An early years professional plays with a child who is taking small building blocks from a basket.

BA (Hons) Early Years Education

Enhance your knowledge of early years education for children from birth to five years as you analyse current approaches, examine how to meet children's individual needs, and explore the role of play.

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    • Overview

      Course Length: 1 Year Full-Time
      Start Dates: September 2022, September 2023
      Subjects: Education and Teaching
      Location: Edge Hill University
      Holy Cross College and University Centre, Bury

      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 programme, although progression from other related foundation degrees may be possible. Focusing on the study of early years education frameworks within a range of local, national and international contexts, you will develop the knowledge and skills required to become an excellent practitioner within your setting and beyond, while also boosting your personal and professional career development.

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      In Depth

      What will I study?

      This programme will challenge your assumptions about children’s learning and development. You will be encouraged to reflect on perceptions of what young children should be taught and how they should learn. You will explore the role of play in children’s learning and examine the development of play-based provision in early years settings.

      Adopting a critical perspective on early years education, you will discover the key theories and underpinning issues in the education of babies and young children and gain an insight into how to work collaboratively with parents, families and communities.

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

      How will I study?

      Following an initial on-campus induction, you will engage in online face-to-face sessions with your tutors one afternoon per week. You will also be invited to attend on-campus sessions 5-6 times per year at the beginning of each module. Along with face-to-face sessions, you will be asked to complete directed tasks and carry out 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.

      How will I 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 me?

      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.


      Housed 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.

      Alternatively, you can 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.


      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.


      Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes 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 accrediting 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.


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      Compulsory modules:

      FEE3001Critical Perspective on the Early Years Education (20 credits)

      Critical Perspective on the Early Years Education develops your ability to challenge certain assumptions about children’s learning and development. This will be achieved through a critical reflection on theoretical perspectives alongside analytical discussion informed by current research. The module considers some of the very specific challenges related to early years education, focusing on the issues of government policies and historical changes related to perceptions of what young children should be taught and how they should learn. You will critically analyse current curriculum frameworks and methods of teaching young children, exploring how theory and practice are influenced by contemporary debates, issues and research findings within the UK educational landscape and across the world.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      FEE3002Developing Play-Based Provision in the Early Years Settings (20 credits)

      Developing Play-Based Provision in the Early Years Settings explores the role of play in children’s learning and how to develop play-based provision in early years settings. The module is centred around the premise that play is the principal vehicle for children’s learning in the early years and that effective play provision needs to be planned through a firm understanding of children’s needs and the principles of play-based learning. Examining both theoretical and practical approaches to play-based provision, as well as ‘playful’ pedagogies, you will critically reflect on examples of best practice in the development of effective play-based provision. The module will help you to further your knowledge and skills in developing indoor and outdoor environments that promote and facilitate children’s learning and development.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      FDR3000Research Project (40 credits)

      Research Project enables you to identify an area of personal and professional interest to investigate and carry out a small-scale research project. The module will allow you to demonstrate your enhanced critical ability to interpret findings and justify personal and professional points of view, based on current research. Exploring an aspect of early years education or leadership in-depth also contributes to your personal professional development, providing you with the opportunity to learn how to approach ideas in a systematic manner and support your arguments with references to relevant national and international research.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      FEE3004Teaching in the Early Years (20 credits)

      Teaching in the Early Years explores the key theories and underpinning issues in the education of babies and young children in their early years. The concept of teaching will be revisited in relation to working with young children and in view of government policies and the school-readiness agenda. The module will challenge your knowledge and understanding of what it means to teach the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One curricula, reflecting on a variety of sources. The key theories of teaching will be explored with emphasis on significant aspects of the teaching cycle. The issues of children’s transitions will be critically discussed and reflected upon. This module will also explore and critique different pedagogies and their relevance to the aims, values and principles of the current early years curriculum.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      FEE3003Working Collaboratively to Meet Each Child's Individual Needs (20 credits)

      Working Collaboratively to Meet Each Child’s Individual Needs will further your critical knowledge and understanding of working in collaboration with parents and early years practitioners, including multi-disciplinary teams, in the context of early years settings. The module focuses on the key principles and controversies related to collaborative work in early years settings. You will consider current practice from a critical perspective and enhance your understanding of the key aspects of working in partnership with children’s parents, families and communities, giving thought to the associated challenges and possible solutions.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      Entry Criteria

      Entry Requirements

      To join this programme 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.

      Career Prospects

      What are my career prospects?

      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 Education graduate, you will have the opportunity to develop your existing career, or embark on an exciting new path, in a wide range of areas working with children and communities. This could include roles such as a graduate early years’ practitioner, family support worker, community leader or a researcher for a charity in the voluntary sector.

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


      Tuition Fees

      If you are a prospective UK student who will be joining this conversion degree in academic year 2022/23, the tuition fee will be £9,250.

      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 full-time tuition fee rate.

      Financial Support

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

      For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining this programme in academic year 2022/23, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2022/23 guide at

      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 should ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see for further details.


      How to Apply

      There is an online application process for this programme.

      Please choose the application form for your preferred intake date and study location.

      Visit for more information about the application process.

      Visit to access the relevant online application form and to find out more about the application process.

      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

      Get in Touch

      If you have any questions about this programme, please contact:

      Course Changes

      Expand All This tab outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years. Future material changes will be added here as amends are made to course information.

      3rd June 2020 - Changes to Programme Delivery

      Changes to programme delivery mean that following an initial on-campus induction, students will engage in online face-to-face sessions with their tutors for one afternoon per week. You will also be invited to attend on-campus sessions 5-6 times per year.

      Covid-19 - Early Years Education Essential Information

      Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.

      Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.

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