September 2021

Early Childhood Education and Care Top-Up Degree BA (Hons)

Top-up Degree, Undergraduate, September 2021

Key Details

  • X31A Course Code
  • 1-2 Years
Childhood Education and Care


Why study this course?

Early childhood, the quality of education, provision and care, and the roles and responsibilities of all those involved with young children, parents and families together have a significant influence on children’s achievement and life chances. There is growing recognition that early childhood and children’s experiences must be supported by a highly qualified workforce.

The top up award is designed for Early Years Foundation degree graduates or equivalent to progress to level 6 to achieve an Honours degree in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) .

Modules run in parallel and require students to engage with a range of learning and teaching modes using e-learning as well as face-to-face contact with tutors.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is 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 can I consider?

There are a wide range of career opportunities for graduates in the field of early years. This includes working in Children’s Centres, schools, nurseries, Social Services, Local Authority support teams, and charitable organisations. Early Childhood graduates have pursued Early Years Teacher Status or a teaching career via a PGCE to gain qualified teacher status (QTS).

Studying and living in Birmingham

Newman University is located in Britain’s second city – Birmingham. With one of the youngest city populations in Europe, it is a vibrant and dynamic place to study.

Studying at Newman University, you have the advantage of being near to the city, but living in, or commuting to peaceful and comfortable surroundings on campus.

Dining out

Birmingham has lots of wonderful places to dine out with a range of different cuisines. Places where you can dine out include; Brindley Place, Mailbox and Hagley Road (just 10 minutes’ from Newman).


Whether you like to go to; the theatre, gigs or clubs, or enjoy: sports, shopping visiting art galleries or exhibitions – Birmingham will not disappoint and you will be spoilt for choice!


Getting around Birmingham is easy via train, bus or by car. Birmingham has excellent transport links to the rest of Britain, making it easy for those weekend getaways!

Why not explore the city for yourself by visiting one of our Open Days?

Want to find out more about Birmingham? Then take a look at some Birmingham City Secrets.

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Join us in September

We have been voted 1st in Birmingham for Student Satisfaction (NSS 2020) and 3rd in the UK for Student Support (WhatUni Awards 2020).

A friendly, student centred community, that focuses on each and every students’ academic development and achievement.​

We welcome applications throughout the year up until September enrolment.

Start Your Newman Journey Today

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have 120 credits at Level 4 and 120 at Level 5, e.g. HND or Foundation degree in a relevant subject. Entry requirements are flexible and recognise a range of academic qualifications as well as relevant work experience. Please contact Admissions for confirmation of suitability of qualifications.

Students will need to obtain Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance once they have met the entry requirements and  by the start of their programme in September.  For more information on your DBS application please visit the How do I complete my DBS form advice page.

International Students
Newman University is not licenced by the UK Government to sponsor migrant students under the Student route and is therefore unable to accept applications from international students at present.

Applying Direct Option

You can apply direct to Newman University for this course if you have not previously applied to Newman University through UCAS and you are not applying to any other universities.

Simply click on this Direct Application link to do this.

N.B. will need to enter ‘New User’ account details when first accessing this portal.

If you have any questions regarding entry onto this course please contact our friendly and helpful admissions team via our Admissions Enquiry Form

Course Fees

Total Course Fee for Top-Up Degree

UK students: £9,250 *

* Fees shown are for 2021/22 academic year. The University will review tuition fees and increase fees in line with any inflationary uplift as determined by the UK Government, if permitted by law or government policy, on enrolment and in subsequent years of your course. It is anticipated that such increases would be linked to RPI (the Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).


Please be aware that, as with any course, there may be changes to the modules delivered, for information view our Changes to Programmes or Module Changes page.

Timetables: find out when information is available to students

As a part-time undergraduate student, you choose how many modules to study each year (up to a maximum of 6). To qualify for a student tuition fee loan you will need to choose at least 4 modules. A normal 3-year degree will take 4.5 years to complete if you take 6 modules per year. You will be taught alongside full-time undergraduate students.

The modules displayed are for the full-time route, for part-time modules will be split across the duration of the course.

