BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Single Honours)

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Single Honours)

Key Facts

UCAS Codes: RD43​​​​


Place of Study: 
Cyncoed Campus

Cardiff School of Education

Course Length:
Three years full-time.

Course Overview

​We offer a new innovative single BA (Hons) degree programme in Early Childhood Studies which offers a diverse range of relevant practice and theory based modules.

Within this programme, you will earn qualified 'Early Years Practitioner' status, gaining practical work-based experience combined with theoretical and policy-based knowledge and transferable skills required for effective Early Years practice., including the management of Early Years settings. The programme has been developed in direct response to proposed changes to Early Years provision within Wales to provide well-qualified early childhood specialists working with young children and their families.  

By gaining a degree, which sits at the forefront of changes within the sector, your qualification will be highly valued by prospective employers within this field. This degree also provides firm foundations for a range of related careers such as family support work, health and social care and community work.

Please note: This programme is different from the Early Childhood Studies programme which forms part of the BA Joint Honours programme in Humanities and Education. For information on the Early Childhood Studies Joint Honour​s programmes, please click here.​​

Course information on this page relates to September 2017 entry.

Course Content

Year One:

Professional Practice (1): Developing Effective Practice (40 credits)

During this module, you will be introduced to the requirements of the Early Childhood Practitioner qualification.   You will have extensive opportunities in practice to develop skills in relation to creating nurturing and inclusive environments which provide high quality care and education.  You will also be encouraged to reflect on your own development in your practice.

Just Playing? (10 credits)

Interactive sessions will provide opportunities to explore the value and importance of play in children's lives in theory and practice. You will study how and why children play, the role of adults and environments in the provision of play for children aged 0 to 8 and consider the possible benefits and challenges in the fun but serious business of providing for children's play.

Safeguarding and Child Protection (10 credits)

During this module, you will develop knowledge of issues and policies relating to the protection and safeguarding of children.  You will learn processes of reporting child protection issues, exploring the challenges and effects of safeguarding issues in practice. You will also have the opportunity to gain an introductory safeguarding accredited qualification from the NSPCC.

Understanding Children's Worlds (10 credits)

During this module, you will explore different childhoods and examine ways in which different ideas about childhood affect children, families and communities.  You will also consider how different ideas about childhood influence policy and practice.

Outdoor Play and Learning: Sunshine, Woodpeckers and the Swamp of Biting Mud (10 credits)

You will have opportunities to experience and evaluate a variety of outdoor play and learning approaches in theory and practice related lectures, workshops and trips, identifying best practice and barriers in terms of using outdoor environments to support children's ply, learning and development. You will also have the opportunity to gain an accredited Forest School Level One qualification.

Childhood Education: Learning and Teaching (20 credits) 

This module will consider the complex nature of children's education, and will involve an exploration of a range of approaches to teaching and learning.  It will also examine concepts and principles underlying contemporary curricula.

The Developing Individual (10 credits)

This module will develop your knowledge of child development and will cover topics such as how a child's thinking changes as it grows and how the social world impacts upon children's intellectual development. This module will also examine the process of gender development, moral development, and the development of a child's sense of self. Important developmental milestones will be considered, for example in relation to social/emotional development and speech and language development, and how these relate to both normal and atypical development.

Core module:

Skills for Success in Higher Education (10 credits)

This module will help you develop an awareness of the essential skills required for successful academic engagement, including the skills of writing for different audiences, presenting, referencing and accessing/using academic sources. You will be encouraged to develop critical self-reflection skills which will enable you to set targets for further academic development.

Year Two:

Professional Practice (2): Effective Partnership Working (40 credits)

During this module, you will build on skills needed to achieve the Early Years Practitioner qualification, focusing on working with families.  You will have extensive opportunities in practice to develop your understanding of a range of frameworks used in settings, developing skills in creating supportive environments for the provision of play, care, educational and learning opportunities.  You will also engage in assessment and planning processes.

Extending Learning: Innovative Approaches (30 credits)

This module aims to encourage you to be innovative when designing teaching and learning activities.  You will have opportunities to identify and share good practice, exploring the strengths and challenges of cross-curricular approaches (e.g. use of expressive arts) to core curriculum areas (i.e. literacy, numeracy, science, digital competence).

Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies: Children's Health (10 credits)

You will explore children's physical and mental health, learning about the varying factors which may have an impact on children's health.  You will also examine policies, strategies and initiatives and consider how they inform practice within different early years settings.

Powerful Children?: Children's Rights in Early Childhood (10 credits)

During this module, you will examine the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and relevant laws which relate to children's rights.  You will also discuss children's rights in relation to education, health and play and examine current issues surrounding children's access to their rights.

