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Early Childhood Education and Care BA(Hons)

2024-25 (also available for 2025-26)

It’s not too late to apply for September.
It’s not too late to apply for September.

Start date

16 September 2024


3 years full-time

Entry requirements

A Level - BBC-BCC


See full entry requirements

Places available (subject to change)


About the course

Reasons to study

  1. This course can boost your career prospects. Career options are wide and varied; past graduates are now employed as primary and early years teachers, early years practitioners, family support or early help practitioners, and community NHS practitioners.
  2. Work placements within early years and primary school settings can give you the chance to gain real-world experience and CV-enhancing, hands-on learning opportunities.
  3. You’ll have the opportunity to gain Graduate Practitioner Competency Status (GPCs) alongside your degree. This highlights your understanding of early childhood development and your ability to apply, critically evaluate and link theory to practice. The GPCs are recognised in the sector as a graduate practitioner.

Giving you a grounding in child development and early education, our Early Childhood Education and Care.

After all, events and the environment which make up a child’s early years can have a lasting impact on their development; it’s important, therefore, that children have the best possible start in life.

Why study Early Childhood Education and Care BA(Hons)

You’ll explore key issues that impact children’s lives. Focusing on birth to seven years old, you’ll look at:

  • child development
  • holistic and reflective practice
  • education and care
  • health and wellbeing
  • safeguarding
  • the impact of society on children’s learning and welfare.

Work placements form a key part of the course, with your placement giving you the chance to gain real, practical experience in a professional environment. You’ll undertake 240 hours in year 1 and 216 hours in year 2.  

These practical experiences, combined with your academic studies, will help you develop the skills that employers are looking for; some of our past students are now employed as primary and early years teachers, early years practitioners, social care, or NHS workers. Others are employed in special educational needs support, as teaching assistants, learning mentors and in early training services roles.

During this early childhood course, you’ll have the option to be assessed against the Graduate Practitioner Competencies (GPCs) of the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network (ECSDN). Successful demonstration of these competencies will mean you’ll be awarded Graduate Practitioner Status (GPS) alongside your degree. Gaining GPCs could increase your career prospects when looking for employment in the education and care of young children.

You might decide to further your education, developing more skills as an early years practitioner by enhancing your early years studies and boosting your confidence. You could enrol onto a postgraduate degree, for instance, before heading into the world of work.

This course offers a great starting point for a range of career opportunities too.

Course detail

Core modules:

Theories and Strategies for Learning

This module encourages the development of the academic study and communication skills necessary for successful study at degree level. Assessment typically includes preparing and delivering a presentation considering issues or theories related to your course of study and a portfolio of evidence of your developing research and academic skills.

Perspectives in Learning and Development

You’ll be introduced to the theories and research that underpin development and learning for children, young people and adults and consider key concepts in this area. Assessment typically involves the production of a display and a timed assessment.

Professional Practice 1

On this module you'll be introduced to practice in supporting young children's development. You'll develop a holistic approach to enhancing your own professionalism and practice. Assessment typically involves a written case study detailing an individual child's learning and development. Students will be required to complete a placement with 0-7 year olds.

Self, Society and Welfare

This module helps develop your understanding of society. You'll examine social issues in society, such as poverty and inequality, and how the state responds to them through ‘welfare’, as well as through ‘rights’ and ‘citizenship’. Assessment typically involves the completion of a timed assessment and a written assignment.

Entry requirements

BBC-BCCat A Level or equivalent.

112-104 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications.

Merit at T Level.

DMM-MMM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma, D*D* BTEC National Diploma or CACHE Diploma grade B relevant to working with children.

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above.
  • 112-104 UCAS tariff points from International Baccalaureate qualifications.

In addition you must also:

  • Have GCSE English Language at grade 4 or above and GCSE Maths (or equivalent) at grade 4 or above, (or grade C or above if awarded under the previous GCSE grading scheme).
  • Provide a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and health clearances.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements.

Real-world experience

Sally Booth, Early Years BA(Hons)

Sally studied Early Year BA(Hons). Find out how her placement at Scholes Junior and Infants School helped to develop her experience and skills whilst she studied.


Placement experience is highly regarded by employers and enables you to understand practice alongside experienced mentors and practitioners. Placements are a key part of the course and are managed and supported by an experienced team of tutors, who work closely with mentors in the placement settings.

