Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons) Top Up

This course is validated by: Lancaster University
Award: BA (Hons) in Early Years Childcare
Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
Code: SS3521A11
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: Lancaster University
Study Mode: Full Time, Part Time
Start Dates: september 2018
Term Dates: View term dates

This course is for students who have completed FdA Early Childhood Studies at University Centre at Blackburn College who wish to continue their studies at higher level and leave with a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies qualification. You will study five modules in order to complete your course. You'll be required to complete four compulsory modules and will be able to choose the additional fifth module from a choice of three. This programme offers you the opportunity to explore in depth some of the most challenging and fundamental issues concerning young children and their families in the twenty-first century.

What will I study?

You will study five modules in order to complete your course. You'll be required to complete four compulsory modules and will be able to choose an additional 5th module from a choice of three. The Effective Pedagogy module will allow you to explore pedagogical approaches to, and theoretical perspectives of childhood, child development, education and learning. There is a focus on both traditional and contemporary approaches and theories of Early Childhood in order to offer you the opportunity to explore the impacts of developments in technology, research and globalisation on the theories which underpin the Early Years sector.

The Developing Professionalism module allows you to consider, explore and critically evaluate the skills, knowledge, attributes, barriers, facilitators and theoretical perspectives associated with continuous professional development in the early childhood sector. You will explore how you can be responsive to the demands of an ever changing sector and the need to continuously develop individual professionalism in order to support others in doing so to create a culture of professionalism across the sector. You will also study Advanced Communication Skills and Effective Relationships as this is an integral aspect of the early years practitioner's role.

Sustaining and maintaining effective, caring, professional relationships with children, parents, carers and other significant professionals is a key commitment within the sector. You will explore aspects of advanced communication through identifying your own skills, and those required of your role and others within the sector, in order to identify areas for further development. You will also do a dissertation. This is your opportunity to research at level 6 an area that is of interest to you within the Early Childhood Studies sector. You will work with your Dissertation supervisor to ensure that the area you wish to research is academically strong. You will also be able to choose an additional module from the following three depending on an area you wish to explore further: The Leading and Managing Quality Organisations module is particularly relevant to those graduates wishing to progress in to the various management opportunities available within the sector, whether they be leading or managing your own small practice or larger organisations. The Internationals Perspectives of Early Childhood module offers a critical exploration of childhood and family along with associated historical and contemporary research, policy and practice developments across the globe. This module encourages you to consider your own approaches to early years care and education in contrast to those of different countries. The Creativity and Divergent Thinking & Culture module engages you in contemplating the debates surrounding creativity, critical analysis and synthesise of the concepts inherent within creativity and divergent thinking, You will explore current thinking and research which suggests that there is a need to reignite a focus on creativity and recognise the notion of divergent thinking.

There are many opportunities for international travel as part of the course. Past visits have included: Prague, Berlin and Budapest. During the trip you'll be able to explore the culture and practices within the Early Childhood sector in the country you're visiting.

Modules include:

  • Effective Pedagogy
  • Developing Professionalism
  • Advanced Communication Skills and Effective Relationships
  • Dissertation

You will also choose one of the following:

  • Leading and Managing Quality Organisations
  • International Perspectives of Early Childhood
  • Creativity, Divergent thinking and Culture

Download the Programme Specification for BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Top Up). The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

Entry Requirements

In order to join the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Top Up) programme you will need to have successfully completed Early Childhood Studies Foundation Degree FdA. If you have received less than a Merit grade overall in your Foundation Degree you will be required to attend a guidance interview first to ensure you are fully prepared for the Top Up programme. Additional preparation for study at the Top Up programme may be required.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed throughout your course and will get ongoing feedback. Once or twice within each module you will then complete work, often at the end of the module, that is then graded. Examples of these assessments are: essays, reports and presentations. At the start of the course you will be given an assessment schedule which details the deadlines for all the modules you will study that semester. This will help you plan for your work effectively.

Formative and summative assessments enable lecturers or tutors to monitor the learning that has/is taking place. Summative assessment is not always noticeable by the student as it is a continuous process; lecturers or assessors may observe participation and responses to class discussions and group work, a student’s response to question and answer sessions, participation in workshop practical and engagement with demonstrations. Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.

Students receive both formal and informal feedback. Formal feedback is through assessments, is usually in writing and given within 3 weeks following the submission date. However, some lecturers will provide group feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

What can I do next?

The vast majority of our graduates go on to work in the early years and education sectors. A PGCE is a popular route taken by graduates from the programme who wish to pursue a career in teaching. 

Recent graduates have gained employment in various full-time positions often with more responsibility. Career routes for graduates from the programme have been diverse; such as an outreach support worker, managerial and deputy managerial positions and an after-school provision coordinator specialising in developing outdoor play spaces. 

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"The main strength of provision on the FdA and BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies at Blackburn College is the dedication of the team and their constant drive to improve. They are a well-established team who work together and are openly critically reflective of their own practice."

External Examiners Report 2014/15
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