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What makes Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner) at the University of Worcester special?

The BA Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner) is an innovative course for people who want to work with children aged 0-8 and their families to make a difference in their lives.

The course is flexible. Dependent on your career aspirations you can choose to follow one of two pathways. The Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner) pathway is for those wishing to work in early years education. Alternatively, you can follow the Early Childhood in Society pathway if you would prefer to work with children and families beyond the classroom.

This degree is superb preparation for employment in a range of occupations such as child and family support work, leadership in an early years setting, fostering and adoption services, play therapy facilitation, advocacy roles in charities such as UNICEF, Action for Children, and Barnardo’s, family assessment, or work in nurture hubs in schools, to name a few. You could also undertake further study, for example an MA in Social Work or a PGCE in Teaching; scroll down the page for more details. 

Join in your first year, or contact us to see about transferring as a direct entry into the second or third year.

 

Overview

Overview

Key features

Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner) 

  • Opportunity to gain an early years qualification that is approved by DfE (previously known as 'Full and Relevant'), which will enable you to be counted in ratios in early years settings.

Early Childhood in Society

  • Prepares you for working with children in more diverse contexts to tackle disadvantage / inequality and affect positive change. 

Both pathways

  • A strong emphasis on assessed work placements (210 hours a year) 
  • Opportunity for an extended placement abroad or in the UK
  • Research informed teaching that is delivered by a multi-professional team from the Department of Children and Families in the School of Education
  • Teaching and learning that takes a strengths-based approach; although the degree is rightly challenging, you are supported to be successful and gain meaningful employment
  • There are no exams. Assessment is through coursework assignments and professional placement activity

 

 

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This course received 100% overall student satisfaction (NSS 2022)

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Pathway choices 

Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner)

Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner) is an approved qualification by the Department for Education and Ofsted, necessary for you to be included in ratios within an Ofsted registered setting. Practice is assessed against the Early Years Educator (EYE) criteria.

The University of Worcester is a member of the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network (ECSDN). In addition to gaining an approved EYE qualification there is the option to have your practice assessed against the level 6 ECSDN Graduate Practitioner Competencies, which will enhance your employability as a highly skilled graduate. This pathway is the ideal foundation for leadership in early years setting or for further study, for example, a PGCE with QTS.

SPPA-logo-small

Early Childhood in Society 

This pathway is designed for those who would like to work in the wider early childhood workforce and is underpinned by the philosophy of social pedagogy. You will learn about relationship-based practice, supporting you to work with children and their families in a respectful way. It is endorsed by the Social Pedagogy Professional Association and is particularly suitable for those who want to work with children accessing support services, for example, parenting and family support, excluded children, residential care, charity work overseas and in the UK, and therapeutic playwork to name a few.

Both pathways will prepare you for the joys and challenges of working with children and their families. You can select placements and modules to build your own CV of expertise and experience.

The following case studies contain details of students on placements as part of the course

student in front of a children's ward sign

Molly (second year student) at the Children’s ward, Worcestershire Royal Hospital

I’ve been shadowing a play specialist; distracting children from hospital procedures such as blood tests, injections, physio, anaesthetics, making them less daunting for the children and their families.

I wanted to combine physical health with mental health.  I just love that you get to brighten someone’s day, even if it’s only bringing them a cup of tea or a puzzle.

After I complete the BA, I plan to do a two-year, part time post graduate course to become a play specialist myself. 

student in a black top in a classroom

Sarah (third year student) at Perryfields Pupil Referral Unit, Worcester

This has been such a good placement for me; here we do regular curriculum work in the morning and in the afternoon, we go swimming, to the woods, the farm, and we do art with an art therapist.

For my dissertation I am researching how art therapy can help children’s development.  I notice that when children do art they become calmer, they express themselves more and the teachers take more of a back seat.  There is no pressure to be right or wrong and the children are so happy.

After this course I’m planning on going to Australia and working in a school like this one.

student in front of a blue door

Phoebe (first year student) at RGS Springfield, Worcester

I’ve spent a week in the Reception class and a week in nursery. I dreaded the first day, but they were so welcoming. I’ve been supporting phonics lessons and learning about ‘in the moment’ planning. The children go to Forest School every Tuesday. Even though it was freezing this week none of the children said they wanted to go inside. I think that’s because the staff were enthusiastic. That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned from this placement - it’s the staff that make the difference.

This course has been great because I know I want to teach, but I’m not sure where. Luckily, there are lots of placements available in different age groups to enable me find out which one I like the best.

two students holding books in front of a colourful wall

Zainab and Lottie (third year students) at a Primary School, Worcester

Speaking Urdu and Punjabi has made such a difference. I can talk to the children who don’t speak English and calm them. I also talk to parents and translate for the teacher (Zainab).  We've been working with the children on all areas of the curriculum. We do marking, circle time and story time to give the teachers a bit of admin space. You need to use your initiative; sharpen the pencils, learn the routine so that you can set the classroom up.  It’s lovely to work with the teacher and TA as a team.

This placement and course have been a good preparation for doing a PGCE at Worcester. It teaches you how to deal with issues, as well as the curriculum.  If you want to work with young children, then definitely do this course.

Some highlights of the course

Level six students enjoyed a trip to the University’s Lakeside Campus to take part in a Forest School session as part of a module on the benefits of outdoor learning. They created outdoor art, build shelters, lit fires and enjoyed toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate. All agreed that there were huge benefits to learning outside the classroom and would take this forward into their future practice.

External visit

The students enjoyed a visit from a professional working in the custodial and detention system, discussing her role working with children caught up in these processes. This is an example of students being introduced to wider employment opportunities within the early childhood workforce.

School packs for Ukrainian pupils

Students put together school packs, containing stationery, lunch boxes and water bottles, as well as treats such as small games, hair gel and confectionary, after a plea to help two Ukrainian boys arriving in the UK. Social pedagogy is about education in its broadest sense, not only teaching children but attempting to make their lives better. The students had discussed their desire to support children and families in need and were pleased to rise to the challenge of preparing the school packs.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

88
UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

Our UCAS tariff points for entry to this course are 88, however, we are happy to have a conversation with you if you do not meet this requirement but have relevant experience.

Pathway selection will be determined by student preference and / or qualifications upon entry.  

Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner)

  • On entry to the course, students must have passed a suitable level 2 literacy and numeracy qualification (e.g. Grade C/4 at GCSE) in English language and maths to count towards the EYFS staff:child ratios and meet the  ‘Full and Relevant’ requirements.   

Early Childhood in Society 

  • On individual merit, students could be accepted on to the course without holding one of the above listed maths and English qualifications but are encouraged to pass during their course of study by accessing a suitable training programme. 

 

For further details, please contact the course leader, Nicola Stobbs, via n.stobbs@worc.ac.uk or 01905 542506.

 

 

Other information

You will need to have an enhanced application made to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). We strongly recommend that you sign up to the update service.

You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks.

If you have lived, studied or worked overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. Further information and guidance associated with additional costs are available from the Home Office.

International applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have the appropriate level of written and spoken English. This is an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in Written English.

Topping up to a full Honours Degree

If you wish to 'top up' your Level 5 Early Childhood qualification we would welcome your application to join our Level 6 programme of study. You will usually need a Foundation Degree or level five qualification in a related subject as well as Level 2 qualifications in English and mathematics.

We also welcome applications at Level 5 entry for those holding a Level 4 qualification in a related subject.

If you are studying at a University of Worcester partner college, you can apply via your SOLE page. If you are applying from another institution, please apply via UCAS, ensuring you indicate whether you are applying for entry into level 5 or 6.  All applications are considered on an individual basis and you are encouraged to contact the course leader, Nicola Stobbs to discuss which pathway would be the most suitable for your aspirations at n.stobbs@worc.ac.uk

 

 

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Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research, current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

 

Year 1

Mandatory

All modules in the first year are mandatory and are designed to equip you with essential underpinning knowledge of child development.

  • Tuning into Children’s Development
  • Transition to Studying in HE
  • Creating Enabling Environments
  • Advocating on Behalf of Children

Early Childhood In Society (Graduate Practitioner) 

  • Introduction to Theory for Early Years Educator Graduate Practice Pathway
  • Introduction to Early Years Educator Placement Graduate Practice Pathway

Early Childhood In Society

  • Introduction to Theory for Placement Learning Early Childhood in Society Pathway
  • Introduction to Early Childhood in Society Placement Learning Pathway

 

Year 2

Mandatory 

  • The Influence of Family Community and Culture on Children’s Learning
  • Research for Change

Early Childhood In Society (Graduate Practitioner) 

  • Theory for Early Years Educator Graduate Practitioner Pathway
  • Developing Early Years Educator Graduate Practitioner Pathway

Early Childhood In Society

  • Theory for Placement Learning Early Childhood in Society Pathway
  • Early Childhood in Society Developing Placement Learning Pathway

 

Optional 

Available to students on both pathways

  • An Inclusive Approach to Supporting Children with Additional Needs
  • Supporting Children’s Creative Thinking
  • Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood
  • Children’s Communication and Language 

 

Year 3

Mandatory 

  • Utopian Childhoods and Child Centred Advocacy
  • Dissertation

Early Childhood In Society (Graduate Practitioner) 

  • Leading Practice Graduate Practitioner Pathway

Early Childhood In Society

  • The Social Pedagogue Early Childhood in Society Pathway 

 

Optional

Available to students on both pathways

  • Exploring Perspectives of Play
  • Safeguarding Children’s Wellbeing for Advanced Practice
  • Business Management and Project Development
  • Therapeutic Approaches in Early Childhood

 

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system will support you to reflect on your progress. This will help you to build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.

 

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of research informed lectures and seminars. Through discussion and group work, seminars will support your understanding of topics covered in lectures. 

The course is designed to be interactive, hands-on and includes visits to a range of educational establishments. Meetings with your personal academic tutor are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years.

It is a mandatory part of the course that you complete 210 hours over 6 weeks of practice-based learning each year of the course.

 

Contact time

In a typical semester students will have around 10 weeks of teaching. Two of these teaching weeks will be delivered online and eight will be taught face-to-face. In the final year students will normally have slightly less contact time in order to undertake research to support the completion of their dissertation. In addition to this all students are required to complete 210 hours practice based learning per year, through completion of block placements.

In a typical face-to-face week contact hours will consist of 12 hours of face-to-face teaching delivered on campus (eight weeks per semester).

In a typical on-line week contact hours will consist of tutorials and assignment support delivered on-line (two weeks per semester).

Students at level 5, semester 2, who wish to gain placement experience oversees or in community-based learning in the UK will be taught through flexible and distributed learning. Students will typically attend face-to-face sessions at the beginning and end of the module (cases will be considered based on individual circumstances) and will engage with other students and tutors through on-line platforms such as blackboard discussion boards and Yammer. 

 

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 25 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve updating learning journals, completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment and extensive electronic learning resources.

 

Timetables

Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.

 

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a research active teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics, visiting lecturers and professional practitioners, teachers, early years practitioners, social workers, a family law specialist and youth workers.

All lecturers are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and their staff profiles are available under the heading of 'Children and Families'. 

 

Assessment

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, presentations and a final year dissertation project. 

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1

  • Reflective writing x 3     
  • Individual Presentation x 1   
  • Position Paper x 2   
  • Essay x 2   
  • Portfolio x 1

Year 2

  • Critical Evaluation x 2   
  • Essay  x 4  
  • Group Presentation x 2    
  • Reflective Writing x 1   
  • Portfolio x 1

Year 3   

  • Reflective Writing x 2    
  • CPD Workshop and Handout x 1   
  • Portfolio x 2    
  • Dissertation x 1    
  • Group Presentation x  1     
  • Report x 2     
  • Essay x 1 

 

Feedback

You will receive feedback on practice (formative) and formal (summative) assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with your personal academic tutor and module tutors as appropriate. 

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.  

 

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

 

Nicola Stobbs.jpeg

Nicola Stobbs

Nicola came to Worcester at the age of 18 to train as a teacher when the university was Worcester College of Higher Education. Living in Halls and student housing around the city, she loved her experience so much she was more than happy to accept a job at the university in 2012.

