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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

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.

Studying by distance learning allows you to study at your convenience. It gives you the flexibility to study from any location within a structured and supported framework. It also gives you the opportunity to combine gaining an academic qualification with your work or family commitments.

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.

Students on the online learning course come from all over the world, including the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australasia, as well as the UK.

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.

DOWNLOAD COURSE SPECIFICATIONS

This course is subject to validation. You can still apply for this course while it is being approved.

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Exploring Social Worlds

    This module will develop your understanding of people's social and cultural experience in a range of contexts and will prepare you to think about practical support for children's, young people's lives and rights. You will learn about a range of theoretical perspectives that will help you understand the experiences of children, young people and young adults. As part of this module you will present key recommendations for improvements to their lives.

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    Key Principles for Inclusion

    • To provide a broad and critical historical review of the development of the field of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), and the legislative frameworks underpinning its practice.
    • To introduce and develop awareness of concepts, terms, definitions and debates within the field
    • To introduce critical disability studies and consider the experience of SEN and Disability for diverse social groups
    • To provide a critique of the individual deficit model of disability and a critical focus of social oppression theory in the context of commitment to equal opportunities and human rights.
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    Emerging Research Communities

    This module will provide you with the opportunity to develop skills associated with problem solving, critical thinking, logical reasoning and researching.

    Over the space of twelve weeks, you will work with experienced researchers and academics in the Education subject area at the  School of Education and Communities. You will build an active research community of your peers, which will be cultivated over your three years at the University of East London. Staff will continue to support and scaffold this community of research in Level 5, culminating in your own independent research project at Level 6.

    During lectures, you will explore the most appropriate research methods within your discipline accounting for ethical, cultural and social issues. You will be introduced to the key concepts, principles and stages of the research process, engaging with real-life examples from existing and ongoing research in your field of study. During workshops and tutorials, you will work collaboratively with your peers. You will develop the ability to read and compare current and ongoing research literature in your discipline. You will determine the credibility of sources and reflect on the research processed used.

    The assessment for this module will be in the form of collaborative group work. It will be submitted as an e-portfolio consisting of two sections (i) an infographic/e-poster (ii) 1,500 written comparison of two pieces of academic research. You will be guided by experienced staff members to achieve the digital proficiency necessary for this assessment, skills which will be beneficial to a future career in any industry.

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    Mental Wealth: Academic and Professional Skills for Life 1

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to identify the skills, competencies and experiences required for youth work and a range of potential future career areas.

    Students will be supported to recognise the areas for their own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Central to the developmental process is for each student to cultivate their reflective skills, openness and self-awareness to enable themselves to assess what they are doing, identify areas for improvement and confidently receive and give constructive feedback. Students will additionally develop knowledge and strategies for advancing their own emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences and improve their health and well-being.

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    Practice module Part 1

    This module will introduce you to ideas about the ways children develop.. You will study key theories of development and learning and learn about contemporary practices used to support children’s physical, social, cognitive and language development in the early years. You will have the opportunity to observe in early childhood settings and discuss the way theory and practice are integrated.

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    Practice module Part 2

    You will gain an introduction to key pedagogical theories and explore how these relate to effective teaching and learning within an early years context. Through experiences with children's resources such as books and games you will learn to practically apply pedagogical theories to children’s learning. There will be opportunities to apply this knowledge in practical contexts during visits to early years settings.

  • Core Modules
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    Mental Wealth: Academic and Professional Skills for Life 2

    This module seeks to develop the key psychological determinants of human performance which are increasingly critical for successful graduate-level employment, entrepreneurship and career progression in the 4th industrial era.

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to apply several of the skills, competencies and experience required for successful development to, and in a range of potential career areas.

    Students will continue to build upon and advance the skills and concepts they learnt in Level 4 to further develop their emotional intelligence, emotional literacy, reflective skills, and self-awareness.

    Students will have the opportunity to explore the skills and knowledge involved in entrepreneurial activities by practising and engaging with self and others in analysis, critical-thinking, problem solving and research.

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    Identity and Social Justice

    In this module students will extend their critical understanding of theory and research from a range of social science disciplines used to explore and analyse the lives and experiences of children and young people (including education, psychology, sociology, human geography and social policy). Students will explore issues of social justices, critically considering:

    · how these aspects are addressed within key policies, organisations (including grassroots and third sector), and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;

    · the micro- and macro- influences on the lives of children and young people, such as biological, social, economic, political, cultural and/or generational influences, with particular attention paid to issues of inequality and intersectionality;

    · the extent to which educators/practitioners influence these aspects of the lives of children and young people;

    · children and young people's rights and the extent to which they actively influence these aspects of their own lives.

    During the module, students' campus-based studies will be complemented by engagement in educational and community settings, allowing them to develop a critical awareness of current issues relating to the lives of children and young people, and to actively engage in consideration of how drawing upon research evidence from social science disciplines can enable them to affect change in the lives of the children and young people with whom they work/may work in the future.

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    Building Research Communities

    Building Research Communities follows on from the Level 4: Emerging Research Communities by further developing knowledge and understanding of research theories, concepts and processes and the research skills required for independent, ethical and applied research. This module is rooted in the principles of research informed teaching which includes learning about research findings in their field of study; learning research processes and methodologies and learning to work in research 'mode' which builds on pedagogical principles of enquiry-based, active, collaborative and experiential learning, supporting students to engage in critique and discussion in a 'research community of practice' (Lave and Wenger, 1998).

    At Level 5: Developing Research Communities focuses on developing students' understanding of research theories, concepts and processes and the research skills required for independent, ethical and applied research. The module will introduce students to key issues in research methodology and design, such as how to develop research questions, using research literature, addressing ethical issues, designing data collection tools and organising and analysing data. Students will explore a range of qualitative research techniques, including interviews, questionnaires, observational studies and documentary research. Students will also be encouraged to reflect on wider questions about how educational and early childhood research helps us to understand social worlds and can impact on policy and practice. This module will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out an applied research project at Level 6.

    In this module students will be supported by a range of workshops to develop research, analytical, and presentation skills, alongside ongoing reflective writing. The module is assessed entirely by coursework with a mixture of individual and group learning experiences. Students are assessed individually.

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    Contemporary Issues in Education

    During this module the students will engage in discussing and analysing contemporary issues in education and heighten their awareness of the relationship between empirical evidence and academic arguments in advancing their understanding. The students will be able to develop their skills in evaluating the evidence and arguments related to contemporary debates. Also, the students will be able to construct theoretical arguments in advancing public representations of educational issues.

    Having successfully completed this module the students will be able to evaluate and demonstrate different positions in some contemporary debates about issues in education. Also they will be able to use a range of sources to further extend their knowledge and understanding of issues relating to education, and to critically examine contemporary debates and issues in education.

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    Practice module 3

    On this module you be introduced to a variety of different curricula models and examine how they are constructed. You will go on to analyse how they are applied to a wide variety of early years settings in UK and other countries. Through practical experiences during settings visits you will have the opportunity to understand how curricula work in practice through the way observing, assessing and planning are implemented in early years settings. You will be able to contribute to this process during settings visits.

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    Practice module 4

    This module will introduce you to the different ways young children learn and communicate through a multimodal process of learning. In this module you will learn about concept of multimodality and explore how a highly multimodal environment should look like in practice. In practical visits you will be able to analyse the different teaching styles that can be used to implement a multimodal framework and introduced to practical multimodal approaches for early years education on a national and international perspective.

  • Optional Modules
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    Optional placement

    This course offers the opportunity of year-long placement between years two and three. If you choose to take this option, you’ll spend your third year on a placement with a relevant company or organisation, adding valuable practical experience to your growing academic knowledge. 

    The extra placement year means it will take four years to complete your studies, instead of three.

