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Early Years Education and Practice (Top-up)

University Centre Farnborough

UCAS Code: XL15 | Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons)

Entry requirements

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About this course

Course option


Full-time | 2022


Early years education

Build upon your early years knowledge with this one-year top-up degree, linking what you learn in lessons to your existing role in the sector. This course starts each September and is awarded by the University of Surrey.
Course Highlights:

• This is a one-year top-up degree which can convert your existing qualifications, such as an HND or Foundation degree in a relevant subject, and/or experiences into a full degree
• The course is taught one afternoon/evening per week and has full-time status
• Can help you to update your knowledge and work towards more senior roles or teaching
• Taught by dedicated and supportive lecturers with experience in a range of early years and teaching settings
• Has previously involved educational trips, including exploring the Reggio Emilia approach to education in Italy and visiting early years centres, schools and local authorities in Finland

Early years education plays a big part in preparing children for entry into our society, encouraging them to exhibit positive behavioural and societal norms. This one-year top-up degree will develop your existing knowledge of the early years sector, exploring the evolving policies and practices used in the industry.

At Farnborough, your lecturers will have experience working in a range of early years and education settings. This will give you a full insight into your subject in the classroom and beyond. Staff attendance at conferences and additional training also ensures that teaching reflects up-to-date practices in the industry.
As someone currently employed in the sector, this course provides a unique opportunity to enhance your knowledge and gain skills relevant to your role, with timetables designed to suit employers. You will link lesson content and assignments to your own work-based practice, allowing you to tailor the course to your goals.

This degree is suitable for those currently employed within the early years sector, who want to top-up their existing qualifications or experience into a full honours degree and work towards more senior roles or teaching. Example roles you may currently be working as include Early Years Practitioner or Teaching Assistant.

You might currently be studying a foundation degree or HND in a relevant subject, or wish to transfer from another higher education institution. It may also be possible for you to join this course following relevant professional qualifications and/or experience in the workplace.

You will discover the main roles and functions of early years settings, and the leadership tactics that can lead to their successful operation. You will also explore the broad range of factors that influence how children develop, analysing relevant research findings and topics in health and wellbeing. As part of the course you will complete a dissertation where you will have the opportunity to research a topic of special interest.


• Research and Young Children - As practitioners increasingly need to understand the role of research in forming policy and practice in relation to Early Years Education and Practice, and to take on the role of researcher, it becomes more important that they should have a detailed understanding of issues involved. The importance of the child’s voice in research and key ethical consideration will be explored.

• Leadership and Management - This module integrates with other modules on the programme, to provide an understanding of the main roles and functions of management in early years settings. Change management is studied to enable the student to implement future changes within workplace settings.

• Promoting Health and Wellbeing - This module presents the key health priorities for children aged 0-8 to support the development of positive health behaviours leading to optimal wellbeing. The roles of Government, voluntary and private agencies are explored along with ethical considerations of health promotion strategies.

• Comparing Early Childhood Education and Care - This module introduces students to the field of comparative and international educational data. The module pays particular attention to early educational and childcare systems in modern industrial societies that are comparable to England. Relevant systems, policy and curriculums will be reviewed and evaluated to see how they have responded to the challenge of improving outcomes and attainment for children.

• Early Years Education and Policy the Social Context - This module will explore the role of education in preparing young children for entry into society, including the school readiness debate. It will also address the impact on wider issues of social forces such as economics, politics and culture have on care and education and how they can result in variation in outcomes for children.

• Reflective Practice Portfolio - This module promotes the use of reflective practice within early years provision. Students are encouraged to become reflective thinkers in order to make informed and logical decisions and to assess the consequences of those decisions in a workplace setting.

• Dissertation - The dissertation will involve the completion of a research project of student’s choice.

Assessment methods

You will normally be assessed throughout your course to test your understanding within each module. This will be done through coursework, written assignments, formal examinations, professional discussion, project plans and dissertation.

A range of teaching techniques are used in this degree to deliver content in useful and varied ways. This includes lecture-based presentations, practical sessions including role play and observation, individual and group project work, and individual presentations.

Tuition fees

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Course location:

University Centre Farnborough


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