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BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (with Foundation year)

Course overview

Start date

September 2021

Subject area

Teaching and Education


Full-time, 4 years

Full-time, 5 years



On campus, dual delivery

Course summary

This extended course is perfect if you want a degree in Early Childhood Studies, Special Needs and Education Studies but you don’t have the standard entry requirements for direct entry to one of these programmes.  

The Foundation Year programme is stimulating and designed with you in mind.  We do believe that each student is unique and that you come to us with a wealth of experiences which can be transferrable during your studies.  As part of our programme, we prepare you by building on these existing knowledge to develop the skills required to prepare you for Level four. This will include increased critical thinking and reflection skills, recognition of appropriate leadership and management skills, and working with children. 

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 children and young adults with special needs, health, early-years legislation and global inequalities in childhood. 

These skills will help to build your confidence when presenting information to colleagues and peers, affirming your high levels of expertise within the Education and Early Years’ sector.

Early childhood, Education and Special Needs team come from a broad range of professional backgrounds and cultures and, together, they have more than 100 years of experience in the field.


UCAS points


Course options

Degree with Foundation Year

UCAS code


Return to campus: dual delivery

In a Covid-secure environment, enjoy learning on our state-of-the-art campuses and flex between online delivery

Find out more


Optional placement year available


Overall satisfaction

Our overall student satisfaction score (NSS, 2018)


Academic support

Our academic support and staff have been rated at over 95% in the NSS for 2018. 

Teaching and learning

Develop a reflective approach to special education and critical thinking skills which are transferable to the workplace.


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.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fee Loan

You can apply for a loan to cover the cost of your tuition fees, which will be paid directly to UEL. There are no up-front fees required. Repayment only starts after you finish your course and are earning over £25,000. If you haven’t finished repaying your loan after 30 years it will be automatically cancelled.

To apply visit

Maintenance Loan

You can apply for a loan to help with living costs such as food, travel and accommodation. How much you can borrow depends on where you live and study, and whether you are currently on welfare benefits. The maximum loan you can apply for is £12,729.

To apply visit

Supplementary Grants

The government also offer the following additional support:

-          Parents' Learning Allowance

-          Adult Dependants' Grant

-          Childcare Grant

-          Disabled Students’ Allowance

-          All nursing and many allied health students on courses from September 2020 will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year from the government.

For further information visit or contact Student Finance England.

We appreciate that finance is one of the key considerations when you are applying to university. That's why alongside your Government loan, you can apply for scholarships to help towards your finances. We have invested over £2 million worth of scholarships to financially assist new students, starting in September 2019. If you are awarded a scholarship you don't need to pay it back.

All students will receive:


Bursaries Schemes for which you can apply

Scholarships Schemes for which you can apply


There are a number of external organisations that offer financial help to
students. Please see the list below list to view additional support options.
Alternatively, you can visit the Scholarship Search website.

Please note that the University of East London is not responsible for
the content of these external sites and is not associated in any way
with the funding schemes and their application processes.

The Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) are here to help you navigate your finances while you are a student at the University of East London.

We can give you advice, information and guidance on government and university funds so that you receive your full funding entitlement.


Phone: 020 8223 4444


Tuition fees

You don't need to pay this up front.

EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals starting a course in September 2021, will no longer be eligible for Home fees. However, such nationals benefitting from Settled Status or Citizens' Rights may become eligible for Home fees as and when the UK Government confirms any new fees regulations.  Further information can be found at UKCISA.

Tuition fees are subject to annual change. Fees for future years will be published in due course.

At UEL, we understand that studying in another country is a big financial commitment. If you apply early for an undergraduate, you may be entitled to a scholarship of up to £3,000.You can find out more about the international scholarships here.

The Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) also run an Emergency International Fund to assist international students in hardship.

You can contact our SMART team on 02082233333 or

As part of the Tier 4 student visa requirements, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) estimate that you will need £1,265* per month to cover your living costs. It includes expenses for accommodation, food and drink, travel within London, text books, entertainment, clothing, toiletries and laundry. Most Tier 4 students are required to show they have sufficient funds to cover the first nine months of the course before they start- a total of £11,385- in addition to the tuition fees. You can find more information about the specific requirements of the Tier 4 student visa here. The amount that you will spend can vary depending on your lifestyle. The UKCISA International Student Calculator can help you plan and manage your money. Please make sure you also factor in the fees for the visa application and immigration health surcharge when budgeting.

