Why study this course

Continue working or volunteering while pursuing your degree, providing you with valuable practical experience alongside your academic studies

The National Student Survey in 2022 revealed an impressive satisfaction rate of 96.85% among students in professional studies programs, highlighting the quality and effectiveness

Opportunity to study with support from a research-active team, ensuring you receive the latest insights and developments in the field of early childhood education

Work towards meeting the Department for Education's Full and Relevancy Criteria. A clear path to meet professional standards and ensure your education aligns with industry standards, enhancing career prospects

Course summary

Are you enthusiastic about early childhood education and ready to take the next step in your academic and professional growth? Our BA (Hons) work-based degree programme is the perfect opportunity for individuals who have already completed a suitable Foundation Degree or Higher Education Diploma in Early Childhood. This programme seamlessly blends practice-based learning with campus-based teaching sessions that take place once a week, ensuring you can maintain your current work or volunteer commitments.

Key facts


BA (Hons)

UCAS code



1 year

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Apply for this course

When you're ready to apply, the route you take will depend on your personal circumstances and preferred method of study. Click the relevant button below to start your application journey.

About this course

If you've previously studied our Foundation Degree Early Childhood Education in Practice, this programme is your natural progression. Over the course of one year, you'll integrate your previous learning experience of working with young children into your studies. This comprehensive course provides invaluable insights into effective management and leadership within the children's workforce, allowing you to deepen your understanding of the complex factors contributing to children's learning and development.

Drawing from your foundation degree knowledge, this course aims to challenge and expand your understanding of how to support children by exploring alternative and international perspectives on child development. Collaborating with students from related courses, including those from diverse educational contexts, will broaden your perspectives on working with children and young people, enhancing your employability.

In addition to your coursework, this programme offers you the exciting opportunity to delve into research. You will be expertly guided in research methods, ethical considerations, and report writing, empowering you to contribute to the field of early childhood education through your own research endeavours. This invaluable experience will further enrich your academic journey and career prospects.

Throughout the programme, the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education in Practice aligns closely with the full and relevant criteria of the Department for Education. Additionally, it includes elements of assessed practice. Please note that to be considered full and relevant requires you to hold English at level 2.

Join us on this enriching journey and elevate your career in the field of early childhood education. Enrol in the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education in Practice and unlock your potential to make a meaningful impact on the lives of young children. Our weekly sessions, starting from 1 pm, are designed to fit your schedule, allowing you to balance work, education, and your passion for nurturing young minds.

Ethical considerations of doctoral methodologies Podcast

Dr Nyree Nicholson is a Programme Leader on our work-based Foundation Degree programmes. The title of her doctoral research was “Supporting children with identified speech, language and communication needs at two-years-old: voices of early years practitioners”. Nyree utilised a narrative hermeneutic methodology with conversational interviews to explore the lived experiences of fifteen early years practitioners.

Samantha Hoyes is a senior lecturer in Early Childhood Studies and is currently part way through her PhD. Her focus is on working motherhood in the 21st Century and how working mothers make sense of their identities. Applying a post-structuralist feminist approach, Sam has utilised photo elicitation interviews to explore working mothers lived experiences. Sam's sample will consist of 10-15 working mothers living in Lincolnshire with a child/ children aged 0-5 years at the time of data collection. She is currently around halfway through her initial data collection.

In this podcast, Nyree and Sam discuss the methodological approaches taken in the research process and share the ethical considerations they encountered throughout the research process.

For any more question or queries please contact Samantha.hoyes@bishopg.ac.uk and nyree-anne.nicholson@bishopg.ac.uk

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

Entry requirements

  • Applicants will typically have 240 HE credits from a Foundation degree or a HE Diploma in a relevant field of study.
  • Applicants are expected have a current (or prospective) voluntary or paid employment in a relevant setting for a minimum of 360 hours per academic year equating to 12 hours per week of study.
  • Typically, applicants are expected to have three years of experience in a voluntary or paid role working with children.
  • Students must complete and submit a workplace agreement that sets out the tripartite partnership between the student, the setting and the BGU and clearly identifies the student holds a current DBS as a condition of enrolment.
  • Applicants with alternative qualifications can contact our Admissions team for advice as BGU is committed to widening access and participation and adheres to a strict policy of non-discrimination.

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 Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit awarded for experiential learning, (AP(E)L). If you’ve recently completed or studied a particular module as part of a previous qualification, this may mean that you’re not required to undertake a particular module of your BGU course. However, this must be agreed in writing and you must apply for this.

How you will be taught

This course allows you to study and continue to work. It is a flexible qualification covering the broad range of settings and contexts in which services such as education, health and social care are provided for 0 – 8-year-olds. Students undertaking the course remain in employment, or as volunteers, over the academic year in the same manner as the Foundation Degree.

The top up degree offers opportunities to critically evaluate practice through a detailed analysis of the systems, procedures and changes that contribute to your field of study. This course will promote your professional formation as a reflective practitioner and modules will cover topics such as leading people and teams, promoting quality, new models of practice and contemporary issues such as current political and social trends.

In addition, the undertaking of an independent research study will support your continuing development as a leading practitioner within the children’s workforce.


Typically, a variety of assessment methods are used including presentations, discussions, debates, poster presentations, essays, portfolios of work, case studies and reflections. All assessments allow you to reflect on your practice and theory as you evidence your learning, building on your personal strengths to develop clear communication skills to share your knowledge and understanding.

Careers & Further study

Graduate opportunities have enabled our students to attain managerial positions within their sector, to lead practice with their setting. Many go on to further study to become teachers through our PGCE routes, or gain a professional status. Others take on professional roles in areas such as special educational needs, mentoring, subject support, school, family and welfare liaison roles in the wider educational community and with local authorities working with the full range of age groups and sectors.

What Our Students Say

Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.


Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

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Fees & Funding

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

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

For the 2025 cycle, UCAS is removing the undergraduate application fee for any student who is/or has received free school meals (FSM) during the last six years, up until the end of their final year at school or college. More information on the UCAS fee waiver can be found here.

For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.