Early Childhood Education and Care BA (Hons)

3 years full-time, 4.5 years flexible learning (for further information on flexible learning courses click here)

  • ECEC


"High academic standards are set, fairly judged by assessment procedures in place and reflected in achievement of the students."
External Examiner
Why study Early Childhood Education and Care?

Early childhood, the quality of education, provision and care, and the roles and responsibilities of all those involved with young children, parents and families, all have a significant influence on children’s achievement and life chances. The last decade has seen the wider development of early years provision, changes and challenges in aspects of education and care, and the recognition that early childhood and children’s experiences must be supported by a highly qualified workforce. Government legislation, policy and research have raised the profile of early childhood, education and care and established the requirement for recognised professional qualifications for all those working in the field of early years in public, voluntary and private sectors.

What does the course cover?

The programme is specifically designed for students interested in working with young children. It offers a course that provides breadth and depth in key aspects relating to childhood, child development, education and care but also integrates a wider thematic approach which includes families, communities, multi-agency working, social policy, inclusion and diversity, research and health. It will develop your knowledge, skills, understanding of these, and your generic transferable skills through course content, learning and teaching strategies, assessment, research, and experiences of early years settings and organisations.

The first year of the programme introduces aspects of child development, social policy, equality, rights and diversity, constructs of childhood, families and learning. During the second year there is a research based placement which enables you to explore a specific area of interest, and gain valuable experience working in a different setting/organisation. These could include young children, families, communities, educational settings, multi-agency teams and experienced professionals. The placement experience has proved significant for students’ future career choices. There are also opportunities for international placements for example in Italy, Germany, Spain, Romania, and The Gambia.

The course has optional modules at Intermediate and Honours level that enables students to undertake a particular theme, for example, Creativity, Education, Leadership and Management and Health. In the final year of studies you will carry out a small scale research study for your dissertation.

How will I be assessed?

Student achievement is assessed through a wide range of methods. These include essays, research reports, case studies, group and individual presentations, exhibitions, seminars, and e-learning. Teaching and learning strategies include lectures, seminars, discussion and debate, presentations, guest speakers, workshops, an e-learning environment, visits and directed activities.

What careers could I consider?

Early years is a developing area of the economy, therefore there are a wide range of career opportunities for qualified professionals in the field of early years. This includes working in Children’s Centres, SureStart settings, schools, nurseries, Social Services, Local Authority support teams, and charitable organisations. Previous students have gone on to work as nursery managers and deputy managers, inclusion workers, early years advisory workers, Foundation Stage practitioners, charity workers, and with specific organisations working with parents, families and communities. Others have pursued a teaching career through a PGCE.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 280 UCAS points (which must include minimum grades of BC or above at A2 level), BTEC National Diploma with an overall grade of Distinction Merit Merit, or an Access Diploma with a minimum of 39 credits with Merit or Distinction. If you have a relevant HND or foundation degree qualification you may progress onto the final year of the degree. You will also need five GCSEs at grade C or above, including GCSE English Language, or a recognised equivalent. For alternative qualifications please see our entry requirements page. In addition, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance is required.



£8,700 2014/15

Finance and Scholarship information

Course structure

Early Childhood Education and Care

Courses at Newman are constantly evolving to reflect changes in the field of study. Therefore, modules listed here are indicative and may be subject to change for each academic year. Some modules are mandatory and some are optional. Not all modules will be available on all routes through the programme you choose, and modules studied will depend on whether you choose minor, joint, major or single honours routes.

Year 1 (Mandatory)

Perspectives on Child Development
This module will develop student’s knowledge and understanding of child development and learning. The module will focus on development of the body, language, cognition and social and emotional aspects. It will provide students with theories for development and learning, and relate these to aspects of learning and teaching. It will also explore theories which focus on the impact of biological and maturational processes on human development. The role of the Early Years practitioner will be discussed in relation to supporting child development and learning. We will also consider individual factors that impact on child development and learning such as health, environment, personality and self esteem.

Equality, Rights and Diversity
Children, parents and educators have the right to good quality in early childhood education services, free from any form of discrimination due to their race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status. This module will cover all the above elements because early years are logically and practically a good place to start to foster and strengthen children’s identities and to raise positive awareness of diversities. This module aims to challenge thinking, promoting all children and adults right to evolve and to develop in a context where there is equality and respect for diversity.

Introduction to Social Policy
This module will begin to explore what constitutes Social Policy and attempt to enable students to make the connections between political ideas and models of social policy provision. It will provide examples of how the emergence of different ideologies, economic, social, and cultural environments has resulted in different approaches to service provision. It will encourage students to explore their own political views and reflect on how this might influence their position in terms of welfare provision with particular reference to their key position in the current political climate.

Constructs of Childhood
Childhood is defined largely through the attitudes, beliefs and values of particular societies at particular times. Using a multi-disciplinary approach, this module will promote an understanding of how childhood has changed or is different and continues to be socially constructed. This leads to a number of contested discourses for example: Romantic, Puritan, and Developmental which continue to influence policy and practice in Early Childhood settings. The module will make reference to students own experiences of childhood and will explore how this, alongside other constructs, are influenced and represented through a variety of media such as media imagery, children’s literature, artefacts and art from a range of sources.

Families in the Social Context
This module introduces sociological frameworks for explanations of the range and diversity of families and households in contemporary Britain. It aims to introduce students to the various and changing structures of family, and to provide critical knowledge of the power relations within households, in relation to demography, gender, class, ethnicity and sexuality. The students gain an understanding of the influence the family, the media and environment on the welfare of the young children. Building on previous learning from other modules, students will develop the skills to identify the need for education, support and early intervention in optimal ways for promoting child and family health and well being.

