2022/23 entry

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Foundation Year

Start date:

September 2022

Study mode:

Full time

Course Duration:

4 years

UCAS code:


Points required:



Mt Pleasant

Tuition fees (per year)

Home (full-time):
International (full-time):
All figures are subject to yearly increases.
Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

School of Education:


International enquiries


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Why study Early Childhood Studies with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University?

  • 98% of our students agreed that they were satisfied with the quality of the course in the 2020 National Student Survey
  • Stepping stone to a wide range of careers in teaching, social work, health and childcare
  • Supportive and inspirational tutors rated as excellent in the National Student Survey
  • Experience the diverse traditional and non-traditional early childhood settings
  • Tailor your studies to your own interests through optional modules, research and work-related practice
  • You will be taught in the new dedicated Education Building in the University's Mount Pleasant campus

About your course

The BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies at Liverpool John Moores University offers a multi-disciplinary approach to working with children and their families. An exploration of different perceptions of children and childhood opens up an exciting range of career opportunities.

Watch our course video to find our more about studying BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies at LJMU:

Additional course costs

There are no costs for off-site day trips embedded into Core and Option modules. Optional international placements will have a cost attached.

Foundation Year

The Foundation Year is ideal if you have the interest and ability to study for a degree, but do not have the qualifications to enter directly onto the Early Childhood Studies honours degree programme yet.

Once you pass the Foundation Year (level 3) you will progress directly onto the first year of the honours degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).

A child’s first experiences have an impact far beyond those initial few years of life. Poverty, poor education, child abuse, as well as the positive experiences of creativity and play, have an enormous influence on a child’s development. 

The acquisition of knowledge and understanding of early childhood studies is progressive, and nurtures the development of a critically reflective perspective. The overarching themes and defining principles of the programme are education, social welfare, health and wellbeing. 

Early Childhood Studies explores and deals with all aspects of society, which impact on young people and their families. The course focuses on the development, growth, health and well-being of young children from 0-8 years old from both the perspective of the child and the adult. Different perceptions of children and childhood are considered and you are also encouraged to examine the wider socio-economic and political factors that influence children at all levels. You are provided with a sound theoretical foundation drawn from different disciplines such as psychology and sociology.

We have several international links, and there are opportunities to visit various countries as part of your course and also undertake a work-related placement abroad.

We have a student volunteer scheme in schools and other placements, so that you can gain the experience and practice you need before embarking on further study or a career.

The course gives you enormous scope to tailor your studies to your own interests through optional modules, research and work-related practice. 

"I came wanting to be a teacher but the ECS degree has helped me to develop a holistic understanding of the work I could do with babies, young children and their families" Sarah Harris, graduate

"I have loved my three years on the Early Childhood Studies degree and I have developed a critical awareness which will help me immensely during my PGCE year"

Imogen Appleton, Graduate

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students


The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)


  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.


This Early Childhood Studies qualification opens up a wide range of exciting career opportunities.

Local authorities, health authorities, charities, housing associations, children’s centres and day nurseries have all employed LJMU graduates in positions such as childcare project managers, family support workers, nursery officers, play coordinators, out-of-school project managers, residential care workers, researchers, disability coordinators and early years officers.

Many of our students also apply for further postgraduate study towards professional qualifications in, for example, social work or within the early years sector.

Early Childhood Studies together with a PGDE also provides an alternative route into teaching.


Postgraduate Teacher Training

LJMU graduates who meet the entry criteria are guaranteed an interview for your chosen PGDE course.

Our PGDEs carry Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), so after successfully completing the one-year course, you will be qualified to teach the age range of students covered in your programme.

As well as our Core PGDE courses, we also offer School Direct programmes with our partner schools across the North West.

You can learn more about our postgraduate teacher training courses at ljmu.ac.uk/teach.


Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

We are committed to ensuring all of our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.

Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop personal insight into your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities. You’ll be encouraged to engage with personal and professional development opportunities.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan and the means to make it a reality.

