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

BA Early Years Education and Care - Early Years Practitioner- 2 years

98% of UWTSD students at the School of Early Years were satisfied with their course – NSS 2017.

This is an innovative condensed degree course for those working with young children and families.

Students can study on one evening a week and some Saturdays while still maintaining full-time employment / volunteering. The course is delivered in a supportive, engaging environment and explores all aspects of children’s wellbeing and holistic development. Students are supported to become confident graduates with the professional competence to develop as effective practitioners. The degree is recognised by Social Care Wales as a vocational competence qualification. 

  • A qualification recognised as license to practice by Social Care Wales- supporting employability and professional development.
  • Accelerated programme - gain a full BA (Hons.) degree in only 2 years.
  • Study in the evening and occasional Saturdays - while still working in the early years education and care sector.
  • Empowering students, empowering children and families.
  • Hands on practical learning linking theory with practice

Key Facts

Awards: The degree is recognised by Social Care Wales as a vocational competence qualification.
UCAS Code: 63H7
Institution Code: T80
Course Length:
2 Years

Scholarships and Bursaries

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

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  • Studying the degree as helped me immensely not only to build on my knowledge and skills but also to enable me to believe in myself. With the support of the University, friends old and new, my supportive family and my own determination to succeed, I successfully completed the degree graduating with a first!

    Emma BlofieldGraduated 2017

  • I read about the fast track degree in the local paper and then met with one of the lecturers. I loved the idea that I could complete it in two years and still keep working. It was a challenge - juggling work, studying and a looking after a family but the support we received was great.My confidence has increased so much and the course was really interesting. I am now studying for my PGCE in primary education with UWTSD in Swansea and I can't believe how much has changed in the last three years.

    Alison BakerGraduated 2017

This programme is a fast-track two year degree, allowing students to gain a full BA degree and vocational competence in only two years.  Students will study over two academic years running from September to July. 

Lectures usually take place one evening a week and on some Saturdays and thus allow students to maintain work commitments.  Students may also be able to use their current work as assessed placement allowing the opportunity to also gain a vocational competence qualification. 

During the degree students 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. 

Assessment and lectures support you make strong links between your work / professional experience and early years education and care theory.  The degree is focused on employment skills and develops students’ 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. 

There is strong emphasis on your own work and professional experience and there are several opportunities for students to be involved in discussion which supports the content of lectures. Throughout your study there will be opportunities for students to learn in different environments 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.

Typical modules in the first year includes:

  • 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
  • Research methods in early years education and care
  • Reflections on early years provision
  • Well-being, care and healthy living

Typical modules in the second year include:

  • Language and literacy in the early years
  • Learning environments: indoors and out
  • Safeguarding in the early years
  • 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

This  degree, is delivered on either our Carmarthen or Swansea campus (dependent on student location) and we provide a welcoming and friendly learning community. The School’s  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 staff provide 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 in the School of Early Years 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 tutors to visit the students in their workplace 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.

The School of Early Years encourages and values applications from students who are returning to education as they will have experiences and life skills that could support their entry onto the degree.

Generally, students will have attained or will be working towards a relevant level 3 childcare / education qualification such as NNEB, CACHE, BTEC, NVQ, A-levels. However other experience is also valuable. They will also be working or volunteering regularly in an early years setting or a workplace that provides services for young children and families.

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

As part of the application process students will be given an opportunity to attend meet with the tutors. This provides applicants with an opportunity to visit the campus meet the lecturers and ask questions about the degree. During visit days the course lecturers are always interested in applicant’s experiences of volunteering and working with young children.

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 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 child care 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 travelling costs and refreshment costs.

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

The School of Early Years organises mandatory study experiences and enhancement activities for students. The cost of travelling and the study on offer is incurred by the School. However students, for some visits, would need to supply their own refreshments.

Additionally the School of Early Years organises optional opportunities for student 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.

The School of 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, nursery owners and managers, police child protection officers, early childhood development officers, health visitors 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 degree 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 as well as gaining professional competence.