BA (Hons) Early Years Childhood Studies (top-up)

If you’ve already completed a Foundation Degree in Early Years and Childhood Studies, this BA (Hons) Top-up course is an opportunity to enhance your understanding of the theory and practice of early years’ work. We’ll support you as you develop higher-level skills and knowledge ready to take on additional challenges and responsibilities.

BA (Hons) Early Years Childhood Studies (top-up)

Course details

If you’re an early years practitioner who has successfully completed a Foundation Degree in Early Years and Childhood Studies and you want to top-up to achieve an Honours-level qualification, this course could be just what you’re looking for. We’ll support you to enhance your existing knowledge, ready to achieve the status of BA (Hons) Early Years and Childhood Studies (Top-up) graduate.

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. 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. 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.

We’ll support you as you explore areas such as children’s health and wellbeing, and management and leadership in early years, and focus on enhancing your research skills and understanding. We aim to help you gain critical, analytical and lifelong learning skills that will support your career development far into the future.

  • Start date: 23/09/2019 or 20/01/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • Duration: 18 months

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 and the improvement of children’s experience of schooling.
  • 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.
  • Early years practitioners who have successfully completed a Foundation Degree in Early Years and Childhood Studies can take this course before commencing a postgraduate degree.

Key features:

  • This course is designed to open up higher-level career opportunities in the early years sector, or give you an honours-level qualification that will support your application if you wish to train as a primary school teacher.
  • 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.
  • You’ll have the chance to undertake a 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

  • Start date: 23/09/2019 or 20/01/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • Duration: 18 months

You’ll have successfully completed a relevant qualification at Level HE5, such as a Foundation Degree (FdA) or Higher National Diploma (HND) in Early Years and Childhood Studies, or a professional qualification at an equivalent level.

You’ll be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.

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). 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 possess 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.

Graduates of this course will be able to apply for postgraduate courses in teacher education and other related fields, as well as employment opportunities in the field of education, such as family support workers, teaching assistants and learning mentors Whilst the course does not lead directly to Qualified Teacher Status, it does allow access to career pathways that require a full honours degree.

Previous graduates have taken up posts through Schools Direct as well as progressing onto postgraduate courses in teacher education and other related fields. On successful completion you may progress to a more senior role within education and professional development or consider pursuing further study, including PGCE or other professional master's programmes.

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

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

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


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


International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

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.

  • 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’ll 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%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (49%), Placement/study abroad (21%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (30%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • Course type:
  • Start date:
    23/09/2019 or 20/01/2020
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BA (Hons)
  • Duration:
    18 months

Contact us

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

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