BA (Hons) Early Years Education and Practice (with Early Years Practitioner status)

If you are interested in working with children and making a difference to their learning and development, then this is the course for you. Our Early Years degree offers high quality vocational and academic training for those who want to work with children from birth to eight years. You’ll undertake a placement for one day per week, as well as in week blocks throughout the year, which will allow you to link theory to practice around areas such as safeguarding, assessment and recording procedures, and Welsh language development. You’ll also develop a range of professional and entrepreneurial skills by working as part of a team with practitioners in a range of settings.

The BA (Hons) Early Years Education and Practice degree (with Early Years Practitioner status) is included on the list of required qualifications to work within the early years and childcare sector in Wales, published by the Care Council for Wales. Graduates will achieve Early Years Practitioner status alongside their academic qualifications. Career paths typically include those in education, working in schools, nurseries, children’s charities and integrated children’s centres, as well as graduates going on to gain their Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Follow us on Twitter.

100% of our Early Years graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduating Graduate Destination Survey 2016

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
DYW3 Full-time 3 Years September Newport City C
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
DYW3 Full-time 3 Years September Newport City C

During the Early Years course, you’ll study children’s rights and how this is incorporated into Early Years policy and practice in England and Wales, as well as international perspectives. You’ll gain an understanding of the curriculum, looking at topics of literacy, numeracy and bilingualism as well as strategies for behaviour management. You’ll also gain an understanding of leadership and management issues, and learn how policy, vision and values are vital to working effectively in a range of educational settings.

Attending work placements are a key aspect of your immersive learning experience. You will attend a weekly day in placement and two block week placements as part of the course. We also provide you with opportunities to enhance your knowledge and skills by undertaking relevant additional courses. For example, Outdoor Learning Practitioner award, the British Dyslexia Association ALSA qualification and Safeguarding Children (Level 1). These opportunities offer you a chance to demonstrate your additional skills to employers, setting you apart from many other graduates.

Year One: Early Years Degree

  • Child Development, Play and Well Being - 40 credits
  • Words Matter, Numbers Count - 40 credits
  • Professional Learning Practice 1 - 40 credits

Year Two: Early Years Degree

  • Inclusive Practice in the Early Years - 40 credits
  • Children Learning through Landscapes - 20 credits (optional)
  • Curriculum Matters - 20 credits
  • Learning for Sustainability - 20 credits (optional)
  • Professional Learning Practice 2 - 40 credits 

Year Three: Early Years Degree

  • Researching in the Early Years - 40 credits
  • Leading and Managing in the Early Years - 20 credits (optional)
  • Working with Young Children and their Families - 20 credits (optional)
  • Positive Approaches to Behaviour Management - 20 credits (optional)
  • Professional Learning Practice 3 - 40 credits

Each year 120 credits of study are required to be completed. 



The BA (Hons) Early Years Education and Practice (with Early Years Practitioner status) degree is taught through a combination of work based learning, placements, lectures, seminars, workshops, external visits, directed study and independent study.

High quality learning and teaching is the key focus of staff who deliver this course.Teaching occurs through directed lectures and knowledge is shared and guidance provided to extend understanding via reading, which is needed to consolidate the learning independently. Guest lecturers and experts in their field also share their knowledge, experience and practice to inform you of key areas that are unique in different educational settings.

On average students will receive approximately 18 hours of contact time a week which includes a full day in a placement. This can vary from the timetable being delivered over four days a week in year one, to three days a week in year three, where more onus is on the student to conduct their independent study and research.


Assignments: This type of assignment ensures the student demonstrates the ability for independent learning and research. The ability to critique practice and /or current professional issues and to evaluate evidence through debate and an opportunity to demonstrate reflection on contemporary issues.

Evidence Portfolio: Given the nature of the profession this will be a critical element of assessment. This will allow students to record and evidence their placement experience.
This ensures the student develops the required practical application skills as well as the skills of reflection. This will allow them to demonstrate their ability to integrate theoretical and applied knowledge into the work environment. The portfolio helps the student to display evolution in practice and hone their writing and self-evaluation skills.

Presentations: This will allow students to present research findings in an oral format and/or poster type presentation. Presentations facilitate the development of communication skills as well as the ability to present knowledge and understanding of a topic area in a concise manner.

Observation at placement: Students will be observed on placement by a member of the course team to monitor the development of their practical skills and ability to work with young children.


Work-based learning is a critical aspect of the early years course, and a key to future employability. As such students should demonstrate their experience of working with children in the early years when applying for this course as part of their personal statement.

You will attend placement for one day a week during term time and will also spend two weeks per academic year in a block placement. The duration and regularity of the practice element enables you to fully engage with the children and support their learning and development for the duration of the year, as well as build strong working relationships with staff. This provides a very real experience of being an early years practioner.

You will gain a wealth of experience in the three different settings throughout the course such as; planning; organising and delivering activities and sessions; developing resources and confidence in your own skills as an early years practitioner.

Alongside your attendance at placement, you will be required to produce a portfolio of evidence which will be an assessed feature of the Professional Learning and Practice modules. You’ll complete a number of specified days in a relevant setting before being able to pass this module and this must be supported by a professional practice monitoring report.

Identifying an appropriate placement is important and the placement officer for the early years degree will support students on selecting a setting that is suitable. Students will need to make their own arrangements to travel to and from their placement and this needs to be considered when identifying a placement.


Newport City is a modern campus with up to date classrooms and facilities which include access to a range of computer and IT resources, aswell as an extensive library service. Learning resources include ipads and a wide selection of storybooks and toys. There is also access to outdoor spaces as well as an outdoor learning resource area.


Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Enhanced DBS check required. Please note, if you are looking to enter the teaching profession after completing this course, the GCSE requirements for teacher training may differ to that of this course. You are therefore advised to check with the appropriate teacher training provider whether you meet their requirements.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes (106 UCAS Tariff Points)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes (80 UCAS Tariff Points)

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Additional Requirements

Typical Cache Diploma Offer

Grade B

Please note we do accept other Cache qualifications in combination with A levels and other Level 3 qualifications

GCSEs: The University requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000 
  • Full-time International:  £12300 

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Extra curricular qualifications and development activities £70
Year 2 : to include the ALSA Award, Outdoor Practitioner Award.
Field Trips £20
Year 1,2 & 3 depending on location of study event .
DBS * £57.2
This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service £13
Whilst optional it is strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to persue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Other: Resources required to support study £100
Years 1, 2 & 3. A range of books are available in the university library , but students often purchase key texts.
Other: resources required to support placement £100
Years 1, 2 & 3 .
Other: Travel to Placement * £0 - £300
Years 1, 2 & 3 - Cost is dependent on placement location.


The Helen Kegie Bursary is aimed at students aiming to study within the subject areas of Social Work, Youth Work or Early Years, who have a permanent postal address with a CF or NP postcode and come from a low-income background. See more information about the Helen Kegie Bursary.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

A Early Years Education degree can lead to a range of interesting careers when you graduate. Career paths typically include those in education, with graduates working in schools, nurseries, children’s charities and integrated children’s centres. A number of graduates also go on to gain their PGCE qualification and become qualified teachers. Recent graduates have gained employment in a variety of roles in early years settings as well as project officer roles within local community projects and in charities. Plus, many students gain employment as a result of their practice in placement.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW early years student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.