Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies

This course is designed for those people who wish to pursue a career in children’s care and education.  This Foundation Degree is offered by various Regional Colleges in conjunction with Stranmillis University College and/or Queen’s University Belfast.  This course is suitable for all students who wish to work in an early years setting.  The course aims to provide the field of early years with qualified professionals who will be competent in their understanding of the complex roles inherent in the variety of contexts, which constitute employment opportunities for the resulting graduates.


Course Structure

The degree is offered on a full (2 years) and part-time (3 years) basis.  The course is organised on a modular basis and requires a number of hours per week in College and 10 hours per week on work placement.  Students will undertake a programme of 12 modules of study.


Course Content

The modules offered will address broad areas such as Child Development, Language and Communication, Professional Practice, Learning Through Play, Quality Provision, Historical Overview, Understanding Behaviour, Child Protection, Anti-discriminatory Practice, Special Needs and Working with Babies.  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.


Admission Requirements

Applications must have four GCSEs Grades, A-C, including English and Maths or equivalent approved qualifications and one of the following: Either BTEC National Certificate or Diploma in Early Years, CACHE Diploma in Childcare and Education, appropriate NVQ Level 3 qualification or 2 A levels (normally grades CC/CD) or equivalent qualifications.

You must have access to an appropriate setting (0-8 years) for work placement (voluntary or employed are acceptable).

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

Further details on admission requirements can be found on the relevant Regional College website


Career Opportunities

On successful completion of the course you will graduate with a Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies.  Those students who achieve the standard required by Stranmillis University College may be able to progress to Stage 2 of the full-time or part-time BA (Hons) Degree in Early Childhood Studies.

Students will also be able to progress to other degrees in Early Childhood Studies at a range of universities across the UK and Ireland.  You make also undertake employment in the early years sector.


Financial Arrangements

Full details of fees and financial support arrangements can be found on the relevant Regional College website.