BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

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Keen to shape young children’s futures? Our Early Childhood Studies degree course in Chelmsford has a placement option available for extra experience.

Hear from students and lecturers on our Education courses

Education courses at ARU

Find out what lecturers and students from ARU have to say about our Education courses.

You’ll explore the world through a child’s eyes and unlock your potential. Forge a rewarding career with children and families in a variety of early years settings.

Working with young children is hugely rewarding and enormous fun. It can also be very challenging, and it’s a fast-paced sector. We’ll help you develop the skills, knowledge and qualities needed to deliver a high standard of professional practice in the workplace.

Our programme has been designed to develop your understanding of professional and inclusive practice, supporting both the child and the family. Using theory and practical experiences you’ll explore current research around key topics including contemporary theories and pedagogical approaches, while building your leadership skills and considering possible careers across the early childhood sector.

You’ll have the opportunity to achieve your Early Childhood Practitioner Competencies, ensuring you are graduating with a full and relevant Early Years qualification to meet the requirements of the graduate workforce.

If you have already completed a foundation degree (or equivalent), you can gain a full honours degree in just one or two years with our Top-Up options.

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Course options

Key facts

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Entry requirements


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Fees and paying for university

Facilities and accreditation

Specialist facilities

Our Early Childhood Resource and Research Room is packed with toys, games and equipment where you’ll be able to experience a child’s eye view of the world.

Practical experience

As an Early Childhood Studies student at ARU you’ll benefit from:

  • an optional placement, individually tailored to enable you to gain experience in a variety of different types of early years settings
  • additional volunteering and work experience, further professional development training opportunities, enrichment trips, research groups and various early childhood and education events
  • learning the underlying values, principles and philosophies of early childhood education and care
  • knowledge of contemporary and competing theories relating to children from birth to eight years, and their families
  • enhancing your creativity and critical analysis, and show the potential to visualise and instigate change within practice
  • developing your communication skills for different needs and audiences
  • gaining a globally recognised Bachelors degree qualification


We’ve worked with employers in designing our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. We’ve also been guided by The Children’s Workforce Development Council and the Early Years Professional Framework.

Whether in nurseries or pre-schools, you’ll be qualified to work in any registered setting in England. You could also consider a career in educational psychology or social work, with additional training. Or maybe you’ll want to continue your studies at ARU, with options including our MA Education with Early Childhood and PGCE. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.


"To the untrained eye, a game of tag is just children running riot. Look deeper and you see how much that child is learning from a simple game: spatial awareness, teamwork, taking turns, gross motor skills development, listening to instructions…”"


BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

Lucy's blog

Apply now for BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

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Placement available

You have the option to take a placement as part of this course. It’s a great chance to get hands-on experience in early years and education.

Your guide to placements