Why this course?
This degree matches the Standard for Childhood Practice in Scotland and is designed to develop degree-level professionals and future leaders in the sector. Work based learning is a major and central feature of the course.
The degree is a part-time programme and modules can be delivered in two ways:
- traditional sessions with tutors one evening per week from 6 to 9 pm and occasional Saturdays
- a blend of e-learning, using a virtual learning environment, and group instruction (Honours year)
The course structure is divided according to the three main aspects of professional development, as outlined in the Scottish Social Services Council document - The Standard for Childhood Practice (2007).
Our teaching team provides expertise in the design and delivery of the course, ensuring specialist teaching in each module. Individual student support is also available from named members of the team.
The programme is available to early years and childcare workers, working in a wide range of settings, and employed anywhere across urban and rural Scotland.
What you’ll study
Core modules provide you with a sound theoretical knowledge, underpinning the issues for the wide age range of children from birth to 16 years.
The course takes a holistic view of children’s development, learning and well-being. It covers areas such as:
- protecting and caring for children
- working with parents and carers, families, communities and other agencies
- developing practice in the leadership of others which is informed by an understanding of children and of childhood
- developing knowledge and understanding of relevant organisational frameworks
- developing a critical understanding of policies, practices and legal requirements relevant to the service
- developing understanding in how young children learn and develop
All prospective students should be employed in a childhood practice setting in line with SSSC guidelines.
This course may lead to studying for a Masters in Early Years Pedagogy.
Contemporary Childhood: a Sociological Exploration
This module aims to develop students' awareness and understanding of contemporary childhood and to evaluate the contribution of parents, carers, families, communities and services to children's childhoods. It will provide a sociological exploration of childhood in Scotland today from an ecological perspective.
Children's Emotional and Social Development: Observing Child Development
The transition to degree level study can present many challenges in studying independently and communicating effectively. In a context of increasing integration of care and education services, and play work provision, workers are coming into contact with a wider range of professionals. Appropriate communication is extremely important in these situations.
This module seeks to enhance students' range of oral, written and electronic communication skills in a range of contexts and situations. This is so they can take full advantage of the learning opportunities on the course and become more effective communicators.
Children's Rights and Social Justice
This module will introduce observation of children in the workplace setting with particular focus on their emotional and social development to give the practical aspect for learning and understanding the emotional, social, and cognitive development of young children, as well as one’s practical work with the children and their families and communities.
Working with Others
Students will explore the background, underpinning principles and content of the UNCRC, learn about contemporary legislation and policy contexts, and will have opportunities to consider ‘Scotland’s Report Card’ in terms of how the fulfilment of rights could be improved. The module will use the four general principles of the UNCRC (non-discrimination, best interests of the child, right to be heard and the right to life, survival and development) as a framework for examining a number of social justice issues in depth. These issues will be those raised by both the requirements of the UNCRC and of subsequent policy and legislation. By exploring rights in context students will develop an informed and reflective approach to complex situations and ethical dilemmas, and critically evaluate their own practice.
This module explores how the theory, policy and practice of inter-agency working relates to professionals, children and families. In particular, the course enables students to analyse 'strengths-based' approaches to working with children and families; critique deficit- models that have previously underpinned practice; and contrast ideas of child protection/wellbeing with the concepts of equity, anti-discrimination, inclusion, rights and social justice. The module invites students to evaluate their own service provision in terms of integrated working practices
Children's Emotional & Social Development: Foundations for Learning & Health
This module will introduce observation of children in the workplace setting with particular focus on their emotional and social development. This will give the practical aspect for learning and understanding the emotional, social, and cognitive development of young children, as well as one's practical work with the children and their families and communities.
Contemporary theory and research in psychology, biology, and neuroscience presented in the companion module, "Children's Emotional and Social Development: Foundations for learning and health", will be reflected on with in-depth observations carried out in the workplace and discussed in small group sessions in tutorials.
