Duration of Study Programme
2 Academic Years (part-time)
University of Derby
January, September & May
You will develop a broad understanding of early childhood education and care that can be applied in social care and health, education and related areas. You will be taught by experts in the field and will benefit from the latest research discoveries from a committed multi-disciplinary academic team. This will ensure your learning is relevant, up to date and meets the highest professional standards.
Explore how children develop, learn and think from birth to eight years, building the professional skills and knowledge to meet their needs. You’ll advance your professional development through studying core modules including The critically reflective practitioner, child protection and leadership. The curriculum is structured to provide a cohesive focus on the key aspects of childhood studies from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
By working in a collaborative online learning environment, you will broaden your horizons in your learning by sharing experiences with your fellow students from across the world.
This programme aims to:
- Develop a sound and broad knowledge base drawing on theory and practice in the field of early childhood education and care.
- Provide insight into the academic and interdisciplinary nature of Early Childhood Studies taking into account the ecology of children’s lives.
- Apply knowledge through work experience and, where appropriate, achieve practitioner status through the ‘practitioner options’ route. This includes work experience preparation and the development of a value base which demonstrates professional practice and respect for all.
- Take part in teaching and learning that enables the student to reflect critically on knowledge, research, provision and practice, drawing upon competing ideas and perspectives thus encouraging students to become critical thinkers, critically reflective practitioners and a future advocates for children.
- Develop a range of personal transferable skills such as communication, team working, and undertake personal and professional development planning to support career progression, individual development and employability.
What you will study
This course supports your development of early years study, synthesising theory and practice in an applied and critical manner. The course is structured into five key modules including:
- Child protection
This module is intended to extend your existing theoretical and practice-based knowledge and understanding of the role of Early Years’ practitioners in protecting children from abuse and supporting children at risk.
The module examines the current legislative and procedural framework for child protection and the responsibilities of the multi-disciplinary team within us.
You will explore the legislative and procedural framework for protecting children and the role of the different agencies and multi-disciplinary teams involved and their approach to child protection.
The socially constructed nature and incidence of child abuse within the culture and cross-cultural contexts of British society will be explored. Effective models of practice will be examined with reference to both the role of practitioners in supporting children at risk and examples of failures to provide such protection.
Consideration will be given to the individual’s personal and emotional response to abuse in the context of the professional requirements in this area. You will be asked to reflect on your own understanding of child abuse and the wider influences on this to develop a critical and considered approach to this sensitive issue.
- Contesting childhood
This module will develop your critical thinking skills through developing your understanding of childhood; recognising it is a contested phenomenon.
You will explore competing ideas from history, philosophy, psychology and sociology about the concept of ‘childhood’ and children’s development. You will reflect upon current research findings to consider how different groups consider the notion of ‘upbringing.
During this module you will develop an understanding of the competing narratives and discourses about our thinking surrounding the concept of childhood and young children’s development. There will be opportunities to explore research findings, participatory and presentation activities and opportunities to reflect critically from your own learning and practice experiences.
- Leadership in early childhood education and care
This module will address some of the key issues for leaders in early years’ settings and the challenges they face.
This will include consideration of the professionalism agenda, the different types of leadership styles and development of leadership skills.
This module will involve analysis and discussion of theories of management and leadership relevant to early childhood education and care settings. Central themes of leadership and effective team development and the processes required for the management of change will be examined. It will provide opportunities to explore the role of interpersonal communication skills for enhancing leadership for individuals and the wider professional team.
The legislative framework, within which leaders in early childhood settings work will be examined, alongside the role of developing good practice in line with policy and organisational aims.
- The critically reflective practitioner
This module explores ideas and theories about the purpose of critical reflection and its use to practitioners and students.
It will enable you to recall, explain, analyse and reflect upon your own professional practice and personal development through the nurturing of critical thinking skills. It provides an opportunity for you to bring together your academic and practice-based journey and personal progression.
Building on previous core modules, your focus will be centred on your own self-awareness across your personal, academic and professional progress. You will draw upon what others have said particularly in relation to critical theory and current sector-related issues.
You will produce a personal development plan to reflect on the experience and knowledge you have gained to guide your future development.
- Independent study
This module provides a distinctive and unique aspect to the course. It gives you the opportunity to study independently and research an area of care and education of younger children which is personal to you.
This module will consist of a taught component followed by a self-directed independent component with the support of an allocated supervisor.
The module will provide you with the opportunity to review a range of evidence in relation to your specific topic using systematic and clear methodologies which may be developed further in practice, postgraduate study or research.
How you will learn
We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.
Method of Assessment
This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.
- HND of Foundation Degree in a relevant subject (equivalent of 240 credits),
- Evidence of significant work and life experience may be taken into consideration upon application
Exemptions can be made on the basis of prior academic study, professional qualifications or professional experience. Students that have already studied at another institution, completed a training course or have work experience which appears equivalent to one or more modules of this programme, may be able to translate this prior learning into credits towards course modules so that they do not have to study them again.
English language qualifications
If English is not your first language, you will need an English language qualification. For this course, you will need at least:
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills test)
Fees & funding