Early Childhood Development and Learning BA (Hons)


Course Code

UCAS Code: X300 - Degree
UCAS Code: X301 - HND
UCAS Code: X302 - HNC


CU Coventry (Coventry)


Study mode



3 year - Degree
2 year - HND
1 year - HNC
Flexible part-time

Start date

September 2022
January 2023
February 2023

Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

Working with children on educational and personal development can be an extremely rewarding career. Focusing on ages 0 to 8, this course aims to produce graduates who can contribute to early years provision.

Success in this field demands creativity, empathy, logic and a great deal of knowledge alongside the ability to draw upon life experiences. As no two days are the same in this industry, this course focuses on policies, processes, best practices and practical learning to help you understand the key fundamentals of child development.

Alongside international opportunities*, you will also get the chance to conduct critical research with our highly-experienced staff, learn from guest visitors and take part in invaluable practical placements.

Why CU Coventry

We offer a style of education which is flexible and designed to fit around your life, allowing you to benefit from a modern, forward-thinking higher education institution, reinforced by the quality and reputation of Coventry University. We aim to provide career-focused courses, wherever possible, coupled with placement opportunities to help prepare you for the world of work. We are dedicated to making higher education accessible and enjoyable to everyone, so we keep our fees low and made it a policy to cover one module at a time, allowing you to become a specialist in each topic before moving onto the next.

What you'll study

The Early Childhood Development and Learning degree has been designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills required by the industry to develop a career in the early years sector, or undertake postgraduate specialist study.

The course focuses on modern teaching practices with multi-disciplinary learning to help you develop key skills such as empathy, interpersonal skills and authoritative expertise.

As you progress through the course, you should become a confident and competent practitioner supporting learning and development in children aged 0 to 8. Establishing creativity, resilience and strategic thinking, you will be equipped with the skills and support necessary for successful entry into the early years sector.

With a child-centred approach, this year is designed to introduce the key concepts and principles within childhood development and learning. Setting the framework for both academic and professional skills, you will gain an understanding of factors that impact upon learning and development from both individual needs to environmental influences for children between the ages of 0 to 8 years. Within the first year you will be introduced to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), alongside a number of other international curricula.

If you leave after completing year one you will be eligible for a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Early Childhood Development and Learning.


  • This module examines fundamental core values and principles when working in early years settings, so that collaborative and supportive relationships are formed and sustained. You will develop an understanding of the importance of communication methods and how to develop effective and resilient relationships with parents, practitioners and professionals.

    You will explore the complexity of relationships by recognising respect, integrity, patience, honesty and reliability as well as develop an understanding of how to promote the same values across all working relationships.


  • The aim of this module is to enhance the health and wellbeing of children as well as reducing any risk-taking behaviours. You will analyse the use of the assessment process in order to identify vulnerability, and utilise the knowledge and skills of the multi-professional team to ensure the safeguarding and protection of all children. 

    You will also be able to develop your professional practice within an external placement.


  • This module examines changes that have taken place over the last two centuries within the family structure and the rationale for these differences. You will then use this learning to analyse how the strength of a family can affect the development of healthy, happy and well-adjusted children. These original perceptions of ‘the family’ will be compared against contemporary approaches.


  • This module focuses on advocacy for play and how adults can encourage children to become independent thinkers and problem solvers. You will gain an understanding about why and how children play and the sensitivities needed by practitioners to interact in play and playful experiences.

    Your professional practice will be developed in an external placement.


As the course progresses, you will continue to build on knowledge gained in year one to solidify core principles. Critical appraisal of childhood perception is introduced, alongside evaluations of diversity in development methods. You will analyse the role of statutory guidance for early years practice and legislation. Finally, you delve into the global sphere, interacting with students from international universities (options have previously included Copenhagen University) to understand global methods (subject to availability). This research is then used to compare different countries’ early years policies with the UK educational system. If you choose to leave the course after successfully completing year two you are eligible for a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Early Childhood Development and Learning.


  • This module features a placement which enables you to gain invaluable functional experience of the national curriculum and EYFS in practice. You will assess its value in promoting children’s learning and development and establish pedagogical knowledge such as classroom organisation, curriculum management and communication through relevant stages.


  • From Jean Piaget to Lev Vygotsky, theorists over time have developed different perceptions of childhood development. You will explore the evolution of teaching and learning methods in line with postmodern theorists and contemporary practices. By the end of this module, you should be an autonomous learner prepared for industry application.


  • As part of the Online International Learning (OIL) project you will communicate with an international university to discuss and compare principle learning in both countries. You will also complete a placement within an early years setting to observe and reflect on the teaching of literacy and numeracy skills to make a comparison with international and UK policies.


  • This module is a desk-based research project that focuses on developing the analytical and personal skills required to research and assess children and families. You will learn a range of research methods such as qualitative and quantitative data, structured interviews, ethical research and observations.


This course offers you the option to undertake a placement or study abroad year*. You are able to progress onto the relevant module if you have successfully completed the first two years of the course (i.e. having accumulated 240 credits) and provided that you confirm your interest in undertaking this option before the end of your second year, typically in August.

While the Professional Enhancement Year and International Enhancement Year modules you undertake are non-credit bearing but do not incur any additional tuition fees, if successfully completed, these modules will appear on your final academic transcript. In addition, if you complete this year, you will also gain an enhanced degree award title as the additional suffix of ’With Professional Enhancement’ if you’ve gone on a work placement and ’With International Enhancement’ if you’ve gone on a study abroad programme will be added.