Leading the Professional Self
Practitioner Enquiry – Exploring Research Methods
This module will extend the students’ management and leadership knowledge, skills and attitudes and give opportunities for further development of self management skills. Students will explore the theory and practice of interpersonal and self-management skills that they require to fulfil a management role effectively. The module will also build upon personal development review practice commenced in Year 1 to reflect on their growing professional impact over the degree.
Understanding Children’s Agency and Experiences within Pedagogic Culture
The class is embedded within a workplace culture where early learning and childcare professionals are expected to continually reflect upon themselves and others, to evaluate aspects of professional practice, skills values and commitment and to stay abreast of current knowledge, perspectives and understanding in order to lead change and improved outcomes for children. This module encourages students to consider the value of enquiry-led research approaches to professional development and practice.
- Evaluate current practice and formulate and frame future practice in creative and considered ways.
- Critically analyse and synthesise relevant knowledge and understanding and problem solve accordingly.
- Consider possibilities and construct informed justifications for leading change in the workplace.
- Examine and address ethical considerations and issues in accordance with professional ethical codes (national, local and University based).
- Plan, make decisions and lead change based on negotiation of meaning and dialogue with children and collaboration with other professionals and stakeholders.
- Communicate effectively, articulate meaning and share good practice.
Promoting Playful Pedagogies in Practice
This module will develop an awareness of how children experience, negotiate and manoeuvre learning cultures. The central tenant running throughout the module is an exploration of the child's perspective of the learning context. It will focus on children's agency in contributing to their experiences by considering the ways that children can interact with resources, space and people to develop their learning experiences. The module is deeply rooted in conceptualisation of children and childhood (James & Prout, 2015) and how our perceptions of the child contribute to our planning and framing of children’s play experiences. By developing a relational approach to understanding what it feels like to be a child in the learning context, students will be able to analyse the competences of children as directors of their own learning in a free play context. Thus, the module is unpinned by the following themes: - The agentic role of the child as part of a pedagogic culture; - Spaces and places for child-centeredness in children’s lives and learning.
Leadership and Management in Childhood Practice
This module will investigate the significance of play to children’s thinking and to the development of positive learning dispositions for children of all ages. The ways in which pedagogical practices shape the play experiences of children in a variety of settings will be explored. It is vital that those who work with children understand the principles and values which underpin their work. The module will provide a professional, theoretical context in which to formalise and extend existing good practice as well as to develop new, innovative practice in supporting children’s active learning. Students will be encouraged to interrogate “accepted” practice in light of their reading, theoretical perspectives explored and discussion with their peers.
Implementing Curriculum in Practice
This module will explore the relationship between leadership, management and quality. It will encourage students to assess their own knowledge skills and abilities and to look at the ways in which they can support and foster the development of leadership in others within their establishment teams.
This module aims to strengthen students’ knowledge of pedagogy, pedagogical approaches and key subject knowledge in relation to health and wellbeing, literacy and numeracy. Consideration will be given to the way that subject knowledge, curriculum and child’s own experiences and interest’s influence how professionals lead pedagogy and curriculum whilst remaining true to the voice of the child. This module builds on course expectations that participants will critically analyse current practice in light of new and growing evidence from theory and policy.
Learning & teaching
The degree is a part-time programme. There are two ways to study for each module:
- traditional sessions with tutors one evening per week from 6-9pm and occasional Saturdays
- a blend of e-learning, using a virtual learning environment and group instruction (hons year)
A multidisciplinary lecturing team provides expertise in the design and delivery of the course, ensuring specialist teaching in each module. Individual student support is also available from named members of the team.
Application is direct to the University. Candidates should be employed in registered day care of children and educational services or work with children and families in a variety of non-statutory contexts (minimum two years’ experience post qualification).
Year 1 entry
120 SCQF level 7 credits in a relevant subject e.g. HNC Childhood Practice, HNC Child Care and Education, HNC Early Education and Childcare, SNNEB or relevant qualifications accepted by the Scottish Social Services Council as suitable for registration at practitioner level. Applicants may be required to undertake a portfolio of prior learning to gain necessary credits for entry, dependent on qualification.
