How To Apply
UCP BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Top-Up)

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Top-Up)

The Open University

course overview

Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (top-up) programme has been newly designed to offer those who want to develop their career working with younger children an opportunity to gain a qualification which combines academic knowledge and practical skills.

This programme will help to develop professional skills and knowledge currently in demand across the early years sector such as partnership working, leadership and understanding of educational psychology.

You’ll study how children develop, as well as factors which affect their learning and development, child psychology and the services which support wellbeing and psychological health. The programme will also provide you with a broader understanding of early years policy and practice and how this can be managed and developed effectively within your own and wider settings. Through the course you have opportunities to take part in work-based learning with placement opportunities, during which you’ll be encouraged to be critically reflective of your own impact in the workplace.

*UCP are currently working with the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network in order to gain recognition of this degree pathways and certification of Graduate Practitioner Competencies at Level 6 for our graduates on completion, which is also recognised by the Department for Education’s Career Progression for the Early Years Workforce.

This will then qualify you to work as an Early Years Educator and you’ll develop a portfolio of evidence of your skills and practice at Level 6 to present to Early Years employers. This will be subject to approval, please contact UCP or the course team for the latest information.

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies provides a great pathway to postgraduate study and to Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) or initial teacher training programmes across the education sector.

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 20 students.

Download Course Specification

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

A minimum of 400 hours pre-entry work experience within an education setting. A confirmed placement of a minimum of 40 days per academic year, including identification of a workplace mentor. Successful completion of a 240-credit level 5 qualification. FD or equivalent.

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at a minimum of grade C / 4 or equivalent. An enhanced DBS check is required. If English is not your first language, an IELTS score of 6.0 or above is required. Admission to the programme is also possible for mature students without formal qualifications but with equivalent professional experience.

This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning and it is demonstrated through the production of a portfolio of your experiential learning. Full details are available at the following link;

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. You must take modules worth 120 credits at level 6. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one /final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • Advanced Professional & Reflective Practice: The Early Years (30 credits)
  • Families, Communities and Partnership Working (15 credits)
  • Individual Needs and Educational Psychology (30 credits)
  • Leadership & Management in the Early Years (15 credits)
  • Undergraduate Research Project in Early Years (30 credits)

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.

A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study. A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

For details of classification of awards please refer to page 140 of Academic Regulations. For details of progression and module scenarios please refer to page 129 of Academic Regulations. For details of compensation scenarios please refer to page 106 of Academic Regulations. For details of assessment offences please refer to page 85 of Academic Regulations. For details of how we will inform you of changes to modules please refer to page 2 of the terms and conditions.

When studying this course at University Centre Peterborough, we will timetable your lectures as one full day a week over two semesters per year (part-time will be one half day a week over two semesters per year).

We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.

Over the duration of your course, teaching will be delivered by the following methods:

Year one / final year for full-time students (Level 6)

  • 50%     Lectures
  • 25%     Seminars
  • 25%     Workshops

There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 30 hours per week for additional study.

The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the year and you will also have 24/7 access to a virtual learning environment (VLE) with e-books, journals and abstracts plus teaching resources and interactive tools.

Timetables are available at least 6 weeks before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.

The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

Year one / final year for full-time students (Level 6)

100% Coursework We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance. Formative assessment opportunities are written into all module plans to provide students with on-going feedback.

There will be oportunities to recieve formative feedback prior to each formal submission. Your final degree classification is calculated as an average of all your credits at Level 6. 70%+ First 60-69% 2:1 50-59% 2:2 40-49% Third

Applicants must be working in or have access to a suitable children’s environment (paid or voluntary) as you will undertake an Enhanced Work Based Research module based on your work placement.

Blair Carter

“I am the Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Education Studies (Top-Up), BA (Hons) Primary Education, and BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies. Prior to joining University Centre Peterborough, I taught Sociology, RE, Health and Social Care, History, Psychology and Philosophy. I have supported students as a Head of House, Head of Subject, and Head of Year. I was formally a team leader for OCR, supporting a team of GCSE examiners. I previous ran a ‘Strong Not Tough’ resilience programme for post-16 students as part of tutorial sessions and have acted as a Suicide First Aider. I am a qualified SENCo and have volunteered as a Sunday School teacher and rugby coach. I am passionate about challenging discrimination and meeting individual needs, particularly within education. I have undertaken research related to learning needs and personalised learning. Currently I am undertaking a PhD in education, exploring issues of inequality, and arguing for a shift towards more socially just education policy that will remove barriers and allow all to flourish in their unique ways.”


  • MSc Education (Teaching and Learning). Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford.
  • National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination. UCL Institute of Education, University of London
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). UCL Institute of Education, University of London
  • BA (Hons) Sociology. De Montfort University

After graduating, you will be able to gain a position as a Teaching Assistant within in
Primary or Secondary schools.

You will also be able to apply for a PGCE in Primary or Secondary Education, or apply for an MA in a field related to education.

Previous students have also been offered places in the School Direct and Teach East programmes, and have progressed to teaching roles via this route.

Other career options related to Education can include working in the Education Department of a local council or going on to work in education based research.


Full-time: 1 year (1 full days a week over two semesters per year)

Each semester is 12 weeks.

Part- time: 2 years

The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students will be £8000 per year.

There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

In this prospectus we will give you clear and accurate information so you can make the best choice for a successful future

Download Prospectus
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