* Please note the Immigration Rules are subject to change and this figure is likely to be increased by UKVI year on year. Please therefore check our ISA pages for more information at the time of preparing your visa application.

Deposits and paying by instalments

International students are required to pay a deposit prior to being issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

Your remaining balance will be paid in five monthly instalments over your first term. The first of these instalments must be paid when completing your enrolment on arrival at UEL. Please follow the payment instructions here

After the required payment has been made, you will be asked to complete the online International Student Reply Form to confirm your acceptance of our offer and of our terms of admittance and fees policy.

Our International team at UEL are available for advice and guidance on studying in London, fees, scholarships and visa requirements.


Tuition fees

EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals starting a course in September 2021, will no longer be eligible for Home fees. However, such nationals benefitting from Settled Status or Citizens' Rights may become eligible for Home fees as and when the UK Government confirms any new fees regulations.  Further information can be found at UKCISA.

Tuition fees are subject to annual change. Fees for future years will be published in due course.

Entry requirements


New UCAS Points

A Level
Must include passes at A2 in at least 1 subject
Extended Diploma or Diploma
International Baccalaureate
Diploma with 24 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level


(Including European Union)


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

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

If you do not meet the academic English language requirements for your course, you may be eligible to enrol onto a pre-sessional English programme. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English and the requirements for your degree programme. We offer a 5-week and an 11-week pre-sessional course. Find out more here.

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

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 the relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application – in particular your personal statement - to help us decide on your eligibility for the course.

Please note that some courses require applicants to meet the entry requirements outlined on the course page. 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.

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

We consistently review our courses to ensure we are up-to-date with industry changes and requirements from our graduates. As a result, our modules are subject to change.

  • Mental Wealth: Introduction to academic and professional identity/practice (Core)
  • Introduction to Early Childhood, Special Needs and Education (Core)
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health (Core)
  • Placements in Context - Play and Learning (Core)
  • Skills for Academic and Professional Writing (Core)
  • Research in Practice: Live Project (Core)
  • Mental Wealth: Academic and Professional Skills for Life 1 (Core)
  • Exploring Social Worlds (Core)
  • Key Principles for Inclusion (Core)
  • Emerging Research Communities (Core)
  • Practice module Part 1 (Core)
  • Practice module Part 2 (Core)
  • Mental Wealth: Academic and Professional Skills for Life 2 (Core)
  • Identity and Social Justice (Core)
  • Building Research Communities (Core)
  • Contemporary Issues in Education (Core)
  • Practice module (Core)
  • Practice module (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) 
  • Professionalism and Inclusion (core)

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.

  • Mental Wealth: Academic and Professional Skills for Life 3  (Core)
  • Critical and global perspectives on education  (Core)
  • Practice module  (Core)
  • Practice module  (Core)
  • Active Research Communities  (Core)

Online Modules

  • Early Childhood Research Dissertation (core) 
  • Leading and Managing Partnerships in the Early Years (core) 
  • Inclusion and Diversity in the Early Years (core)
  • Children, Culture and Globalisation (core) 

How you'll be assessed

Assessment tasks are mainly spread across the year to make theworkload manageable. Assessment methods include group works and individual work including essays, exams, 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.

Course specification Foundation Year Specification Online Learning

How you'll learn

The approximate percentages for this course are:

Year 1:  TBC
Year 2: 100% coursework
Year 3: 100% coursework
Year 4: 100% coursework

You’ll be taught by staff with relevant experience and practice to ensure you learn from real life experience and research. We offer dual delivery which combines traditional on campus face-to-face teaching and online teaching simultaneously, allowing you to interact as if you were there in person. You can move smoothly between online and on campus teaching subject to your individual timetable (and health requirements). Students can interact and collaborate in person and online in any of these live-streamed sessions. Live-streamed sessions will also be recorded, so you can login when you want, playback and watch from the comfort of your home and whilst on the go.

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, and preparing for exams. 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. 

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 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. 

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: 1st Year Foundation: approx 200

Who will teach on this course

Paulet Brown-Wilsher

Georgie Wemyss

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.

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

You may also be interested in

  • Why study at UEL?

  • Student finance

  • Information Advice Guidance

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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