September 2023

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

Undergraduate, Top-up Degree, September 2023

Key Details

  • X31A Course Code
  • 1-2 Years
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 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 who ​already hold a relevant level 3 Early Years qualification, or a ​Foundation Degree classed as ‘Full and Relevant’ by the DfE, ​to enable them to progress to level 6 to achieve an Hons 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.

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

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).

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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Entry Requirements

Applicants should have 120 credits at Level 4 and 120 at Level 5, e.g. a relevant HND, a Foundation Degree in Early Years which is recognised as ‘Full and Relevant’ by the DfE, or a relevant Level 3 Early Years qualification.

The top up award is designed for Early Years Foundation Degree graduates or equivalent who ​already hold a relevant level 3 Early Years qualification, or a ​Foundation Degree classed as ‘Full and Relevant’ by the DfE, ​to enable them to progress to level 6 to achieve an Hons degree in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC).

Please contact Admissions for confirmation of suitability of qualifications.

Although not an entry requirement for the course, it is essential that applicants will need to obtain Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) later on within the course for their work experience placement. Students will be advised about this process during their studies. For more information on your DBS application please click here.

International Students
The University is not licensed 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.

September 2023 Direct Application Link 

September 2023 Direct Application Link (part-time)

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

Course fees for 2023 for both the full-time and part-time Top-Up is £9,250 for external students. For external students who have completed a Foundation Degree at Newman, the fees for the part-time route is £7,200

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, 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 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.
  3. This optional module is aimed at students who wish to progress to an educational or teaching role after completing their degree. It will begin by exploring personal ideologies around the nature and purpose of education. Students will be encouraged to debate issues such as curriculum, assessment, learning and teaching which are discourses in the educational field in the UK and explore international comparisons. It will encourage students to critically analyse these and reflect upon their own impact on educational settings and the education and care of the child. It will encourage students to be reflective practitioners and be politically aware of discourses around education.
  4. This optional module will develop the social policy themes introduced at levels four and five with particular reference to the foundation provided in module ECU416 ‘The Early Childhood context’. This module considers all aspects of social policy which impact on ECEC practice and as such makes significant reference to social care policy and the issues of meeting the care needs of children who experience poverty/social exclusion. 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.
  5. Since 2001 UK governments have committed to care and education of the youngest children in our society. There are a number of contentious issues in the study of children from birth to five. This module discusses and debates the 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, based on an ethic of care (Noddings, updated 2013). Students will explore a range of services and agencies, within multi-agency provision; the regulations and laws that constrain them, and the issues that arise from provision of services. Care and education of children from conception to five is also viewed internationally as a key factor in the support of families and is considered to be vital to a country’s development, in western and non-western cultures. 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 development debating 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.
  6. This student led optional module 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, balance between education and care 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. Students will develop their own curriculum for this module and have ownership of the VLE. Through this student led approach it will consider the importance of listening to all voices as a model for working with children. The module will also explore the ideas of action and reflection linked to students’ future practice.
  7. This optional module will explore the philosophical and educational debates around the inclusion of children with additional learning needs and disabilities in mainstream settings in the England It will provide the opportunities to critically explore the historical perspectives of Inclusion but also examine how this is currently portrayed within the media past and present. This module will further consider the issues for practitioners in supporting children and families, within the wider global context of human rights. It also examines the dominant voices of society around disability and allows for critical consideration of the impact of this on children and families.