Enabling Early Learning
This module aims to enhance students understanding of the historical and theoretical development of early years education and care. The work of key pioneers and philosophies will be examined and their influence on practice will be explored. The underpinning principles of early years education from a range of perspectives both national and international will be examined. Current policy and documentation, for example, the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS) (QCA 2008) within England will also be considered. The module will develop students understanding of the holistic nature of learning within the early years and importance of play in supporting this. It will consider theories of play and the importance of providing an appropriate learning environment. The role of the adult in supporting children’s learning in a range of contexts will also be explored.

Year 2 (Mandatory)

Research Methodology and Design
This module aims to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of research methodology and specific research terminology. It critically analyses the importance of research design, focusing on key aspects required for undertaking small-scale research studies. It addresses ethical principles, examines the role and responsibilities of the researcher and identifies issues for management and organisation. It enables students to access, compare and critically analyse academic research, and ascertain how this impacts on ECEC policy and practice.

Working with Families in the Community
This module explores the theories of community developed around definitions based upon three key concepts: Communities of Place, Communities of Interest and Communities with Shared Values. By deconstructing the inter-relationship between these three concepts, the module will explore issues of identity and attachment, sense of boundary, common bond, networks and collective purpose. It covers the changes in policy facing families and communities introducing multi-agency working. The term multi-agency addresses aspects of health, housing and social care, and explores relationships with key stakeholders - notably independent and voluntary sector providers, community organisations, users/carers and associated bodies such as community. National and international working partnerships with families and communities are examined, using current research and statistical evidence, in relation to promotion of empowerment, care and education. The promotion of equality and respect for diversity, anti-oppressive, inclusive practice is critically analysed and the role of community and family support groups are evaluated in terms of their effectiveness.

Inclusive Practice
This module provides students with the opportunity to explore the range of individual needs and the provision that is available to meet those needs. It will consider definitions of additional needs within the context of the new EYFS, from differentiation to meeting the needs of children with profound and complex difficulties. It will look at tools for inclusion, including an IBPS and the development of the learning environment and role of the learning assistant. It will explore areas of need including ASD; sensory impairment; physical (CP/dyspraxia); behaviour, social and emotional; gifted & talented and EAL.

Work Placement
All single and combined students at Newman University College complete a work placement module in their second year. The work placement aims to give students the opportunity to develop employability skills and apply and explore subject knowledge whilst in the workplace.

At year 2 students choose one optional module for Semester 2 from:

  • An Introduction to Creativity
  • Contemporary Issues in Early Years Education and Care
  • Health Promotion
  • Contemporary Perspectives on Child Development

An Introduction to Creativity
This optional module will form the first stage of a creativity theme through the BA (Hons) degree in Early Childhood Education and Care. It will introduce students to the concept and function of creativity in the early years. Students will critically examine the different ways that creativity has been defined historically with brief reference to societal and cultural perspectives, through to the present day. The module will consider the importance of developing creative processes with children within the early year sector, and will examine the characteristics and behaviour associated with creativity. Fostering creativity in terms of the role of the adult, the environment and resources will also be explored. The role of the creative arts and creative development within early years education will be investigated through discussion and practical activities. Students, through a visit, will be able to draw upon their own experiences of how creativity is fostered within settings.

Contemporary Issues in Early Years Education and Care
This optional module for both full and part time students will explore and analyse a range of contemporary issues at both national and international level, relevant to the field of early years education and care. These will include issues relating to curriculum design and pedagogy, learning in contemporary culture, the impact of international perspectives, defining quality, the role of assessment in children’s learning, and transitions. It will examine good practice in the light of contemporary understanding of research, policy and practice, and will enable students to reflect critically upon the issues discussed.

Health Promotion
A broad understanding of the concepts of public health, health improvement, health promotion and health education is essential in the ever-changing policy context. With increasing concern regarding the health of young children in today’s society the ability to influence the health and well-being of young children and their families is a vital skill for the practitioner. Students will be able to critique and debate theoretical and ethical issues as well as exploring the practical aspects of implementing effective health improvement initiatives. This module will explore creative and innovative ways to convey health messages to young children and their families.

Contemporary Perspectives on Child Development
This module builds on knowledge and understanding developed in earlier modules and will consolidate student’s knowledge and understanding of child development, encouraging application of theory. It will promote skills of critical analysis and explore the impact of theoretical perspectives on the child, the setting and the practitioner. This module aims to explore the differing perspectives of the social child, behavioural child and cognitive child developmental theories. It will also consider the importance of holistic development, as well as explore research on new perspectives and thinking within the field of child development, including brain based learning.

Year 3

Module descriptions for year 3 coming soon…

Safeguarding Children
Social Policy: Rhetoric and Reality
Inclusion and Disability
Childhoods in a Changing World
Healthy Communities
Leadership and Management in Early Childhood Education and Care Settings
Education Studies in Early Years
Developing Creativity in the Early Years

Course code

Single Honours: 100% Early Childhood Education and Care

UCAS code:


Applications for full-time courses are made through UCAS

Applications for flexible learning courses are made via Newman

For all enquiries relating to admissions or entry requirements, email us at admissions@newman.ac.uk

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Contact details comments


Contact for course content enquiries

Gill McGillivray (Programme Leader in Early Years)
Tel: 0121 476 1181 (Ext. 2279)
Email: info.earlyyears@newman.ac.uk

Contact for admissions enquiries

Tel: 0121 476 1181 (Ext. 2386)
Email: admissions@newman.ac.uk

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If you’re thinking of applying for this course, then this application info should give you a guide through the process.


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