BA (Hons) in Early Years Education and Practice (Top-Up)

BA (Hons) in Early Years Education and Practice (Top-Up)

UCAS Code: XL15 Duration: 1 Year Attendance: Full Time Location: Farnborough Campus Start Date: 11/09/2023    
UCF University of Surrey


About the course

Build upon your early years knowledge with this one-year top-up degree, linking what you learn in lessons to your existing role in the sector. This course starts each September and is awarded by the University of Surrey.

Course Highlights:

  • This is a one-year top-up degree which can convert your existing qualifications, such as an HND or Foundation degree in a relevant subject, and/or experiences into a full degree
  • The course is taught one afternoon/evening per week and has full-time status
  • Can help you to update your knowledge and work towards more senior roles or teaching
  • Taught by dedicated and supportive lecturers with experience in a range of early years and teaching settings
  • Has previously involved educational trips, including exploring the Reggio Emilia approach to education in Italy and visiting early years centres, schools and local authorities in Finland

Why study this course with us?

Early years education plays a big part in preparing children for entry into our society, encouraging them to exhibit positive behavioural and societal norms. This one-year top-up degree will develop your existing knowledge of the early years sector, exploring the evolving policies and practices used in the industry.   

At Farnborough, your lecturers will have experience working in a range of early years and education settings. This will give you a full insight into your subject in the classroom and beyond. Staff attendance at conferences and additional training also ensures that teaching reflects up-to-date practices in the industry.

As someone currently employed in the sector, this course provides a unique opportunity to enhance your knowledge and gain skills relevant to your role, with timetables designed to suit employers. You will link lesson content and assignments to your own work-based practice, allowing you to tailor the course to your goals.  


Who is this programme for?

This degree is suitable for those currently employed within the early years sector, who want to top-up their existing qualifications or experience into a full honours degree and work towards more senior roles or teaching. Example roles you may currently be working as include Early Years Practitioner or Teaching Assistant.

You might currently be studying a foundation degree or HND in a relevant subject, or wish to transfer from another higher education institution. It may also be possible for you to join this course following relevant professional qualifications and/or experience in the workplace.

What will I study?

You will discover the main roles and functions of early years settings, and the leadership tactics that can lead to their successful operation. You will also explore the broad range of factors that influence how children develop, analysing relevant research findings and topics in health and wellbeing. As part of the course you will complete a dissertation where you will have the opportunity to research a topic of special interest.


Fee Per Year £6000

Please note that while we make reasonable adjustments to remove any barriers to education, additional fees may be payable where this is not possible. For example, to provide additional support due to a disability. Please contact us if you believe you have any additional needs so that we can discuss your options before enrolling on a course.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this course then please contact us by phone on 01252 40 55 55 or message us.

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Your course

How will I be taught?

A range of teaching techniques are used in this degree to deliver content in useful and varied ways. This includes lecture-based presentations, practical sessions including role play and observation, individual and group project work, and individual presentations.

What modules are covered?

  • Ethical Practice in Early Childhood
  • Early Intervention: Setting Firm Foundations for Learning 0-2
  • Leading Quality and Change
  • Comparing Early Childhood Education and Care - This module introduces students to the field of comparative and international educational data. The module pays particular attention to early educational and childcare systems in modern industrial societies that are comparable to England. Relevant systems, policy and curriculums will be reviewed and evaluated to see how they have responded to the challenge of improving outcomes and attainment for children.
  • Early Years Education and Policy - The Social Context - This module will explore the role of education in preparing young children for entry into society, including the school readiness debate. It will also address the impact on wider issues of social forces such as economics, politics and culture have on care and education and how they can result in variation in outcomes for children.
  • Professionalism in the Early Years
  • Dissertation - The dissertation will involve the completion of a research project of student’s choice.

How will I be assessed?

You will normally be assessed throughout your course to test your understanding within each module. This will be done through coursework, written assignments, formal examinations, professional discussion, project plans and dissertation.

Programme Structure

The structure of our programmes follows educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the Programme Specification documents found under our Quality Assurance page, including further details such as the learning outcomes.

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Your future

What Next?

There are a wide number of careers where your new degree will be relevant. Some of the examples below may require extra training and experience first. Please speak to our careers advisers to discover which career routes are best for you.

Jobs directly related to early years degrees include:

  • Early years teacher
  • Education consultant
  • Family support worker
  • Health play specialist
  • Learning mentor
  • Special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)
  • Social worker
  • Teaching assistant
  • Youth worker

Jobs where a degree in early years might be useful include:

  • Child psychotherapist
  • Children’s nurse
  • Community development worker
  • Counsellor
  • Educational psychology
  • Speech and language therapist

Transferable Skills

  • Independent learning
  • Written and oral communication
  • Team working
  • Research and analytical skills
  • Organisational and time management skills
  • Problem solving
  • IT Skills


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Entry Requirements

What is the entry process?

You can apply for this higher education course in the following ways:

  • Via the UCAS website. Visit www.ucas.com and browse the courses available under 'University Centre Farnborough'.
  • Directly to University Centre Farnborough via the button on this webpage. Applications take around 15 minutes and are free of charge. You can apply to us direct at any time in the year (including after the UCAS deadline). Applications of this type are separate to the UCAS system, which means you could also apply for more than the five universities that UCAS allows.

UCAS Code – XL15

Institution Code - F66

What previous qualifications and experience will I need?


  • A Foundation Degree or equivalent
  • A level 5 higher education qualification in a relevant subject
  • Evidence of relevant work experience and/or recent study, following a successful interview

Applications are considered on an individual basis, and we recommend that you apply even if you are not sure that you meet the criteria above.

If English is not your first language, evidence of your ability will need to be supplied with your applications. IELTS 6.5 is required. 

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Course Enquiry

Please contact us through the form below. After submitting a form we will contact you as soon as possible. We will delete your information one month after the beginning of the next academic year.

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