Bath Spa University Early Years

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Bath Spa University Early Years

All research centre members are involved in teaching and research across all early years undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.


We offer doctoral supervision across a range of topics within the context of early years, childhood and youth.

Current PhD students:

Georgina Normile’s study explores the educational needs of service children in early years education settings in England.


MA in Early Childhood Studies

MA Education (Early Years)


BA (Hons) Early Years Education

BA (Hons) + PGCE Education (Primary Teaching Pathway)

BA (Hons) Youth and Community Studies


FdA Early Childhood Studies

FdA Early Years

Early Years Teacher Status

EYTS Early Years Initial Teacher Training (ITT)

Want to work with younger children? Gain a critical understanding of education, particularly in relation to early years provision.

  • A flexible programme with a range of modules and opportunities for placements.
  • Opportunity to gain the accredited vocational Early Years Educator award.
  • Engaging and experienced tutors with a wide range of knowledge and expertise.

Through the course you’ll develop a critical understanding of early years provision. We’ll also help you to understand what education and schooling has been and develop a vision of what education might become in the future.

We ensure that you have maximum flexibility on your course while still retaining a clear focus on the study of early years education from a variety of perspectives.

Your modules are designed to provide you with essential knowledge and understanding for your future career such as ensuring you are well-versed in children’s rights and protection as well as developing insights into effective leadership and teamwork. You might also apply for our Certificate in Global Citizenship or opt for a module that includes a study visit or international placement.

“This experience provided me with the opportunity to explore practice in the early years, which I had never really done before. I was able to participate in lengthy placements, which allowed me to gain substantial experience and develop what I had learnt from seminars.”

Jessica Samuels, Early Years Education student

What you’ll learn


You’ll gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the aims, values and outcomes of education in local and global contexts;
  • social, cultural, historical, political and economic contexts of education;
  • approaches to working with babies, young children, families and communities;
  • an understanding of global issues and debates, such as young children as active participants in the lives and practices of families, societies and cultures;
  • the processes which shape early childhood and young children’s lives including ethical principles and children’s rights;
  • educational research and enquiry methods;
  • skills which support participation, critical engagement and intellectual independence.

In addition to this you’ll gain skills that will make you attractive to employers. You’ll learn to present your ideas confidently in a variety of forms, use ICT for various professional purposes and work collaboratively.

Course structure

Year one

We’ll introduce you to the education and care of young children from birth to 8 years and to the importance of reflection as a professional tool. You’ll explore theoretical and research perspectives underpinning how children develop and learn with an emphasis on holistic approaches, the concept of the unique child and relationships in the lives of babies and young children. The centrality of play, the outdoor environment and international approaches to working with young children are also examined.

In addition you can tailor your studies to your interests in areas such as children’s voices; philosophy for children and international education.

Year two

You’ll gain depth in understanding of the care, development and learning of children between birth and eight years through exploring of a range of perspectives in theory and in research. You’ll examine the purpose and diversity of early childhood provision including multi-disciplinary approaches, and the influence of policy agendas. You’ll be introduced to images and constructions of childhood, and have the opportunity to link theory to a professional practice module. You’ll also be able to be assessed for the award of ‘Early Years Educator’.

Current optional modules include: learning through drama; literacy learning; and supporting learners with additional needs.

Year three

You’ll gain understanding of the principles and theories of leadership in early childhood settings, including effective ways of leading a team, reflective leadership and working with parents/carers, families and communities. You’ll also be able to explore young children’s make meaning, focusing on literacy development and learning or you can examine international perspectives on early childhood and visit early childhood settings in Denmark. In your third year, you’ll also write a dissertation, balancing independent work with one-to-one support.

Optional modules include: learning and mathematics; supporting a dyslexic learner; and creativity, ICT and learning.