Our Centre for Entrepreneurship can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business. You also have access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools and resources; opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, themed webinars; an annual programme of employer events; funded extracurricular internships and one-to-one advice to accelerate your job search, CV and interview technique.

Applicant key information

Course review and revalidation.

This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.

Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.

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What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.

Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course:

Programme specification document (PDF)

Level 3

Core modules

Exploring Childhoods
20 credits

In this module you will explore the ways in which children and childhood can be defined and viewed. The module aims to examine perspectives and debates through consideration of the representation of children and childhoods from historical, political and socio-cultural contexts.

Exploring Learning
20 credits

This module aims to make the processes and experiences of learning more explicit through activities that encourage discovery, exploration and discussion to enable you to think about and understand effective ways of learning that are personal to you and that you can apply at university and beyond.

Places and Spaces of Learning
20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide you with guidance on how learners learn within traditional and less traditional places and spaces. Place based learning is considered alongside pedagogical and andragogical practices related to experiential learning, social constructivism, multicultural education and community based education. Reading, research and off site visits will support your understanding and reflection.

Preparing for Success: Academic Skills
20 credits

This module provides you with the integrated skills required for academic success. You will develop your skills of creating posters, constructing bibliographies, and sourcing relevant materials. Alongside this you will learn to identify and understand academic writing and referencing techniques. The multi-disciplinary syllabus and assessment tasks will enable you to acquire the academic skills needed for successful transition into Level 4 and the completion of the degree.

Investigating Liverpool
20 credits

This module provides you with the necessary skills to develop a research project on the Liverpool City region from your particular subject perspective. You will explain academic research methods, write a coherent piece of academic work based on an understanding of Liverpool, and locate relevant research to support your project. The module will help you to develop an independent approach to learning. 

Understanding Contemporary Social Problems
20 credits

This module introduces you to relevant and contemporary issues in society. You will learn to identify key social issues in the UK, to demonstrate an understanding of key concepts relating to inequality, to demonstrate the ability to locate and provide academic evidence relevant to understanding social issues, and to describe the impact of key thinkers in understanding contemporary social issues.

Level 4

Core modules

Holistic Child Development
20 credits

This module aims to develop your knowledge of a range of theoretical approaches and perspectives on early childhood development. Specifically, you will acquire an understanding of the developmental influences on the individual child within the wider context, considering the circumstances and environment that impact on child development.

Early Childhood Studies; Student Inquiry (Part 1)
20 credits

This module enables you to explore and build your understanding of the multi-disciplinary nature of Early Childhood Studies and differing perceptions and perspectives on babies, young children and childhood.

Pedagogical Approaches (Part 1) - Working With Babies, Young Children And Families
20 credits

This module aims to introduce you to the philosophical and practical ideologies associated with key historical pioneers. This introduction will support an awareness of the need to recognise and challenge inequalities in society and to embrace an anti-bias approach when working with babies, young children and their families.

Perspectives Of Children And Childhood
20 credits

This module enables you to develop your knowledge and understanding of children and childhood from a range of perspectives, and to reflect on sociological, historical, cultural, philosophical economic and political influences.

Early Childhood Studies; Student Inquiry (Part 2)
20 credits

This module enables you to develop your understanding of key issues, perspectives, concepts and their inter-relationships within Early Childhood Studies through exploratory and research visits, observation, reflection, peer discussion, guided learning and self-directed independent learning. You will also develop your core academic skills.

Pedagogical Approaches (Part 2) - Sustainability; Democracy, Participation & Social Justice
20 credits

This module builds upon Pedagogical Approaches (Part 1) - Working with Babies, Young Children and Families. You will be introduced to the research area surrounding Education for Sustainability and develop your understanding of the origins of the research and philosophy.

Level 5

Core modules

Deconstructing Child Development
20 credits

This module provides you with an opportunity to deconstruct children’s development using an ecological approach. You will learn to analyse key factors that lead to individual differences, investigate the work of key theorists from within the child development discipline, and scrutinise an ecological approach to understanding children's development.