You will undertake 240 hours in a work placement in Year 1 and 216 hours in Year 2. There will be opportunities to work with children 0-7 and this will be in the Private, Voluntary, Independent (PVI) and school settings, so that you gain experience in planning and observing children, learning how to enhance the environment to support children's development and learning.

The assessment for placements in the first two years is mapped to the Graduate Practitioner Competencies (GPC), alongside your outcomes in the two Professional Practice modules. If you successfully meet all criteria you will be given the opportunity to do a further placement in Year 3. This involves 125 hours working with children aged from birth to seven. Students who complete placements in all three years of the course will have the opportunity to evidence the assessed practice requirements for gaining Graduate Practitioner Status (GPS) alongside their degree.

Everyone was so welcoming and pushed me to develop as a future professional. I learnt how to lead my own practice and follow my instincts; and it was not long before I had gained valuable relationships with the staff and the children. It was definitely my home from home.

Paul Baker

Abbie Fletcher, graduated from Early Years BA(Hons) in 2017, completed a placement at Bridgend House Nursery in Brighouse.

Your career

This course will enable you to consider a varied range of careers and you will be able to use your transferable professional skills such as: organisational, leadership, teamwork, communication, record keeping, report writing to work in a professional capacity, while keeping children and young people safe and promoting their health and well-being. 

The course can lead to future careers in early years practice, teaching assistant, teaching, social work, family support, educational pastoral support, SEN teacher, SEN support, training consultant, early years marketing, speech and language assistant, health visitor assistant, nanny, childminder, please notes they may be further study required at post graduate level for some career options. The degree will also be useful if you are pursuing roles in early years settings (including childminders), Children's Centres, community hubs, schools, Local authority, training organisations, FE teaching and typical employers include - early years settings (including childminders), Children's Centres, community hubs, schools, local authorities, training organisations, FE colleges. 

You may also want to undertake further study to boost your career prospects through post graduate study, this would apply if you were intending to work in teaching (PGCE), speech and language, social work, disability nursing, children's nursing, play therapist, educational psychologist. There are different master’s degrees in childhood and early years practice and where a specialism is the focus such as Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Opportunities to be a research assistant, study for a PHD/Doctorate or be enterprising and set up own business may also be available.

* Percentage of graduates from this subject who are in work and/or further study within fifteen months of graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020/21, UK domiciled, other activities excluded).

80-95% Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

A wide range of resources are also offered within the School of Education and Professional Development, which you would be a part of should you decide to study this course. The school provides you with support in a variety of areas, these include:

Student Support Office (iPoint): a one-stop-shop for students, studying within the School. Here you can get help and advice, including checking your timetable, finding a tutor, handing in assessments. We can also refer you to other departments within the University such as, student finance, student services etc.

Academic Skills Tutor: provides guidance about how you can develop your academic skills in order to improve your grades. We provide support with general academic skills including essay writing, time management, presentations and group work skills; information technology and numeracy; research skills, as well as personal development for example confidence building and assertiveness. 

Student Support Officer: provides confidential and impartial advice on welfare and course related issues.

Placements, Employability and Partnerships An enormous part of your learning takes place whilst on placement.  To help you get the best possible experience we operate an extensive professional network giving you the opportunity to access a wide range of high quality placement providers. Our professional network includes links with local authorities, schools, colleges, early years settings, voluntary organisations, youth services and youth offending teams to offer you real-life experience whilst you study. Our placements team offer you help to find your placement and support you through it.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Cancellation of a course you have applied for

Although we always try and run all of the course we offer, we may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or combine your programme with another programme if we consider this reasonably necessary to ensure a good student experience, for example if there are not enough applicants to ensure you have a good learning experience. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will contact you to discuss other suitable courses with us we can transfer your application to. If we notify you that the course you have applied to has been withdrawn or combined, and you do not wish to transfer to another course with us, you may cancel your application and we will refund you any deposits or fees you have paid to us.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to. You should read these carefully before you enrol. Please note that this information is subject to change and you are advised to check our website regularly for any changes before you enrol at the University. A person who is not party to this agreement shall not have any rights under or in connection with it. Only you and the University shall have any right to enforce or rely on the agreement.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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