  • Core Modules
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    Mental Wealth: Academic and Professional Skills for Life 3

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to apply a full range of skills, competencies and experience required for successful development in a range of potential education related career areas. They will advance the areas identified in their level 5 studies for their personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Through engagement with the Career Passport students will reflect upon the success of the strategies that they employ to further develop their reflective skills, self awareness, ‘life style’ ‘self care’ approaches and where necessary improve these.

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    Critical and Global Perspectives on Education

    · To develop critical awareness of current educational policy, practices and provision relating to special and inclusive education

    · To develop critical awareness of the similarities and differences between contexts in terms of special and inclusive education developments in policy and practice

    · To consider the inclusion of children with special educational needs from an international perspective

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    Practice module 5

    This module will introduce you to children's literacy journeys in early years education. It will help you to analyse the concept of literacy and the different types of literacies that young children experience in their learning process. During setting visits you will explore how literacy rich learning environments are created and you will have the opportunity to experience practical child-led play-based literacy activities.

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    Practice module 6

    This module will develop your understanding of working with others and the qualities needed to manage effective teams. You will have opportunities to demonstrate skills of communicating effectively with parents in the context of multi professional teams. Through placement in early years settings you will learn to support collaborative learning opportunities between parents/caregivers and children.

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    Independent Research Project

    Students will have the opportunity to initiate a small-scale applied research study that addresses an issue, topic or challenge within the broad field of education, special education or early childhood. The applied research will support professional formation and contribute to knowledge within the wider community.

    The module is designed to guide students towards design, implementation and completion of an applied research project undertaken in collaboration with a relevant external organisation (the nature of which will be discussed and agreed with the relevant module leader). Students will develop a range of theoretical, methodological, academic and practical skills and knowledge.

    Students will apply these in a practice context to address a real-world problem through ethical research practice, professional engagement and problem solving leading to research dissemination.

    The chosen area of applied research will be demonstrably linked to the personal interests and professional aspirations of the student within the field of education, special education or early childhood. Through supervision students will shape and agree a proposal for a viable and ethical applied research project.

  • Core Modules
    Close

    Mental Wealth: Academic and Professional Skills for Life 1

    This module will provide students with the opportunity to identify the skills, competencies and experiences required for youth work and a range of potential future career areas.

    Students will be supported to recognise the areas for their own personal professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Central to the developmental process is for each student to cultivate their reflective skills, openness and self-awareness to enable themselves to assess what they are doing, identify areas for improvement and confidently receive and give constructive feedback. Students will additionally develop knowledge and strategies for advancing their own emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences and improve their health and well-being.

    Close

    Exploring Social Worlds

    This module will develop students’ understanding of people’s social and cultural experience in a range of contexts. It will develop students’ ability to think about practical support for young people’s lives and rights. Students will learn about a range of theoretical perspectives that will help them understand the experiences of children, young people and young adults.

    Close

    Key Principles for Inclusion

    • To provide a broad and critical historical review of the development of the field of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), and the legislative frameworks underpinning its practice.
    • To introduce and develop awareness of concepts, terms, definitions and debates within the field
    • To introduce critical disability studies and consider the experience of SEN and Disability for diverse social groups
    • To provide a critique of the individual deficit model of disability and a critical focus of social oppression theory in the context of commitment to equal opportunities and human rights.
    Close

    Emerging Research Communities

    This module will provide you with the opportunity to develop skills associated with problem solving, critical thinking, logical reasoning and researching.

    Over the space of twelve weeks, you will work with experienced researchers and academics in the Education subject area at the  School of Education and Communities. You will build an active research community of your peers, which will be cultivated over your three years at the University of East London. Staff will continue to support and scaffold this community of research in Level 5, culminating in your own independent research project at Level 6.

    During lectures, you will explore the most appropriate research methods within your discipline accounting for ethical, cultural and social issues. You will be introduced to the key concepts, principles and stages of the research process, engaging with real-life examples from existing and ongoing research in your field of study. During workshops and tutorials, you will work collaboratively with your peers. You will develop the ability to read and compare current and ongoing research literature in your discipline. You will determine the credibility of sources and reflect on the research processed used.

