2023/24 entry

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Foundation Year

Start date:
Study mode:
Full time
Course duration:
4 years
Mt Pleasant
UCAS code:
Points required:

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
All figures are subject to yearly increases.
Tuition fees are subject to parliamentary approval.

General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:
0151 231 5175
International admissions

Send a message >

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 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 offers a supportive environment to develop confidence with academic study skills and also introduces you to key subject specific content relating to your degree pathway. This is a four year degree programme. We particularly welcome applicants with non-standard qualifications.

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


Other study options:

"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.


Local authorities, health authorities, charities, housing associations, childrens 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.

Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.

Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.

One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.

Go abroad

LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.

Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?

Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: goabroad@ljmu.ac.uk.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

What you will study on this degree

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

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.

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules may also be 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.

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.

Society, Status and Social Policy
20 credits

This module provides a sociological context for students to understand the key contemporary social issues affecting the UK.

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 Enquiry (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.

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 Enquiry (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 for Sustainability (Part 2)
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.

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.

Level 5

Core modules

Deconstructing Child Development
20 credits

This module provides you with an opportunity to deconstruct childrens 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.

Student Enquiry 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.

Professional Project Enquiry
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 Curricula in Early Childhood; 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.

Study Semester Abroad - ECS
60 credits

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.

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.

Where you will study

What you can expect from your School

Based in the 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 outdoor learning zone. 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

Qualification requirements

GCSEs and equivalents

Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained Grade C or Grade 4 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

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


  • 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 awards

  • 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

OCR Cambridge Technical

  • Technical Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Technical Diploma: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Technical Extended Diploma: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Technical Foundation Diploma: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Technical Introductory Diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Technical Subsidiary Diploma: Acceptable on its own and 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

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

T levels

  • T Level requirements: A minimum of 72 UCAS Tariff points

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.

Additional requirements

  • Interview required

    Will I be interviewed?

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

International requirements

Further information

  • Reduced offer scheme

    As part of LJMU’s commitment to widening access we offer eligible students entry to their chosen course at a reduced threshold of up to 16/8 UCAS points. This applies if you are a student who has been in local authority care or if you have participated in one of LJMU’s sustained outreach initiatives, e.g. Summer University. Please contact the admission office for further details.

International entry requirements

Find your country

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

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.

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.