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Working and Teaching in the Early Years BA (Hons)

UCAS code: XX32

Learn about the principles of working with children from birth to seven years. Gain practical experience in different early years settings as you work towards a career in the early years sector.


Course length: 3 years full-time
Start dates: September 2024
September 2025
Location: Edge Hill University
Example offers: BCC-BBC (A Level) or DMM (BTEC) View full entry criteria
Subject(s): Education and Teaching
Department: Early Years Education
Two students chat as they walk through Hale Hall.

What children learn in their early years can have a huge impact on the rest of their development. On this degree, you’ll explore the complex subject of children’s development and learn to become an effective early years practitioner.

You’ll discover cutting-edge research in early years education and evaluate all the latest developments. We’ll help you think creatively and shape your own education by contributing to how our modules run. And throughout the course, you’ll develop the personal and professional skills employers are looking for.

Covering topics like arts and culture, disability, and language and communication, you’ll explore the complex issues that early years practitioners must think about to help children develop as confident individuals. You can also start to specialise in an area that interests you, choosing your own research topic and selecting an optional module in your final year. You might choose to consider how children’s nurseries are set up, giving you valuable insight for your graduate career.

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.

Course features

  • International students can apply

  • Work placement opportunity

What you'll study

We’ll start the course by introducing you to key topics like the early years curriculum, the importance of play in early years teaching, and safeguarding. You’ll learn about theories of child development and explore different approaches to teaching and working with young children. You’ll have the option to see these in action in a real-life setting out on placement.

Compulsory modules:

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Healthy Child and Early Learning
Introduction to the Early Years Curriculum and Safeguarding
Teaching and Learning Through Play
The Child as a Competent Learner: Theoretical Perspectives
Young Children in a Diverse Society

One of:

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Work-Based Learning in the Early Years
Work-Related Learning in the Early Years

In Year 2, you’ll start to look at more advanced topics, like the relationship between language and learning for babies and young children, and how to adapt your teaching to be inclusive for children with special educational needs. You’ll also begin to identify areas of the subject that you’re particularly interested in that might be good candidates for further research. An optional work-focused module will help prepare you for your career after graduation.

Compulsory modules:

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Contemporary Issues in the Early Years
Early Years Curriculum in Practice
Early Years Practitioners as Researchers
Inclusive Practice to Support SEND in the Early Years
Language and Communication in the Early Years

One of:

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Work-Based Learning and Employability in the Early Years
Work-Related Learning and Employability in the Early Years

You’ll advance to topics like leadership, international pedagogies, and the role of cultural experiences. Explore a subject of interest in further depth during your research project, and choose from optional modules that cover topics including autism spectrum conditions, music and its impact on learning, using technology to stimulate curiosity, and the practicalities of setting up a nursery.

Compulsory modules:

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Educational Leadership in the Early Years: Research and Practice
International Early Years Pedagogies
Learning Beyond the Classroom
Researching Work Practice in the Early Years
Respectful Relationships with Families and Communities

One of:

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Autism in the Early Years
Music in the Early Years
Setting Up a Nursery
Technology in the Early Years

Where your course includes optional modules, these are to provide an element of choice within the course curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements. Some restrictions on optional module choice or combinations of optional modules may apply.

How you'll study

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, work-based placements or work-related learning experience.

Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. 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 of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.

How you'll be assessed

You will be assessed through a combination of written assignments, presentations, portfolios, practice-based tasks and a research project.

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

Who will be teaching you

Well qualified and highly experienced tutors will be teaching on this programme, supplemented by input from external experts. You will be supported in your development by classroom discussions, personal tutorials and targeted individual sessions aimed at enhancing your self-reflective skills in your academic writing.

Entry criteria

Entry requirements

Typical offer 104-112 UCAS Tariff points, for which no specific subjects are required, plus GCSE English Language at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent).

You should also be able to demonstrate experience of working with children aged from birth to seven years in any context.

If you accept a formal offer from Edge Hill University you will be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure indicating that you meet the mandatory criteria of ‘Clearance to Work with Children and/or Vulnerable Adults’. Further information will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.

Example offers

Qualification Requirement
A Level BCC-BBC.
BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications) Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM).
T Level Overall grade of Merit.
International Baccalaureate (IB) We are happy to accept IB qualifications which achieve the required number of UCAS Tariff points.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 45 credits at Level 3, for example 9 credits at Distinction and 36 credits at Merit or 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.

Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

If you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven't been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

English language requirements

International students require IELTS 6.0, with a score no lower than 5.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

If your current level of English is half a band, one band, or one-and-a-half bands lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

How to apply

Apply full-time

Apply online through UCAS

Read our guide to applying through UCAS to find out more about the application process.


Apply as an international student

Please see our international student pages for further information about how to apply as a prospective international student.

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


Exterior photograph of the Faculty of Education BuildingHoused in a state-of-the-art £9million building, the Faculty of Education 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.

Where you'll study

Faculty of Education


Tuition fees

UK Full-Time


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The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through 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). If you are an EU student who does not have settled or pre-settled status, or are an international student from a non-EU country, please see our international student finance pages.

Your future career

We created this degree to help you find your path in the early years sector. If you know you want to work with children 0-7 but aren’t sure how, this is a great choice. We’ve worked with employers to make sure the course gives you the skills early years organisations are looking for. We’ll help you work towards a fulfilling career in destinations like:

  • children’s centres
  • day nurseries
  • schools
  • charities
  • museums
  • family support units
  • local councils
  • playgroups

Throughout your degree, you’ll have lots of contact with employers through placements and other opportunities. You’ll build good connections and have a clearer sense of which roles might be right for you.

If you decide to become a teacher, this course will help you prepare for the further training you’ll need to qualify. At Edge Hill we offer postgraduate teacher training courses that you might like to consider, including PGCE Primary Education with QTS and PGCE Primary Early Years Education with QTS.

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