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University of Gloucestershire

Early Childhood Studies

BA (Hons)
Clearing Places available

Course options

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Study type
Full Time
Course length
4 Years
Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

Course overview

Early childhood is a fascinating stage of life to explore. This course will support your development in a wide range of professional skills which are essential for working with children (aged 0-8 years) and families, including those with additional needs.

Our childhood and youth studies courses are ranked in the top 10 in the UK for graduate prospects by the Complete University Guide 2024.

Our knowledgeable and supportive lecturers and pastoral staff get to know our students very well, extra support is offered to boost your confidence in your skills and you’ll have a personal tutor to guide you. Tutors have a wealth of professional experience, but also draw on experts in the field to enhance your learning.

Take the opportunity to specialise in children’s mental health and wellbeing or children’s education and lifelong learning. Certified paediatric first aid training and safeguarding training are also integrated into the course.

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A brand-new campus

It’s planned that this course will be taught at UoG’s new campus in Gloucester city centre from September 2025.

The vibrant campus will be at the heart of the regeneration of Gloucester city centre. It will bring an iconic building back to life as a modern centre for teaching, learning and community partnerships, through placements, research and outreach activity, and provide cutting-edge facilities for your course.

Study style

Children and their families are living in a complex world where factors such as gender identity, digitalisation, inequality, inclusion and austerity are changing the experience of childhood.

Together, we unpick such concepts to better understand children’s environments. By focusing on education, health, social care, psychology, sociology, mental and physical health, government policy and the media – essential skills are developed for a graduate workforce. In essence, we learn to ‘tune in’ and listen to all children, including those with special educational needs.

Gain the sector-recognised Graduate Practitioner Status within this course, which is aligned with the QAA Benchmarks for Early Childhood Studies Degrees and is a member of the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network. Placements sit at the heart of this course, enabling you to consolidate your academic learning in practice. Placement settings include:
  • Children’s centres
  • Schools
  • Family refuge havens
  • Play settings
  • Nurseries
  • Family support teams
  • Special needs schools

With 630 hours of ‘real world’ placement experience, you will discover your passion and you will develop an idea of where you want to be employed.

This course places a strong focus on what is happening nationally and internationally.

Placement is possible around the world and our optional (but legendary) trip to Sweden enables students to experience internationally renowned practice.

Get Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons) course updates and hear more about studying with us.

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Entry requirements

Don't meet the entry requirements?

Don’t worry about your results. We may be able to offer you a place on this course through UCAS Clearing even if you don’t meet the entry requirements below.

Become a Clearing VIP and get an early-bird offer before results day, plus a chance to win a rent-free year in halls. Call us on 03330 432 414 to discuss your options.

    • 96 UCAS tariff points, CCC at A levels, MMM at BTEC or a Merit in your T-Level.

      If you are using a combination of qualifications to achieve the required UCAS tariff points, they must either include at least 2 A levels, a BTEC or an equivalent qualification.

      We are also interested in hearing from applicants who have a Level 3 Early Years Educator related diploma.

      If you are unsure whether we could make you an offer or you have any questions, just get in touch with our admissions team who will be able to advise you.

    • English Language or Literature and Maths Grade 4/C in GCSE (or equivalent) are normally required.

    • In order to study this course, offer holders will need to complete a satisfactory DBS and Health Clearance check.

    • This course is available with an additional integrated foundation year. This four year option has lower entry requirements – see below – than the other study type/s available.

      Typical offers
      48 UCAS tariff points, DD at A levels, PPP at BTEC or a Pass in your T Level.

      Grade C/4 in English Language/Literature and Mathematics, or equivalent (e.g. Level 2 Functional Skills).

      To apply for the integrated foundation year degree, select the ‘With foundation year’ option from the study types listed at the top of this page before clicking ‘Apply’.

      See course overview for more information about the interated foundation year option.

    • We welcome applications from mature students (aged 21 and over) and do not necessarily require the same academic qualifications as school leaving applicants, although some entry requirements may still apply for Professionally Accredited Courses. We accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas and make offers on an individual basis.

Fees and costs

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See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.
Start date Location UCAS code Fee (UK)
Fee per year
Fee (international)
Fee per year
Sep 2024 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham X313 £9,250 £16,600
Sep 2025 City Campus, Gloucester X313 TBC TBC
Sep 2026 City Campus, Gloucester X313 TBC TBC

Ready to apply?

UoG Career promise

At UoG we create a climate for bravery and growth. We instil confidence in all our students, so you can graduate career-ready and meet your ambitions.

95% of our graduates are in work or further study*, but if you’re not in a job 6 months after graduating we’ll guarantee you 6 months of free support, followed by the offer of a paid internship to kickstart your career – plus we’ll commit to lifetime career coaching. Eligibility conditions apply.

*Graduate Outcomes Survey published 2024 and based on 2021/22 leavers

Discover our promises


Early Childhood Studies (ECS) graduates have a wide range of career options, including roles such as early years setting manager, special educational needs and disabilities practitioner, children’s centre manager, family support worker, support practitioner for families with critically ill children, social work assistant, and paediatric occupational health assistant.

Graduates of this course can also pursue postgraduate options, including education mental health practitioners, teaching, occupational health, speech and language therapy, educational psychologists, and policy advisers.

Our ECS graduates regularly return to share their career progress from roles varying from neo-natal nursery nurses to family refuge centre practitioners.

Learn from industry-experienced lecturers

With diverse expertise in early years and health and social care settings, our lecturers will be able to support you with the diverse range of subject areas you’ll study. You’ll be fully-prepared to progress into a successful career.

Student on the Working With Children, Young People and Families course playing with children

Study a course with excellent teaching and academic support

Students rated us at 96% for both teaching and academic support in the National Student Survey 2023.

Primary school student looking through paper telescope
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Ranked in the top 10 in the UK for graduate prospects

Our childhood and youth studies courses are ranked in the top 10 in the UK for graduate prospects by the Complete University Guide 2024.

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Ranked in the top 15 in the UK for student and teaching satisfaction

Our education courses are ranked in the top 15 in the UK for student satisfaction and teaching satisfaction by the Guardian University Guide 2023.

Trips and experiences

You’ll have the opportunity to visit Stockholm in Sweden, an international leader in early years education. Gain unique access to a variety of settings, and witness first-hand how Swedish practitioners provide for their children and families.


Across the three years you’ll gain real-world experience of putting your skills into practice through a range of work based placements – such as children’s centres, schools, family refuge centres, gallery education teams, play rangers, nurseries, family support teams and special needs schools.

You’ll also have the option to achieve the Graduate Practitioner Competencies – which encompass and build upon the Level 3 Early Years Educator requirements.

"I love working with children"

“The best thing is the variety of placements that the uni will find for you. I love working with young children, they have no filter.”

Rhian Miles, Early Childhood Studies student

Student in classroom with pupils

Spotlight on an ECS Graduate's employment

Listen to one of our University of Gloucestershire, Early Childhood Studies graduates as they share with us their employment since graduating. Find out about the opportunities the degree has opened up to them and how it has helped her achieve her employment goals.

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