Huddersfield is first in England for professionally qualified teaching staff

Early Years BA(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2018-19 entry

About the course

Current government reforms in education are focused on early childhood development and the importance of high quality early years provision in providing the foundations that prepare young children and babies for the best start in life.So if you're currently an early years practioner, aspiring to develop high quality practice and are passionate about working with children and their families, then this course could be for you.

You'll have the opportunity to explore a variety of issues in relation to children and early childhood, including health and wellbeing, education, learning and development and to look at wider topics such as safeguarding, society and early years practice.Your place of work forms a key element of the course allowing you to put theory into practice.To ensure flexibility and access for those working within school and other childcare settings during the week, teaching on this course typically takes place on Saturdays, approximately 8 per academic year.

You'll be taught by an outstanding team of teachers; in fact we've been ranked in the top five in the Guardian Guide for Education 2016 for the sixth year running. You'll also have access to our extensive professional and academic network which feeds directly into course design and delivery and to excellent facilities and specialist equipment.

Start date:
25 / 09 / 2017


4 years part-time

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are typically one of the following

•  112 UCAS points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications

•  CACHE/BTEC National Diploma relevant to working with children (with at least DMM) (* Please note: older, ungraded Diplomas are considered to have met the 112 UCAS tariff)

If you already have a level 4 or higher qualification such as NVQ level 4 or 5 or Foundation Degree relating to the course you will be considered for entry directly into year 2 or above.

In addition you must also:

•  have GCSE English (or equivalent) grade C or above

•  be employed or volunteer in the children's workforce in a capacity that will enable you to pursue the professional practice elements of this course

Candidates over the age of 21 may be considered for entry without meeting the university's general entry requirements. You must demonstrate during interview that you have sufficient general academic skills to be able to undertake the course, together with relevant experience.

Please note: UCAS points are based on the new UCAS tariff, introduced for courses starting in 2017/18.


Course enquiries
Tel: +44 (0)1484 478249

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Places available:


(this number may be subject to change)

Huddersfield, HD1 3DH

Course content

You study three modules each year. These place an emphasis on work-based practice. Module content gives you the opportunity to gain the underpinning knowledge in a range of essential early years subjects. We'll help you to develop your skills as a reflective practitioner and to improve your academic ability.

Here's what Rachel has to say about studying our full-time Early Years BA(Hons) at the University of Huddersfield.

You'll be encouraged to develop your own particular interests by choosing some option modules after Year 3.

Year 1

Core modules:

Theories and Strategies for Learning

This module encourages the development of the academic study and communication skills necessary for successful study at degree level. Assessment typically includes preparing an essay considering issues or theories related to your course of study and a portfolio of evidence of your developing research and academic skills.

Perspectives on Learning and Development

You’ll be introduced to the theories and research that underpin development and learning for children, young people and adults and consider key concepts that explain the basis of development and learning. Assessment typically involves the production of a display and a timed test.

Professional Practice

While exploring work-based learning opportunities, this module seeks to nurture independent learning and a holistic approach to enhancing your own professionalism and practice. Assessment typically involves building on a skills gap analysis to produce a reflective summary and a portfolio of evidence.

Year 2

Core modules:

Self Society and Welfare

This module helps develop your understanding of society. You'll examine social issues in society, such as poverty and inequality, and how the state responds to them through ‘welfare’, as well as through ‘rights’ and ‘citizenship’. Assessment typically involves the completion of a timed test and a written assignment.

Advanced Professional Practice

The programme of study will nurture your independent learning and enhance your own professionalism and practice through structured workplace learning. There will be an emphasis on you setting your own work related learning objectives, developing reflective practice and using learning agreements. Assessment for this module typically involves the development of a written assignment.

Safeguarding Children and Young People

This module will help raise your awareness of current legislation, policies and procedures which exist to promote children and young people’s rights and to keep them safe from harm. It emphasises the knowledge, skills and qualities required to work with children, young people, their families and carers and other professionals in safeguarding contexts; and critically explores broader concepts of child abuse. Assessment typically involves the completion of an oral assessment and a timed test.

