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Early Childhood

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About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Education and Childhood
Three years; full-time
Programme leader:
Joe Brown
Key fact:
This course provides an excellent foundation for careers with children, or for further study.

Page last updated 1 August 2019


Why study early childhood?

Recent research has established the importance and quality of learning from birth.

Now is a really important time to consider how children explore their world. This degree in Early Childhood considers ideas which are central for children's lives and their education as well as the wider business world. This means graduates in Early Childhood are sought after for a wide range of employment opportunities

Why UWE Bristol?

BA (Hons) Early Childhood is an intellectually demanding and enjoyable course.

You'll examine issues around children's place in society, education, special educational needs, children's learning and development, language and reasoning and environments for children. Explore issues affecting children between birth and eight years old, link theory to practice, and understand social, psychological and philosophical factors in young children's lives, learning and development.

You will undertake work-related experience which is a central aspect of the degree. You'll spend 10 days in early years settings in your first year and 20 days in your final year. Exploring professional roles in a setting is the focus of your second year work-related learning.

You will develop key communication and interpersonal skills, including learning how to work effectively with others, organise information and ideas, and present your ideas clearly and confidently.

Where can it take me?

This course prepares you for  managerial careers in childcare and educational settings, children's services and family support.

Many students study for an early years or primary postgraduate teaching qualification, or for a master's degree in social work, psychology, play therapy or speech and language therapy.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



Year one

You will study:

  • Constructions of Childhood
  • Exploring Play
  • Children's Rights, Health and Wellbeing.

Year two

You will study:

  • Becoming a Researcher

Plus, four optional modules:

  • Children Meaning Making
  • Policy and Comparative Curricula
  • Leadership and Professional Futures
  • Reflective Practice
  • Observed Practice
  • Guided Studies.

Year three

You will study:

  • Dissertation or Guided Study.

Plus, three optional modules from:

  • Debating Childhoods
  • Emerging Languages and Identities
  • The Development of Reasoning
  • Guided Studies.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Learn through formal lectures, seminars and workshops, tutor and student-led study groups, one-to-one tutorials and online support.

Develop your ability to work independently and collaboratively and build valuable graduate skills such as self-starting and problem solving.

Explore different approaches to early childhood in a range of cultural settings. Critically compare a range of perspectives on early childhood, drawing on sources such as children's voices, parental voices, and educational voices, as well as theorised perspectives.

Learn how to handle competing and sometimes conflicting accounts of childhood, and understand the theoretical and empirical basis of these differences.

Build your ability to process and critically evaluate information and assess the reliability of information. Find out how to interpret complex and controversial material sensitively and well.

Learn how to use new software for writing, reporting and presentations, as well as for keeping up to date on policy developments and current research and debates.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Find out more about our academic staff, their teaching expertise and research interests.

Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year

Study time

This is a full-time course, but you'll have sufficient space in your week for other commitments, including work-related learning.

You should be motivated and able to learn independently. We will provide you with the support and help you need to study effectively on your own.


You can expect to be assessed through presentations and written assignments. There are no exams on this programme.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year



Work experience hones your skills and industry knowledge, making you a sought after graduate.

Placements are central to this degree, and you'll take part in approximately 35 days of work related learning over the 3 years. Many of our students choose to extend this through paid early years work.

Learning about children's interactions and their preoccupations in a real-world setting will give you insight into working with young children, complementing and enhancing your academic studies.

Study facilities

Our modern, purpose-built facilities offer high-quality teaching rooms, excellent IT facilities, equipment that can be loaned out, and an open learning area.

Many of your course materials, books and other reading will be available online. Friendly staff are always on hand to help when needed.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Work independently/time management

All students are expected to be able to motivate themselves and learn independently, as employers regard this as an important graduate skill. We actively encourage you to learn independently by providing you with the support and help needed to study effectively on your own and manage your time well.

Communicate effectively

Studying Early Childhood involves understanding the philosophical, social and psychological context of young children's learning and development. The modules you study will give you the opportunity to improve your capacity to write and speak well and to understand diverse approaches to early childhood in a range of cultural settings. The assignments that you carry out will encourage you to make use of a diverse range of media and improve your ICT skills.

The course encourages learners to critically compare a range of perspectives on early childhood, drawing on sources such as children's voices, parental voices, educational voices, as well as theorised perspectives. The ability to understand a range of voices and to critique diverse perspectives provides a sound footing for work with, and on behalf of, children in care, educational and policy settings and in the wider workforce.   

Hear what our students think about their time here.

