BA Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status

BA Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Practitioner) - 2 Years

91% of UWTSD students at the School of Early Years were satisfied with their course – NSS 2018.

This is an innovative course for those interested in working with young children and families.

The course is delivered in a supportive, engaging environment and explores all aspects of children’s well-being and holistic development. Students are supported to become confident graduates having the vocational competence to become effective practitioners. The degree is recognised by Social Care Wales as a vocational competence qualification.

“The hands-on support we have both received from UWTSD has been amazing. The course has helped us develop. For someone who wants to work with young children, this course is ideal and will really help those who also want to progress and look into a health-related career too." Salihah Miah, graduated 2017

  • A qualification recognised as license to practice by Social Care Wales- supporting employability and professional development.
  • Empowering students, empowering children and families.
  • Hands-on practical learning linking theory with practice.
  • Bilingual and Welsh medium study at the heart of our provision.
  • Student experience - widening horizons through visits, guest speakers, and extra training opportunities.

Key Facts

Awards: The degree is recognised by Social Care Wales as a vocational competence qualification.
Institution Code: T80
Course Length:
3 Years

Tuition Fees for 2018/19:
£9000 (Home/EU students)
£11000 (Overseas students)
Scholarships and Bursaries

Carmarthen | Swansea
Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education
Contact Email:
Language Choice:
English   Welsh

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Carmarthen Campus Taster Days

This three-year programme allows you to study for an academic degree as well as following a competence based qualification where you will be assessed in early years’ placements.  Therefore as well as gaining a full BA degree, you will also have the opportunity to gain vocational competence qualification. 

Assessment and lectures support you make strong links between your placement activity and early years education and care theory. The degree is focused on employment skills and develops students’ practical confidence in work situations.  Graduates will, therefore, develop knowledge, values, and understanding essential for informed good practice.

You will study a variety of issues linked to working with young children and families as well as exploring important aspects of childhood such as holistic development, wellbeing, education, and care.

The degree reflects the values of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child with a strong emphasis on young children’s rights, the importance of listening and respecting children’s ideas and decisions, and the right for young children to have access to play. These ideas will be explored in the context of the Foundation Phase, Flying Start, the Foundation Stage and other international early years approaches.

The degree places a strong emphasis on practical, hands-on learning and offers several opportunities for students to undertake practical activities which support the content of lectures. Learning environments and creative development are also themes that feature within the degree and there will be opportunities for students to learn in the outdoors and to use their own ideas and initiative to undertake learning tasks.

There are also opportunities for educational field visits and trips which are included as part of the different module content. These may include: language and play workshops; visits to early childhood centres; speakers from local and national early years organisations and professions. There are also opportunities for optional visits abroad.

Typical modules in the first year include:

  • Academic study skills for students
  • The professional practitioner 
  • Human development
  • Children’s play: principles and practice
  • The young mathematician: exploration and problem solving
  • Multilingualism, multi thinking

Typical modules in the second year include:

  • Research methods in early years education and care
  • Reflections on early years provision
  • Well-being, care and healthy living
  • Language and literacy in the early years
  • Learning environments: indoors and out
  • Safeguarding in the early years

Typical modules in the third year include:

  • Leadership and teamwork in the early years
  • Children with additional needs: inclusion. advocacy and equity
  • Leadership for systems of quality
  • Leadership skills for entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability in the early years
  • Media and digital literacy
  • Early years: international perspectives

The programme is located on either our Swansea or Carmarthen Campus which provides a welcoming and friendly learning community. The provision has been developed by staff with a variety of experiences in the early years education and care field including primary teaching and support, nursery management, safeguarding and health care. 

The degree, therefore, provides a variety of subjects and experiences for students to explore. Throughout the course, the staff provides a supportive and engaging environment where students are encouraged to develop new skills and partake in new experiences.

Within the degree, there are also opportunities to undertake certificated courses such as the John Muir Award. There are several opportunities for visits, to listen to guest lectures from early years experts and professionals and for optional visits to other countries within Europe and further afield.

Current students have gained confidence and valuable life experiences from such opportunities. All these experiences are designed so that students can develop a varied and impressive CV and gain important employment skills.