The Talent Team can provide you with a wide range of support services in order to help you apply for a placement opportunity.


  • Optional

  • Optional

In year three, you explore cultural diversification and management as well as delving into international perspectives of children. You’ll examine family structures and different environments, analysing and understanding diverse ethnic backgrounds and educational differences. You will be trained at an executive level, learning the skills required to manage a nursery, including key components such as the recruitment of staff and the Management of Special Needs and Disabilities (SEND) requirements. By successfully completing year three you will be awarded a BA (Hons) degree in Early Childhood Development and Learning.


  • With a critical mindset, this module will address issues regarding the effectiveness of policy and practice for the child and family around the world. Delving into wealth and poverty, child exploitation and the impact of conflict and migration on families, you will discuss how socio-economic and environmental incidents can affect the development of children.


  • In this module, you get the chance to personalise your learning by evolving and mastering your own individual type of leadership, such as charismatic, authoritarian and autocratic styles. You will develop management and leadership skills that operate within policy, professional, organisational and cultural contexts such as hiring of appropriate staff.


  • During this module, you will learn about a range of diverse needs such as autism, dyslexia, development delay and physical disabilities, critically analysing the impact of special needs on the child’s development. Furthermore, you will understand safeguarding issues for children with special educational needs.


  • This module is an accumulation of the theories, holistic knowledge and practices learned over the duration of the course compacted into a research project of your choice. Choosing any subject covered over the course, you are able to work autonomously, conducting individual research.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

There are two main taught options for this course. It is available as a full-time three year programme with local placement in stage 1 and 2 or an optional four-year sandwich course where you undertake a work placement or study year in a related field. Alternatively, part-time study is also available.

Our teaching methods are varied, offering a number of teaching styles to suit the needs of all our students, so in addition to lectures, we also utilise a blended learning approach, including online aspects, workshops and group work. We also operate an open-door policy, with additional availability via email and our online learning platform, Aula.

Progression through the modules develops knowledge and skills, including communication (written and oral), study skills, research methods, project management, presentation and career development. We will also encourage you to consider your employability and/or entrepreneurial development.

Unlike traditional institutions, there are no end of year exams. Instead, learning is assessed through coursework and phase tests, which is more reflective of our learning model.

If you choose to study full-time you can expect up to 20 hours of learning activities per week, made up of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, online classes and independent learning.

If you choose to study part-time you'll usually receive up to eleven hours per week of blended learning, including classes, tutorials and online learning. Outside of this, there will also be independent study and online support. Please note: part-time courses run subject to numbers. 


The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade.

Assessment methods vary and include, practical class and project performance, written practical reports, project thesis, oral presentations, tutorial tasks and assessments which take place at the end of each six-week block.

Course Breakdown:

  • Coursework
  • Practical Assessments

International experience opportunities

You'll benefit from intrinsic work with the Online International Learning (OIL) Project which is aimed at developing globally successful graduates. You will have the opportunity to take international trips*, work with universities from all over the world and develop solid knowledge of global child development practices.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2022 entry.

Entry level What we're looking for
HNC 64 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
HND 80 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
Degree 104 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.

Students will be subject to a DBS check before enrolment.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, we offer a number of programmes to help you secure a place. Successful completion of one of the below programmes guarantees you a place on a degree course with us, subject to meeting specified criteria.

Foundation Year
This degree programme has an integral stage 0 attached to it, so if you do not meet the entry requirements you may enter at the foundation level. Successful completion of our Health, Education & Wellbeing Foundation course will guarantee you progression onto this degree programme.

Access Course 
Access to HE courses aim to bring your academic skills and topical knowledge up to optimal standard for higher education study. If you undertake an Access to HE course and then successfully complete a degree programme, the remaining balance of your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off. Successful completion of our Health & Human Sciences Access to HE course will guarantee you progression onto this degree programme.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

Chat with UK admissions

Typical offer for 2022 entry.

Entry level What we're looking for
HNC 64 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
HND 80 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
Degree 104 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.

Students will be subject to a DBS check before enrolment.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with a foundation year. Upon successful completion our Health, Education & Wellbeing Foundation course will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this undergraduate degree.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on how to apply and travelling to and living in the UK.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 (HNC - year 1/HND - year 2) or 6.5 (Degree/Top Up - year 3).

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

Chat with International admissions

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

Student Full time Part time
UK £8,050 per year £8,050 per year
International £16,650 per year Not available


Located on our Mile Lane campus, you will have access to our Library & Learning Services (LLS), fully equipped seminar rooms and impressive IT suites.

Plus, you can take advantage of reading rights in Coventry University’s Lanchester Library, make use of sport centre facilities and receive full membership to Coventry University Students’ Union (CUSU).

Careers and opportunities

With an ever-growing demand in the early years sector, graduates from this course have a wide variety of career paths to explore.

Successfully completing our degree means your chances of employment are improved and the level at which you enter the job market could mean a higher salary. Graduates can go on to work in nurseries, the public sector, governing bodies, schools and more.

Where our graduates work

Previous graduates have progressed into successful careers within industry, for a number of organisations such as Busy Bees Nursery and Angels Childcare Recruitment.

How to apply

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  • Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the CU Group. A copy of the 2021/22 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the CU Group will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at CU Coventry.

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

    For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.


    Many of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the CU Group maintaining the same high standards of course delivery. 


    Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Placements and study abroad opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

    Additional costs

    This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas.

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