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BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

Course overview

Start date

September 2017

January 2018

Subject area

Cass School of Education and Communities





On campus

Course summary

January 2018 start date available for this course - study over the summer and join the 2nd year in September 2018.

Do you want to help shape and change young lives through education? Do you have a passion for teaching? Do you want to change communities from the inside? If you’re interested in learning more about children and childhood and you envisage a career working with and for children and their families, this course will give you an excellent foundation.

Our course will give you a fascinating insight into the way children experience their childhoods and how that experience influences them as they develop. You’ll look at childhood from a range of different critical perspectives and explore the factors that influence the childhood experience. You’ll examine issues such as health, early-years legislation and global inequalities in childhood.

You’ll have the opportunity to work on projects in the local community, applying your developing knowledge by devising practical solutions to real-life problems.

Early childhood is a well-established and popular area of study at UEL. Our academic team come from a broad range of professional backgrounds and cultures and, together, they have more than 100 years of experience in the field. Early Childhood Studies is available online.

This makes it easy to fit around parenting or work. You’ll study using our virtual learning environment, Moodle, which includes chatrooms, reading materials, lecture clips and assignments.

UCAS points


Course options


UCAS code


UCAS points

Less points?

Course options

Degree + Foundation year

Contact us

If you have any questions, talk to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

Get in touch


Our students feel they are given the opportunity to explore their own ideas and concepts in depth (NSS, 2017).

Specialist academics

UEL is the largest provider of early childhood courses in London and our academic team have extensive experience in the field, which they bring into the classroom.


Research rated either ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’(REF, 2014).

Enquire Visit UEL

Vikki Silvers

Early Childhood Studies, BA (Hons), undergraduate

Originally I chose the course because I wanted to be a Key Stage One teacher, but I’m learning there is a range of other possible career paths.

The course covers a holistic view of child development and I’ve been able to gain a new perspective, looking through a child’s eyes.

I’ve especially loved exploring the enchantment of children’s literature.

Entry requirements


New UCAS Points

A Level
Must include two passes at A2 Level in Social Sciences or Humanities-related subjects
Extended Diploma (QCF) or Diploma (QCF)
Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children and Young People's Workforce (QCF) / Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education
International Baccalaureate
Diploma with 25 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level.
We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and maths (See below for accepted equivalences)


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.


Access to HE Diploma (QAA approved) with 60 credits overall and 45 credits at Level 3

We will also consider the UEL New Beginnings pre-entry course with relevant Work Experience 


Overall IELTS score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking (or recognised equivalent).

Level 2 equivalences such as Level 2 Functional Skills in English / Maths, Level 2 Key Skills in Communication / Application of Number and Level 2 Adult Literacy / Adult Numeracy

Applicants are required to complete an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for Regulated Activity

As an inclusive university we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application (particularly your personal statement) and may ask you to attend an interview or submit a piece of work to help us decide on your eligibility for the course. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.

You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre. Please click here for details.

What you'll learn

Early Childhood Studies prepares you to be a thoughtful and flexible early years practitioner, working with and for children and families in a range of settings and professional roles.

You’ll come to understand that there are many different ways of understanding early childhood. We give you a range of academic and professional perspectives on childhood, then ask you to explore the deeper philosophies, beliefs and attitudes that underpin them.

You’ll learn how children develop, from conception onwards, how they experience life and how that experience forms the basis of their later development.

You’ll develop an understanding of the factors that influence childhood, and of how this knowledge is critical in supporting the learning and development of children.

We’ll teach you about how early years services are structured in this country, and how to work across the system to get the best results for children.

You’ll also benefit from field-based learning as you carry out the third-year research project which you’ll devise yourself.

What you'll study and when

Becoming an Early Childhood Undergraduate (core)
Rethinking Children’s Behaviour (core)
Play and talk in learning (core)
Key Concepts in Studying Early Childhood (core)
Pedagogy: Supporting Development in the Early Years (core)
Perspectives of Early Childhood Development (core)
Children in their Social Contexts (core)
Children with Additional Needs and Children’s Health (core)
Issues and Controversies in Early Childhood Development (core)
Observing, Documenting and Researching with Children, Families and Practitioners (core)
Social Policy for Children and Families (core)
Advocating for Children: National and international Contexts (core)

Online Modules

Issues and Controversies in Early Childhood Development (core) 
Observing, Documenting and Researching with Children, Families and Practitioners (core) 
Social Policy for Children and Families (core) 
Advocating for Children: National and International Contexts (core)

Early Childhood Research Dissertation (core)
Leading and Managing Partnerships in the Early Years (core)
Children, Culture and Globalisation (core)
Multimodal Learning in Early Childhood (optional)
Volunteering (optional)

Online Modules

Early Childhood Research Dissertation (core) 
Leading and Managing Partnerships in the Early Years (core) 

Inclusion and Diversity in the Early Years (core)
Multimodal Learning in Early Childhood (core) 

How you'll be assessed

We assess each module individually using the most appropriate method to look for evidence of learning.

We assess some modules by coursework only and some by a combination of exam (either seen or unseen) and coursework. Coursework can take the form of essays, reports, class presentations, learning journals and book reviews.

Regular formative assessment tasks will provide the opportunity for you to monitor your own understanding and engagement prior to the final assessment.

Course specification Foundation Year Specification Online Learning

How you'll learn

We believe small is beautiful. That’s why we’re moving away from large lectures in the future and focusing our teaching more on seminars, group presentations, workshops and fieldwork.

Based at UEL’s Cass School of Education and Communities in Stratford, you’ll explore the significance of early childhood in different cultures and societies.

This is particularly relevant given the ethnic and cultural diversity which exists in east London and, indeed, among UEL’s student intake and staff. We use that diversity to our advantage by incorporating discussion time into our teaching.

You’ll benefit from the extraordinary richness of the research conducted in childcare by UEL’s International Centre for the Study of the Mixed Economy of Childcare (ICMEC), which has a worldwide reputation.

Professors Helen Penn and Eva Lloyd, both teachers on your course, set up ICMEC. Their research in subjects such as how we provide childcare and how policy affects the provision of childcare is brought into the classroom.

The subject of Early Childhood is only relevant when it is applied to the reality which exists outside UEL’s walls. It’s why we take your learning off campus and give you the chance to work on real-life projects that benefit society directly.

This fieldwork will not only broaden your own practical experiences but allow you to observe the practice of professionals as you do so.

Your future career

Early Childhood Studies gives you the skills and knowledge to work in a wide range of jobs with children and for children and their families.

Graduates have taken jobs in local government, the NHS, charities, housing associations and day nurseries.

Their roles have included childcare project managers, family support workers, play co-ordinators, out-of-school project managers and classroom/education assistants.

The University of East London has strong and trusted relationships with local schools, childcare organisations and loyal alumni. This means you’ll have plenty of contact with potential employers through work placements, mentoring and guest lecturers.

If you already work, the degree will enhance your enjoyment and boost your progress because you will have a deeper understanding of what you do. You may find it easier to move into a management role, for example.

Early Childhood Studies also equips you with transferable skills such as working to a deadline, giving presentations and project management, which are beneficial in many other careers.

You may wish to further your journey in childhood studies on one of UEL’s postgraduate courses. For example, this degree allows you to qualify as a social worker by taking an approved postgraduate degree, or as a primary school teacher by taking a PGCE. It also prepares you to train as a speech and language therapist.

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Meet us in your country

Our international  team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London

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