Interpret data and articulate ideas successfully (problem solving)

Early Childhood requires a disciplined approach to argument and data based on a variety of perspectives. This means that you need to be able to deal with competing and sometimes conflicting accounts of childhood and understand the theoretical and empirical basis of these differences. By developing your ability to process and critically evaluate information, you will develop your skills to assess the reliability of information, to understand complex and controversial material and to interpret it sensitively and well.

Develop interpersonal skills

Whether you choose to work in education, Early Years settings, children's support services or in the wider world of business, the Early Childhood course will help you develop excellent interpersonal skills, through the practical collaborative tasks you are required to undertake. Both empirical and library based tasks are undertaken and presented individually and collaboratively.

Develop IT skills

You will learn how to use ICT packages for writing, reporting and presentational purposes, as well as for keeping up-to-date on policy developments and current research and debates via the Internet.


Careers / Further study

You will prepare for an exciting future in a range of managerial careers in childcare or educational settings, children's services, and family support. You could go on to postgraduate study, including training for early years or primary teaching and Early Years Teacher Status. Or you could go on to take a postgraduate degree in play therapy, speech and language therapy, social work or psychology.

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and help find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our Employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Read Abigail's experience of studying at UWE Bristol.

See also:

Prospects - careers in teaching and education


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee13000
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1625
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1156

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year85

Supplementary fee information

Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs


We are pleased to confirm that our New students webpages are now available for students starting this course in September 2019. Here you can find links to useful information about registering, course start dates, arriving on campus what to expect before and when you arrive.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your Preparing to Study information is available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages.

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 104
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language or equivalent.* Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Literacy and Numeracy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Relevant subjects: Childhood studies and Psychology and Sociology are particularly relevant. We also accept the CACHE Diploma in childcare.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 15 level 3 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

We recognise the individual nature of each application and our typical offer should be viewed as a guide. UWE Bristol welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. We will consider evidence of your relevant personal, professional or educational experience where it demonstrates an ability and potential to succeed on the course. Please include details of any relevant experience in your application.

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for Foundation Year entry into this or other related degree courses.

If you receive an offer for this course, you may be invited to attend an Offer Holder Day in February or March. These are a great opportunity to find out what it's really like to study here. You'll experience taster lectures or workshops, meet your course tutors, current students and other offer holders.

All offers will be subject to satisfactory health checks.

Disclosure of Criminal Background

Applicants who are offered a place must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a Disclosure Application Form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.

UWE Bristol's International College

If you do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

Route into PGCE Primary/Primary Early Years

For those considering this degree as a route into PGCE Primary/Primary Early Years, you will also need a GCSEs grade C/4 or above in Mathematics and Science,or equivalent.*  For the Upper Primary (PGCE Primary) course you are also required to have a qualification relevant to the National Curriculum which could be in your degree or at A-level (or equivalent).

*If you do not meet the GCSE entry requirements, we will accept equivalency tests that are of a standard equivalent to GCSE grade C or above.

Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) alongside BA(Hons) Early Childhood pathway

The Undergraduate Entry Route to EYTS follows the programme for the BA(Hons) Early Childhood degree, but those successful in gaining a place for the EYTS award will study some specialist options which are open only to those candidates awarded places on this course.

By successfully graduating with Early Years Teacher Status alongside the BA(Hons) Early Childhood, you will be a qualified teacher of children aged between 0 and 5 years. The qualification offers an equivalent to Qualified Teacher Status for the 0-5 age range and is designed to provide highly qualified staff who can lead the delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum in early years' settings.

Additional entry requirements for EYTS pathway:

  • Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in Mathematics and Science, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A pass in the Department for Education Professional Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy.
  • Interview at UWE to determine aptitude for working with young children.
  • A minimum of ten days experience of working with children.
  • All offers will be subject to satisfactory health checks.
  • Disclosure of Criminal Background (as outlined above).

Will I be liable for additional fees?

There is no additional charge for the EYTS Assessment. Students will leave with a BA(Hons) Early Childhood Degree and with Early Years Teacher Status.

Offer Types

If you have not received your exam results, your offer from us will be conditional and will be subject to you achieving the tariff points/grades required for your course.

If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you are likely to be made an unconditional offer. Please note that we will only make unconditional offers if you have already achieved your qualifications.

To make sure our applicants are academically prepared for when they start their studies here, we do not make unconditional offers to those that are still studying their Level 3 qualifications (such as A levels, BTEC, Access or equivalent). We hope that this will encourage our applicants to value their academic achievements as much as we do.

Read more about entry requirements.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


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