Early Childhood Studies

University College Birmingham

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: University of Birmingham
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Course summary

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Course snapshot Early childhood is viewed as the most formative period of our lives, shaping the foundations for our whole future. On University College Birmingham's Early Childhood Studies degree course, you'll gain the essential academic knowledge and practical experience to help meet the needs of children and families and the demand for highly-qualified graduate practitioners in the sector. Enhanced by the inclusion of the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies, our course provides a range of placement and enrichment opportunities allowing you to engage with multiple perspectives within early childhood, paving the way to a wide range of rewarding careers working with children. Who’s the course for? This course provides an ideal foundation for students seeking a career working with children, including areas such as nursery management and special needs. If you wish to move into teaching, our course also provides an excellent basis to progress onto a PGCE course. Why should I study the course?

  • Our course is one of the first in the country to incorporate the new Graduate Practitioner Competencies status, helping you stand out when applying for graduate roles.
  • You'll be able to take advantage of diverse enrichment opportunities including Makaton training, baby massage or Lego therapy as well as trips to Forest Schools.
  • Our course includes compulsory work placements (200 hours per year), giving you extensive real-world experience alongside your studies.
Great. Tell me some more This degree includes the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies. Developed by the Early Childhood Studies Degrees Network (ECSDN), these competencies are now included in the QAA Early Childhood Studies Subject Benchmark Statements with practice at Level 6 recognised by the Department for Education (DfE). We offer placement opportunities in a wide range of settings including nurseries, playgroups, children's centres, schools and specialist community organisations. Where possible, placements will be offered to compliment your chosen career pathway. This course will require you to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. UCB will co-ordinate and fund the completion of your DBS check prior to enrolment. Students who fall short of the required 96 UCAS Tariff points (but have no less than 60 UCAS points) are still welcome to apply. You will be asked to attend a progression module prior to starting your course (commencing in June) which requires you to attend two days of lectures and the completion of four assessment tasks. On successful completion of the progression module, you will be offered a place on the degree course. What skills will I gain? You will gain an understanding of the key characteristics of childhood and how to meet the needs of young children, as well as how to help them develop and grow through creating new learning opportunities such as play-based learning. You will gain an in-depth knowledge of the wider issues surrounding childhood development, such as social trends and the impact of legislation. By undertaking work placements, you will learn how to apply theory to practice in a range of environments. What about the future? Depending upon experience, graduates will be equipped to work in child-related organisations in education, welfare, leisure, advocacy and counselling in a variety of roles, including:
  • Family link officer (for the prison service)
  • Family support worker
  • Out of school club manager
  • Nursery manager/owner
  • Nursery supervisor/room leader
  • Mentoring/TA roles in schools
  • Pastoral/attendance officer in schools
  • Support worker roles for children’s charities
  • Children’s travel representative
  • Museum education officer
  • Personal learning coach in colleges
  • Early years lecturer
You could also progress onto postgraduate study, including a PGCE course at UCB.

Course details


Year 1

  • Nurturing Children's Health and Wellbeing
  • Introduction to the Early Years Framework
  • The Child in Society
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusive Play
  • Growth, Learning and Development
  • Pioneers, Pedagogy and Philosophy
Year 2
  • Child Protection and Safety in Practice
  • Effective Leadership and Management Skills
  • Child Development
  • Developing Research
  • SEND within the Early Years Sector
Plus one option from:
  • Creativity and Play in the Early Years
  • Children of the Future
  • Transition of Childhood
Year 3
  • Leading and Managing Systems
  • Enhancing Employability for Graduate Practice
  • Dissertation
Plus one option from:
  • Socio-historical Aspects of Childhood
  • Children's Voice
- Pedagogical Leadership in Play

Assessment method

Teaching Teaching is carried out by appropriately qualified and experienced lecturers and a typical teaching week will have up to 13 teaching contact hours made up as follows:

  • Large group teaching - 6 hours of lectures in lecture rooms
  • Smaller group teaching - 4 hours of seminars in small groups discussing topics presented in lectures
  • Tutorials - 3 hours per week, including a mixture of personal, group and academic tutorials
  • Field trips and visits
  • Assessment for nine distinct competencies – to achieve Graduate Practitioner Competencies status
Individual study In addition, you are expected to commit to approximately 20 hours a week of your own study time in preparation for teaching sessions and preparing for and completing assessment. Our online platform Canvas provides 24-hour access to learning and support material. Assessment There is a strong focus on the vocational nature of this course including live project work and group assessment. The modes of assessment are varied and include essays, reports, portfolio building, presentations, opportunities for research, the production of a creative resource and a training manual. An estimated breakdown of the assessment for this course is as follows:
  • Coursework - 100% (with the exception of an assessment in one module)
Please note that the information provided above is indicative only and actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued to students at induction. Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.