Accelerated entry may be offered for candidates who have 120 credits at level 7 and 60 at level 8 or 240 SQCF credits with 120 credits at level 8. Accelerated entry to level 9 can be offered for candidates who have additional qualifications at SCQF level 8.
Admission is only available to applicants who are eligible for registration as Early Years and Childcare Practitioners with the Scottish Social Services Council. Opportunities for the Accreditation of Prior Learning (eg PDA) are available. Application forms are available on the website.
Find out entry requirements for your country.
Degree preparation course for international students
We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for
an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the
University of Strathclyde.
Fees & funding
How much will my course cost?
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Rest of UK
University preparation programme fees
International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
How can I fund my studies?
Students from Scotland and the EU
If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) for a Part-Time Fee Grant (PTFG) help towards your tuition fees.
Students from England
If you’re a student from England, you may be able to apply to Student Finance England for a tuition fee loan and depending on your circumstances a living cost loan.
Visit the Student Room for more information on Part-Time Funding from Student Finance England.
Students from Wales
If you’re a student from Wales, you may be able to apply to Student Finance Wales for a tuition fee loan and depending on your circumstances a living cost loan.
Visit the Student Finance Wales website for more information on Part-Time Funding from Student Finance Wales.
Students from Northern Ireland
If you’re a student from Northern Ireland, you may be able to apply to Student Finance NI for a tuition fee loan and/or grant, and depending on your circumstances a living cost grant.
Visit the Student Finance NI website for more information on Part-Time Funding from Student Finance NI.
We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.
Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
The BA in Childhood Practice aims to meet the developing professional needs of the Early Years and Childcare Workforce. The Scottish Government has made this area of study a national priority by calling for a dramatic increase in the number of qualified Childhood Practice managers.
By the time you graduate from this course, you’ll have gained the confidence and understanding to put your professional expertise into practice and gain promotion or a challenging and exciting career change.
Where are they now?
88% of our graduates are in work or further study*
Recent job titles include:
- Child Development Officer
- Creche Officer
- Deputy Manager of Nursery
- Early Years Education Officer
- Head of Nursery
- Nursery Officer
- Senior Early Years Worker
- Senior Teacher
- Team Leader in Early Years
Recent employers include:
- Local Authorities
- Private Nurseries
*Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education.
Applications are now closed for September 2019 entry. Applications for September 2020 entry will be accepted from the 1 October 2019.
The programme is available to early years and childcare workers, working in a wide range of settings, and employed anywhere across both urban and rural Scotland. Admission is only available to applicants who are eligible for registration as Early Years and Childcare Practitioners with the Scottish Social Services Council. Applicants must have therefore gained appropriate early years and/or childcare qualifications at level 7 on the SCQ Framework for entry to the course. For example, an HNC in Early Years and Childcare. Applicants holding such qualifications are deemed to have completed the equivalent of the first year of an ordinary degree and start in the equivalent of second year.
Applicants who already hold a qualification equivalent to Level 8 (i.e. HND-equivalent level) can claim direct entry into level 9 of the BA degree qualification. That level will consist of six modules of study which are provisionally identified as:
- Issues in Promoting Children's Rights and Inclusion
- Managing and Leading Quality Services
- Current Issues
- Coordination, Partnership and Integration in Childhood Practice
- Developing a Work-based Project
- Managing a Work-based Project
This is equivalent to the 3rd year curriculum of a full-time Bachelors degree, but it will actually be delivered through part-time study which might typically be overtaken in two years. All of the modules, but most significantly the work-based project, will have a heavy emphasis on work-based learning as well as academic learning. Applicants seeking to enter at level 9 will receive tutorial support in creating a portfolio of evidence of prior learning, to submit for advanced entry.
Additionally, for those with the relevant experience but without formal qualifications, there will be mechanisms for the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
The Course Structure is divided according to the three main aspects of professional development as outlined in the Scottish Social Services Council document "The Standard For Childhood Practice" (2007).
Download application form
Please return completed applications to email@example.com or by post to:
University of Strathclyde
School of Education
Lord Hope Building
141 St James Road
Further information can be obtained from:
BA Childhood Studies Administrator
+44 (0) 141 444 8016