectives of the study are:

  • To inform and support your knowledge of child development
  • To develop and sustain professional, ethical and sensitive relationships with children and parents
  • To learn and reflect on the practice of studying children
  • To begin to develop your skills as a researcher.

What do families need to know?

Parents will need to know that:

  • You will negotiate mutually convenient times to visit.
  • You value all the insights they can give you into their child and that you will be interested in what he/she does and how he/she is learning and developing between your visits.
  • You will keep in regular contact by telephone or other means to
  • That with their permission you will record observations and information parents may give you
  • Any material you collect will be recorded so that the child and the family cannot be identified as you will use pseudonyms instead of real names.
  • You will not keep anything in your file without showing it to them.

What do you need to do next?

Identify a child to study – do this as soon as possible before your start University.

What will we do to support you?

In the first few sessions we will help you to:

  • Consider ethical issues involved in studying
  • Write a ‘Statement of Intent’ illustrating how your study will conform to ethical guidelines.
  • Complete the ethics form
  • Complete a risk assessment.
  • Gain informed consent from the parents.
  • Work with the parents on a background ‘history’ of the child
  • Begin collecting data (observations, transcripts of conversations with parents, annotated photographs and pictures)*
  • Keep your tutor informed of your progress by bringing in your Case Study details to all focus sessions.
  • Make sure you evaluate your observations and other records of the child’s development.


There are two books we would like you to buy, if you can, before you join the course to support your learning and your assignments:

  • Santrock, J. (2019)  Children.  14th ed.  New York: McGraw Hill Education.
  • Palaiologou, I.  (2016)  Child observation: a guide for students of Early Childhood.  London: Learning Matters.

​Please make sure you buy the most up to date edition.

Enhancing skills, building networks and engaging in the wider University community


During your time at the university, especially during your first year, you may have some questions as to what to expect.

We have a group of mentors available to you who have just completed their first year of the Early Childhood Studies course and are able to offer you support and guidance if needed.  They have received training on being a mentor and are therefore very well placed to offer help should you need it.

They will come into some of your sessions so hopefully they will become familiar faces as you settle into university life.

Mentor details

Hi! My name is Leah Paladino.

Leah Paladino, Early Childhood Studies mentor.

I am a student on the Early Childhood Studies course, which is a really delightful and enjoyable course. I chose this course because I am very interested in working with children. However, I was unsure of what route I would like to take, in working with children. Such as, teaching, social work, mental health or special educational needs. This course opens up a variety of different possibilities, which will let me to explore and discover a route that I would be interested to take. Each day I commute from Kettering to Northampton, to attend my lectures and get work done at the university. Something that I enjoy doing is reading, I have joined the Book society at Northampton because it aligns with something that I enjoy doing.

I can be contacted via this email address: leah.p7302@gmail.com.

Welcome video

Please watch the below video for an introduction to Early Childhood Studies.

Our Campus