Nicola began her professional career as a primary school teacher in an area of economic and social deprivation, initially teaching Years Five and Six before moving to Year One. During this time Nicola assumed various leadership positions, including responsibility for creative play.

In 2000 Nicola became the manager of a pre-school near Worcester and enjoyed supporting children and families at a time of change and professionalisation for the early years workforce. It was during this time that she became interested in children’s friendships, particularly those who are socially withdrawn, and made this the focus of her masters dissertation.

Nicola became the course leader for the BA (Hons) Early Childhood (Professional Practice) in 2017, which was revalidated as the BA (Hons) Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner) in 2019

carla-solvason-profile

Dr Carla Solvason

Dr Carla Solvason came to the University of Worcester in 2008 having previously worked as a primary teacher, an advisor for a charity and a researcher. During her time at the university, she has held a variety of roles, including: partnerships lead, chair for the school of education ethics committee, research and knowledge exchange representative for her department, quality representative for her department and lead on the Early Childhood Masters pathway.

Carla has led on a wide range of modules, from parent partnership, to language development, to study skills to special educational needs. Over recent years her teaching has increasingly focused upon preparing students to carry out ethical practitioner research and preparing final year students for the professional responsibilities of leadership in practice. Carla also delivers CPD in supporting children with speech and language difficulties.

Carla is an active researcher and has published widely, particularly in the areas of ethical practitioner research and parent partnership. She has carried out longitudinal, funded studies on supporting language development in primary school and the role of collaborative research clusters. She is currently developing research in the areas of: supporting the parents of children with SEND, longitudinal research into the impact of a local authority disability service, and the health, well-being and self-perception of Early Childhood practitioners. She is also busily working on three current book contracts, these include the topics of: partnerships with parents, the unrecognised skills of the Early Childhood practitioner and the role of ethics in education.

man with a dark top and beard

Stuart Gallagher

Stuart’s interests lie in the development of change-makers in children's services through higher education. His work aims to support students and colleagues to integrate personal development with practice change.

Previously, Stuart was a School Lead at an independent Steiner Waldorf school, Education Welfare Officer in two English local authorities, and an informal and non-formal educator.

 

 

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Nicola Watson

Having majored in Philosophy in her first degree, Nicola went on to train as a solicitor working predominantly in the area of family law and mental health. During this period Nicola became interested in Alternative Dispute Resolution and trained as a Lawyer Mediator working for many years with separating couples; enabling and facilitating them to reach agreements themselves rather than resorting to court proceedings.

In 2001 Nicola returned to teaching working mainly in Early Years but also in the primary sector. As a teacher, Nicola drew upon her experiences as a mediator to support children to manage conflicts and social relationships This formed the basis of her dissertation during her M.A. studies.

Nicola feels passionately about promoting the interests of the least powerful in society, protecting the environment and non-human animals.

sue-bayliss-profile-image

Sue Baylis

Sue has worked with children and their families or carers in a range of statutory and private organisations in education and social care over the last 25 years. Her career in early years work began in an early years setting for 60 children in rural Worcestershire and developed over the years as she learned more about children with disabilities, child protection and family support. In later years, her role as a practitioner expanded to include work with children with moderate to severe disability and others who had a diagnosis of autism. Her interest in children with autism grew and she worked for 6 years specialising in supporting children with ASD at a nursery assessment unit in Worcester City Centre. Sue's values and beliefs are grounded in giving children positive experiences, a sense of self-worth and valuing their contribution.

thomas-weaver-profile-image

Thomas Weaver

Tom works as a Senior Lecturer across two Departments in the University of Worcester,  the Department for Children and Families and the Department for Primary Initial Teacher Education. 

Tom’s research interests include transpersonal psychology and transpersonal education and how these relate to work with children and families in different contexts; student engagement and student voice and the balance between support and challenge in a Higher Education context; and the teaching of mathematics, particularly approaches that reduce potential anxiety.

In a wider context, Tom is the School of Education Student Survey co-ordinator with responsibility to supporting students and staff in engaging with the surveys and making use of the outcomes. He also Chairs the Department for Children and Families Steering Group which explores ways for the University to engage with the Children and Families sector.

