If you have a passion for working with children, then Early Childhood Studies at Christ Church is perfect for you.


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Our foundation year option enables you to join the BA Early Childhood Studies course even if you don’t have the formal qualifications or experience to meet the standard entry requirements.

This course explores the extraordinary time in children's lives from birth to eight, as we examine the factors and experiences that shape their early development and growth. We look at early childhood from a range of perspectives - including psychology, education, health, sociology, law and science - so that you will be well placed to act as an advocate for young children within a range of professional disciplines upon graduation.

As part of the course our students are offered opportunities to consider cultural differences in early childhood development. They are also offered placement opportunities with young children so they can observe in practice how professionals can impact on how young children develop and grow.

Whilst this course runs as a singe honours degree, you have the flexibility to combine it with another subject.

Why Study Early Childhood Studies with Foundation Year?

If you think you can make a difference to the lives of young children and their families, then Early Childhood Studies may be the right choice for you. 

On this course, you'll discover how children develop, learn and think, and you'll explore the complexities of child development and growth, and children’s earliest experiences from the moment of conception to the end of their early childhood. 

During the foundation year, you'll gain an introduction to education and human development and you'll develop the skills needed to study at degree level.

As you progress through the degree, you'll gain significant 'hands-on' experience through practice placements where you'll have opportunities to work in different settings supporting children in the early years of their lives, and their families.

The combination of strong academic study and diverse placements will help to prepare you for many exciting careers where you can make a real difference to children’s lives.

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have 32 UCAS Tariff points. We will also welcome applications from students with few or no formal Level 3 qualifications who wish to return to education and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.

Candidates must show sufficient motivation to benefit from study at this level.

Additional Requirement

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is not an entry requirement, however if you take part in work-related experience, visits or placements to settings where you are undertaking regulated activity, the setting may determine that a DBS check is required. You will be required to undergo a DBS check and arrange this through the University before undertaking the activity.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

All about the course

The focus throughout the course is on children’s journeys through childhood within the unique contexts of their lives.

The foundation year will help you develop the transferable skills you need to undertake research, reflect on your learning, and communicate effectively in speech, writing and other format. You'll learn about aspects of education and human development, and you'll gain study skills to help you throughout your degree.

During the degree, you'll develop skills, knowledge and understanding in specific areas such as growth and development (with a focus on emotional, cognition and identity), early years policy, practice and provision, the notion of being, belonging and becoming, foundations of early childhood, and pedagogies and practice in early childhood.

In Years 2 and 3, you can choose optional practice-based modules, which will help you to gain valuable experience in a range of employment contexts related to children and their families. You may participate in a wider variety of field trips and other opportunities to support your learning and gain a wider experience of children, childhood, families, communities and cultures. These trips are voluntary and information on additional costs are provided. These opportunities may include day field trips to local facilities such as museums, art galleries, local children’s services and charities and wider opportunities such as Erasmus study and longer field trips to destinations such as southern India.

As you progress through the course, you'll carry out more in depth study and will develop your research and analytics skills, so that you are prepared to carry out an individual study/research in your final year. 

Work experience is a vital element of your studies as it gives you a chance to put into practice what you learn during the course, and gain new skills as well. It will also add real value to your CV. 

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

The course typically consists of lectures, seminars, group work, guided learning activities and tutorials. You will also be expected to carry out 150 hours of self-directed study per taught module.

We emphasise student-centred learning, which encourages you to raise questions, engage in discussion and debate and develop reflective and critical learning strategies.

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars.

Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

The course is taught by a team of enthusiastic senior lecturers from a wide variety of professional backgrounds related to the children and families workforce. This extensive professional experience provides a rich and diverse learning experience and supports a practical and theoretical insight into the career choices open to you. 

We will support you in doing the extraordinary: helping children get the best start in life. The teaching is engaging, and through independent work we encourage you to make your own academic discoveries, allowing you to make a difference in the lives of children and their families.

Siobhan O'ConnorProgramme Director

How you’ll be assessed

We recognise that all students perform differently depending on how they are being assessed, which is why we use a combination of assessment methods. These may include presentations, essays, artefacts, rationales, posters, portfolios, online tasks, an individual study and an unseen examination within an optional module. These methods offer you an opportunity to develop skills for the workforce as well as succeeding within your studies. 

Your future career

The degree prepares you for employment in the early years sector, equips you with a range of transferable skills and is designed to enhance employability and future work opportunities in a range of areas. Our graduates enjoy successful careers across education, health, social care, research, policy and charity-based settings locally, and globally. You will also be well equipped to pursue postgraduate study or undertake further professional training.

This course is wonderful as it opens up so many doors for you.

SarahEarly Childhood Studies student


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £7,050 £9,910
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £13,000

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fees of £9,250 / £13,000 relate to 2020/21 only. Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2020/21 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

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