Logo close icon
Section navigation
Main Baner Image

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 2023
3 years full-time
Flexible part-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Lynette Morris

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

We know that as someone holding an offer with us at Middlesex, you’re probably wondering about our plans for teaching and learning in the autumn. We’re delighted to tell you that our Education Studies and Early Childhood Studies Programmes are running this September and we’re putting everything in place so you can make a successful start to your studies. For your first term, we're planning to teach you through a mix of online or virtual and face to face methods. This means we can keep everyone safe until we are able to return to the campus.

Why study early childhood studies with us

Our course has been specifically designed to make young children the focus. We think it’s important to understand how an increasingly global world impacts early childhood development and education. That’s why on this course you'll gain knowledge from interconnected disciplines including sociology, psychology, law, health, and management. Our highly experienced tutors will help you to learn, understand, and apply the material from this course. A BA in Early Childhood Studies can lead to a career in education, childhood development, children’s charities, and many more. Graduates have found careers as teaching assistants, child development officers and more.

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

One of the most important aspects of completing your early childhood studies is gaining usable and transferable skills. That’s why our course ensures you learn and participate actively in the interpretation, evaluation, and application of knowledge through engagement in individual, group, and e-learning activities.

You'll be assessed on a mixture of essays, presentations, reports, and a dissertation that showcases your personal interests and research, as well as the opportunity to take part in work experience in an early education or other relevant educational setting. A work placement allows you to get the hands-on experience you need, as well as building that network of contacts that will help you in your career. You’ll also receive help in identifying the best career route or postgraduate programme for your future.

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

  • Learn from our highly experienced tutors who will help you to learn, understand, and apply the material from this course
  • We are ranked in the top 250 in the world for Education (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019).
  • This course has been specifically designed to make young children the focus. You'll gain knowledge from interconnected disciplines including sociology, psychology, law, health, and management
  • Dedicated support throughout your studies where you’ll have a Personal Tutor and committed Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants who have studied your subject and can support you based on their own experience.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the BA Early Childhood Studies?

In Year 1 you will examine both historical and contemporary approaches to education policy development in the UK and study an introduction to philosophy in relation to education. Alongside this, you will explore the psychological approaches to learning and also study an Early Childhood module (which includes the social construct of childhood and child development).

In Years 2 and 3 you will continue to broaden your knowledge of these key theoretical areas. You will also study the National Curriculum Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, alongside: special needs and inclusion, comparative education, equality issues and research methods.

In Year 3 you will also conduct an independent research project, gain practical experience on placement and select from a choice of modules to complement your learning, including: leadership and management in early years settings, the social and emotional aspects of teaching and learning, children's rights, education and the law and children's literature.


  • Year 1

    • Infant Health and Well-being (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module aims to extend your knowledge and understanding of factors contributing to infant health and well-being. You will examine theories of attachment and consider cross-cultural practices aimed at promoting attachment relationships and supporting early development. The module will enable you to evaluate the impact of early intervention strategies, policies and practices to provide support for parents/carers in meeting the health and well-being needs of babies and very young children.

    • Reflective Professional Practice in Early Years (30 credits) – Compulsory

      A consideration of the historical, social and global context of the child within the family and community will lead to an evaluation of the influence of social policy on children and families. Critical discussion and debate will explore key issues regarding contextualised childhoods and the role of reflective early years professionals in promoting equality, and safeguarding children. Professional identity, accountability and impact will be reflected on and critiqued at a micro and macro level. An analysis of policy impact in educational and care settings will be evaluated to consider approaches and professional impact towards behaviour management and the safeguarding of children.

    • Approaches to Learning (30 credits) – Compulsory

      The study of a selection of learning theories to encourage understanding of learning processes of children and adults, including their application to yourself as a learner. This module includes an exploration of influences and impact of parents, schools and wider social influences on development, educational experiences and achievement.

    • Early Childhood Development (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module allows you 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. A holistic approach to observing young children is taken

  • Year 2

    • Researching Lives: Social Investigation in the Contemporary World (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 you to go beyond the simply learning research skills and to engage with research critically and reflectively in your daily life.

    • Social Perspectives on Childhood and Education for Early years (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 child’s well-being and achievement. The module reviews the political and cultural background of policies that aim to address inequality, promote children’s right and support educational achievement, engaging you in exploring the role of the child in a multicultural society.

  • Year 2 Optional Modules - choose two of the following:

    • Curriculum Studies: 0-7 years (30 credits) – Optional

      This module is will be the study of curriculum models and the work of the early education pioneers, the planning and evaluating of the early years curriculum, and National Curriculum Key Stage 1.

