An early years professional plays with two children, stacking small buildings blocks on a table, in an early years setting.

BA (Hons) Early Years Leadership

Develop an in-depth understanding of the challenges and rewards of leading and managing practice in early years contexts, while also analysing the quality processes and resources used in early years settings.

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  • Overview

    Covid-19 - Early Years Leadership Essential Information

    View essential information and videos about the changes to teaching and learning and campus facilities from September 2020

    Course Length: 1 Year Full-Time
    Start Dates: September 2020, September 2021
    Subjects: Education and Teaching
    Location: Edge Hill University
    Holy Cross College, 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 those students progressing from the FdA Early Years Leadership, although progression from other related foundation degrees may be possible. You will develop knowledge and skills as an Early Years graduate leader enabling you to become an agent of change within your setting and beyond.

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    • Faculty of Education

    In Depth

    What will I study?

    You will focus on the study of leadership and management in early years settings within a range of contexts, locally, nationally and internationally.

    You will also learn how to boost your personal and professional development as a trained Early Years worker in the workplace.

    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 of the team are involved in current research and have actively contributed to projects including the development of the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership (NPQICL). Each member of the team brings a particular expertise and all are highly respected practitioners.

    A Great Study Environment

    The Faculty of Education has been at the forefront of teacher education for more than 125 years and today enjoys the enviable position of being one of the country’s leading providers of education, training and research for the children’s workforce.

    Housed in a state-of-the-art £9m building, the Faculty of Education’s facilities include a 300-seat lecture theatre, five well-equipped ICT suites, and 18 teaching rooms complete with the latest technology.

    The faculty has a strong commitment to practice-based learning and has developed partnerships with over 2,000 schools and colleges, local authorities and professional associations.


    Expand All

    FDL3000Demonstrating Critical Personal and Professional Effectiveness in Managing Change (30 credits)

    Demonstrating Critical Personal and Professional Effectiveness in Managing Change provides structured and supported opportunities for you to investigate professional and educational issues or initiatives centred around policy and practice. An emphasis will be placed on the interrelated nature of policy and practice and the whole school response to change will be examined, providing an insight into the role of staff within the management of change. The module will also consider how the role of all staff in schools/settings is constantly evolving to meet the requirements of current policy and practice. You will select a particular initiative that has impacted upon policy and practice and will plan and carry out a small-scale action research project to bring about further change and evaluate the impact of that change.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    FDL3001Leading and Managing Change in Early Years Settings (30 credits)

    Leading and Managing Change in Early Years Settings examines the issues of leading and managing change in the context of an early years setting. You will enhance your knowledge and understanding of leadership and management and investigate the wider issues facing early years practitioners and leaders in current social and political environment. The module examines the impact of social and political changes on the early years profession and critiques the significant questions relating to the aims, values and principles of early years leadership and management both in theory and in practice. The module also introduces you to the theories of change management. You will develop a theoretical understanding of the change process and learn how that knowledge can help you explore and design your own models of leading change.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    FDL3002Managing Resources in Early Years Settings (30 credits)

    Managing Resources in Early Years Settings is designed to enable you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the issues relevant to managing resources in the context of an early years setting. You will conduct a critical evaluation of the resources which are used in early years settings to support children’s progress in all areas of learning and development. Ideas, principles and trends from contemporary research on human and resource management will be critically analysed in the context of early years, providing you with a theoretical framework to enable critical evaluation of practice in the workplace and further development of individual leadership/managerial skills and competence.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    FDL3003Leading and Managing Quality in Early Years Settings in the UK and Internationally (30 credits)

    Leading and Managing Quality in Early Years Settings in the UK and Internationally focuses on leading and managing the development of change from national and international perspectives. The module provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and critically evaluate the nature of quality assurance and quality improvement activities in early years settings. It will also introduce you to international philosophies related to the issues of quality early years provision. Framing practice within national and international frameworks for quality management will enable you to contextualise and evaluate your practical experience of quality development in your work setting.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.


    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.

    Entry Criteria

    Entry Requirements

    To join this programme you need to have completed a foundation degree in Early Years 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.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’). This may include credit or learning undertaken at another university.

    Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s academic regulations (sections C7 and F3.1) or contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

    Career Prospects

    What are my career prospects?

    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.


    Tuition Fees

    If you are a prospective UK or EU student who will be joining this conversion degree in academic year 2020/21, the tuition fee will be £9,250.

    Financial Support

    Subject to eligibility, UK and EU students joining this conversion degree can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK and EU 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 and EU students joining this programme in academic year 2020/21, together with details of how to apply for funding, please view our Money Matters 2020/21 guide at


    How to Apply

    There is an online application process for this programme.

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

    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 page 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.

    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 Leadership 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, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.