BA (Hons) Professional Development in Early Years (Final Year top-up)

If you’ve already completed a foundation degree in early years and childhood studies, the University of Bolton’s BA (Hons) Professional Development in Early Years (top-up) course offered by The Growth Company is an opportunity to expand your understanding of early years education and improve your knowledge of wider related issues, from management and leadership to global educational perspectives.

BA (Hons) Professional Development in Early Years (Final Year 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. This programme is a partnership between the University of Bolton and The Growth Company, and your studies will be based at The Growth Company’s facilities in Manchester.

We’ll support you to enhance your existing foundation degree or HND-level knowledge and skills, ready to achieve the status of BA (Hons) Professional Development in Early Year (top-up) graduate. The course has been developed to help you to explore a range of early years issues within a broader educational context. Unlike some other early years courses, this syllabus is designed to stretch your knowledge beyond early years work to look at more general educational issues. This includes vital but often overlooked topics, such as management and leadership in early years education.

On completion of this 18-month, one-evening per week programme, you could emerge with a thorough knowledge of early years practice and be ready to explore exciting new areas of study and employment.

  • Start date: 10/03/2020
  • Location: Economic Solutions
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • Duration: 1.5 years

Course highlights:

  • 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.
  • The course has been designed around the specific demands of employers who want staff qualified in early years issues within a wider educational context.
  • Your knowledge will be stretched beyond familiar early years practice to explore education as a complex and ever-changing area of academic study.
  • You’ll have access to university e-learning resources, an extensive e-library and the support of university librarians.
  • A link tutor provides academic communication between The Growth Company and the University of Bolton academic school, so that the experience you receive as an off campus student is equivalent to an on campus student.
  • As an off campus student you also receive the support of a dedicated off campus team and resources, to help make you truly feel part of the university.

Key features:

  • On successful completion of this course you’ll be awarded the BA (Hons) Professional Development in Early Years (top-up) qualification from the University of Bolton.
  • The University of Bolton has a long-standing and excellent reputation for professional development in early years and childhood studies.
  • The Growth Company is a well-established partner in Manchester, focusing on early years, initial teacher education and business courses, and this is a great opportunity for you to study alongside fellow professionals and undergraduates from a range of vocational and cultural backgrounds.
  • The course provides an opportunity for you to comment on the value of a range of educational theories, concepts and models.
  • It includes training for sought-after skills, such as early years leadership and management to support teaching of the EYFS curriculum and Ofsted inspections.
  • The course is part-time: taught over two hours, one evening per week for 18 months.

Entry requirements

  • Start date: 10/03/2020
  • Location: Economic Solutions
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • Duration: 1.5 years

You’ll have successfully completed a foundation degree (FdA) or higher national diploma (HND) in early years and childhood studies (or another relevant qualification comprising at least 120 credits at HE4 and 120 credits at HE5).

We’ll need a positive reference from the programme leader of your Level HE5 course, and evidence that you have good oral and written communication skills and academic/study skills appropriate for studying at honours (HE6) level.

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

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

The BA (Hons) Professional Development in Early Years (top-up) provides an ideal opportunity for those students who are pursuing a degree in early years and childhood studies to develop a greater understanding of the psychology and philosophy of education and explore educational leadership.

This course offers an excellent foundation for careers working with children and young people in many sectors including health, education and social care. As a graduate, they key transferable skills you will possess include communication, team work, leadership, planning and organisation and the ability to solve problems.

What can I do with this qualification?

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 (QTS), 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

  • Counselling
  • Occupational therapy
  • Mental health
  • Social work
  • Teaching and education
  • Health promotion
  • Mentoring
  • Armed forces
  • Community support
  • Care home management
  • Health services management
  • Child protection
  • Children’s nursing
  • Educational psychology
  • Speech and language

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:

You should 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.

  • Dissertation (Early Years)
  • The Illusion of Inclusion
  • Investigating the English Language
  • Leadership and Management in the Early Years
  • Global Perspectives on Education

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a combination of face-to-face sessions (such as lectures, seminars and group work), electronic-based resources and electronic communications. We’ll support your development of research skills through individual learning and independent research. You’ll also be expected to undertake considerable guided independent study; for instance, library research and background reading, preparing for seminar and tutorial activities, and working on assignments.

In terms of assessment, you can essays, written reports and assignments, presentations, research exercises, case studies, and others. These may contribute to your final marks and allow you to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes, or be designed to help consolidate your learning. We’ll provide you with regular feedback and support with your assessments drafts. These will help to identify areas where you need extra support from your tutors or student services.


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 (75%), Practical exams (25%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (78%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (22%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    Economic Solutions
  • Award:
    BA (Hons)
  • Duration:
    1.5 years

Contact us

Enquiries Team
The Growth Company
Telephone: +44 (0)161 233 2656

Clare Higgins
Link Tutor, University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903316