Year 3

Core modules:

Literacy and Mathematics in Early Years and KS1

This module will seek to raise your awareness of the basic principles, concepts and processes underpinning children’s literacy and mathematical development and learning. You’ll examine teaching strategies which support learning in each area and through cross curricula links. You’ll be aware of how learning and development is assessed with reference to the relevant frameworks. Assessment typically includes an analysis of children's work and a written evaluation of the teaching and learning strategies used.

Senior Practitioner

This module is designed to recognise the qualities of the Senior Practitioner to ensure continuous development and evaluate the influences of theories of child development and learning in early years settings today. Assessment typically involves the development of a detailed study of an individual child and exploring how the setting and practitioner support care, learning and development needs.

Health and Well Being

Through this module you’ll explore different aspects of the health and well-being of children and young people and become equipped to evaluate the wider public health agenda, national trends and supporting legislation. Assessment is typically via research, presentation, discussion and written evaluation.

Year 4

Core modules:

Researching the Major Study

This module forms the first part of a two module package (along with Major Study in Education) which constitutes the project that demonstrates the application of the skills and knowledge acquired within the course. It leads to a project plan which will be implemented in the second module. The focus is on preparatory and background activities leading to a detailed project proposal.

Major Study

This module allows you to pursue your particular interests and demonstrate the breadth of knowledge, understanding and strengths that you have developed during your degree studies. You’ll be supported to select a relevant topic and develop a proposal. This module is your opportunity to bring together everything you have learned in a study of your choosing and you'll typically be assessed via a dissertation.

Option modules:

Choose one from a list which may include -

Leadership and Management in Professional Contexts

This module will develop your understanding of theories of leadership, management and the organisation of professional practice. You will explore relevant theory and practical factors such as mentoring arrangements, developmental supervision, group structures, staff development and the management of change in professional practice. Coursework will consist of an annotated bibliography on a relevant topic of your choice (75% of the marks). For the other 25%, you will discuss management structures and leadership roles while exercising your creativity with a poster presentation.

Supporting Learning in Young Children

You’ll be introduced to the principles of effective teaching for supporting children’s learning. You'll learn about the concept of inclusion, the principles of both medium and short term planning, and a variety of perspectives on planning and teaching. Assessment is typically via peer presentation and the development of a written, reflective report.

Please note:

•  This course has been updated in line with the National Occupational Standards for the Level 6 Early Years Educator as set out by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). This ensures currency and recognition in the sector.

•  A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required to enable you to undertake placements in settings with children. If required, we arrange this as part of the application process. Please note that there is a charge for the DBS check which is approximately £44.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Career opportunities

This course could enable you to consider a wide range of roles in education, specifically teaching in nursery and reception classes and leading practice in pre-schools, nurseries, Children's Centres and child minding networks within the private, local authority and voluntary sectors.

This course is also a recognised progression route into Primary and Early Years Teaching Status. Upon successful completion you may also consider pursuing further study, including PGCE or other professional Master's programmes.

Teaching and assessment

You'll be taught through a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and interactive workshops. Teaching on this course typically takes place on Saturdays at the University campus to ensure flexibility and access for those working within school and other childcare settings during the week.

You'll also have a personal tutor who'll be assigned to you throughout your degree to support your ongoing wellbeing and ensure that you have a positive learning experience.

Assessments vary and include essays, developing creative and teaching resources to support children's learning, student-led seminars, presentations and timed tests.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK's only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

  • Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.

Who will teach me?

Some of our teaching staff who may teach you on this course include:

Mary Dyer

Samantha McMahon

Nicola Firth

Amanda Crow

Geraldine Regan

Liz Bennett

Professor Paul Thomas

How much will it cost me?

In 2017/18, the part-time tuition fee for UK and EU students at the University of Huddersfield will be £950 per 20 credit module (see Fees and Finance for exceptions). Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Please also note:

•  Your placements could be in Huddersfield or surrounding areas, so please consider any travelling costs you may incur.

•  A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required to enable you to undertake placements in settings with children. If required, we arrange this as part of the application process. Please note that there is a charge for the DBS check which is approximately £44.

Further study

How to apply

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.

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