Student with a bucket of water pouring it into a container


Early Childhood (with Foundation Year)

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Education and Childhood
Four years
Programme leader:
Rebecca Kingsley-Jones
Key fact:
Designed for those who want to work in a professional capacity with or for children, this course provides an excellent foundation for careers with children or further study.

Page last updated 30 November 2018


Why study early childhood?

Research from recent years has revealed a great deal about the quality and quantity of learning that occurs in children under eight years old.

It's an exciting time to consider how children explore the world. The things we discover are used across our education system and the business world, so it's not surprising that graduates in early childhood are sought after for employment.

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, child development, the development of identity, reasoning, language, and children and technology.

Explore the issues affecting children between birth and eight years old, linking theory to practice, and understand the social, psychological and philosophical factors in young children's lives, learning and development.

Real-world experience is central you'll spend at least 10 days in early years settings in year one and 20 days in your final year. You'll explore professional roles in year two.

Develop key communication and interpersonal skills, such as 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



The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year zero (foundation year)

You will study:

  • What is English?
  • Learners and Learning
  • Childhood and Educational Landscapes
  • Guided Study.

You normally need to pass your foundation year before going into Year one.

Year one

You will study:

  • Children in Society, Past and Present
  • Exploring Play in Early Childhood
  • Working with all Children and exploring SEN (with experience in EY settings)
  • The Developing Child.

Year two

You will study:

  • Responsibilities, Leadership and Professional Futures.
  • Comparative Early Childhood Policy and Provision
  • Technological Childhoods
  • Children Making Meaning. 

Final year

You will study:

  • Researching Ethically with Young Children
  • Dissertation including experience in Early Year settings
  • Emerging Languages and Identities
  • Development of Reasoning.

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 three 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 an 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 undertake 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) Fee13500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1688
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


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 64
  • 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 Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • English Language Requirement:

    If English is not your first language, you will need to meet the UK Border Agency's and the University's minimum English language requirements, such as the International English Language Test (IELTS) overall score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component*.

  • 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 one A-Level.
  • 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; no specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

*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.

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.

Students who expect to achieve a higher tariff score may also be interested in our BA(Hons) Early Childhood course.

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 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.

UWE Bristol's International College

If you are an international student your recommended route of study for this degree is through UWE Bristol's International College which, upon successful completion to the required level and with good attendance, guarantees entry to Year 1 of the degree.

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


UWE Main Campus

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