Education & Early Years Foundation Entry Year BA (Hons)

Key Information:

Start date: September

Institutional code: O10

UCAS code: X12X

Duration: 4 years (1 year Foundation, 3 years Degree course)

Course type: Full Time

Places available: 25

Fees per year: £7500

Additional costs: DBS Check - £50


Entry Requirements

Admission to the Preparatory Year will be 32 UCAS points. The University Campus considers each application on its own merits, and does consider alternative experience and qualifications for entry onto degree programmes. The Preparatory start year offers students the opportunity to develop academic skills and areas of professional knowledge to support the transition to the full BA (Hons) or other appropriate courses such as FdA Children and Young People to those applicants who may not meet the full degree entry requirements. The Preparatory year is also a time to achieve Maths GCSE at grade C or above and English GCSE grade C or above whilst studying if either or both have not yet been achieved.

Transition to the BA (Hons) Early Years or the FdA Children and Young People will rely on a PASS and guidance will be offered to each student to ensure transition to a course is available that meets each students needs and aspirations. DBS check and process organised by the university during enrolment, registration and induction. DBS clearance will need to be achieved before any work placement can begin. The DBS will be paid for by the applicant.

It will be desirable that applicants are able to demonstrate appropriate personal qualities and attitudes for working with young children and their families.

An interview or applicant day attendance will be expected before an offer is made.

Non-standard applicants may be considered for entry without meeting all the admissions requirements and must demonstrate during interview that they have sufficient general academic skills to be able to undertake the course with relevant experience related to work with young children and young people and their families in the community.


BA (Hons) Early Years (after successful completion of the 4 year programme) validated by Sheffield Hallam University.

If you do not meet the requirements for the three year honours degrees, you should consider this option. The Preparatory year is designed for students who may not have all the required grades/entry requirements for the traditional degree course. The Preparatory year is designed to give you the skills, knowledge and grounding to get the most from higher education. Through the mix of modules taken in this year you will gain confidence, develop new skills, and gain knowledge which will give you the essential preparation for success in your chosen degree.

Course Content - Year 1

The first year of the 4 year course is the Foundation Year:

    • Academic Writing and Reflective Practice

This module aims to raise students’ awareness of the standards required for academic study and professional work and focuses their attention on professional and academic communication skills.  It ensures that all students, whatever their prior experience of academic work, understand the nature of, and have the opportunity to practise, the production of academic and professional writing to an appropriate standard.  It ensures that students know how to search for and evaluate information and that they can access from a range of sources.

    • Introduction to Safeguarding

This module aims to raise awareness of current legislation, policies and procedures which exists to promote children and young people’s rights and keep them safe from harm. It emphasises the qualities required by the practitioner to work alongside families and other professionals to protect children.

    • Introduction to Child Development

This module aims to develop an awareness and understanding of how children and young children learn and develop. Students will explore theoretical approaches in child learning and development and identify factors affecting learning and development. They will become aware of assessment techniques and ethical principles.

    • Contemporary Issues (optional)

This module introduces the student to contemporary issues associated with inequality and highlight the importance of considering not only the need for inclusion, but also of reflecting on and clarifying what we mean by related concepts such as equality, diversity and inclusion. The module aims to help students question how we develop our understanding of these concepts and to think about transforming our own practice to develop inclusive practice and address issues relating to inequality.

    • Play (optional)

This module raises an awareness and understanding of the role of play in children’s learning and development. Students will explore the stages of play and the role of age and experience. They will identify the different types of play and be aware of the importance of challenging stereotypes and promoting equality through play

    • Project Study

This module provides the opportunity to develop skills relating to the presentation, research and production of a project Students will be identify their project remit, review research and findings, make presentations on their progress and produce an extended report or essay to the deadline.


Course Content - Year 2
    • Professional Practice with Placement

The programme of study aims to nurture independent learning and emphasise the importance of a holistic approach to enhancing own professionalism and practice through structured workplace learning. The module will explore work-based learning opportunities together with student occupational and professional concepts, principles and techniques, including reflective practice and using established analytical tools. The student will develop and maintain a systematic approach to evidencing and reviewing practical work. There will be an emphasis on setting workplace learning objectives and reflective practice. Student development will be supported in the workplace through mentoring/supervision arrangements and tutor visits. A total of 240 work placement hours will be achieved in the setting of your choice.

    • Academic and Professional Development

This module aims to encourage the development of the academic study and communication skills necessary for success on the course. It introduces the key concepts, theories and practices of HE Level 4 study and prepares students for the transition to Level 5.

    • Learning and Development

This module aims to introduce significant theories and research which underpin development and learning for children. It considers a range of key concepts to explain the basis of development and learning. It identifies the different dimensions of development (cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional) and locates these aspects of development in their cultural and social context. It focuses on different transitions that children may/will make and introduces students to different perspectives on the processes involved in learning and development

    • Working with People in Teams

The module aims to examine the theory, principles and practice of working with individuals and with groups and considers a range of models appropriate for use by Early Years. Students analyse group interaction and apply appropriate theory to a project where the group has worked together. Students reflect on their experience and consider their own role, their skills and qualities in the group context.

    • Society, Families and Children

This module aims to develop students’ understanding of society. Firstly, it examines social policy issues in society, such as poverty and inequality, and how the state responds to them through ‘welfare’, as well as through ‘rights’ and ‘citizenship’ Students will then investigate social differentiation by examining key sociological concepts such as social class, gender, the family, ethnic identity and crime.


