BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Top-Up)

Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (top-up) programme has been newly designed to offer those who want to develop their career working with younger children an opportunity to gain a qualification which combines academic knowledge and practical skills. This programme will help to develop professional skills and knowledge currently in demand across the early years sector such as partnership working, leadership and understanding of educational psychology.

You'll study how children develop, as well as factors which affect their learning and development, child psychology and the services which support wellbeing and psychological health. The programme will also provide you with a broader understanding of early years policy and practice and how this can be managed and developed effectively within your own and wider settings. Through the course you have opportunities to take part in work-based learning with placement opportunities, during which you’ll be encouraged to be critically reflective of your own impact in the workplace.

*UCP are currently working with the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network in order to gain recognition of this degree pathways and certification of Graduate Practitioner Competencies at Level 6 for our graduates on completion, which is also recognised by the Department for Education’s Career Progression for the Early Years Workforce. This will then qualify you to work as an Early Years Educator and you'll develop a portfolio of evidence of your skills and practice at Level 6 to present to Early Years employers. This will be subject to approval, please contact UCP or the course team for the latest information.

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies provides a great pathway to postgraduate study and to Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) or initial teacher training programmes across the education sector.

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 20 students.

If you are applying to start in September 2022, you must meet the following entry requirements:

Applicants must be working in or having access to a suitable children’s environment (paid or voluntary) and completed any of these qualifications:

  • FdA Early Years, Childcare and Education (Level 4 and 5)
  • FdA Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (Level 4 and 5)
  • FdA Professional Studies (Education) or (Early Childhood) (Level 4 and 5)
  • Diploma in Education and Training
  • CertEd Certificate in Education
  • HND Childhood Education and Care
  • HND Advanced Practice in Early Years Education

Mature students or students who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.

You must have GCSE English language and mathematics at a minimum of grade C or grade 4.

If English is not your first language you will require a recognised Level 2 English language qualification or an IELTS score of 6.0 (with 5.5 minimum in each skill) or an equivalent English Language qualification.

An enhanced DBS check is required.

An interview may be required before an offer can be made.


We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email


To find out more about UCAS tariff points and how they work, visit

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as A-levels (you must have grades for at least two A-levels), BTEC, Cambridge Technicals, International Baccalaureate (IB), NVQ Level 3, Access to Higher Education and Scottish Advanced Highers.

The tariff points for qualifications can be added and combined together (e.g. A-levels plus BTECs).

The UCAS points for A-level General Studies, AS-levels and the EQP (Extended Project Qualification) are accepted when combined with other full qualifications.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one /final year for full-time students (Level 6)
  • Families, Communities and Partnership Working  (30 credits)
  • Individual Needs and Educational Psychology (30 credits)
  • Leadership & Management in the Early Years(30 credits)
  • Undergraduate Research Project in Primary Education  (30 credits)

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.  A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study.  A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

    When studying this course at University Centre Peterborough, we will timetable your lectures as one full day a week over two semesters per year (part-time will be one half day a week over two semesters per year).

    We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.

    Over the duration of your course, teaching will be delivered by the following methods:

    Year one / final year for full-time students (Level 6)
    • 50%     Lectures
    • 25%     Seminars
    • 25%     Workshops

    There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

    If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 30 hours per week for additional study.

    The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the year and you will also have 24/7 access to a virtual learning environment (VLE) with e-books, journals and abstracts plus teaching resources and interactive tools.

    Timetables are available at least 6 weeks before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.

    The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

    Year one / final year for full-time students (Level 6)
    • 100%     Coursework

    We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

    Formative assessment opportunities are written into all module plans to provide students with on-going feedback.  End of semester assessments will have formative opportunities in weeks 9 or 10 of the semester.  In addition revision sessions will be held in week 12.

    Your final degree classification is calculated as an average of all your credits at Level 6.

    70%+         First
    60-69%     2:1
    50-59%     2:2
    40-49%     Third

    Applicants must be working in or have access to a suitable children’s environment (paid or voluntary) as you will undertake an Enhanced Work Based Research module based on your work placement.

    After graduating, you will be able to gain a position as a Teaching Assistant within in
    Primary or Secondary schools.

    You will also be able to apply for a PGCE in Primary or Secondary Education, or apply for an MA in a field related to education.

    Previous students have also been offered places in the School Direct and Teach East programmes, and have progressed to teaching roles via this route.

    Other career options related to Education can include working in the Education Department of a local council or going on to work in education based research.

    I am the Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Education Top-up degree  at University Centre Peterborough.  I have been involved in teaching and course management since 2011 across a range of organisations. I have specialised on the delivery of management programmes and have been responsible for designing national programmes on behalf of government departments as well as in partnership with many large universities. I have been at University Centre Peterborough since 2013 and in that time have delivered on a range of modules across the Accounting and Finance degree, Business Management degree as well as the Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management.

    My professional experience is varied but is focused within marketing, business development and change management. I have held roles in marketing management and development, from junior management to senior board level.

