University College Birmingham

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. Today's early childhood sector requires highly-qualified graduate practitioners, and on UCB's Early Childhood Studies degree course, you'll gain the essential academic knowledge and practical experience to help meet the ever changing needs of children and their families. 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, while our strong sector links and range of enrichment opportunities will allow you to engage with multiple perspectives within early childhood, paving the way towards 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 child psychology, nursery management, teaching 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?

  • As one of the very first in the UK to incorporate the new and innovative Graduate Practitioner Competencies status, our course is endorsed by the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network (ECSDN) and recognised by the Department for Education (DfE), meaning you will be assessed for nine distinct competencies and gain a licence to practise in certain areas of the sector when you graduate.

  • 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 a compulsory work placement, giving you extensive real-world experience alongside your studies.

Great. Tell me some more

We can offer you placement opportunities in a wide range of settings including nurseries, playgroups, children's centres, schools and specialist community organisations. Our hired@UCB employability team will help you find work to suit your interests.

This course will require you to undergo vetting by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). 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 the start of your course (commencing in June) involving a series of lectures and tutorials as well as three assessments. 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
  • Research in Action
  • SEND in the Early Years

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 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. UCB Online provides 24-hour access to learning and support material.


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 1 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 code X300
Institution code B35
Campus name Main Site
Campus code -

This course may be available at alternative locations, please check if other course options are available

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 -> 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. Please email: Alternatively, please call 0044 121 232 4447

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Qualification Offer Further 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
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

Test Grade Additional details
Cambridge English Advanced Level B2 BA/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 Test BA/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

Channel Islands £9,250 Year 1
EU £9,250 Year 1
International £10,300 Year 1
England £9,250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9,250 Year 1
Scotland £9,250 Year 1
Wales £9,250 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 2019/20, 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 - International: More information about International Fees please go to our website here -

Provider information

Visit our website

University College Birmingham
Summer Row
B3 1JB

Course contact details

Visit our course page
Admissions Office

0121 604 1040

International Admissions

0121 232 4447