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Course summary

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education in Practice (Graduate Practitioner) work-based degree programme is a combination of practice-based learning and campus-based teaching sessions that take place once a week, allowing you to continue working or volunteering throughout the course. The programme is the natural progression for those who have previously studied our Foundation Degree Early Childhood Education in Practice. Throughout the one-year programme, you will integrate your previous learning experience of working with young children into your studies.

Applications will be through UCAS (Link to be added soon) in the meantime if you'd like to apply please email nyree-anne.nicholson@bishopg.ac.uk for further information.

Key facts


BA (Hons)

UCAS code



1 Year

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Course details

About this course

The course provides you with an insight into effective management and leadership within the children’s workforce. You will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of the complex factors that contribute to children’s learning and development. Building on your previous knowledge and understanding gained from your foundation degree, this course aims to stretch and deepen your understanding of how to support children by exploring alternative and international perspectives to child development. You will be able to collaborate with students from other related courses who work in a variety of contexts such as schools and youth services to increase your employability by broadening your perspectives on working with children and young people.

What you will study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules:

This module introduces you to the planning and design of an independent study and serves as a prerequisite for the Level 6 final independent study module. It introduces you to, and guides you through planning a research question, deciding on an appropriate research method and sample group that will allow you to complete the small-scale research project in Independent Study Part 2 module. In addition, you will create a research proposal by and engage in theoretical and practical principles, as well as learning to recognise your own limitations. The module is based on ethical concepts and policies, and you will study ethical complexity in connection to your chosen research subject and show this by participating in the ethical approval process.

This module will develop your capacity for critical thinking and analysis and encourage you to form and articulate an argument which is robustly supported by relevant sources. The module will enable you to study a pertinent, critical issue within your sector. Taught content will offer examples of current, and potential future issues in the field of early childhood, childhood and youth and education. By exploring a range of issues, the teaching and learning strategy undertakes to present a model of how to select and investigate a critical issue and craft an argument that draws upon (for example) practice-based evidence, national/local statistics, published research and established theory. You will investigate the political, social and/or economic drivers behind your chosen issue and consider the implications for professional practice. These may include, for example, the contribution of multi-agency colleagues, international perspectives and the barriers and affordances of the issue within your own work setting and professional practice.

The module adopts a work-based and problem-solving pedagogy where learning is grounded in the external context of your professional practice. Assessments require application of what is being learnt to your practice context, enabling you to solve real issues from your organisations and reflect on your own work-based experience. The module provides the opportunity to focus in some depth on aspects of professional practice including leadership and management. The module content will involve the study of key aspects of professionalism such as reflective, critical and ethical practice where you will explore relevant theoretical perspectives. Legal frameworks and national standards will be examined in relation to personal competencies and leading practice within settings. Leadership and management theory will be critically evaluated. Interagency and collaborative working will be critically explored and issues of facilitating dynamic change within the sector in response to global and cultural influences will be addressed.

The Independent Study builds on earlier inquiry-based studies and acts as a culmination of studies. This module provides an opportunity for you to carry out a small-scale research project related to your work supporting children, young people and/or families demonstrating the ability to manage your own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources. The subject is founded on ethical concepts and principles, and you will investigate ethical complexity in relation to your research topic of choice. This module requires you to draw on and apply the broad knowledge-base and research skills that have been developed across your undergraduate studies in a fully developed individual, inquiry-based study. You will review research design, methods, and data collection and analysis tools and software appropriate to practitioner research. Ethical issues will be addressed, including the key principles of informed consent, anonymity and confidentiality. There will be an emphasis on enabling you to demonstrate the limitations and uncertainty of knowledge and the influence of perspective and theoretical approaches on findings and conclusions. The importance of writing with a high degree of accuracy and fluency for an academic audience will be reinforced and made a clear expectation.

This module draws together and develops the key aspects of contemporary perspectives in early childhood education from 0-8.

You will identify relevant principles and values to examine how different practices are utilised within the different age ranges of early childhood education. You will explore supporting children’s well-being, early learning, progression and transitions through the application of contemporary theory. The impact of policy and legislation is critically considered using an depth examination of evidence emphasising the importance of meaningful participation and questions the universalised idealisms of young people’s rights and notions of place in a globalised world.

In addition to the traditional teaching and learning strategies of interactive lectures, seminars, discussions and tutorials the VLE will be used, for example, discussion boards, groups, collaborate, Padlet, Blogs, and Teams, as a means by which you can discuss work-based practices and share views.

Online individual and group support will be available from tutors. You will develop subject expertise and increase graduate attributes, most notably subject knowledge, academic literacy, global citizenship, information literacy, and employability

This module is an evidenced based e-portfolio for those that have opted for the graduate practitioner competency route and will have been working on it throughout the duration of the programme.

The e-portfolio will detail and evidence progress against the nine graduate competencies required by QAA (2020)

Entry requirements

You will typically have 240 HE credits from a Foundation degree or a HE Diploma in a relevant field of study.

You will be required to have a Level 2 functional skills qualification in English and Mathematics or a Level 2 functional skills equivalent qualification as stated here.

You are expected to have a current (or prospective) voluntary or paid employment in a relevant setting for a minimum of 12 hours per week, totalling 360 hours each year of study.

Typically, you are expected to have three years of experience in a voluntary or paid role working with children.

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

In accordance with University conditions, students are entitled to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning, RP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit Awarded for Experiential Learning, (RP(E)L).

How you will be taught

The BA (Hons) Professional Practice programmes are work-based degrees and form part of the hybrid work-based learning approach detailed within section 22. All modules are based around students’ practice and assessment learning outcomes across modules at all levels requiring students to make links between theoretical and work-based practices.

BA (Hons) students do not attend work-work work placement as such, but they are involved in continuous and consistent work-related learning in their own work settings as a condition of the programme


Assessment types within and across modules have been carefully considered throughout the programme to provide you with a variety of assessment methods in each year of study. The modes of assessment combine to draw and assess your practical work-based knowledge and theoretical understanding of the module content with the aim of developing transferable skills including the acquisition of academic literacies.

Assessments are a combination of practical oral assessments such as, but not limited to, presentations, discussions, debates, poster presentations, and narrated PowerPoints. Coursework will include, but is not limited to, essays, portfolios, case studies, reflections, and an e-portfolio. The e-portfolio is only required for those students working towards the GPC competencies. If you choose the GPC pathway, you will be required to maintain a record of achievement, which will be supported through an e-portfolio application hosted within the VLE.

Careers & Further study

The BA (Hons) Professional Practice programmes are work-based degrees, with the majority of students within paid employment.

Early Childhood Education students often focus on pathways into teaching, via a PGCE. Other students see the degree as a springboard to other educational careers or management roles. Although this list is not inclusive, students on BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education in Practice are often looking for full and relevancy to be counted into adult: child ratios within settings, managerial opportunities, and work with the local authority.

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Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. For 2023 entry, the application fee is £27, and you can make a maximum of 6 choices. For 2024 entry the application fee is £27.50.
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