    My most recent role was as a development director for a leadership charity and think-tank, where I was responsible for the marketing, website development, online learning and business development as well as leading on the development of a range of national management programmes. The main focus of my role was to develop the income generation for the charity, however I was also responsible for the development and management of a range of training and development programmes. I have worked with a range of industry professionals and experts (including university staff, government officials and professionals) to develop relevant industry programmes as well as ensure the quality of delivery and assessment was maintained to the standards expected by all partners. This experience has helped me to develop and run some very successful and well-received qualifications here at University Centre Peterborough.

    In addition to the roles above, I have also worked for a number of organisations including the RNIB, Association of Colleges (AoC) and within the education sector in various other roles. I still do consultancy work for charities outside of my work for University Centre Peterborough and I am still using my industry contacts to help us develop our programmes and career opportunities for our students.


    • PhD - Thesis topic: Effects of power / responsibility disparity in organisations, University of Lincoln (currently completing)
    • MEd Leadership & Management, Open University
    • MSc Marketing, University of Glamorgan
    • Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing, Chartered Institute of Marketing
    • Advanced Certificate in Marketing (Level 5), Chartered Institute of Marketing
    • Postgraduate Statistics and Social Research Methods (30 MCat module), Open University
    • Diploma in Education and Teaching (Level 5), City & Guilds
    • BSc (Hons) Biopsychology, University of Southampton

    When you have chosen a course to study at University Centre Peterborough, your next step is to make an application.

    All FULL-TIME APPLICATIONS must be made to UCAS via a web-based tracker system – (the institution code for University Centre Peterborough is P56).

    All PART-TIME APPLICATIONS can be submitted directly to University Centre Peterborough. You can download and complete the following form then email to, or send it through the post, or visit us in person.

    Before you apply, please check that you meet the entry requirement which is listed on the course information pages.

    If you have any questions about making an application contact the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email

    If you are currently studying

    University Centre Peterborough are committed to supporting all of our applicants who are currently studying A-level, BTEC, Access to HE or other qualifications. We want everyone achieve the best possible outcomes and we will support applicants in the coming months so they are not disadvantaged in any way due to recent changes in exams and grading. All applicants should continue to work hard as this will help teachers assess your ability and help prepare you before starting your higher education or degree course.

    When to apply

    We advise you to make an application for your chosen course as soon as possible to secure your place. We will process your application within 1 to 5 working days so you know if you have been successful and received an offer.

    The following timeline is for applications to start a course in September 2022.


    • Applications for the majority of courses will be made by 6pm on 26th January 2022 
    • If you have not made your application by this date you can still apply to University Centre Peterborough at any time afterwards.


    • If you missed the first UCAS deadline, you can still apply through UCAS Extra from Friday 25th February to Monday 4th July 2022.
    • This also gives you the opportunity to add University Centre Peterborough as an additional choice if you have used all five choices and are not holding any offers.


    • From Tuesday 5th July 2022 you can apply via UCAS through Clearing.
    • Clearing is for those who have not yet applied or students who have waited until they have received their grades. However, you do not need to wait until you receive your grades before applying through Clearing.
    • If you have applied and been accepted at another university, you still have the opportunity to change to study at University Centre Peterborough.
    • If you don’t get the grades you expected, don’t panic. Just contact us during Clearing and we can usually confirm your place very quickly. We are used to helping students at this time of year.

    Types of offer

    When you make an application, you will receive one of the following offers:

    • CONDITIONAL OFFER: You will have to meet certain conditions before the start of the course (such as achieving your exams with a certain grade). We will specify these conditions when making you an offer. When you achieve these grades your place will then be confirmed.
    • UNCONDITIONAL OFFER: You already meet the entry requirements for the course (i.e. you have achieved the grades already) and we are happy to offer you a place without conditions.
    • DECLINE: Unfortunately, we are not able to offer you a place at this time. We will advise you why you were unsuccessful on this occasion and we can give you advice on alternative courses for progression.

    Applicant days

    • We will be holding an Applicant Day for new students on Saturday 20th March 2021.
    • This invitation only event is available to students who are holding a Conditional Offer or Unconditional Offer. It will give you the opportunity to meet other students, academic staff and participate in subject sessions to help prepare you before starting in September 2021.
    • If you are still deciding on where to study then this day can be a great chance to see if studying with us is right for you.

    Advice Sessions and Open Days

    • If you would like help with your application, more information about student finances or have any questions, then you are welcome to book onto one of our regular Advice Sessions where you can speak to a member of staff for help and advice.
    • During our Open Days we run a series of talks on a variety of topics including applications and student finance.
    • For dates and times of the latest Advice Sessions and Open Days visit

    Key Facts

    UCAS Code
    Institution code
    Validated by:
    The Open University (subject to validation)

    University Centre Peterborough

    Duration and Delivery

    BA Full-time 1 year (1 full days a week over two semesters per year)

    Start Date
    September 2022

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 will be:

    • Full-time: £8,000 per year

    There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

    Additional Notes

    Course enquiry

    BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Top-Up)

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