Discover how children develop, learn and think from birth to the age of eight in this programme designed to meet the increasing demand for early years specialists. The programme also provides those already working in this field with the opportunity to enhance their practical work with a better understanding of early childhood theory.
The study of young children and the cultural influences on their lives and development is explored in depth. You research current issues and concerns in early childhood and consider equity and inclusion. You also learn about the importance of observation in the study of young children and develop your observational skills. You begin to learn the particular skills needed to carry out research in the early years.
You look critically at the significance of play, imagination and creativity in children's development, consider a variety of curriculum models, and examine the impact of the early childhood pioneers on current perspectives and practice. Optional modules are available in Children's Communication, Language and Literacy, Children and Families, Curriculum, Principles and Practice, Self and Others and Children's Wellbeing. There is also the opportunity for a placement in an early years setting. You continue to learn about research methods in early childhood settings, developing a research proposal which you will develop in the third year.
You carry out a substantial research project in an area of your choice and develop a specific expertise. You also study what it means to be an advocate for young children and their families, and have the option of learning about the nature of teamwork and leadership, or to study children's thinking and understanding and also to undertake a placement in an early years setting.
Examples of work placements
- Children's centres
- Children's hospitals
- Primary schools
- Schools for children with special educational needs
- Cultural Influences
- Babies and Toddlers
- Children's Communication and Culture
- Parents, Professionals and the Balance of Power
- Historical Perspectives on Early Childhood
The care and education of young children is a rapidly expanding area, offering graduates a wide range of career opportunities. You could work in nursery centres, schools, family and children’s centres or national campaigning organisations.