BA (Hons) Early Years Childhood Studies

Do you want a rewarding career working with younger children? Our Early Years & Childhood Studies degree aims to develop your understanding of the theory and practice of early years’ work, giving you the opportunity to develop the skills you need to be successful in this expanding sector.

BA (Hons) Early Years Childhood Studies

Course details

At the University of Bolton, we believe that making the link between your course content and real life situations is crucial to your understanding of early childhood studies. Our BA (Hons) Early Years and Childhood Studies degree is a great qualification if you are looking for a career working with pre-primary school children and need to develop the necessary work experience, or if you are already working in the early years’ sector and would like the chance to obtain a formal qualification to support your career development.

Using their wealth of experience from a wide range of settings, our highly-qualified professional tutors will guide you through the theories and research that underpin early years practice and legislation. The work-based element of the course will then help bring your learning to life and give you experience using your new knowledge and skills in the workplace.

In some modules, you may be taught alongside professionals who work in related services and professions. Such connections help promote the multi-agency team approach that is such an important part of the early years childhood agenda. Overall, our supportive team will guide and encourage you, helping you to develop into a confident, capable early years professional.

  • UCAS points: 96
  • Start date: 23/09/2019
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS code: X320
  • Duration: 3 years

Course highlights:

  • Our Education courses, including our Early Years and Childhood Studies courses, are listed in the UK’s top five for student satisfaction by the Complete University Guide 2018.
  • This is a time of expansion for the early years’ sector with more funding available and further settings needed. Patrick Hayes, Director of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), said in 2016: ‘It is therefore realistic to expect, that at least 500 new nurseries will open in England, to cope with the need for extra places’.
  • Our staff members have a range of specialist areas, such as the teaching of English as an additional language in primary education and the improvement of children’s experience of schooling, particularly for those from migrant backgrounds.
  • The course covers leadership and management in the early years, aimed at preparing you for additional responsibilities such as team leading or management roles in the sector.
  • Our close links and regular engagement with early years’ providers, employers and practitioners ensures our course delivery and content are up-to-date and in line with government policy and guidance.

Key features:

  • Combining theory with practical skills, the course is designed to prepare you for a career in early years, or give you a formal qualification with a possible option of progression into primary school education.
  • Strong partnership links with local employers in the sector mean there are opportunities for you to undertake work placements, providing meaningful experience to put on your CV.
  • Guest lectures from practitioners in the sector provide additional knowledge and alternative viewpoints. Specialist tutors in Health and Community Studies also provide another dimension to your learning. This ensures the course offers a true multi-agency approach.
  • In the final year, you’ll have the chance to undertake a small-scale research project focusing on an area of early years and childhood that is particularly interesting to you.
  • You’ll have opportunities to learn through role play, which is a great way to develop and practice your skills and understanding.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 96
  • Start date: 23/09/2019
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS code: X320
  • Duration: 3 years

Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3. You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English.

You’ll be required to attend an interview as part of the application process. You’ll also be required to secure a work placement before the end of semester 1.

This course involves working with children and you must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting your studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service. Find out more

If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

Career opportunities

This course will help you gain knowledge and understanding of a range of issues relating to childhood, children, young people and society. It provides a solid foundation from which you can progress onto professional training such as teaching, nursing and social work. As a graduate you’ll develop a range of key transferable skills such as communication, time management, team work, critical analysis, negotiation, problem solving, and dealing with challenging situations.

What can I do with this qualification?

Early years and childhood studies graduates enter a wide range of job sectors with an equally wide range of employers, including local authorities, local and national charities, state and independent schools, nurseries and health authorities. Some of the more obvious job roles include teacher and teaching assistant, nursery practitioner and manager, learning mentor, special educational needs teacher, out-of-school worker, family support worker, social worker and youth worker.

Childhood studies graduates that go on to further study tend to take courses that lead to professional status such as teaching and social work. The most popular options are the postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) and early years teacher (EYT), so many graduates go on to work as primary or secondary school, early years or special needs teachers.

Alternative career options

  • Play therapy
  • Counselling
  • Child psychotherapy
  • School liaison
  • Sports and outdoor education
  • Student welfare
  • Nursing
  • Educational psychology
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Community development
  • Consultancy and research
  • Media and journalism
  • Information and legal services
  • Libraries
  • Museum and gallery education

Professional recognition

Fees & funding

Home/EU fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2019/202020/212021/222022/23
2019/20 £9,250£9,250£9,250-£27,750
2020/21 -nullnullnullnull

International fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2019/202020/212021/222022/23
2019/20 £12,450£12,450£12,450-£37,350
2020/21 -nullnullnullnull

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply


If you already have a UCAS application for September

If you have an application for September with UCAS and are applying through Clearing please ensure you have received a verbal offer from the University by calling 01204 903030.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211

If you have not yet applied through UCAS

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

Before you commence the online application please read the Application Guidance Notes.

You should also ensure you have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or


The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Professional and Personal Development
  • Introduction to Child Development
  • Social Policy for Early Years
  • Learning in the Digital Age
  • Facilitating Children’s Learning
  • Work Experience
  • Developing Self Reflective Practice
  • Child Development - 2
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Inclusive Practice
  • Developing Practitioner Skills
  • Children in the Community
  • Theories and Approaches to Learning in the Early Years
  • Developing Children’s Health and Wellbeing
  • Leadership and Management in the Early Years
  • Research Methods
  • Dissertation

Teaching, learning and assessment

Our strategy is student-centred and we use a blended approach to teaching and learning – you will have face-to-face sessions, sometimes one-to-one, and take part in online learning.

You can expect a mix of seminars, lectures and tutorials, practical demonstrations, critiques, self-directed study, IT and library sessions and guided study. Group-based activities, such as role-playing exercises, workshops, presentations and discussions of case studies and scenarios from practice also make up some of the teaching time, and there will be practical skills sessions.

Guest lectures and presentations by a variety of visiting speakers from relevant employment areas offer you the chance to further develop your knowledge and understanding.

The University’s e-learning portal Moodle supports your online learning. You can also use Moodle to communicate with fellow students studying the same modules as you.

The assessment strategy is set up to help you organise and develop your learning, and to evaluate your achievement of the learning outcomes. You can expect time constrained exams and coursework, such as essays, reports, presentations, portfolios, and others.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (100%)
Level Two Coursework (90%), Written exams (10%)
Level Three Coursework (100%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (55%), Placement/study abroad (16%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (29%)
Level Two Guided independent study (46%), Placement/study abroad (34%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (30%)
Level Three Guided independent study (49%), Placement/study abroad (21%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (30%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • UCAS code:
  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BA (Hons)
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    3 years

Contact us

Sandra Shaffi
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903728

Paula Walsh
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903248

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903