Course Content - Year 3
    • Professional Practice 2 with Placement

The programme of study aims to nurture students’ independent learning and emphasise the importance of a holistic approach to enhancing their own professionalism and practice through structured workplace learning. Students will explore work-based learning opportunities/employability together with occupational and pedagogical concepts, principles and techniques, including reflective practice and using established analytical tools. Students will develop and maintain a systematic approach to evidencing and reviewing their professionalism/employability. There will be an emphasis on students setting their own work related learning objectives using a series of learning contracts, developing reflective practice skills to support critical analysis. Students’ development will normally be supported in the workplace through mentor arrangements and the completion of 240 hours in an appropriate work placement.

    • Safeguarding

This module aims to raise awareness of current legislation, policies and procedures which exist to promote children’s rights and keep them safe from harm. It emphasises the knowledge, skills and qualities required to work with children, their families and carers and other professionals in safeguarding contexts. Students critically explore the social construction and broader concepts of child abuse.

    • Research Methods

This module aims to explore a range of academic, social and educational research strategies and methods. Students will engage with various research techniques and consider the appropriateness of these within different contexts. They will also explore the value and significance of alternative approaches to data collection and analysis within their fields of study. The module aims to facilitate the development of appropriate research and analytic skills as well as exploring the presentation and evaluation of research within students’ respective areas of study. This is an intermediate module that is designed to prepare students to evaluate appropriate methodological issues as well as to undertake research initiatives. A small-scale action research project is to be undertaken to explore an aspect of the practitioner’s professional activity.

    • The Developing Child

This module is designed to recognise the qualities of the Senior Practitioner, to ensure continuous development and to evaluate the influences of theories of child development and learning in early years settings today. Through a detailed study (coursework worth 100% of the module marks) of an individual child, students will have the opportunity to explore how the setting and the practitioner support care, learning and development needs.

    • Early Literacy and Mathematics

This module aims to raise students’ awareness of the basic principles, concepts and processes underpinning literacy and mathematics in early years and KS1. It emphasises the knowledge and skills required to support children’s learning and development in these areas in early years and KS1. Students will examine teaching and learning strategies which support progress and outcomes in each area and through cross curricula links. Students will be aware of how learning and development is assessed with reference to the relevant frameworks.


Course Content - Year 4
    • Major Study

This module aims to allow students to pursue their particular interests and to demonstrate the breadth of knowledge, understanding and strengths that they have developed during their degree studies. Students will be supported in the selection of a topic relevant to their degree, in the development of a proposal and at each stage of their study. Coursework for this module will consist of a dissertation which may be literary (an in-depth study of theories, texts, themes) or empirical; or a combination of both.  This module provides an opportunity to bring together everything students have learned in a study of their choosing.

    • Health and Wellbeing

The aim of this module is to explore different aspects of the health and wellbeing of children and become equipped to evaluate the wider public health agenda, national trends and supporting legislation.  Students will evaluate a chosen health promotion/campaign and explain how legislation, policy and research support the chosen promotion/campaign.

    • Supporting children’s Learning

This module aims to develop students’ understanding of how children’s learning can be effectively supported.  Students will learn about the implications of the concept of inclusion, the principles of both medium and short term planning and a variety of perspectives on planning and teaching.

    • Global Perspectives and Ideologies

This module aims to explore a range of international perspectives on the contemporary experience of childhood. The diversity of global experiences of childhood will be explored in the context of international policy on child rights. Differences in approaches to early years education will be explored, and the social, economic, political and cultural context for those differences will be discussed. The module will focus on the experiences of children in formal and informal social systems, and will identify trends in international policy relating to child development.

    • EAL and Effective Practice

The module aims to develop a critical understanding of EAL and effective practice with children and their families.  It will support the development of skills and knowledge that enable practitioners and students to develop effective practice with young children and their parents or carers who are often new to speaking English.  The module aims to support strategies and principles for learning English as an Additional Language, whilst recognising and celebrating the value of all children’s language acquisition.  The module will develop a critical understanding regarding Bilingualism and multilingualism as an asset, and that first language has a continuing and significant role in identity, learning and the acquisition of additional languages.


Placements and Work Experience

Throughout the final 3 years of the course there is an emphasis on professional learning in the workplace. Students will take part in professional practice that is linked to 40 credit modules in year 2 and 3 of the programme a research placement is required in year 4. Work placement is an essential element that runs through the final 3 levels of the programme. All students will complete a DBS clearance prior to entry on to year 2, and this will enable them to fulfil the requirements of professional practice. Students will be supported on placement by a team of experienced tutors.

Relationships within settings will be maintained and developed through mentorship roles in settings, a specific handbook will support students during their placement experience. Students will have at least one visit per year (years 2-4) from their tutor whilst on placement where their practice is observed and guidance in meeting the professional standards is offered.

Shadow visits will help enhance practice skills and develop students experience and knowledge of the sector and its requirements. In year 2 and 3 students will be achieving the skills that are required to demonstrate the achievement of the standards from the National College of Teaching and Leadership (2013). This ensures that students and the course meets Early Years Educator criteria and the requirements of the qualification framework.

What careers can the course lead to?
  • Early Years Teacher Status (EYT)
  • PGCE Early Years
  • School Direct or Teach First Graduate Teacher Programme
  • Masters
  • Supervisory Roles
  • Manager Roles
  • Assistant Healthcare Professional (NICU)
  • Post Natal and Multi-Disciplinary Practice
Teaching and Assessment methods

The acquisition of knowledge is achieved through tutor led input such as interactive lectures, seminars and groups work.

The design of the Teaching and Learning approaches used across this programme incrementally builds from basic skills and knowledge acquisition to developing deeper understanding and application of the key topics, themes and content.

Applying the theory and knowledge learnt to practical situations and developing academic research skills and methods.

Students’ achievement and progress is supported by the teaching team through interventions at key transition points within each level, e.g. through tutorials, workshops and also by input from Academic Skills Lecturers. By employing a variety of teaching delivery methods the needs and learning styles of each student are addressed.