    • Comparative Education (30 credits) – Optional

      This module examines education systems across a range of cultures and countries and compares them with the English system. Issues such as teacher training, gender, access to free education and the impact of globalisation will be considered. The value of comparing and classifying education systems in diverse settings will also be discussed.

    • Education and the Social World: Who Educates Whom and Why? (30 credits) – Optional

      This module is aimed at those who want to engage with issues of education in a deep, serious and theoretically rich way. It challenges some of the ways education is usually approached and asks how we can change education for the better. You will be actively involved in designing and proposing changes and new models. It provides a range of theoretical frameworks –among them postmodern theory, diaspora theory, and anthropological perspectives – which are extremely important for better understanding and engaging with education. Uniquely, the module offers a weekly book club and a monthly film club.

    • Insights into Play (30 credits) – Optional

      This module is aimed at exploring what play is, why we play and how play can foster learning, development and well-being. It includes investigations of the role of play in different pedagogic approaches. Sociocultural factors that shape play including historical developments, gender, cultural background and class, and play in different parts of the world.

  • Year 3

    • Dissertation Module for Early Childhood Studies (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This is a small piece of detailed research of an existing field within early childhood, relevant to research in an early childhood setting. Organise and manage a small scale research investigation with insight, demonstrating skillful use of research tools and responsibility and display critical judgement in relating these to the wider educational and social context. Present a research report following generic academic conventions. It can be general research or Practitioner Enquiry. Practitioner Enquiry is suitable for those who are in an appropriate placement where you hold a fairly stable role within the organisation as it includes a self-reflective report related to work roles and responsibilities.

  • Year 3 Optional Modules - choose three of the following:

    • Leadership and Management in Early Years (30 credits) – Optional

      This module provides an in-depth insight into the role of management and leadership in the context of Early Years. This entails the development of current initiatives, leadership and management theory, the legal framework and working with change. The role of key professionals within statutory, voluntary and independent services who are working with young children and their families is analysed. Also, the advantages and barriers to working in multidisciplinary teams are critically evaluated.

    • 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.

    • Children's Literature (30 credits) – Optional

      From fairy tales and the picture book to books for older readers, this module is an analysis of some key concepts in Children’s Literature. It examines the historical framework in which literature for children emerged and includes opportunities for theoretical analysis of individual authors’ works as well as studies of different genres. In addition the important role of literature for engaging children in the written word and their role in the early classroom experience will be explored.

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

      This module aims to encourage you to evaluate social and emotional aspects of teaching and learning in educational contexts. It considers the many social and emotional influences on the child and how these affect their learning and educational experience. You are asked to reflect on, and evaluate your own emotions and interpersonal skills, with a view to using this to help you to explore the social and emotional aspects of teaching and learning. A range of theories and skills used by those working with children in education, such as teachers and counsellors, are studied.

    • The Child in Context: the Influence of Socio-Cultural Factors on Development (30 credits) – Optional

      The module uses Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems model as a vehicle through which to explore a range of issues from a local, social, cultural and global perspective. These will include a number of the following; socio-cultural constructions of parenting and childhood, the ways in which geography, community and neighbourhoods influence developmental outcomes, cultural variances in family types and child rearing practices and the impact of these on children’s outcomes, an exploration of the issues surrounding day-care and the effect of day-care practices on the child, cultural influences on play, migration and childhood, theories of moral development. The module takes an international focus on the wide ranging factors influencing childhood health and well-being looking at child development research beyond the home and family.

    • Children's Rights and Self-Determination: Theory into Practice (30 credits) – Optional

      This module is a study of the concept of children’s rights in law and policy and how these apply in a variety of settings. Legal and policy documents such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the Children Act, aimed at promoting children’s rights are debated. Philosophical issues around ‘rights talk’and ‘can children have rights’ are discussed in the context of young citizens, best interests, paramountcy and childhood as social construct, alongside other topical issues.

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

      Psychological and sociological approaches to creativity, looking at what creativity is and how creativity is linked to the learning and well-being of individuals. Examining the role of the arts in early childhood and how they are differentiated through education and developmental processes. Comparing and evaluating the role of creativity and the arts in different educational systems, approaches and curricula.

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 (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Early Childhood Studies support your career?

Early Childhood Studies can lead to a range of careers in early years education across management, administration and research within a wide range of educational settings, as well as training organisations, charities, parents' advisory-support groups, local authorities, health authorities, charities, housing associations and day nurseries. It is also the ideal foundation to becoming an early years teacher through completing a postgraduate qualification.

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.

Please note, the Early Childhood Studies degree is not a direct route to Qualified Teacher Status.

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.

Other courses

Education Studies BA Honours

Start: September 2023

Duration: 3 years full-time, Flexible part-time

Code: X300

Primary Education (QTS) BA Honours

Start: September 2022

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: X120

Back to top