On this engaging course, you will learn about children, their families and communities from before- birth until the age of eight. Looking at the intellectual, emotional, physical, social and cultural experiences of young children, you will learn about promoting understanding and respect for young children and their families.
This course is designed to provide you with a deep understanding of young children and early childhood through three key areas; theory, which includes policy and practice to help provide you with an informed perspective; research, which is led by your tutors who are experts in their field and influence current national and international policy; and practice, which can be gained through a work placement module.
The course is informed by Froebelian philosophies and traditions and it seeks to ensure that these ideas and principles inform current thinking. These include a belief in the need for people who work with young children, or who are responsible for the administration or policy formation in this field, to be knowledgeable about research in early childhood and to understand essential characteristics in young children's growth, development and learning.
This course will provide you with a sound understanding in Early Childhood Studies and equip you to draw upon this knowledge in promoting the best possible provision for children.
During your first year of study, you consider the impact of cultural influences on the lives of babies, toddlers and young children and their development. You will research topical issues and concerns in early childhood and consider the concepts of equity and inclusion. You will explore the importance of observation in the study of young children and learn fundamental skills needed to carry out early years research.
In the second year, you will analyse the significance of play, imagination and creativity in children's development, and examine the impact of the early childhood pioneers on current perspectives and practice. You will have an opportunity to undertake a work placement in an early years setting plus you will consider a variety of curriculum models, children's wellbeing and their understanding of themselves and others. Whilst deepening your understanding of research methods in early childhood settings, you will start a research proposal for your third year project.
In your final year, you will carry out a substantial research project in an area of your choice and develop expertise in this subject. You will also spend time learning about how to interact with young children so that you can engage with their perspectives and consider the influences that society has on them. A strong and effective relationship with the parents of the children you care for is paramount to the welfare of the child. You will learn how to maintain a balance of power between the parents and yourself as a professional, as well as how to address issues such as cultural diversity and support systems.
Graduates go on to work with and for children and families, taking on a variety of roles. For example, early childhood education and care roles, nursery management, family support work, children's and family centre work, play work, learning support, education administration and management, children's charity work and community support, children and family services in prisons and government roles. Students may also go on to work as primary school teachers (following a PGCE or other teacher training routes). A strong feature of the programme is the opportunity for progression into Masters and Doctoral level study in key areas of early childhood.