BA Honours Degree in Early Childhood Studies (by full-time study)

The BA (Hons) Degree in Early Childhood Studies offered by Stranmillis University College is based on the concept of ‘Educare’. It aims to both investigate and further advance a multi-professional approach within the field of Early Years services in Northern Ireland and beyond. The course has been developed by a group of professionals in consultation with representatives from the voluntary sector and responds to government reports and legislation which demands co-ordination and collaboration in services for young children. The degree is also meeting, at graduate level, the training needs of both current and future practitioners and is thereby underlining the need for highly qualified personnel within the sector.


Course Structure

The degree is offered on a full and part-time basis. The course is organised on a modular basis with a work placement experience forming the ‘core’. Students will undertake a programme of 18 modules of study, extending over 3 years if they choose to take the degree on a full-time basis. Students may also participate in the ERASMUS programme with the opportunity to study in prestigious higher education institutions in one of a number of European countries, including Spain, France, Germany, Denmark and Finland.


Course Content

The modules offered will address broad areas such as ‘Understanding the Child’, ‘The Child in the Learning Context’ and ‘The Child in the Family & Community’. The theoretical training establishes and develops the skills necessary to cope with the demands and challenges of supporting, caring for and educating young children in a professional environment. The Student Placement, which forms an integral part of the degree, allows this theoretical learning to be put into practice in a supervised and supportive environment. On completion of the degree, graduates will be highly qualified with a sound practical and theoretical training, and equipped to work with young children in a variety of professional contexts.


Admission Requirements

A strong GCSE profile to include English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or above and 3 GCE A levels at Grades BBB (relevant subject required) or Grades BBB in VCE totalling 18 units (relevant subject required)

(Please refer to the University College Prospectus or website for details of relevant subjects.)

Applications are welcomed from students whose qualifications are alternatives to those listed on this leaflet. Examples are Access, CACHE Diploma or HND qualifications. Students must demonstrate potential to undertake the BA and cope successfully with the demands of modules within it, including placement. Candidates should note that Placement, for full-time students, takes place within a twenty mile radius of the College. It is advisable to contact Academic Registry at Stranmillis in order to gain detailed guidance about qualifications or experience, or to determine eligibility for entry.

Certain qualifications at HNC/D level or the Advanced CACHE may enable applicants to apply for Credit Transfer and thus be considered for entry into Year 2 of the degree. Offers to HND students for entry to Year 2 of the degree are normally stated in terms of 10 distinctions overall.

For those students who have completed a Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies articulation arrangements are available from the relevant Regional College; applications from FD graduates do not need to progress through UCAS.

Entry to the BA degree is based on qualifications, GCSE profile, reports from schools/colleges, personal statement and may include an interview and a presentation. Where there is competition for places the admission requirements may be enhanced at the short listing stage.

In line with government policy it is a requirement that all entrants to the course must undertake a criminal record check through AccessNI.


Career Opportunities

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies also provides a relevant foundation for entry to post-graduate study to gain qualified teacher status, including the Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (Early Years) course which is offered by Stranmillis University College. It also forms a sound basis for the career progression in the voluntary and private sectors of early years provision. These include, Crèches, Parent and Toddler Groups, Centres Associated with the Early Years Organisation, Toy and Book Libraries, Childcare and Family Centres. A number of graduates have gone on to pursue further study at both Postgraduate Diploma and Masters Level in the fields of Early Childhood Studies, Social Work and Play Therapy. Others have taken up employment through, for example, the Government funded initiative “Sure Start”.


Financial Arrangements

Full details of fees and financial support arrangements can be found on the finance section of the Stranmillis University College website. Tel: 028 9038 1271 Web Site: