Early Years Education

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

  • UCAS codes: Institution B20, Course X312 or X313 (with professional placement year)

Key facts

BA (Hons) Early Years Education
Institute for 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. Typical offers include A Level grades BCC-CCC.

View "typical offers" for more information.

Want to work with younger children? Gain a critical understanding of education, particularly in relation to early years provision.

  • A flexible programme with a range of modules and opportunities for placements.
  • Opportunity to gain the accredited vocational Early Years Educator award.
  • Engaging and experienced tutors with a wide range of knowledge and expertise.

Through the course you’ll develop a critical understanding of early years provision. We’ll also help you to understand what education and schooling has been and develop a vision of what education might become in the future.

We ensure that you have maximum flexibility on your course while still retaining a clear focus on the study of early years education from a variety of perspectives.

Your modules are designed to provide you with essential knowledge and understanding for your future career such as ensuring you are well-versed in children’s rights and protection as well as developing insights into effective leadership and teamwork. You might also apply for our Certificate in Global Citizenship or opt for a module that includes a study visit or international placement.

"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, Early Years Education student

What you'll learn


You’ll gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the aims, values and outcomes of education in local and global contexts;
  • social, cultural, historical, political and economic contexts of education;
  • 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

We’ll introduce you to the education and care of young children from birth to 8 years and to the importance of reflection as a professional tool. You’ll explore theoretical and research perspectives underpinning how children develop and learn with an emphasis on holistic approaches, the concept of the unique child and relationships in the lives of babies and young children. The centrality of play, the outdoor environment and international approaches to working with young children are also examined.   

In addition you can tailor your studies to your interests in areas such as children’s voices; philosophy for children and international education.

Year two

You’ll gain depth in understanding of the care, development and learning of children between birth and eight years through exploring of a range of perspectives in theory and in research. You’ll examine the purpose and diversity of early childhood provision including multi-disciplinary approaches, and the influence of policy agendas. You’ll be introduced to images and constructions of childhood, and have the opportunity to link theory to a professional practice module. You’ll also be able to be assessed for the award of ‘Early Years Educator’.

Current optional modules include: learning through drama; literacy learning; and supporting learners with additional needs.

Year three

You’ll gain understanding of the principles and theories of leadership in early childhood settings, including effective ways of leading a team, reflective leadership and working with parents/carers, families and communities. You’ll also be able to explore young children’s make meaning, focusing on literacy development and learning or you can examine international perspectives on early childhood and visit early childhood settings in Denmark. In your third year, you’ll also write a dissertation, balancing independent work with one-to-one support.

Optional modules include: learning and mathematics; supporting a dyslexic learner; and creativity, ICT and learning.

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 are 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 are opportunities for you to discuss, ask questions and get involved in activities and debates. In year one your minimum timetabled time will be 12 hours per week.

You’ll be taught by experienced and respected university staff. In years two and three they’ll introduce you to their specialisms and research interests, through a range of optional modules. You’ll also benefit from visiting speakers – these include headteachers, educational advisers, specialist researchers and international visitors.


Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world, by taking advantage of our Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes.

Some of our students complete educational placements as part of our international education modules. In your first year, you’ll have the opportunity to study in Spain; in year two you can study in Zambia; and in your final year you can travel to Nepal. Alternatively you can arrange your own international placement.

Work placements, industry links and internships

Placements occur in each year of the programme. In year two there is an opportunity for you to gain the accredited vocational qualification ‘Early Years Educator’ whilst taking your placement module. 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 also worked with charities, youth centres, and third-sector organisations as well as schools and early years settings.


Early Years Education 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 and charities, museums, art galleries and libraries.

You’ll also be able to apply for PGCE courses in teacher training – but if you know at this stage that you want to be a teacher you should consider our early years specialised teaching pathway.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

The course 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.


UK and EU students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

UK and EU students full time - with 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.

International students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £12,900
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for critical and compassionate students. We value creativity, so the ability to think outside the box is an important trait we look for in candidates.

Typical offers

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

  • A Level - Grades BCC-CCC accepted.
  • BTEC-  Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points with evidence of an interest in Education.
  • 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) accepted in addition to evidence of an interest in Education.

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.

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.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Rebecca Digby
Email: r.digby@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk