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

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.

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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, 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.

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      In Depth

      What will I study?

      Exploring leading educational practice in early years settings, the programme 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.

      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.


      Expand All

      Compulsory modules:

      FLE3003Leading and Managing Change in Early Years Settings (20 credits)

      Leading and Managing Change in Early Years Settings focuses on issues of quality and leading and managing change in early years settings. The module introduces you to the theories of change management to enable you to respond to change in a positive and constructive manner. You will develop a theoretical understanding of the change process and how this knowledge can help you explore and design your own models of leading change. The module will also provide you with an opportunity to reflect on, as well as critically evaluate, the nature of quality assurance and quality improvement activities in early years settings that can help lead and manage a positive change. Framing practice within national and international frameworks for quality management will enable you to contextualise and evaluate your practical experience of quality development.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      FLE3004Leading Beyond the Early Years Classroom (20 credits)

      Leading Beyond the Early Years Classroom enables you to lead learning in the early years beyond the classroom environment. You will develop a critical awareness of the value that the arts, culture and the environment bring to the early childhood and family experience. The module encourages the development of your analytic sensibility and a sensitivity in the interpretation of children’s cultural experiences, enabling you to recognise the need for reflexivity in your leadership practice in this area. A range of environments beyond the classroom are explored as vehicles for leading practice in early years settings.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      FLE3002Managing Resources in Early Years Settings (20 credits)

      Managing Resources in Early Years Settings enables you to enhance your knowledge and understanding of issues relevant to the managing of resources in early years settings. The module will increase your awareness of the key theoretical perspectives on a team and group formation, as well as critically evaluating the resources 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 and the development of advanced leadership and managerial skills.

      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%.

      FLE3001Theories of Early Years Leadership (20 credits)

      Theories of Early Years Leadership focuses on leading educational practice in early years settings. The module enables you to develop your critical knowledge and understanding of leadership theories and investigate the wider issues facing early years leaders in the current social and political environment. You will examine the impact of social and political change on the early years profession and critique significant questions relating to the aims, values and principles of early years leadership and management in theory and practice.

      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?

      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 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 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.

      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.

      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, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.

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