Education and Equality (20 credits)

This module provides a critical understanding of contemporary evidence, research and practice in education and equality. Key theories and concepts surrounding education and equality will be examined (e.g. additional learning needs, gender issues and ethnicity). These will be related to relevant examples in contemporary educational policy and practice.

An Introduction to Research Skills (10 credits)

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of academic research and how this applies to your specific discipline. You will develop your ability to plan and conduct research and to think critically about the academic research you encounter during your studies. It also aims to provide you with an understanding of key concepts relating to academic research and the research process so that you will have the requisite knowledge to enable you to conduct the independent research project in your final year. In addition to generic content relevant to all students, you will receive support tailored towards your chosen subject.

Year Three

Professional Practice (3): Leadership and Management in Early Years Settings (60 credits)

During this module, extensive opportunities in practice will enable you to complete the requirements related to the Early Years Practitioner qualification.  This module will focus on leadership and management, providing opportunities for you to develop skills in leading and supporting high quality care and education.  You will examine a range of policies and consider their impact on practice.  You will also consider the principles of evaluating early years' services effectively.  This module will equip you with skills to support your own learning and that of others.​

Over the Rainbow: Creativity and Imagination in the Early Years (20 credits)

During this module, you will examine different ideas about 'creativity' and 'imagination', exploring ways in which they are understood and realised in practice.  Creative activities from a range of disciplines (e.g. art, music, drama) will be explored in terms of their potential to support the development of children's creativity and imagination.  You will also consider the associated challenges of embedding creativity and imagination within policy and curricula.

Teaching through ICT (10 credits)

This module seeks to develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the use of various ICT in pedagogy, curriculum and practice in a range of education contexts. Students will explore a range of contemporary applications of a variety of forms of technology.

Independent Research Project (30 credits)

You will complete an independent research or enquiry-based project of a practical or theoretical nature. This will enable you to demonstrate independence in your approach to research and enhance your project planning experience. You will receive guidance and support from a supervisor.

Learning & Teaching

We use a variety of teaching approaches designed to accommodate a range of learning needs. This includes workshops, seminars, lectures, virtual learning environments, field trips and visits. All students get outdoor experiences of learning by spending time in woodland areas, exploring the natural environment and its potential. Work-based placements are embedded throughout the course. Pastoral and tutorial support is provided and integrated within course provision.

The staff on this programme are from a range of backgrounds including play work, support work and teaching. They are committed to providing a high quality, supportive learning environment. ​


Assessments are designed to maximise learning and provide realistic opportunities to demonstrate knowledge. Essays, resource creation, blog debates, workshops, presentations, observation and online portfolios represent a number of the methods used to assess your knowledge, skills and understanding of module content..

Employability & Careers

Employability skills are generated both through experience in work-based placements; within the teaching and learning environment and through a range of community engagement projects. In addition to the programme, you will have opportunities to further develop your knowledge, skills and experience.  For example, we provide additional opportunities to gain accreditation in Forest School and NSPCC qualifications within two course modules.

Our graduates access a range of jobs and employment opportunities including further study in education via the Post Graduate Certificate in Education or Graduate Teacher Programme. Our graduates have pursued careers in a range of areas including nursery management, educational welfare and as local education officers for local education authorities.  Graduates have also pursued careers in family support work and social care​.

Progression to PGCE Teacher Training:

We are pleased to guarantee an interview for the PGCE Primary Course at Cardiff Met for all graduates of this programme. An Honours degree minimum classification of a 2:2 is currently required, and the statutory entry requirements for training in Wales (including B grades or equivalent at GCSE for English and Maths, C grade for Science) must also be met.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Please note: The following entry requirements relate to September 2017 entry and use the new UCAS tariff. Please refer to our Entry Requirements for further information on the new tariff, or contact Admissions if you have any questions.

Applicants should have 104 points from at least 2 A Levels (or equivalent). Typical offers may include:

  • 104 points from at least 2 A levels to include an A level grade C. Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma will be considered as a third subject​​

  • QCF BTEC Extended Diploma with an overall grade of ​Merit Merit Merit
  • CACHE Diploma with grade C overall
  • 104 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H2 grades (minimum grade considered is H4)
  • 104 points from Scottish Advanced Highers to include a grade D
  • 102 points from the Access to Higher Education Diploma

If you are studying combinations of the above, or if your qualification isn't listed, please either contact Admissions or refer to UCAS Course Search for the entry requirements​​.​​

If you are a mature applicant and have alternative qualifications or experience that you would like us to consider, please contact a member of staff.​

Entry to this programme is also subject to a satisfactory DBS check. More details about criminal records procedures can be found at​

International Applicants:
Before making an application, international students (those outside of the EU), should contact the International Office at Cardiff Met to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us. For further information visit

Selection Procedure:
Offers are made based on application via UCAS with specific attention paid to the personal statement.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact, Sian Sarwar
Tel: 029 2020 5599

Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting