About the course
The first few years of a child’s development have a huge impact in preparing them for later life. That’s why there’s so much debate about providing young children with the best possible foundation, and that debate is shaping the latest government reforms. This course gives you a thorough grounding in childhood development, helping you go on to work with young children and their families in those crucial early years.
Why Early Years?
- Our Early Years BA(Hons) course will give you the chance to explore a wide range of issues to do with young children up to six years old. You’ll look at health and wellbeing, education and learning and development. We’ll also go on to take a wider view, focusing on topics such as safeguarding, society and environment.
- Work placements form a key part of the course. Your placement will give you the chance to gain real, practical experience working in a professional environment. These practical experiences, combined with your academic studies, will help you develop the skills that employers are looking for.
- While you’re studying, you’ll be able to access our extensive professional and academic network, not to mention our excellent facilities and specialist equipment, including our mock Early Years classroom designed to help you prepare for the real world whilst you study.
You should choose Early Years if you are interested in early childhood education and care services and want to develop your knowledge and understanding about children and their lives, including their families and communities. The focus is primarily on younger children and the Early Years Foundation Stage, from birth to the end of reception; although we do recognise the importance of holistic perspectives in care, learning and development. You will have an opportunity to experience working with children during your placements as this 'hands on' practical learning forms a major part of the course and compliments the many exciting modules you will take. My role is to ensure that the course is current and in line with sector requirements and that all students receive a high quality experience.
Amanda Crow, Course Leader, Early Years
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 an essay 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 that explain the basis of development and learning. Assessment typically involves the production of a display and a timed test.
While exploring work-based learning opportunities, this module seeks to nurture independent learning and a holistic approach to enhancing your own professionalism and practice. Assessment typically involves building on a skills gap analysis to produce a reflective summary and a portfolio of evidence.
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 test and a written assignment.
Safeguarding Children and Young People
This module will help raise your awareness of current legislation, policies and procedures which exist to promote children and young people’s rights and to keep them safe from harm. It emphasises the knowledge, skills and qualities required to work with children, young people, their families and carers and other professionals in safeguarding contexts; and critically explores broader concepts of child abuse. Assessment typically involves the completion of an oral assessment and a timed test.
Advanced Professional Practice
The programme of study will nurture your independent learning and enhance your own professionalism and practice through structured workplace learning. There will be an emphasis on you setting your own work related learning objectives, developing reflective practice and using learning agreements. Assessment for this module typically involves the development of a portfolio.
Literacy and Mathematics in Early Years and KS1
This module will seek to raise your awareness of the basic principles, concepts and processes underpinning children’s literacy and mathematical development and learning. You’ll examine teaching strategies which support learning in each area and through cross curricula links. You’ll be aware of how learning and development is assessed with reference to the relevant frameworks. Assessment typically includes an analysis of children's work and a written evaluation of the teaching and learning strategies used.
This module is designed to recognise the qualities of the Senior Practitioner to ensure continuous development and evaluate the influences of theories of child development and learning in early years settings today. Assessment typically involves the development of a detailed study of an individual child and exploring how the setting and practitioner support care, learning and development needs.
Health and Well Being
Through this module you’ll explore different aspects of the health and well-being of children and young people and become equipped to evaluate the wider public health agenda, national trends and supporting legislation. Assessment is typically via research, presentation, discussion and written evaluation.
This module explores a range of research strategies and methods, preparing you to assess the value and significance of different approaches to data collection and analysis within your field of study. You’ll learn how to develop your own research design, and how to collect and analyse information in order to find out new things about a topic that you’re interested in. Coursework typically involves developing your own research proposal.
This module allows you to pursue your particular interests and demonstrate the breadth of knowledge, understanding and strengths that you have developed during your degree studies. You’ll be supported through the design and implementation of a small scale piece of educational research into your chosen topic. This module is your opportunity to bring together everything you have learned in a study of your choosing and you'll typically be assessed via a dissertation.
Choose one from a list which may include:
Leadership and Management in Professional Contexts
This module seeks to develop your understanding of theories of leadership, management and the organisation of professional practice. You’ll have the opportunity to explore relevant theory and practical factors such as mentoring arrangements, group structures, staff development and the leadership of change in professional practice. Assessment typically involves the development of an annotated bibliography and a poster presentation.
Support Learning in Young Children
You’ll be introduced to the principles of effective teaching for supporting children’s learning. You'll learn about the concept of inclusion, the principles of both medium and short term planning, and a variety of perspectives on planning and teaching. Assessment is typically via peer presentation and the development of a written, reflective report.
You study four modules each year. These place an emphasis on work-based practice. Module content gives you the opportunity to gain the underpinning knowledge in a range of essential early years subjects. We’ll help you to develop your skills as a reflective practitioner and to improve your academic ability. You’ll be encouraged to develop your own particular interests by choosing some option modules after Year 2.
You’ll be taught through a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and interactive workshops. 12.4% of the study time on the Early Years course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc and you’ll also have a personal tutor who’ll be assigned to you throughout your degree to support your ongoing wellbeing and ensure that you have a positive learning experience.
Assessments vary and include essays, developing creative and teaching resources to support children’s learning, student-led seminars, presentations and timed tests.
Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.
Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the academic year in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.
• This course has been updated in line with the National Occupational Standards for the Level 6 Early Years Educator as set out by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). This ensures currency and recognition in the sector.
BBCat A Level or equivalent
112 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications
DMM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma, D*D* BTEC National Diploma or CACHE Diploma grade B relevant to working with children.
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 will be considered acceptable. 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.
- Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
- We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
- Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. The University is number one in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications (HEFCE, 2016).
- For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
- We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff* have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.
*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.
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 A significant 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.
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.
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.
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, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.
The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.