Early Childhood Studies with Early Years Practitioner Status

BA Early Childhood Studies with Early Years Practitioner Status Code X322

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With over 700 hours working in settings with young children, the BA Early Childhood Studies with Early Years Practitioner Status will enable you to gain a recognised professional qualification as an integral part of your degree. You will learn about the vital role that practitioners have to play in children’s early years and how to work effectively within this role. These years underpin later learning and development, and you will also explore the theories and research which influence the methods we use today.

Drawing on aspects of psychology, sociology, childhood and educational studies, the University element of your studies will link with the practical elements of the course. This will allow you to develop a clear understanding of this time in children’s lives. Working at a stage when development seems to happen in the blink of an eye, you will learn about how practitioners keep track of this development, allowing them to plan appropriately for each child’s next steps.

By combining the practical and the theoretical, this degree will enable you to develop the professional and academic skills that are needed to progress in a career in early childhood. Because of the practical element of the course, students will require an enhanced DBS check which they will need to pay for. There may also be travel expenses within the Aberystwyth area. There is also the possibility of a postgraduate teaching qualification (PGCE Primary), also available at Aberystwyth, or of further study to Masters level and beyond.

Course Overview

Why study the BA Early Childhood Studies with Early Year Practitioner Status at Aberystwyth University? 

The School of Education has been offering stimulating and innovative study programmes for over 100 years. 

The Department's mission is to: 

  1. Provide an opportunity to develop an understanding of the complex knowledge associated with Education in particular in a child's early years development
  2. Enable you to engage with key issues and current research in the field of Education
  3. Enable you to critically reflect on and manage your own learning and performance.
  4. Provide you with an opportunity to acquire employability skills and personal attributes and values that are necessary for employment, training or further education. 

The School of Education's research-led teaching informs our syllabus. The exceptional teaching quality has been recognised with the University being awarded University of the Year for Teaching Quality two years consecutively. The first and only university in the UK to be awarded such an accolade by the Times and Sunday Times, Good University Guide (2018 and 2019). 

Our Staff

Undergraduate lecturers in the School of Education are either qualified to PhD standard or are experienced practitioners in their field. All teaching staff currently possess, or are working towards, a recognised teaching qualification.


Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Education, Diversity and Equality ED20420 20
Literacy in Young Children ED20220 20
Safeguarding and Professional Practice ED24320 20
Year 2 Early Years Practitioner Placement * ED25860 60


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Communication ED34720 20
Emotional and Social Development ED34820 20
Mathematical Development in the Early Years ED30320 20
Year 3 Early Years Practitioner Placement * ED35860 60

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Successful completion of this degree leads to "Early Years Practitioner Status". This means that you will have a degree that allows you to work as a professional within an early years setting (subject to appropriate literacy and numeracy qualifications). Many students progress to become nursery managers and leaders. Furthermore, successful completion of this degree may also lead to progression to a one year primary school teacher training course (PGCE). The qualification is also an ideal basis for anyone wishing to work in the social work profession or within different types of educational therapy.

Course Content

How will I learn? 

In the School of Education we provide a variety of learning opportunities:

  • Lectures in larger groups allow you to gain outline knowledge of the ideas and concepts involved in each module. You will be encouraged to discuss key points with your fellow students, to answer questions and to develop your opinions and consolidate your learning. Sound recordings of all of our lectures are available for as long as you are registered on the course at Aberystwyth.
  • Seminars in smaller groups involve work in more detail on specific aspects of modules. These may involve more practical applications of ideas from lectures, or detailed analysis of pieces of research or other reading.
  • Workshops are practical. Tasks are set which involve group and individual work on topics like professional practice. Sometimes, these also involve visiting speakers. Recent innovations involve the use of Virtual Reality headsets to bring your learning alive. 
  • Placements - You will undertake 700 hours of placements in nursery settings within the Aberystwyth locality in order to gain professional skills. Because of the practical element of the course, students will require an enhanced DBS check which they will need to pay for. There may also be travel expenses within the Aberystwyth area. 

What will I study?

In each year, modules give you a solid foundation in essential aspects of Early Childhood Studies, for example:

  • In Year 1, modules cover topics such as how young children learn, the importance of health and well-being in the early years and learning through play. You will also undertake sessions relating to professional practice in an early years setting.
  • In Year 2, you will explore the importance of literacy development, multi agency working and safeguarding young children. Year 2 also involves an extensive placement opportunity.
  • In Year 3, you will again develop your practical skills through a placement. You will explore the importance of social and emotional development and look at how key communication is to everyone involved in young children's learning and development.

How will my work be assessed?

A variety of assessment techniques will allow you to play to your strengths.

Some modules are assessed through essays, but you may also complete projects, bibliographic exercises, reflective diaries, posters, and presentations. During your placements, you will keep a folder of evidence to show that you have the skills to work as an early years practitioner.

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 96

A Levels BBB-CCC

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:

International Baccalaureate:

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma. Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits, and offers can vary. If you are studying a qualification not listed on this page, please get in touch with the Undergraduate Admissions Office for further advice. For further information, contact

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