Early Childhood Studies
Faculty of Healthcare, Childcare and Public Services
Level Location Length UCAS Fee Ask Apply
Higher Education - Foundation Degree Hele Building This is a two-year, full-time programme or three-year, part-time programme. X310 FdA/EY Click here for info

What is it like to study this course and how will I be assessed?

Please note - this course was formerly titled Early Years.

This employment-related programme is ideal if you are seeking a career with or are already working with young children. The programme covers a wide range of topics related to the care, wellbeing and education of young children. You will undertake a work placement in an early years setting one day per week during the programme, ensuring you have the practical skills and experience needed for employment. 

Small class sizes mean that you will enjoy peer support and opportunities to work collaboratively and our links with local employers ensure that you will be well placed for further training and employment in the sector. You will have opportunities to work in teams, have practical work experience, undertake an independent study module and visit outside organisations. Some modules also provide guest lectures from specialist speakers and employers have opportunities to participate in assessments. Assessments will include practical demonstrations, presentations, coursework and work-based projects.

What topics will I study?


Year 1 Modules

  • Learning with young children
  • Rethinking: values, diversity and rights
  • Continuing professional development
  • Children in families
  • Curriculum activities
  • A child study


Year 2 Modules

  • Working with colleagues
  • Independent study module
  • Children with specific individual needs
  • The healthy child
  • ICT with young children
  • Safeguarding children in early years environments

Click here to view the Programme Handbook for this course.

What experiences will I get?

No residential specified, however you will need to secure a voluntary placement or employment within an Early Years setting for the duration of the course (recommended 1 day a week). You will need to be working with children under the age of 8.

What are the entry requirements?

For 2017 entry, you will need 64 UCAS tariff points (minimum) from AS, A Level or AVCE programmes, BTEC National Diploma/Certificate - grades MPP/MM, GNVQ Advanced, an appropriate NVQ at Level 3, an Access to Higher Education qualification or other qualifications deemed equivalent to the above. You will also need GCSE English Language and maths (grade C as a minimum) for this programme and GCSE C or above in English Language, maths and science if you wish to progress onto Qualified Teaching Status.


Click here to view the new course guide for 2017-2018 entry, which includes details of the new UCAS tariff for 2017.

What facilities are there?

You will have access to a learning centre. There is a refectory in the Hele Building. You will also be able to access the Plymouth University libraries and social facilities. 

What can the course lead on to?

Most students continue on to the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies or BA (Hons) Education Studies at Plymouth University. Post Graduate qualifications could include: Qualified Teacher Status, Early Years Teacher or the MA in Social Work. Please note there is a deadline for progression applications and places may be subject to availability. Alternatively some students go straight into employment within an early years setting following the completion of their BA Hons.

Are there any additional costs?

Other costs would include the purchase of recommended textbooks. You will need an enhanced DBS check done through your work placement or the College (costing approx £43).

What do our students think?

I initially embarked on this programme to see if I could actually complete a personal goal. The programme gave me a greater understanding of children’s behaviours, language and developmental milestones and the underlying reasons for their outward behaviours. I am able to better understand and gain insight through children’s interactions with myself, other staff and peers. My extended knowledge also gives me increased self esteem and belief in my integral role within my working teams. I believe myself to be adaptable, passionate, resilient and a motivated individual who better understands her role with vulnerable children. I love the way tutors expand your knowledge through a diverse range of methods, increasing your self-belief, making you feel safe and supported whilst gradually challenging your ability to work as an individual.” 

The last grade I received from Exeter College was a First, this was something I never thought that I would ever be able to achieve. The support in lectures, self-motivation and determination enabled me to achieve beyond what I ever thought was academically possible!"

Ever since I was a little girl I have always wanted to be a primary school teacher. After struggling through my A levels and then completing my NVQ level 2 and 3 in child care learning and development, I decided that teaching at primary level was definitely for me. I discovered this course which was perfect for me as I didn't want to move away and go to University. All of the degree staff are really helpful and offer lots of support and interesting lectures. I feel the course has been really interesting and would recommend it to anyone who is looking to progress further in early years and can't or doesn't want to go away to university."


College Prospectus

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