BA in Early Years (Honours)
Do you work with young children? Do you want to boost your career and develop your practice? This course provides a solid, practical grounding for practitioners in a wide range of early years settings – including home-based carers and classroom/teaching assistants specialising in early years. You’ll develop your critical understanding of early years practice and frameworks from ethical, social, legal, and political perspectives; and gain the knowledge and skills needed to work collaboratively and equitably within an integrated, interdisciplinary workforce.
Key features of the course
- Relevant to schools and early years settings following a UK/Republic of Ireland curriculum (taught in English)
- Considered ‘full and relevant’ for the purposes of registration and regulation – which means you’ll count in the qualified ratio of staff at Level 3
- Prepares you for further research, study, enquiry and practice; and for careers in teaching, health or social work.
- to develop and enhance theoretical, practice and research skills and knowledge about working with children and families in a wide range of settings
- to develop your interdisciplinary research, knowledge and policy base underpinning multi-agency working.
We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost. Fees for study commencing in academic year 2014/2015 are:
- Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
- If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
- Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
- The total cost of your chosen qualification currently starts from £15,792 based on our current fees.
- NB: Prices are subject to change.
How long does it take?
- Part time – 6 years
- Full time – 4 years
- Time limit – 10 years
This degree is relevant to anyone working in schools or early years settings which follow a UK or Republic of Ireland curriculum, and which use English as the language of tuition – including British Forces schools and relevant settings in Europe.
Early years professionals work in many roles in group settings (such as nurseries and children's centres) and as home-based carers – playing a central role in children’s development from birth to seven years. They also lead practice and support other practitioners.
Note: from September 2014, entrants in England to the BA (Honours) Early Years without a previously achieved Level 3 Early Years qualification will additionally require GCSE passes at ‘C’ or above in English and Maths for their degree be considered a ‘full and relevant’ qualification and to be able to count in Level 3 ratios.
You must be:
- a current practitioner (paid or voluntary) with at least six months full-time or 12 months part-time experience of working with young children in a registered early years setting
- over the age of 18 years at the date on which you begin studying for this qualification.
If you wish to claim accreditation of prior learning (APEL) you must be:
- an experienced practitioner with at least three years full-time or five years part-time experience in a registered early years setting
- over the age of 21 years at the date on which you begin studying for this qualification.
While studying the core modules, you must be:
- working in a setting following a UK or Republic of Ireland curriculum and which uses English as the language of tuition
- working in a registered early years setting with young children aged from birth to seven years (Foundation Stage or Key Stage 1 or equivalent) in either a paid or voluntary capacity
- directly involved in activities to support young children’s care and learning for a minimum of five hours a week
- able to work with groups of three or more children on a regular basis.
You must have the agreement and support of your employer/supervisor before registering for this qualification.
Your employer must complete a Permission Agreement Form to confirm their support for your study, that you meet the pre-requisites to study the core modules, and to verify your experience.
You and your employer are responsible for ensuring that:
- you meet the ‘fit person’ criteria required for the setting and country you are working in
- you obtain the necessary criminal record clearance.
If you are a nanny/foster carer working with a child (birth to six years), you must be able to undertake 3–5 hours paid or voluntary work each week in a registered early years setting where you have access to groups of children and support from experienced professional colleagues. The home of a parent/foster carer or nanny is not – on its own – an acceptable setting.
You will also need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 6.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.
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