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Early Childhood Studies BA Honours

Make a difference in young lives as you explore the needs of younger children in a course taught by experts
September 2024
3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK)*
£16,600 (INT)*
Course leader
Jeenal Desai

Understand how education shapes the development of younger children with our BA in Early Childhood Studies.

Early education and care employers are increasingly expecting students to graduate not only with a degree qualification, but also a broad understanding of social issues in the real world; well-developed personal transferable skills (communication, problem-solving, reflection, teamwork); assessed professional competencies; and a sense of personal values to which they are committed.

Why study early childhood studies with us

BA Early Childhood Studies has been specifically designed to make young children the focus, and how an increasingly global world impacts early childhood development and education. A team of highly motivated professionals support students in their learning and assessment, as reflected in student feedback from the NSS: “Lecturers go out of their way to help and ensure that we are feeling okay with assignments and that makes me feel respected and worthy.” Our course has achieved 80-90% satisfaction in the last two years in the National Student Survey.

We’re proud to be in the top 250 in the world for Education (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019).

Gain hands-on practical skills with us

Students complete assessed work placements in a range of early years settings, schools, or health and social care settings, across the 0-8 age range. Students are encouraged to work towards sector recognised early childhood graduate practitioner competencies, and qualify as a Level 6 Early Childhood Practitioner. Individualised support is provided in securing suitable work placements, and gathering required evidence to demonstrate professional competencies.

Get the support you need

We ensure every student has adequate support throughout their time with us. That’s why you’ll get matched with a Personal Tutor as well as a Student Learning Assistant and a Graduate Academic Assistant. They’ll have experience in your subject area and will be able to help whenever you need.

We also help you to identify the ideal career route or postgraduate programme and support you to plan a successful future

Course highlights

  • Gain hands-on practical skills in placement
  • Opportunities to graduate as a Level 6 Early Childhood Practitioner
  • Assessment through 100% coursework
  • Get free access to the resources, learning materials and software.
  • Dedicated support from a Personal Tutor, Student Learning Assistant and Librarian with experience in the subject area.

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What will you study on Early Childhood Studies BA?

Students gain knowledge from interconnected disciplines including sociology, psychology, law, health, and management; while work placements contribute to building valued sector knowledge and skills.

In Year 1, students develop knowledge and understanding of diversity in childhood, key milestones in the developing child, factors contributing to infant health and well-being, and how theories of child development are reflected in policies and practices. Students are introduced to the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful first work placement.

In Year 2, students explore the role of play in learning and wellbeing; and review the political and cultural background of policies that aim to address inequality, promote children’s rights, and support educational achievement. A second placement encourages students to develop their professional knowledge and skills.

In Year 3, the third placement encourages students to develop a strong leadership identity, and deepen their knowledge and understanding of professionalism. Students develop their knowledge in a choice of two specialist areas from SEND, creativity, SEAL, and digital media; and engage in a small scale, detailed study of any chosen aspect of early childhood.


  • Year 1

    • Early Childhood Development (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module enables students to observe young children, using different observational techniques, and recognise key milestones achieved in the developing child. Ethical considerations involved with observing young children are examined and key learning and child development theories applied and evaluated.

    • Infant Health & Well-Being (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module aims to extend students’ knowledge and understanding of factors contributing to infant health and well-being, examine theories of attachment and consider cross-cultural practices aimed at promoting attachment relationships and supporting early development, enabling students to evaluate the impact of early intervention strategies, policies and practices to provide support for parents/carers.

    • Children and Families in a Social Context (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module introduces students to the historical, social, and global context of the child within the family and community. Students evaluate impact of parents, early years settings, and wider social influences on young children’s childhoods, learning and development, and early years pedagogy. Students explore the role of early years professionals in promoting children’s rights, anti-discriminatory practices, and equality.

    • Professional Placement 1 (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module provides students with the opportunity to prepare and plan for work placement, learning about expectations and responsibilities of the professional working with babies and young children in practice. Students will be introduced to the skills and knowledge necessary for successful work placement and supported to enrich their professional and academic progression with critical reflection on their experiences.

  • Year 2

    • Introduction to Research Methods (30 credits) – Compulsory

      The driving force behind this module is the idea that knowledge and skills of social research are today of fundamental importance in virtually all professions, but especially within the fields of education and early childhood. Therefore, the module encourages and trains students to go beyond simply learning research skills and to engage with research critically and reflectively in their daily lives.

