Early Childhood Studies (BA Hons)

Male nursey worker at parkend nursery

Study mode



3 Years (Full-Time)
4 Years (Integrated Foundation Stage)


Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

Our Early Childhood Studies (BA Hons) course scored 94% for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2019.

Make a real difference to the lives of young children and their families and work towards becoming part of the essential early years graduate workforce. The course will support your development in a wide range of professional skills essential for working with children (aged 0-8 years) and families; including those with additional needs.

Across the three years you will gain real-world experience of putting your skills in to 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. To build upon these experiences you will have the opportunity to visit Stockholm; Sweden; an international leader in early years practice. You will be able to witness first-hand how they provide for their children and families across a variety of setting types and develop skills in conducting a comparative study.

You will be supported by lecturers with a wealth of varied professional experience to develop knowledge and understanding of the complex world surrounding young children and their families. Maintaining a focus upon young children and families you will be encouraged to explore areas linked to education, health, social care, psychology, sociology and media studies.

In your first year, you will explore contemporary influences and factors that impact upon children’s lives and how we may use this knowledge to provide the most enabling environment for their development. In addition, you will develop skills to enable you to ‘tune in’ to children to identify and manage individual needs.

Year two focuses on working with children and their families within 21st-century communities; including those who have been marginalised. In addition, you will investigate how children learn, the characteristics of effective learning and the impact this can have upon their learning dispositions, such as motivation, curiosity, creativity, thinking and self-reflection.

In your final year, studying the contemporary issues module will ensure that you enter the workforce knowledgeable of the most recent developments and issues impacting upon professional practice, children and families. You will also be able to choose from optional modules, studying subjects such as: the biological, environmental and sociological factors that influence wellbeing; and the notion that lifelong learning within education is the key means of equipping children to meet the challenges that face them in their 21st-century lives.

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Study style

The learning surrounding practices and theories takes place through lectures, workshops, presentations, projects, electronic discussions and assignments. There is also a strong emphasis on the development of ICT, communication and presentation skills. Assessment is 100% coursework, based on professional development and focused on 'real-world' early years practice.

Course modules

You'll study a variety of modules from 'Special Needs: Listening to Children' to 'The Creative and Thinking Child'.

Take a look at the course content for full details of all the modules you'll study on this course.

Entry requirements

Tariff information for 2020 entry

96 tariff points

Not enough tariff points? This course is available with an integrated foundation stage to help you prepare.

Typical offers

CCC at A levels, BTEC MMM or use a combination of your qualifications to achieve the required tariff total.

Mature Applicants: We welcome applications from mature students (aged 21 and over) and do not necessarily require the same academic qualifications as school leaving applicants.

International Students: Please see the full details of entry requirements in your country.

Grade 4/C in GCSE English and Mathematics (or equivalent) are normally required. Please contact our admissions team if you have a question.

Subject to satisfactory DBS disclosure


See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

UCAS codes

UCAS codes available for this subject
BA (Hons) - 3 years full-timeX312
BA (Hons) - 4 years integrated foundation stageX313


  • Early years manager
  • Early years teacher
  • Family support worker
  • Children's centre manager
  • Child protection officer
  • Play therapist
  • Play specialist

Rhian Miles profile picture

Student Focus

Rhian Miles

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.

Industry links

You will gain real world experience through our partnerships with early years settings and multi-agencies. Our students benefit from these through work placements and guests in lectures. These include: Schools and children’s centres, Alderman Knight School, Berkhampstead School, Bettridge School, The Milestone School, The Family Haven (refuge centre) and Battledown Centre for Children & Families

Female talking to young children on a work placement field trip

Visit an early years setting in Stockholm, Sweden

You will have the opportunity to visit Stockholm, partnering with students and practitioners from the University of Stockholm to compare early years teaching best practice and innovation. Sweden is an international leader in early years education.

Female playing with toddlers on a work placement in a nursery

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 that you’ll study. You will be fully-prepared to progress into a successful career.

School of Education and Humanities

Our School of Education and Humanities will help you graduate as a well-rounded, innovative and passionate individual. You will work with experienced practitioners, engage with active researchers and be inspired by published authors.

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