Cardiff Metropolitan University Early Childhood Studies

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Cardiff Metropolitan University Early Childhood Studies

Cardiff Metropolitan University Early Childhood Studies

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BA Early Childhood Studies (Joint Honours)

Early Childhood Studies – BA (Joint Honours)

Course Overview

T​​he study of Early Childhood Studies at Cardiff Met forms part of the ​BA Humanities and Education Joint Honours programme within​​ the Cardiff School of Education.​

The joint Honours programmes provide you with the opportunity to combine the study of Early Childhood Studies with Education Studies, enabling you to tailor your degree to your particular area of interest.

Alternatively, you may choose to study Early Childhood Studies as a Single Honours degree. This will provide you with more practical experience within Early Years settings and a nationally recognised qualification for Early Years provision and practice.

If you would prefer to study Early Childhood Studies from a more theoretical viewpoint then the Joint Honours programme will offer the perfect opportunity to do this.

Course information on this page relates to 2017 entry.

Course Content

You will be encouraged to consider issues such as children’s rights, child development, children’s health, creativity and ways in which childhood is evolving.  In addition, you will experience play and early learning, using our Outdoor Learning Centre which will give you opportunities to explore real life practice and engage in Forest School and project work. This will be in addition to work-related experiences in relevant settings.  As part of the Joint Honours programme, you will study issues around historical and contemporary education, the psychology of education and practice-based skills including working with children with Additional Learning Needs and learning and teaching through ICT.

In addition to the specialist modules, you will also undertake core modules. These are designed to help you develop the academic and research skills for successful study within higher education. In addition, they will help you to develop your employability skills and explore future options for employment.

The Early Childhood Studies modules are:

Year One:

Just Playing? (10 credits)

Interactive sessions will provide opportunities to explore the value and importance of play in children’s lives in theory and practice. You will study how and why children play, the role of adults and environments in the provision of play for children aged 0 to 8 and consider the possible benefits and challenges in the fun but serious business of providing for children’s play.

The Developing Individual (10 credits)

​This module will develop your knowledge of child development and will cover topics such as how a child’s thinking changes as it grows and how the social world impacts upon this children’s intellectual development. This module will also examine the process of gender development, moral development and the development of a child’s sense of self. Important developmental milestones will be considered, for example in relation to social/emotional development and speech and language development and how these relate to both normal and atypical development​.

Safeguarding and Child Protection (10 credits)

During this module, you will develop knowledge of issues and policies relating to the protection and safeguarding of children. You will learn processes of reporting child protection issues, exploring the challenges and effects of safeguarding issues in practice. You will also have the opportunity to gain an introductory safeguarding accredited qualification from the NSPCC​.

Understanding Children’s Worlds: Perspectives of Early Childhood 1 (10 credits)

During this module, you will explore different childhoods and examine ways in which different ideas about childhood affect children, families and communities. You will also consider how different ideas about childhood influence policy and practice.

Outdoor Play and Learning (10 credits)

You will look at the benefits and challenges of outdoor play and learning as well as theoretical and practical approaches.  There will be plenty of opportunities for practical activities, discussion and workshops based on our on-campus woodland and Outdoor Learning Centre.  You will also have the opportunity to gain an accredited Forest School Level 1 qualification.

Core mo​dules:

Skills for Success in Higher Education (10 credits)

This module will help you develop an awareness of the essential skills required for successful academic engagement, including the skills of writing for different audiences, presenting, referencing and accessing/using online resources. You will be encouraged to develop critical self-reflection skills which will enable you to set targets for further academic development.

Developing Work-Based Skills (10 credits)

Using lectures, e-lectures and workshops you will be introduced to the knowledge and skills required for graduate level employment, including self-employment and entrepreneurship. You will evaluate your own skills and related career intentions and investigate opportunities and challenges with respect to employability.

Year Two:

Extending L​earning: Innovative Approaches (30 credits)

This module aims to encourage you to be innovative when designing teaching and learning activities.  You will have opportunities to identify and share good practice, exploring the strengths and challenges of cross-curricular approaches (e.g. use of expressive arts) to core curriculum areas (i.e. literacy, numeracy, science, digital competence).

Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies: Young Children’s Health (10 credits)

You will explore children’s physical and mental health, learning about the varying factors which may have an impact on children’s health. You will also examine policies, strategies and initiatives and consider how they inform practice within different early years settings​.

Powerful Children? Children’s Rights in Early Childhood (10 credits)

During this module, you will examine the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and relevant laws which relate to children’s rights. You will also discuss children’s rights in relation to education, health and play and examine current issues surrounding children’s access to their rights.​

Core modules:

Work-related placement, managing yourself and others (10 credits)

Linked to a week-long placement in a work setting, this module aims to develop key employability skills. You will develop key communication skills appropriate to employment in relevant professional contexts. The placement takes place in a setting of your choice where possible.  You will also have the opportunity to extend your placement by mutual agreement with the providers.

An Introduction to Academic Research (10 credits)

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of academic research and how this applies to your specific discipline. You will develop your ability to plan and conduct research and to think critically about the academic research you encounter during your studies. It also aims to provide you with an understanding of key concepts relating to academic research and the research process so that you will have the requisite knowledge to enable you to conduct the independent research project in your final year. In addition to generic content relevant to all students, you will receive support tailored towards your chosen subject.

Year Three:​

Over the Rainbow: Creativity and Imagination in the Early Years (20 credits)

During this module, you will examine different ideas about ‘creativity’ and ‘imagination’, exploring ways in which they are understood and realised in practice. Creative activities from a range of disciplines (e.g. art, music, drama) will be explored in terms of their potential to support the development of children’s creativity and imagination. You will also consider the associated challenges of embedding creativity and imagination within policy and curricula.

Through the Looking Glass: Observation and Reflection (2​0 credits)

During this module you will trial and critique a range of observational techniques employed in Early Education and Care. You will also reflect upon current thinking and research and consider the challenges surrounding the use of observation as a tool.​

Core module:

Independent/Empirical Research Project (40 credits)

You will complete an independent research or enquiry-based project of a practical or theoretical nature. This will enable you to demonstrate independence in your approach to research and enhance your project planning experience. You will receive guidance and support from a supervisor.

Learning & Teaching

We use a variety of teaching approaches designed to accommodate a range of learning needs. This includes workshops, seminars, lectures, virtual learning environments, field trips and visits. All students get outdoor experiences of learning by spending time in woodland areas, exploring the natural environment and its potential. Work-based placements are embedded within the course. Pastoral and tutorial support is provided and integrated within course provision.

The staff on this programme are from a range of backgrounds including play work, support work and teaching. They are committed to providing a high quality, supportive learning environment.


Assessments are designed to maximise learning and provide realistic opportunities to demonstrate knowledge. Essays and exams are used alongside innovative approaches such as: resource creation; blog debate; workshops; presentations; observation; and online portfolios.

Employability & Careers

Employability skills are generated both through experience in work-based placements and within the teaching and learning environment. In addition to the programme, students have opportunities to further develop their knowledge, skills and experience through voluntary work.  For example, we provide Forest School training and opportunities to volunteer with local schools and community groups.

Our graduates access a range of jobs and employment opportunities including further study in education via the Post Graduate Certificate in Education or Graduate Teacher Programme. Our graduates have pursued careers in a range of areas including nursery management, educational welfare and as local education officers for local education authorities.

Progression to PGCE Teacher Training:

We are pleased to guarantee an interview for the PGCE Primary Course at Cardiff Met for all graduates of this programme. An Honours degree minimum classification of a 2:2 is currently required, and the statutory entry requirements for training in Wales (including B grades or equivalent at GCSE for English and Maths, C grade for Science) must also be met.


Entry Requirements & How to Apply

For further information on entry requirements and how to apply for the joint honours programme, please refer to the Joint Honours Course Overview.

For further information on entry requirements and how to apply for the single honours programme, please refer to the Single Honours Course Entry.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact, Sian Sarwar
Tel: 029 2020 5599