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Undergraduate study
childhood studies degree, early childhood studies, degree in early childhood studies

Children and Early Childhood (with Foundation Year) BA (Hons)

This degree gives you an in-depth specialism around the distinct and specialised nature of working with babies and young children in the early years phase of life, considering children from birth throughout the primary school phase. You focus on the holistic view of children and early childhood, developing a deep understanding of the early years and beyond of a child’s life.



Course routes:


Clearing 2024

Apply now for 2024 entry. Call us on 01642 738400

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2023 logo awarded as Overall, Student Experience and Student Outcomes gold rating

Course overview

A wide range of professions are open to you, including child protection roles, working in schools or other educational settings, parent support workers, play workers, and further study in teaching and social work.

Course content is intellectually stimulating and current. It is interdisciplinary, drawing on contemporary research and discourse, ensuring your knowledge of children and families is relevant to current developments in sociology, psychology, education, health, legislation and policy.

You develop theoretical, practical and reflective skills to lead to good practice when working with early years and young children, parents and other disciplinary services. You focus on child development and behaviours, assessment of children, comparison of children in the UK and across the world, and children’s services.

If you don't have a full level 3 qualification in early years, we offer an Early Childhood Studies Degree Network approved pathway. After graduating, you are a fully qualified level 6 practitioner.

The teaching team have an array of relevant and professional experience in childhood and early years. Active researchers and authors on the team, include the pedagogy of early literacy; poverty and the impact of childhood; early years pedagogies, which benefits your learning experience.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

Top reasons to study this course

  • Sector speakers and experts share their experiences, giving you authentic and up to date views.
  • A range of theoretical and transferable skills make you career ready for a range of professions.
  • Teaching and support staff with specialised skills enrich your understanding and application to practice.
  • University services, such as careers and Volun-Tees, support your graduate employment skills and experiences.
  • Your final year project is an opportunity for you to focus and research on your own specialist interest

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Course details

Course structure

Foundation year core modules

Discovering the Social Sciences, Humanities and Law

You are introduced to the historical and contemporary development of social science disciplines, exploring examples of theoretical challenges and ways in which research is practically applied in society. Gain an understanding of both similarities and differences between disciplines, and how interdisciplinary research is fostered through collaboration. Explore academic standards, ethical guidelines and research protocols, personal development, and both study and transferable skills relevant to your studies and career.

This is a 40-credit module.

Investigating Society and Culture: The Case of Crime

Taking a multidisciplinary approach, explore crime through history, politics, English and creative writing, criminology, sociology, psychology and education to investigate the problems within society and culture.

This is a 20-credit module.

Your Foundation Year Project

Identify and explore an area of interest related to your area of study through small-scale research using secondary data or desk-based research. You analyse an appropriate area of focus for your project using academic support.

This is a 20-credit module.

Your Toolkit for University Success

You develop your personal and academic skills to help prepare you for searching and retrieving information, evaluating different types of evidence, critical thinking and reading skills, note-taking and summarising evidence, presentation skills, groupwork, digital literacy and employability.

This is a 40-credit module.


Year 1 core modules

Education and the State

Discover the key moments in the history of British education that have shaped current education policy, practice and curriculum. Through a historical approach, you consider education changes through a wider moral, social and political context.

This is a 20-credit module.

Services for Families and Children

You learn about the range of law and policy services to support children and their families to understand how they work together in a multiagency way to meet childrens' needs. You support a range of children's services within voluntary, private and public sectors in teams that work together to supply these services.

This is a 20-credit module.

Skills for Education

You consider the importance of research to understand and approach problems in educational settings. And you look at aspects of academic reading, writing and referencing, preparing you for future practice. Critically evaluate research findings to further develop your study and professional skills for academic practice and future employment.

This is a 40-credit module.

The Developing Child and Young Person

It's essential to understand child development from birth through to maturity when you work in an educational environment. Consider the construction of childhood, considering society's influences, and discussions relating to childhood at a national and international level. Examine the relationship of human development to changing conceptions of childhood and how these have evolved over time.

Using a range of theoretical perspectives, develop your knowledge of patterns in human development - which are not always linear or predictable. Explore a critical understanding of how children’s lives are shaped by society and ideas held about childhood, and consider the ethical implications of these.

This is a 40-credit module.


Year 2 core modules

Diversity in Education: Reality or Rhetoric?

Develop an understanding of diversity in society and examine some of the ways in which education systems respond to it. Explore how social inequalities such as class, gender, race and disability can be challenged or reinforced by educational law, systems and teaching.

This is a 40-credit module.

Future Directions in Education (Level 5)

Understand your strengths and areas for development, and develop graduate skills including effective communication, interview techniques, work etiquette, and professional presentation. Explore graduate employment pathways and issues, opportunities, reflective practice, and experiential learning with our Student Futures team, external professionals and our alumni.

This is a 20-credit module.

Safeguarding and Wellbeing

Enhance your knowledge and understanding of the importance of safeguarding policies and procedures for children. Consider the importance of promoting health and wellbeing throughout childhood. Examine how professionals meet children’s needs and maintain their rights through current and contemporary safeguarding aspects.