The degree is designed to develop students’ research, evaluation and self-reflection skills so that they are well equipped to question and develop their own professional development. Time is provided within the timetable for student placement and tutors will visit the students on placement in order to assess their progress.

The degree is assessed using a variety of different types of coursework assignment including:

  • essays
  • portfolios
  • academic posters
  • briefing papers
  • debates
  • presentations

Each module usually includes one or two pieces of coursework allowing students to demonstrate a range of skills, from their academic written skills through to oral presentation and debating skills. There are opportunities for group and paired coursework tasks as well as individual assignments. There are no formal examinations.

A typical offer for this course is 88-104 UCAS points.

All applicants will be required to provide a satisfactorily enhanced disclosure document from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

This degree is ideal for school-leavers studying a range of courses including A-Level, BTEC, CACHE and Welsh Baccalaureate. These course subjects can be linked to child development and care; however, the degree is also appropriate for those with no specific childcare qualifications and who have studied subjects including language, arts, music, drama, mathematics, sciences or humanities.

Early Years encourages and values applications from students who are returning to education.

We also offer a flexible learning route (see Early Years Education and Care 2-year degree) that is designed for evening and weekend delivery, for those who already have significant experience working in the early years sector.

As part of the application process, students will be given an opportunity to attend visit days. This provides applicants with an opportunity to visit the campus, meet the lecturers, ask questions about the degree and have a tour of the site with a current student.

During visit days the course lecturers are always interested in the applicant’s experiences of volunteering and working with young children, for example, school/college placements. The team also likes to hear about applicants’ interests, hobbies, and responsibilities.

This multidisciplinary degree means that students may access several careers linked to working with young children and families including.

  • Foundation Phase Coordinators
  • Early years /early childhood development officers
  • Play officers
  • Further and higher education lecturers
  • Family Centre and Nursery personnel

Graduates have also progressed to working in the government, voluntary and private sectors.

The degree focuses on developing students’ research skills, written and oral communication skills as well as providing students with excellent time-management and organizational skills. These are all skills which are highly sought after by a variety of diverse employers, and thus skills gained during the degree are transferable to different career pathways. The degree also provides evidence that students have vocational competence to work in the childcare sector.

We work closely with employers and this helps the lecturing team ensure that the content of the degree supports the types of skills and experiences required of graduates when applying for work.

early ears info

UK/EU Tuition Fees
Visit our UK/EU Tuition Fees section to find out more.

Overseas Tuition Fees
Visit our Overseas Fees section to find out more.

Bursaries and Scholarships
You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Bursaries and Scholarships section.

For students following the Early Years Practitioner programmes, there are two mandatory costs in addition to tuition fees:

  1. Students are required to apply for and obtain a UWTSD Enhanced Disclosure Barring Check (DBS). The fee for this is dependent on the DBS; it is currently approximately £44.
  2. Students are required to gain the equivalent of 700 hours practical experience in places such as early years settings. This will incur traveling costs and refreshment costs.

Students may incur additional costs as they are required to attend some module lectures with appropriate clothing for study outdoors.

In the Early Years mandatory study experiences and enhancement activities for students are organised. The cost of traveling and the study on offer is covered by the Early Years discipline. However students, for some visits, would need to supply their own refreshments.

Additionally, Early Years organises optional opportunities for students to gain additional qualifications during the latter part of their programme, for example, Health and SafetySafeguarding. These incur costs for the students; the cost is determined by the provider.

The School also offers students optional opportunities to partake in visits beyond the campus, for example, Cardiff, London, Sweden and Canada. The costs of these optional visits are incurred by the students.

Early Years has a successful reputation for delivering high quality higher education. The lecturers have a diverse range of expertise from previous careers including those who have worked as nursery and primary school personnel, health visitors,  nursery owners and managers, police child protection officers, early years development officers and researchers.

Lecturers also maintain close links with the early years sector in order to ensure students have the opportunity to link what they learn in University with real issues in the workplace. The School also has close ties with the local community and a strong focus on widening access so that non-traditional students are able to return to education.

Students who study the this programme are provided with an innovative and exciting course, which is tailored to facilitate students’ involvement and participation in their own learning so that they become confident graduates in the future. The course also ensure students have the vocational competence to work in the child care sector.