BA in Early Years (Honours)

The Open University

Program Description

BA in Early Years (Honours)

The Open University

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 specializing 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, inquiry, and practice; and for careers in teaching, health or social work.

Educational aims

  • 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 up front.
  • 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

Career relevance

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 centers) 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.

Entry requirements

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. Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated November 24, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
4 - 10 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school