    • Early Childhood: Equality, Rights and Inclusion (30 credits) – Compulsory

      The module presents a variety of concepts of childhood and early years education across history and culture. By applying the most influential social theories of childhood developed in the 20th and 21st centuries, the module analyses the relationships between the social contexts and contemporary issues for EY practice, such as inequalities, children’s rights, and children’s well-being and achievement.

    • Professional Placement 2 (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module enables students to use the placement experience to explore how pedagogy, practice and the overall educational environment impacts learning, well-being and rights of babies and young children. The module builds on themes within EDU1217 and students’ capacity to apply theories to reflect on professional expectations, responsibilities and identities.

    • Insights into Play & Pedagogy (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module explores what play is, why we play and how play can foster learning, development and wellbeing. The module investigates the role of play in different pedagogic approaches, and considers sociocultural factors that shape play such as: historical developments, gender, cultural background and class, and play in different parts of the world.

  • Year 3

    • Professional Placement 3 (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module builds on EDI1217 and EDU2217 to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of professionalism within the early years. The module supports development of critical thinking skills, emotional literacy, communication and interpersonal skills, and collaboration. Students reflect on their developing effective pedagogical approaches and a strong leadership identity.

    • Independent Research Project (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module builds on EDU2201 to develop students’ research skills by engaging in a small scale, detailed study of an existing field within early childhood. Students organise and manage a research investigation with insight, demonstrating skilful use of research tools and responsibility and display critical judgement in relating these to the wider educational and social context.

    • Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion (30 credits) – Optional

      This module looks at special educational needs, disability and inclusion in education and concentrates on the definitions of learning difficulty and disability and the extent to which parents, pupils and students with Special Needs and Disabilities have access to the same educational opportunities as others.

    • Creativity and the Arts in Education (30 credits) – Optional

      This module is concerned with the psychological and sociological approaches to creativity, and looks at what creativity is and how creativity is linked to the learning and wellbeing of individuals. The module examines the role of the arts in early childhood and how they are differentiated through education and developmental processes.

    • Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (30 credits) – Optional

      This module considers the many social and emotional influences on the child and how these affect their learning and educational experience. Students are asked to reflect on, and evaluate their own emotions and interpersonal skills, with a view to using this to help them to explore the social and emotional aspects of teaching and learning.

    • The Digital Child (30 credits) – Optional

      This module examines the media landscape and children’s relationship and response to it. Issues, such as, screen time and social media consumption in relation to childhood stress and brain development; violence and video games; advertising and positive media interactivity are explored within the context of safeguarding procedures, policy regulation and commercial initiatives.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can Early Childhood Studies BA support your career?

Students completing this course may seek employment as Level 6 Graduate Early Childhood Practitioners in nurseries, nursery schools and preschools; or apply for the PGCE/QTS Training in Education (Primary and Early Years).

Alternatively, graduates may seek careers in Special Educational Needs support services, unqualified teaching positions in independent and free schools, teaching assistant roles in Primary and Higher Education, Local Authority Education administration, Parenting Support or other Social Work programmes.

Others seeking a more academic or research route may continue to develop their careers studying for Masters programmes, including our own MA in ‘Education and Childhood in Diverse Societies’, or take up work as research assistants.

Dr Lynette Morris
Senior Lecturer in Education Early Childhood

Lynette Morris is a Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Education and Early Childhood. Lynette is a Qualified Primary Teacher with extensive practice experience with 2-8 years. She is a contributor and reviewer for leading international peer-reviewed journals.

Dr Angela Scollan
Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Education and Early Childhood

Angela Scollan is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Education and Early Childhood. Angela had a long career within the early years sector in practice, Ofsted Inspection, and consultancy. She is a leading advocate, speaker, and author on children’s rights and self-determination.

Dr Jacqueline Harding
Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies

Jaqueline Harding is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Education and Early Childhood. Jacqueline is an author of best-selling books for children and adults, and is internationally known as a leading child development expert and media presenter.

  • Polly Aktar

    Early Childhood Studies BA graduate

    I always knew I wanted to work with children. I've found that this course has provided me with a good background to ideas and practices that are taken from various disciplines such as psychology, history, law and management. The course also enabled me to take part in a nursery-based placement and I enjoyed every minute of it!

    I am eager to pursue a career as a primary school teacher. I've applied to do the PGCE (Primary Education) with Middlesex and have received a conditional offer. All the tutors are extremely supportive and have been helping me to pass the Skills test which is a requirement for the PGCE. The Early Childhood Studies course has made my desire to become a teacher even stronger and I've already been recommending Middlesex University to other people.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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