  1. This double module aims to enable students to identify a specific issue or area of interest to investigate for their research study. It will enable students to examine the aspect in depth through either a literature based study or an empirical one. It requires students to identify and apply an appropriate research design, addressing ethical principles, and employing systematic research procedures. Students will present and analyse their findings with critical reflection on their research question, methodology, management and organisation and analyse limitations of their study. They will identify the implications for policy and practice in the field of early childhood education and care.
  2. This student led optional module for both full and part time students will explore and critically analyse a range of contemporary issues at both national and international level, relevant to the field of early year’s education and care. These may 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 critically 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.
  3. This module provides students with the opportunity to gain a practical and critical understanding of the current issues facing leaders and managers within ECEC settings in England, with a particular focus on the management of change and multi-agency and multi-professional (integrated) partnership-working.  This will involve analysis of the range of skills, knowledge and understanding concerned with team membership, management and leadership as well as pertinent theories to support becoming an effective leader. Seminal and contemporary theoretical perspectives and research on leadership and management will be presented and analysed in order to increase students’ understanding and appreciation of the roles and values of practitioners from different professional cultures.  Students will also participate in activities that will enable them to learn from their own and others’ experience of leadership and management in practice in order to develop their own leadership and management strengths.
  4. Building on Level 4 Human Rights and Social Justice and Level 5 Inclusive Practice (SEND), this module will explore the philosophical and educational debates around the inclusion of children with special educational needs and disabilities in mainstream settings in the UK, looking at the historical perspective and the development of the medical and social models of disability. It will consider the issues for practitioners in supporting children and families, within the wider global context of human rights. It also examines the ethical issues arising around research and developments in the area of disability.
  5. This optional module is aimed at students who wish to progress to an educational or teaching role after completing their degree. It will give an informed understanding of the breadth of professional knowledge, skills and attitudes pertaining to work in primary education. It will also explore issues of Curriculum, for example; early literacy and numeracy, assessment, government policy, documentation, reports and research which are current in the educational field. It will encourage students to critically analyse these and reflect upon their impact on educational settings and the child. This module will consider differing teaching and learning styles related to education and the notion of good practice.

  6. This module will develop themes first encountered in An Introduction to Play and The Early Childhood Context at Level 4 and build upon Contemporary Issues in ECEC, an optional module at Level 5. It will critically examine the ECEC policy trajectories present in a number of other nations, including for example; Italy, New Zealand, Germany and the Nordic countries, as well as the variance to be found within the UK, thus providing students with the opportunity to consider the pedagogic intentions of those nations, in contrast to our own. In doing so, it will also extend the comparative analysis element introduced to students within the mandatory Level 6 module Social Policy: Rhetoric and Reality. It will also consider the relationship between the childcare practice evidence base and other imperatives that shape childcare policy within nations.     
  7. This module will develop the social policy themes introduced at levels four and five with particular reference to the foundation provided in module ECU406 ‘The Early Childhood context’. It is designed to engage students in the critical analysis of current social policy at both, local, national and international levels and critically examine its impact on Early Childhood services. Students will be encouraged to critically reflect on the impact of political ideology on government intentions for social policy, and how such intentions serve to shape practice. Social policy across all sectors of the welfare state will be explored, as will some of the challenges of working within an uncertain and constantly changing policy landscape. Students will be encouraged to consider the development of social policy in terms of both personal and public values, and critically reflect on their involvement in this process. Alternative models of social policy provision, and the ideological context of these models, will be utilised for critical reflection, discourse and debate.  
  8. Students will explore a range of services and agencies, the regulations and laws that constrain them, and the issues that arise from the provision of services to children in both statutory and non-statutory settings. This module focuses on the professional practice of those working for agencies in, or related to children and young people’s services, and will explore relevant policy and practice developments. It will also consider the range of theoretical models that underpin multi-agency working, including street level bureaucracy and policy actors, and the challenges present in professional practice to working in this way to achieve meaningful outcomes for children and their families.
  9. Since 2001 UK governments have committed to care and education of the youngest children in our society.  Care and education of children from conception to three is viewed internationally as a key factor in the support of families and considered to be vital to a country’s development, in western and non-western cultures. Research suggests that external influences such as the mother’s experiences during pregnancy and environmental factors after birth, such as poverty, affect the development of a baby’s development and continue to affect the child into adulthood. There are a number of contentious issues in the study of children from birth to five: the nature/nurture debate, the debate regarding the sensitive versus critical windows of brain development in early childhood and the debate regarding care and/or education of babies in child care provision.  This module discusses and debates these and other issues which surround this important period of a child’s development.  It explores and critically analyses how practitioners who work with very young children can work together with babies, families and other service providers to give young children the best start to life.  The module includes a strong work based element to offer the opportunity for students to experience working with very young children in a care environment.

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