Careers

Where could it take you?

Employability

Working with or for young children and their families is a rapidly expanding area of expertise, offering graduates a wide range of career opportunities. Both pathways of this degree are ideal springboards for those who want to specialise in this field.

The Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner) 

Employment opportunities include:

  • Educational establishment (e.g. schools) 
  • Room leader or deputy manager in a nursery
  • Higher level teaching assistant
  • Play leader in leisure industry (e.g. on a cruise ship/hotel resort)

Early Childhood in Society  

Employment opportunities include:

  • Independent business or consultancy owner
  • Education Welfare work
  • Health play specialist
  • Therapeutic care home worker (residential)
  • Family support worker
  • Non-Government Organisation (NGO) worker
  • Charity worker 
  • Adoption and fostering work
  • Refugee work
  • Alternative provision
  • Child advocacy and mediation

 

Ella Young

Ella Young - Alumni

Ella achieved a First Class Honours degree in Early Childhood and has gone on to study for a teacher training qualification through the Early Years PGCE course at the University of Worcester. “I aspire to work with children who have experienced trauma, and adverse life conditions in the near future,” she says.

Ella took advantage of an opportunity offered to all on the course to tutor children from slum areas in Mumbai, improving their English-speaking ability and life chances.

“This experience has already improved my teaching skills before I even started my PGCE as I learnt new ways of breaking instructions down, to support the children in their understanding. It was such a privilege, and I would recommend the collaboration to anybody.”

blonde haired girl beneath the University Logo

Libby-Mae Hollings - Alumni

Throughout my degree I knew I wanted to work with children who needed extra help. I chose modules that introduced me to the many influences on how children learn and develop and how we can support all children, not only the ones who come from supportive homes and families. This was great preparation for my first job after completing the course. 

I will be working as a therapeutic play facilitator in a small specialist independent day school for children who have experienced early loss, trauma or attachment disruption. I will use therapeutic techniques and interventions to work as coping strategies for the children. I am really looking forward to my new role and am so glad I took this degree.

Dani Hughes

Danielle Hughes - Alumni

When I was studying Early Childhood at the University of Worcester many of my peers were either going on to study a PGCE or working in nurseries. Neither option suited me, however, there are such a variety of roles out there, that I had many other options.

My current role is as a Youth Support Worker at a Fostering Agency. I work with Young People in the care system who have had a hard start to life and therefore need a lot of support. My job is to provide this support to the Young People and their Foster Carers, through a nurturing and empathetic approach. The role is varied, and no two days are alike. I lead Targeted Interventions, Mentoring, Supervise Contact, offer Educational Support, and much more.

I can’t thank the tutors at the University of Worcester enough for providing the foundation of knowledge and support I have needed to start my career.

Lauren Clutterbuck

Lauren Clutterbuck - Alumni

I loved how the course offered opportunities to learn about communication and language, SEN and adverse life experiences. This gave me an in-depth knowledge of child development and the influence of environmental factors on children as learners. I would not be where I am now without the support of the Early Childhood Lecturers.

After completing my degree, I choose to progress to the Schools Direct PGCE route as this gave me extended placements and enabled me to be immersed in all aspects of school life. It also allowed me to build better working relationships with the children, and to try out different strategies and approaches, which has helped me to build my confidence and teaching style. Having finished my PGCE year, I have now been offered my first teaching position as a Newly Qualified Teacher.

Two students are walkng next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential.

Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2022/23 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2022/23 academic year is £13,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in the academic year 2022/23 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional Costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, stationery, printing and photocopying.

Travel costs for placements vary depending on the location of your placement and your mode of transport, sometimes these may be reclaimed depending on your individual circumstances.

The DfE requires all students going into settings to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, which you will need to pay for. We would advise you to sign up for the update service.

If you have lived overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. More information and guidance on costs are available from the Home Office. You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner) - UCAS code X003

Early Childhood in Society - UCAS code X033

 

Early Childhood in Society (Graduate Practitioner) - X003

 

Apply via UCAS. UCAS code X003

Early Childhood in Society - X033

 

Apply via UCAS. UCAS code X033

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

 

 

Nicola Stobbs

Course leader