    The assessment for this module will be in the form of collaborative group work. It will be submitted as an e-portfolio consisting of two sections (i) an infographic/e-poster (ii) 1,500 written comparison of two pieces of academic research. You will be guided by experienced staff members to achieve the digital proficiency necessary for this assessment, skills which will be beneficial to a future career in any industry.

    Close

    Practice module Part 1

    This module will introduce you to ideas about the ways children develop.. You will study key theories of development and learning and learn about contemporary practices used to support children’s physical, social, cognitive and language development in the early years. You will have the opportunity to observe in early childhood settings and discuss the way theory and practice are integrated.

    Close

    Practice module Part 2

    You will gain an introduction to key pedagogical theories and explore how these relate to effective teaching and learning within an early years context. Through experiences with children's resources such as books and games you will learn to practically apply pedagogical theories to children’s learning. There will be opportunities to apply this knowledge in practical contexts during visits to early years settings.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

You’ll be taught by staff with relevant experience and practice to ensure you learn from real life experience and research. We offer online teaching allowing you to interact as if you were there in person. Students can interact and collaborate online in any of these live-streamed sessions. Live-streamed sessions will also be recorded, so you can log in when you want, playback and watch from the comfort of your home and whilst on the go.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled lectures you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This will typically involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, Microsoft Teams and Moodle. We are investing in key areas beyond your studies including our career services, library and well-being, to be available both face-to-face on campus and online with many of these available 24/7.

Academic support

Students are supported with any academic or subject related queries by an Academic Advisor, module leaders, former and current UEL students. If you need support with certain skills such as academic writing, our Skillzone and English for Academic Purposes offer workshops, drop-in sessions and one-to-one appointments will help you to achieve your potential. You can receive advice and guidance on all aspects of the IT systems provided by the university from our IT Service Desks located on all three campuses. Our Student Support hubs in Docklands and Stratford feature centralised helpdesks to cater for your every need. We have new, modern library facilities on both campuses offering inspirational environments for study and research. Libraries contain resources in print and digital formats, a range of study spaces and a dedicated librarian who can assist with your learning. UEL provides also support and advice for disabled students and those with specific learning difficulties (SPDs). Your overall workload consists of class and online tutor-led sessions, individual learning, practical activities.

Dedicated personal tutor

Our aim is to prepare our students for a broad range of careers so that they can make amazing contributions to their communities. When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at UEL and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer.

Class sizes

Aside from a few larger lectures, the first year brings together students doing degrees in similar subjects you will be taught in lectures that may have 30 to 40 people and seminars that will have about half that number.

Who will teach on this course

  • Hattie Campbell - Programme Leader
  • Micky Le Voguer - Programme Leader

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

The course is assessed entirely by coursework such as essays, video presentations and a research dissertation. Coursework will include presentations, software demonstrations, research-based assignments and practical exercises involving system or program specification, coding and testing.

The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • Year 1: 100% coursework
  • Year 2: 100% coursework
  • Year 3: 100% coursework

Assessments are set at the end of each term and include group works and individual work including essays, presentations, case studies, professional development and practical activities depending on the nature of the course. All grades count towards your module mark. More details will be included in the student handbook and module guides.
Feedback is provided within 15 working days in line with UEL’s assessment and feedback policy.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

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.

Vikki Silvers

Early Childhood Studies, BA (Hons)

Dockland Campus

Why study at UEL?

Setting out on your journey to higher education can be a confusing and daunting experience. At the University of East London, we pride ourselves in the level of support we offer new students to help you make the right choices.

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Information Advice Guidance

Pre-entry Information, Advice And Guidance (IAG) And Mature Student Advice

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We are one of the very few universities in London to offer on-campus accommodation. Our stunning waterfront Halls of Residence is convenient, secure and comfortable - and living on campus is a great way to make friends.

Accommodation

We are one of the very few universities in London to offer on-campus accommodation. Our stunning waterfront Halls of Residence is convenient, secure and comfortable - and living on campus is a great way to make friends.

Find out more

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.

 

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.