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Undergraduate course

Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons)

Do you picture a future working to improve the experiences and education of young children?

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On this degree you will gain specialist knowledge about the learning, development and life experiences of children under seven years of age. You’ll create a firm foundation for a variety of future career options whilst undertaking rigorous academic study that is informed by a variety of disciplines including sociology, psychology, policy and gender studies.

95% of Early Childhood Studies students thought that staff were good at explaining things (NSS 2019)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – 2M8L
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | Part-time options available on request
  • Start date – September 2020, September 2021
  • School – Education

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £9,250 per year

    International 2020-21 £12,750 per year

The York St John Experience

Course overview

The importance of developing a graduate workforce of professionals who are able to play an active part in helping young children achieve the best possible start in life is a major governmental priority across the globe. This course will equip you with an in-depth and critical understanding of key issues associated with the day-to-day lives of young children, especially as experiences in early childhood can affect them into young adulthood and beyond. We also place a primary focus on the social factors that impact upon young children today.

Alongside a distinct focus on theoretical knowledge, which is essential for professional entry into the early childhood sector, you will also engage in the practical, work-related learning activities that run through all levels of study. You will be encouraged to be self-reflective, unpicking your own beliefs and preconceptions regarding young children and recognising important features such as voice, rights, diversity, inclusion and social justice. With no examinations, you will be assessed through essays, written debates, collaborative projects, oral commentaries and presentations.

This degree will prepare you for a range of careers and opportunities in the public, community and voluntary sectors within the ever-expanding field of early childhood including project management, family support, play co-ordination, residential care, classroom assistance, learning mentoring and disability services. Completion of this course can also be the starting point for study on Postgraduate qualifications, such as in social work and teaching lower primary and early years.

Course structure

Level 1


Modules may include:

  • Child Development & Early Learning
  • The Psychology of Early Childhood
  • Children’s Play & Active Exploration
  • Social Policy & the Early Years

Level 2


Modules may include:

  • Early Childhood Provision & Practice
  • Child Protection
  • Inclusion & Special Needs
  • Family Diversity & Early Childhood

Level 3


Modules may include:

  • Global Perspectives on Early Childhood
  • Risk, Modernity & Young Children
  • Early Years Innovation
  • Gender & Identity Construction
  • Special Study
  • Storybook Childhoods

Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Foundation Year

This course is available with a foundation year. This option is ideal if you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto a degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education. A foundation year prepares you for degree level study, giving you the confidence and skills needed to make the most of your course. Passing it guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

Foundation courses

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Teaching & Assessment

The Early Childhood Studies programme uses a diverse range of teaching and learning strategies, which will focus on equipping you with the skills and knowledge required to be effective and successful students.


The Early Childhood Studies programme uses a diverse range of teaching and learning strategies, which will focus on equipping you with the skills and knowledge required to be effective and successful students.

Contact hours and self-study time

Early Childhood Studies is designed so that there is a progressive shift in the overall balance of time you spend in independent compared to tutor supported learning. Year 1 has increased contact time to ensure that you have a sound grounding in the subject area, which is then gradually reduced through Years 2 and 3 in order to develop autonomy and independence, whilst still providing a supportive environment.

Course highlights

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