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

91% of our students were satisfied with their course National Student Survey 2020

This Early Years degree focuses on working with children from birth to eight years. It equips you with the understanding and skills to support the learning and development needs of young children.

You'll undertake a placement for one day per week, as well as in week-long blocks throughout the year. This will allow you to link theory to practice around areas such as activity planning, 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.

USW's Early Years Education degree is recognised by Social Care Wales (SCW) and can be found on their List of Required Qualifications. 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 some graduates going on to gain their Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and becoming qualified teachers. Follow us on Twitter

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

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 degree, your studies will examine contemporary issues around children's play, learning and development, as well as identifying the vital role played by parents, carers and professionals.

You'll explore children's rights and how they are incorporated in early years policy in England and Wales, as well as examining sustainability, leadership and multi-agency working. You'll also gain an understanding of the curriculum by looking at literacy, numeracy, outdoor learning, and reflective strategies to support behaviour management.

In tandem with developing your academic skills and enhancing your employability through work-based placement experiences, you will have additional opportunities that will enhance your knowledge and skills. These include courses such as the British Dyslexia Association ALSA qualification, and Safeguarding Children qualification (Level 1). Please note, this may incur an additional cost.

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.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 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 degree and a key to future employability. As such students should demonstrate their experience of working with children in the early years education as part of their personal statement.

You will attend placement for one day a week during term time and will also spend three 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 practitioner.

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

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 as well as a successful observation in practice.

Our placement officer will support students in selecting a suitable setting. Students will need to make their own arrangements to travel to and from 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, as well as an extensive library service. Learning resources include Ipads and a wide selection of storybooks and toys.

There is access to outdoor spaces as well as an outdoor learning resource area.


The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. Applications are considered on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

Additional Requirements:

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child Workforce and Child Barring List and subscription to the DBS Update Service. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)


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 a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent.  If you are completing an Access to Higher Education Diploma we will accept 12 Level 2 credits from English Units and 12 Level 2 credits from Mathematics Units in lieu of the GCSE C/4 grade requirements.

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.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

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

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: 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 £90
Year 2 : to include the ALSA Award, Outdoor Practitioner Award.
Field Trips £20
Year 1,2 & 3 depending on location of study event .
DBS * £53.20
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 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.

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 and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, 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, supporting children one to one and in higher level teaching assistant roles and within flying start settings (salaries from approx. £19 - 21,000 p.a.).

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.