Early Childhood Research (Part 1) - Student Inquiry Into Research Methods
20 credits

This module provides you with a knowledge of a range of approaches to researching subjects within Early Childhood Studies and to support preparation for placement in semester two. You will be supported to understand how your research inquiry from Level 4 can be developed for your block placement experience. You will be supported to write a literature review as a sound foundation for your inquiry into research methods.

Global Inequalities And Unequal Childhoods
20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide you with opportunities to explore global inequalities and unequal childhoods in a range of countries. You will examine complexities of childrens' lives globally using key theories and concepts including sociological, philosophical, political-economic and postcolonial theory. This module will enable you to contest and problematise globalised discourses of childrens' lives with reference to rights, participation and policy.

Early Childhood Research (Part 2) - Student Reflections
20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge of research methods, as appropriate to Early Childhood Studies, and how they are applied in the field. This module will engage you in reflections on the block placement and support the development of student inquiry. You will engage in the processes necessary to write an academic research proposal for consideration and adaptation at Level 6.

Optional modules

Exploring Health Literacies Within Early Childhood
20 credits

This module aims to prepare you to empower children to make informed decisions about their own health and, where possible, to act upon those decisions. You will learn to evaluate the social determinants of health, to assess the concept of health literacy in a way that is developmentally appropriate, and to formulate an argument related to health literacy for babies and young children.

Professional Approaches Within Early Childhood Studies
20 credits

This module provides you with a knowledge of social policy in the UK and how it relates to professional practice with babies, young children and families. You will learn to analyse social policy and investigate the ways in which this impacts on the lives of young children and their families. You will also scrutinise different professional approaches taken in the application of policy when working with babies, young children and families. 

Exploring Early Years Curricula Within Ecs: Pedagogical Approaches For Sustainability
20 credits

This module will build upon your knowledge and skills gained from the level 4 Early Childhood Studies modules. The aim of the module is to explore the four National Early year's curricula within the UK and to develop an awareness of pedagogical approaches for learning. You will engage with historical and current developments in relation to Education for Sustainability within Early Childhood Education.

Level 6

Core modules

Exploring Approaches: Working Together To Support Children And Families
20 credits

This module enables you to critically analyse the mechanisms that exist in society to support babies, young children and their families, and to encourage you to reflect critically upon concepts, issues, theoretical models and working practices in relation to the complexity of multi-agency working. A review of historical and current policies will support you to engage with examples of professional practices.

Research Within Early Childhood Studies
40 credits

This module aims to provide you with appropriate skills and understanding to initiate, design, conduct and report an early childhood studies research project that is either empirical based research or library-based research under appropriate supervision. You will demonstrate a highly developed ability to recognise its theoretical, practical and methodological implications and limitations, and you will be aware of the complexity of ethical principles and issues.

International Approaches; Comparative Early Childhood Education And Care
20 credits

This module enables you to develop a critical perspective of the influences on international principles and practice within early childhood work. You will learn to critically examine and compare systems in a range of countries with reference to global contexts. Issues such as ethnocentric bias in research and practice, and reliability and validity of cross national data will be examined.

Optional modules

Working Therapeutically within Early Childhood
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with a knowledge and understanding of therapeutic practice with children and their carers in the UK. You will develop the ability to critically analyse what reflective practitioners offer therapeutically, in a variety of contexts, appropriate to the needs of children, their carers, organisations and society. We will also discuss therapeutic theory and practice for working within early childhood.

Social Work Within Early Childhood Studies
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with a knowledge of social work with children and families in the UK. You will develop the ability to analyse the context in which social work with children and families takes place in the UK, to critically assess guiding principles relating to social work practice with children and families, and to evaluate key challenges facing contemporary social work in the UK.

Global Dimensions: Sustainable Futures Across Early Years Curricula
20 credits

The aim of the module is to bring together two critical areas of research in order to explore and extend research inquiries around relationships and responsibilities that can shape more sustainable futures. Research studies into early childhood education have confirmed the importance of these formative years in the formulation of identity, willingness to learn, as well as engagement with the world. You will develop your understanding of Education for sustainability considered within this module and you are encouraged to engage in systematic personal inquiry in order to document your understanding of the terminology from an international perspective.