How to apply

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course codeX300
Institution code B35
Campus nameMain Site
Campus code-

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

Transferring from another university At University College Birmingham, we consider applications from students who have studied, or are currently studying, a Higher Education course and now wish to transfer universities. What do I need to do? To make an enquiry about studying at University College Birmingham, you will need to complete our online enquiry form -> https://portal.ucb.ac.uk/#/admissions/ucb-direct-apply Consideration for advanced entry will be dependent on the modules of your previous course, and how well this matches to the content of the course you wish to transfer to at University College Birmingham. Additionally, the process will be dependent on the number of credits achieved on your current course. Where similar study is apparent, it may be possible for us to award Accreditation for Previous Learning (APL) and, therefore, advanced entry onto a course at UCB will be permitted. Please note; due to the nature of this process, all applications are considered on an individual basis.

International applicants

All non-EU international students can apply directly via our online application forms: https://portal.ucb.ac.uk/#/admissions/direct-application/intro Undergraduate applicants can also apply via UCAS, if they wish to apply to more than one university. The International Admissions team aim to respond to any new application made directly via the online application form within 5 working days of receipt. However, this can vary during peak application periods (particularly January-March) or if the team require additional information to process your application. Applicants who apply to transfer to University College Birmingham on to a second year or final year of a course will have their previous course matched for entry. Each application is considered individually and careful consideration is given to all information on your application form. We may also need to contact you regarding your immigration status or previous studies in the UK.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information
UCAS Tariff 96 points Level 3 qualifications are accepted at UCB for entrance, a minimum of 96 UCAS Tariff points will be required. If you are unsure if your qualification is accepted call us on 0121 604 1040 or email [email protected]
A level CCC UCB will accept A Level in General Studies for this course and will also take into consideration applicants who are studying an extended project.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) MMM This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.
Access to HE Diploma D: 15 credits You will need a minimum of 96 UCAS Tariff points. A minimum of 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction.
Scottish Higher You will need a minimum of 96 UCAS Tariff points
GCSE/National 4/National 5 GCSE / IGCSE English language and maths grades A*-C or grade 9-4 or Functional Skills Level 2.
HNC (BTEC) P A relevant HNC or a foundation degree with 120 credits.
HND (BTEC) P A relevant HND or a foundation degree with 240 credits.

Academic Progression Programme (APP) Students who fall short of the 96 UCAS Tariff points (but no less than 60 UCAS points) are still welcome to apply for the BA Early Childhood Studies. In such cases, you will be asked to attend a progression module prior to the start of your course (commencing in June) which requires you to attend a series of lectures and tutorials plus the completion of three assessments. On successful completion of the progression module, students will be offered a place on the degree. Students who are studying a combination of different qualification types will receive an offer that will be inclusive of all Level 3 qualifications.

Additional entry requirements

Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland)


Students must also complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS). UCB will co-ordinate and fund the completion of the DBS check.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
Cambridge English AdvancedLevel B2BA/BSc - Minimum 170 with no less than 160 in any skill FdA/FdSc - Minimum 160 with no less than 150 in any skill
IELTS (Academic)BA/BSc - Overall score of 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each component FdA/FdSc - Overall score of 5.5 with no less than 5.0 in each component
Institution's Own TestBA/BSc - Overall score of B2 with no less than B2- in in each component FdA/FdSc - Overall score of B2- with no less than B1+ in in each component

To apply for all undergraduate degrees, if your first language is not English, you will need to sit an approved test in English.

UCB English Language Requirements


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
International £11500 Year 1

Additional fee information

UK/EU If you are a UK/EU student enrolling on a Foundation Degree or a BA/BSc at University College Birmingham in 2020/21, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250. A half year tuition fee is £4625. This is a yearly fee, and will increase with inflation in subsequent years (in line with the government’s permitted rise). If you are an English or EU student studying your first higher education qualification, you can apply for a tuition fee loan from the Student Loans Company. You will not start repaying this loan until you leave the course and are earning over £25,000 a year. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you should apply to Student Finance Wales, Student Finance Northern Ireland, or SAAS. The loans and grants available to you will differ from those available from Student Finance England. UCB does not charge for 24 or 48 week placements. More information about UK/EU Fees please go to our website here - https://www.ucb.ac.uk/our-courses/undergraduate/fees-funding-and-scholarships/full-time-tuition-fees-and-finance/full-time-tuition-fees.aspx International: More information about International Fees please go to our website here - https://www.ucb.ac.uk/our-courses/international/tuition-fees-and-scholarships.aspx

Provider information

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Our COVID-19 information

University College Birmingham
Summer Row
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Clearing contact details

Apply Direct to UCB
UCB Admissions

0121 604 1040

Course Clearing information

Additional information

Haven’t secured a place at university? Don’t panic! You can apply for a place at UCB through the clearing process, which opens every year in July. Not familiar with the clearing process? Here, you will find everything you need to know to get the ball rolling and secure your place at UCB. Our team of dedicated clearing advisors have your very best interests at heart and will guide you through every aspect of your application. Simply call us on 0121 604 1040 and we’ll get you started on your journey.

Course contact details

Visit our course page
Admissions Office

0121 604 1040

International Admissions

0121 232 4447

Early Childhood Studies at University College Birmingham - UCAS