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BA Childhood Practice

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Key facts

  • Study mode and duration: Part-time
  • Applicant visit day: March each year

  • Part-time study: the course is only available by part-time study

Study with us

  • complete online coursework through the week
  • learn with a blend of e-learning, using a virtual learning environment, including recorded online lectures
  • attend live tutorial sessions with tutors one evening per week and occasional Saturdays
  • validated by the Scottish Social Services Council for progression to managerial level
  • peer learning helps support practice-based learning
  • work-based learning is a key feature of this course
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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 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 (2015).

The degree is a part-time programme with a blended delivery created to support high quality professional learning:

  • All modules across the whole course will offer weekly pre-recorded, asynchronous lectures enabling students to watch and re-watch them in a time that suits their individual working week.
  • Tutorials will be synchronous with a blend of 50% on campus and 50% online, with students required to attend campus on alternate weeks.
  • Tutorial rooms, both online and on-campus, will open from 6pm as a social space for students to connect. Tutorial teaching is from 7 – 8.30pm.

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.

Student in Piece cafe, on campus, drinking coffee.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you’ll study

Core modules provide you with sound theoretical knowledge, underpinning the issues for the wide age range of children from birth to 12 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 childhood
  • developing knowledge and understanding of relevant organisational frameworks
  • developing a critical understanding of policies, practices and legal requirements relevant to the service
  • developing an understanding of how young children learn and develop

Work placement

All prospective students should be employed in a childhood practice setting in line with SSSC guidelines.

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.

Postgraduate study 

This course may lead to studying for a Masters in Early Years Pedagogy.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this course because the content has been very interesting and relevant. It has helped me learn so much more about my pedagogical and leadership styles. All of the lecturers were lovely and provided lots of amazing information that was current and relevant. I loved the tutorials as I could interact with other students and get to chat and share our knowledge and experience. I think there was a good balance between lectures, videos, reading and tasks each week.

Feedback from a BA Childhood Practice student (2021)

Nicky Shaw.

Our course encourages early childhood professionals to reflect on their practice, digging deeper into the values that underpin their pedagogy and leadership. Students are supported by our specialist early years team, who are focused on empowering practitioners in their journey to ensuring high quality early childhood education and care is a fundamental right for all children.

Nicky Shaw, Programme Lead, BA Childhood Practice

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Course content

Level 8

Academic Literacy

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.

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 Rights and Social Justice

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.

Level 8

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.

Children's Emotional and Social Development: Observing Child Development

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.

From Deficit to Strength Based Working in Multi-professional Teams

This module explores how the theory, policy and practice of inter-agency working relates to professionals, children and families. It invites students to evaluate their own service provision in terms of integrated working practices. In particular, the module enables students to analyse ‘strengths-based’ approaches to working with children and families; critique deficit-models that have previously underpinned practice; and contract ideas of child protection/wellbeing with the concepts of equity, anti-discrimination, inclusion, rights and social justice.

Level 9

Promoting Playful Pedagogies in Practice

This module aims to strengthen students’ knowledge of pedagogy, pedagogical approaches and key subject knowledge in relation to health & 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. The ‘Strathclyde Three Domain Model’ will be utilised to examine ways to collect and analyse data from conversations and interactions in order to make evidenced based decisions about curriculum development (Ellis, Thomson & Carey, 2017). This module builds on course expectations that participants will critically analyse current practice in light of new and growing evidence from theory and policy.

Leading Pedagogy & The Curriculum

This module aims to strengthen students’ knowledge of pedagogy, pedagogical approaches and key subject knowledge in relation to health & 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. The ‘Strathclyde Three Domain Model’ will be utilised to examine ways to collect and analyse data from conversations and interactions in order to make evidenced based decisions about curriculum development (Ellis, Thomson & Carey, 2017). This module builds on course expectations that participants will critically analyse current practice in light of new and growing evidence from theory and policy.

Understanding Children’s Agency and Experiences within Pedagogic Culture

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.

Level 9

Leading Professional Enquiry

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.

Leading and Managing Evidence Based Innovation and Quality

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.

Leading and developing the professional self

While this module links to previous modules in the degree on leadership and management of quality and pedagogy, it is distinctive in its focus upon the leader’s self-management within the childhood practice sector. They will look at 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.

The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education 2019 and 2021.
The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education 2019 and 2021.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 - Scottish University of the Year.
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 - Scottish University of the Year.

Learning & teaching

The degree is a part-time blended learning programme involving:

  • weekly live online and on-campus sessions
  • weekly recorded online lectures
  • live support sessions on occasional Saturdays
  • a blend of e-learning, using a high quality virtual learning environment
Back to course

Entry requirements

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-practice qualification).

Year 1 entry

120 SCQF level 7 credits in a relevant subject for example: 

  • HNC Childhood Practice
  • HNC Child Care and Education
  • HNC Early Education and Childcare
  • SNNEB
  • relevant qualifications accepted by the Scottish Social Services Council as suitable for registration at practitioner level

If required, completion of the short online module “Transitions into Higher Education: Childhood Practice".

Year 2 entry

Applications for second year entry will be considered based on previous qualifications. All applicants need to have a practice qualification and be employed within a childhood practice setting.

Additional Information

All applicants should be eligible for registration at practitioner level with the Scottish Services Council. Opportunities for the Accreditation of Prior Learning (e.g. PDA) are available.

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'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

88% of graduates are in work or further study 6 months after this course*

*Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

map of the world

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for part-time and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

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Scotland

£910

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£2,450

International

£7,575

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.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

Please note: The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

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Students from Scotland

If you're a Scottish 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.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

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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.

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International Students

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

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Careers

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:

  • Lead Child Development Officer
  • Manager/Deputy Manager Out of School Services
  • Early Years Education Officer
  • Head of Centre
  • Senior Early Years Worker
  • 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.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square.

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Apply

Applications for the BA Childhood Practice Course starting in September 2023 are now open.

Phase 1 Entry

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 childcare qualifications at level 7 on the SCQ Framework for entry to the course. For example, an HNC in Childcare and Education. Applicants holding the necessary qualifications must also have two years post-qualification experience in practice to gain entry to the degree.

Phase 2 Entry

Applicants who hold a Level 7 practice qualification with at least 2 years practice experience plus an additional qualification with credits at Level 8 (e.g. PDA or SVQ4) can apply for direct entry into Phase 2 of the course. Offers for these places are limited and will be prioritised by date of application. Applicants seeking to enter at Phase 2 will attend a short academic induction programme with course tutors to support their academic writing skills. Applicants with a relevant practice qualification and relevant experience may be required to complete an additional short online Transition to HE Module to gain enough credits for entry to the course. This will be set as a condition of entry as necessary.

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" (2015).

Further information can be obtained from:

Rebecca Coventry
BA Childhood Practice Administrator

+44 (0) 141 444 8100 
hass-education@strath.ac.uk

Start date: Sep 2023

(1 year entry)

BA
part-time
Start date: Sep 2023

Direct Applications

Our Direct applications service is for international applicants who wish to apply to Strathclyde University at this time.

Apply now
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Contact us

Courses Support Team

Telephone: +44 (0)141 444 8100

Email: hass-education@strath.ac.uk