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.

The course aims to produce graduates who are able to think in a critical and analytical manner, reflecting upon issues that relate to education and community issues in the widest context. The course is designed to develop the transferable skills that will allow you to operate creatively in an increasingly complex world.

It is this ability coupled with the transferable skills that are taught, such as the ability to evaluate and analyse information, ‘people skills’, computer literacy, oral and written skills and the ability to work effectively in demanding contexts, that make our graduates highly employable.

Teaching on the course is via a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, use of ICT, online activities, placement experience and independent learning.

Work-related Learning

The course has a strong element of work-related and research related learning and you will have plenty of opportunities to visit a variety of early childhood related settings, including traditional, non-traditional, informal, creative and culturally diverse experiences. You might also want to get an international perspective on your future career through work experience within education, social care or health.    

Work experience is a vital element of your studies as it gives you a chance to put into practice what you have learnt during the course, and gain new skills as well. It will also add real value to your CV, giving you a head start when you come to negotiate your way around the competitive job market.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

You will be assigned a personal tutor who will support you with your academic and personal progress throughout the course. This kind of one-to-one support is particularly useful for discussing course-related issues or concerns you may have during your studies.

Library Services teams also offer a fantastic range of support and guidance services, including online help guides, online chat facility and on-site help.

Our dedicated Student Advice and Wellbeing (SAW) team provide a wide range of services including accommodation advice, disability support, counselling and money matters.


Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

We recognise that all students perform differently depending on how they are being assessed, which is why we use a combination of assessment methods. Coursework may therefore include essays, reports, presentations, newspapers, posters, diaries and a dissertation. Exams are limited to some main core modules.

Constructive feedback is important in helping you to identify your strengths and areas where you may need to put in more work, so this will be provided regularly as you progress through each module.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Nicky Hirst

Dr Nicky Hirst

Programme leader

Nicky is the Programme leader for the Early Childhood Studies in the School of Education. Nicky has worked within the early years sector and completed the pilot phase of the Early Years Professional Status at Manchester Metropolitan University. Nicky has taught at LJMU since 2011 and is involved in many ongoing projects to develop links with external partners. Research interests include the theory and practice associated with sustainable development within Early Childhood Education and Higher Education.

We aim to produce graduates who are able to think in a critical and analytical manner, reflecting upon issues that relate to education and community issues in the widest context.


What you can expect from your School

Soon to be based in the new Education Building in the heart of the Mount Pleasant campus, the School of Education features a wide range of cutting-edge facilities, including a pedagogy room, lecture rooms, computing facilities and a nearby Forest School for outdoor learning. Students also benefit from independent study spaces, a close-by cafeteria and library, and access to student welfare and support.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications: 72

GCSE and equivalents

Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below: - Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading • Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English • Higher Diploma in Maths/ English • Functional skills level 2 in Maths/ English • Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number • Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number • Wales GCSE Mathematics Numeracy

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
  • Is general studies acceptable? Yes
  • Average A Level offer: DDD
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

BTEC qualifications

  • National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Diploma subjects / grades required: DM if studied on its own or to the total of 72 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: MMP if studied on its own or to the total of 72 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: 72 UCAS Tariff points

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: Acceptable with any other combination that equates to 72 UCAS Tariff points

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 72 UCAS Tariff points with a maximum 20 UCAS Tariff points from Ordinary Level

Alternative qualifications considered

​​Applications are welcomed from mature and non-standard applicants, who will be considered on an individual basis. These applicants may be required to complete a written task and/or attend a meeting with a course tutor, and should demonstrate potential and motivation and/or have relevant experience.

International applications will be considered in line with UK qualifications.

Please contact the University if you have any questions regarding the relevance of your qualifications.

Will I be interviewed?

Mature and non-standard applicants may be invited to attend interview


6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component)

International entry requirements

Find your country

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.

Can this course be deferred?


Is a DBS check required?


Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

A DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service - formerly CRB) will be required after you start the course for placements that involve working with children and/or vulnerable adults.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.