This is a 20-credit module.

Supporting Children’s Learning and Development

You explore educational methods to support the learning and development of babies and young children, from birth through to primary school. You build your understanding of child development to examine the importance of play, acquiring and developing language, and interactions between children and practitioners for children’s learning.

This is a 40-credit module.


Final-year core modules

Education, Identity and Society

Explore and critically consider education in relation to the reproduction of social inequalities and the formation of identity. Utilise theory and current research to develop your understanding of the structuring influence of post-war education policy, exploring it in relation to social class, ethnicity, sexuality and gender. Focus on the extent to which, across these factors, education and schooling are characterised by differences, divisions and inequalities which reflect wider issues in society. And consider how language, culture and power are used in education systems to reproduce or challenge inequality.

This is a 20-credit module.

Enhancing Children’s Learning and Development

Enhance your understanding of pedagogy in childhood, drawing on and synthesising your learning in previous years to deepen your understanding of how to support children’s learning and development. You critically engage with the implementation of educational frameworks and explore the wider context of educational policy and practice. You consider pedagogical approaches for different groups of children.

This is a 20-credit module.

Research Project

Develop your independent research skills on a topic of personal interest that relates to your course. Define your research focus and create a plan, carry out real-time research. and write up the process and results in a final report.

This is a 60-credit module.


and one optional module

Future Directions in Education (Level 6)

Develop graduate skills through work experience, professional activity or work-related learning, preparing you for employment in educational contexts. Understand graduate employment pathways, opportunities, professional working contexts, reflective practice and experiential learning, preparing you for graduate careers and enabling you to identify and evidence your own graduate skills. Explore employability issues and skills with our Student Futures team, external professionals and alumni. You may need a DBS check and satisfactory completion of any additional documentation requested by the work placement partner organisation.

This is a 20-credit module.

Supporting Vulnerable Children and Families

Develop your knowledge and understanding of vulnerability in early childhood, and how agencies should work together to support and safeguard children. Take a critical approach to the concept of vulnerability, considering the role of families, parenting and early intervention, and the role of professionals and ethical issues.

This is a 20-credit module.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

We provide you with a range of opportunities to develop the skills and understanding you need for working with babies and young children. You study relevant, contemporary material, applying theory to practice.

Digital development week

Alongside teaching, you take part in a digital development week, featuring five hours of online activities including recorded videos, screencasts, online workbooks, group or individual projects, or digital employment. Flexible learning allows you to structure your week around the activities.

Enhancement and enrichment weeks?

This module is taught for the first 10 weeks. Weeks 11 and 12 are dedicated to enhancement and enrichment. You go beyond the core material of the course, enhancing your knowledge as you review your learning. This can include taught material reviews, writing workshops, academic support or activities to help you transition between levels of the course.

How you are assessed

Assessment is through essays, reports, exams, as well as case studies and presentations to demonstrate your academic and developing professional skills, and reflective practice.

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

Call us on 01642 738400 about our entry requirements

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

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

Career opportunities are working with families and children in a range of different roles: for example as support workers and assistants in schools, local authority or health services. Students progress into roles in nurseries, schools and children centres supporting both children and parents. With a good honours degree, you can progress to post graduate professional study such as for teaching in the early years or social work.

The programme incorporates broad employability skills development that will help to prepare you for future employment. You will be encouraged to volunteer and will have opportunities to take part in projects. There are guest lectures from professionals working in relevant areas and opportunities for site visits. Workshops are available for skills development.

All programmes are designed to incorporate employability skills development alongside your degree course. Our staff utilise their extensive connections to provide many and varied opportunities to engage with potential employers through fairs, guest lecture sessions, live projects and site visits. In addition we offer a series of workshops and events in the first, second and third year that ensure all students are equipped with both degree level subject knowledge PLUS the practical skills that employers are looking for in new graduate recruits.

Our award-winning careers service provide information sessions each year to help students prepare for employment and they work with regional and national employers to provide careers fairs advertise graduate positions, in addition to providing postgraduate support for all Teesside University alumni.

If you complete your degree through the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network, you graduate as a fully qualified level 6 practitioner. This is valued and sought after in the sector.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser


Other course routes


Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: X318 BA/CECFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Call us on 01642 738400 about our entry requirements

Apply now (full-time)

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Please choose the relevant option below:

2024 entry

UK applicants

Complete this enquiry form only if you have already obtained your qualifications and achieved grades. If you do not have these at this time, we will be unable to progress your enquiry - please re-visit and complete the form after you have received your results.

Apply now (UK applicant)

International applicants

Our undergraduate courses are available through Clearing to international applicants. Please only complete this application form if you have already obtained your qualifications and achieved your grades. You must upload all requested documents including a copy of your passport, academic qualifications and English language qualification, and copies of any sponsor letters or maintenance documents to meet the requirements. If you have previously applied through UCAS for 2024-25 entry, please include your UCAS personal ID number in the course details box.

Apply now (International applicant)

2025 entry

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



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Education, Early Childhood & Youth

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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