BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies - Bath Spa University

Early Childhood Studies

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Key facts

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
School of Education
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: X312 or X313
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email with your specific details.

Explore issues in early childhood and gain practical experience of working with children and families.

Places still available through Clearing

Call our admissions team on +44 (0)1225 876 180 or complete our online form.

Find your place with Bath Spa.

  • Employability focused to enable achievement of the sector-recognised Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies.
  • Intellectually stimulating programme with 75 planned days of placement.
  • Explore real local and global issues in Early Childhood with engaging and experienced tutors.

For the 2021-22 academic year we have made a number of changes to teaching and learning in order to enable blended learning during the ongoing uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic.

The courses below will have specific changes for 2021-22, indicated in the Programme Change Form. We will revert to our published curriculum as far as possible for 2022-23. We will continue to keep the situation under review in light of ongoing Government guidance. The Programme Document beneath the main image shows you the programme specification as normally delivered.

On this dynamic course, you’ll develop a critical understanding of childhood, babies, children and families from multi-disciplinary and global perspectives. Informed by the latest research and our Centre for Research in Early Childhood (REACH), you’ll examine current debates and explore concepts such as play, development, ethics, wellbeing, social justice and leadership.

Through 75 days of planned placement activity, you’ll gain essential skills and knowledge of inclusive and collaborative practices to make a positive impact on children’s lives and shape your future career. You might also apply for our Certificate in Global Citizenship or opt for a study visit or international placement.

Open Days

Get a taste of university life – come to one of our Open Days.

Book your place

"This experience provided me with the opportunity to explore practice in the early years, which I had never really done before. I was able to participate in lengthy placements, which allowed me to gain substantial experience and develop what I had learnt from seminars."

Jessica Samuels, student

What you'll learn


You’ll gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • Social, cultural, historical, political and economic contexts of early childhood
  • Approaches to working with babies, young children, families and communities
  • An understanding of global issues and debates, such as young children as active participants in the lives and practices of families, societies and cultures
  • The processes which shape early childhood and young children's lives, including ethical principles and children's rights
  • Educational research and enquiry methods
  • Skills which support participation, critical engagement, and intellectual independence.

In addition to this, you’ll gain skills that will make you attractive to employers. You’ll learn to present your ideas confidently in a variety of forms, use ICT for various professional purposes and work collaboratively.

Course structure

Year one
Year one will introduce to you contemporary and global issues in childhood, the education and care of young children from birth to eight years, and the importance of reflection as a professional tool. Through your studies and placement, you’ll explore theoretical and research perspectives underpinning how children develop and learn. This includes a focus on children’s creativity, wellbeing, rights and participation.

Year two
During your placement and studies in year two, you'll develop your professional identity as an early childhood educator and gain a deep understanding of the care, development and learning of children between birth and eight years old. You’ll question how current social, political and cultural perspectives impact the lived experiences of children and their families, and critically examine issues such as equity and social justice, diversity and inclusion and digital technologies.

Year three
In year three you’ll continue in placement and gain an understanding of leadership in early childhood settings. Alongside this, experiential learning will support your knowledge of effective ways of leading a team, reflective practice, and working with parents, carers, families and communities. You’ll analyse concepts such as play and playfulness, ethics and democracy. Through balancing independent work with one-to-one support, you’ll carry out research in a chosen, specialist area and prepare for your future career.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed through coursework. There are no exams.

Assessments could include essays, group presentations, research-based reports and portfolio-based work. We’ll provide you with regular feedback on how well you're doing and give you regular guidance on how to improve your skills, knowledge and understanding.

How will I be taught?

Teaching is through a mix of lectures, seminars and individual tutorials. Seminars are usually more informal than lectures – they're opportunities for you to discuss, ask questions and get involved in activities and debates.

You’ll be taught by experienced and respected University staff. Throughout the course they’ll introduce you to their specialisms and research interests.

You’ll also benefit from visiting speakers – these include early childhood setting leaders, play therapists, children’s services, educational advisers, specialist researchers and international visitors.

Course modules

This Early Childhood Studies degree offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Introduction to Early Childhood Studies
  • Children’s Voices in Early Childhood
  • Constructions of Early Childhood
  • Research in Early Childhood
  • The Holistic Child
  • Children’s Participation

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Care, Development and Learning in Early Childhood
  • Professional Practice in an Early Childhood Setting
  • Issues in Early Childhood
  • Early Childhood Pedagogue

Two optional modules, such as but not limited to:

  • Education and International Development
  • Literacy Learning in a Multi Media World
  • Supporting Learners with Additional Needs
  • Critical Approaches to Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties in Education
  • Environment and Education
  • Youth in Society: Power, Politics and Participation
  • Values, Philosophy and Education: Dialogicality in Action
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Leadership and Teamwork in Early Childhood Settings
  • Play and Playfulness
  • Early Childhood Dissertation: Part 1
  • Early Childhood Dissertation: Part 2

Two optional modules, such as, but not limited to:

  • Building Bridges: The Team Around the Child/Young Person
  • Creativity and Digital Technologies in Education
  • Childhood, Reading and Children’s Literature
  • Health, Education and Wellbeing
  • Young People, Identities and Subcultures
  • Professional Practice: Supporting the Dyslexic Learning in the Classroom
  • Culture, Creativity and Society: Perspectives in Art Education
  • International Perspectives in Early Childhood
  • dentity, Philosophy and Education
  • Symbolic Representations: Young Children Making Meaning


Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Spain, Sweden and the USA.

Some of our students complete educational placements as part of our international education modules. Each year students will visit a different country which offers a rich context in which to understand international development and education.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Placements occur in each year of the programme (25 placement days/year) in a range of early childhood settings as part of the Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies. These extended placements also enable you to collect practice-based evidence for the accredited vocational qualification ‘Early Years Educator’. 

Optional modules provide further placement opportunities for you to work with young people both locally and internationally. The Institute for Education Partnership Office will arrange each placement for you. We try to ensure you are located within a reasonable distance from where you live; however, you should normally expect to travel using your own or public transport.

Previous students have worked with charities, youth centres and third-sector organisations such as museums, as well as in schools and early years settings.


Early Childhood Studies will provide the basis for you to work with young children in different early years settings and contexts. You may choose to work in educational and training advisory roles in a range of organisations including local community, businesses, local authorities, non-government organisations, charities, museums, art galleries and libraries.

You’ll also be able to apply for PGCE courses in teacher training (Early Years Initial Teacher Training or Primary and Early Years) – but if you know at this stage that you want to be a teacher you should consider our early years specialised teaching pathway.

Professional placement year


This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.


Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The Early Childhood Studies degree is taught on Newton Park campus.

You'll have access to a range of excellent facilities including:


You can hire out equipment using SISO, Bath Spa University’s free equipment loan service. We provide a huge variety of equipment, from cameras to laptops.


Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

UK students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

International students full time

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,910
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023
Year 3 Published Jan 2024

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024
Year 3 Published Jan 2025

All students full time - with professional placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We're looking for critical and compassionate students who are committed to working with and supporting the lives of babies, young children and families.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - grades BBC-CCC preferred.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades from Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) to Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) accepted in any subject.
  • T Levels – grade Merit-Pass (C+) preferred.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 27 points are required.
  • Access to HE courses - typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or entry requirements, please email us at

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Three year course
With placement year

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