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Early Years Leadership BA (Hons)

Enhance your understanding of early years leadership as you discover how to lead educational practice and change in early years settings and beyond the classroom.


Course length: 1 year full-time
Start dates: September 2024
September 2025
Location: Edge Hill University
or Holy Cross College and University Centre (Bury)
Subject(s): Education and Teaching
Faculty: Education
Department: Early Years Education
early years leadership

This is a Level 6 conversion programme, giving you the opportunity to progress from a foundation degree (or equivalent) to an honours degree in a relevant subject.

The programme is primarily aimed at students progressing from the FdA Early Years Education and Leadership, although progression from other related foundation degrees may be possible. Focusing on the study of leadership and management in early years within a range of local, national and international contexts, you will develop the knowledge and skills required to become an agent of change within your setting and beyond, boosting your personal and professional career development as an early years leader.

The course is mapped to Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies and meets the full and relevant DfE criteria to be counted in the staff:child ratios of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Holy Cross logo

What you'll study

Exploring leading educational practice in early years settings, the course will examine the impact of social and political changes on the early years profession and consider issues associated with managing resources.

You will be introduced to the theories of change management, discover how to lead and manage change in early years settings, and develop a critical awareness of the value that the arts, culture and the environment bring to the early years.

You will also undertake a small-scale research project where you will identify and investigate an aspect of early years leadership to explore in-depth.

Compulsory modules:

Expand all
Leading and Managing Change in Early Years Settings
Leading Beyond the Early Years Classroom
Managing Resources in Early Years Settings
Research Project
Theories of Early Years Leadership

How you'll study

You will study through a combination of online and face-to-face sessions. Your online sessions will consist of sessions with your tutors, directed tasks and independent research.

Supported learning using the internet and Edge Hill University’s online resources is a major feature of the programme. No prior IT experience is necessary, as full support will be provided.

You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day or evening of the week.

How you'll be assessed

You will be assessed in each module that you study. This may take the form of an assignment, portfolio, presentation or a combination of these methods.

There are no formal written examinations as part of the current assessment methods on this programme.

Who will be teaching you

You will be taught by a team of lecturers and associate tutors with extensive expertise and experience and a passion for their subject. All the team are involved in current research and have actively contributed to the development of the Early Years Foundation Stage as well as various research projects at national and international levels.

Entry criteria

Entry requirements

You need to have completed a foundation degree in Early Years Education and Leadership or a related subject. If you have an equivalent qualification, please check to ensure this is acceptable. It is desirable to be in a leadership role within your setting.

How to apply

There is an online application process for this course.

If your Foundation Degree was an Edge Hill University award, either at Ormskirk or Holy Cross College, please apply for this programme selecting from one of the following links:

If your Foundation Degree is an award from any other institution, please apply using the following links:

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

Did you know?

If you join a full time undergraduate degree at Edge Hill University, we will guarantee you the offer of a room in our halls of residence for the first year of your course.

Discover our accommodation


Faculty of EducationHoused in a state-of-the-art £9million building, the Faculty of Education at Edge Hill University enjoys a stunning setting from both its lakeside and piazza buildings.

Facilities in the lakeside building include a 300-seat lecture theatre, five well-equipped ICT suites, and 18 teaching rooms complete with the latest technology. The lakeside building is also home to a popular vegan and vegetarian cafe where students can meet to socialise and discuss their studies.

The nearby piazza building offers modern facilities including a lecture theatre and a number of seminar rooms.

If you choose to study at Holy Cross College and University Centre in Bury. You’ll be taught by Edge Hill lecturers and staff, and have access to a range of modern facilities, including recent building upgrades and refurbishments. There’s a range of study spaces and a coffee shop where you can relax before lectures. Holy Cross is especially proud of their library, IT facilities, modern classrooms and meeting rooms in the Mary Kelly building where the face-to-face sessions will take place.

Where you'll study

Faculty of Education


Tuition fees

UK Full-Time


for the course

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

Financial support

Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this course can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the course may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

Please view the relevant Money Matters guide for comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students.

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals can ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see our EU student finance page for further details.

Your future career

This programme is designed to accelerate your career progression and help you secure promotion to a leadership role.  Early years is a rapidly growing sector and our early years graduates work in settings across the UK. We offer excellent support throughout the programme to help you gain an understanding of the opportunities that exist for early years graduates.

As an Early Years Leadership graduate, you will have the opportunity to develop your existing career, or embark on an exciting new path, in a wide range of leadership roles related to working with children and communities. These include leadership and management opportunities in early years settings, as well as positions such as community leaders and early years consultancy. You might also want to work as a researcher for a children’s charity in the voluntary sector.

Alternatively, you may wish to train to teach or embark on further study at postgraduate level.

Course changes

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, however our courses are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of professional bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Track changes to this course

Discover Uni: Full-Time Study

Download our course leaflet