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Undergraduate study

Course overview

The BA (Hons) Young Children and Early Childhood (Top-Up Degree) provides a progression route from the FdA Early Years Sector Endorsed and the UCAPD Children and Early Childhood (Bridging Module) for experienced practitioners who would like to achieve a degree in early childhood.

The degree enables practitioners working within the children's workforce to meet the government’s aspirations to have graduates leading early years practice.


Course details

The course content is structured into core modules to develop your professional skills and reflective practice through an interdisciplinary study of children and childhood. You will study a module on research methods (Researching Early Childhood) and write a dissertation (Individual Practice Project) on a topic your choice.

Course structure

Core modules

Children and Early Childhood Dissertation

You develop knowledge, understanding and skills to carry out educational research, on professional practice in children and early childhood. Demonstrating a systematic and integrated approach to researching a field of study you have identified. Supervisory support is available for you to facilitate autonomous learning and your professional skills through developing reflective practice. The module tutorials are designed to enable you to generate a dissertation based on primary and secondary research.

Critically Analysing Early Year Policy and Provision

Critically Analysing Early Year Policy and Provision provides the opportunity to further your understanding of the effects of government policy and wider social and economic trends by studying provision relating to early childhood and its funding, governance, welfare and employment patterns. Links are made to assist you in developing a critical understanding of how recent changes in your local area are structured by changes in local, national and international economic and social policies, and the impact of these changes on diverse groups of children and their families.

Leadership for Early Years

This module helps you understand and apply leadership and management support within an early years context. It provides you with opportunities, both academic and practical, for critical engagement and implementation of leadership and management theories and research, with particular focus on leadership strategies to early years settings.

Researching Children and Early Childhood

This module aims to assist you in the identification and development of a plan for research; to equip you with the skills needed to carry out aspects of enquiry in a specific area of professional concern in the early years. This is achieved through an emphasis on practitioners as researchers in the early years, preparing you for the completion of the Children and Early Childhood Dissertation.

Responding to Special Educational Needs

You explore issues and challenges surrounding inclusive provision for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), and investigate and discuss a range of SEN that children may have. You critically evaluate the intervention and support strategies used in early years setting and are encouraged to debate the wider policies and practices associated with inclusion and the impact of these upon the child. You also explore legislative frameworks that govern inclusive practice within early years.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You are taught through lectures and workshops during the residential days, with additional online learning through the virtual learning environment (BlackBoard). Telephone tutorial support is available throughout your studies. In addition, time is set aside during the residential day for face-to-face tutorials.

There is a three-day residential at the beginning of every module 9.00am - 5.00pm, Teesside University.

How you are assessed

Assessment is through written work, group work, presentations and essays. You will also complete a research proposal and a dissertation.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements include:
- a foundation degree in early years or relevant equivalent qualification
- a relevant teaching certificate at level 5 with at least three years’ experience of working in early years
- successful completion of the UCAPD Children and Early Childhood (Bridging Module).

For additional information please see our entry requirements

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

There are a range of career opportunities within the children’s workforce for graduates. These include working within private day nurseries, schools, children’s centres, parent support advisers, hospitals and museums. Additionally, many graduates continue their studies and progress on to teacher training or further their study at master's level and study on the MA Education or MA Early Years Education.

Upon completion of the degree you can gain Qualified Teacher Status with an early years specialism by following a PGCE taught course, or progress on to a school-based teacher training programme, either through School Centre Initial Teacher Training or through schools direct. Please see the Department for Education website for more information.



  • Not available full-time


2020 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: 1 year blended learning
  • Enrolment date: September and February
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)



The facilities available to Education, Early Childhood and Youth students at Teesside University are ideal preparation for a career in education. Students have access to many of the kind of resources that you would expect to find in an educational setting.


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