BA in Early Childhood Studies and Practice
Diploma in Early Childhood Studies and Practice
Certificate in Early Childhood Studies and Practice
The Diploma/Bachelor of Arts (Early Childhood Studies and Practice) has been developed to meet the identified needs of practitioners in the childcare sector who wish to pursue further education and training in a flexible manner, complimenting and supporting continued employment. This programme of study builds on practical experience, enhancing the learner’s skills through exposure to theory, policy, research and work-based learning opportunities. It also aims to provide practitioners currently working in the field of early childhood care and practice an opportunity to upgrade their qualifications, to further develop their skills and to enhance their existing knowledge through a part-time, flexible and accessible academic programme.
Who is the course intended for?
This programme was developed in response to the identified need of childcare practitioners who may already posses a recognised qualification at NFQ levels 5 or 6 and who wish to upgrade their qualification in a manner that will support their continued employment and their workplace. Alternatively, potential students without a recognised qualification, but with extensive experience in the childcare care and education sector are also encouraged to apply.
The programme will be particularly suitable for:
Early year carers in crèches, pre-schools, school age childcare services, special education services and childminding settings
Managers of crèches, pre-schools, school age services, special education services
Early childhood practitioners in the Health Services Executive
County Childcare Committee members and staff
Practitioners in the child and family support sector
Special Needs Assistants
Potential students should be disciplined, self-directed and enthusiastic learners, as course expectations see students coming to workshops and seminars prepared to discuss, explore and critically analyse subject matter which they have become familiar through home study.
Applicants will ideally be adult learners, aged 21 years or over, returning to education and employed in an early childhood setting with up to 2 years experience working in the sector. While formal academic qualifications are not necessary, those possessing a NFQ Level 5 or 6 qualification in the childcare or related disciplines will be encouraged to apply.
Certificate: 1-year; Diploma: 2-years; Degree: 2 further years following completion of the diploma. Modules are offered on a part-time basis
Next start date: Sept 2013. For commencement dates in subsequent academic years, please contact the programme co-ordinator
ECTS weighting: Certificate: 45 ECTS; Diploma: 90 ECTS; BA: 180 ECTS
Average intake: 30
Closing date: To be announced
NFQ level: Certificate: level 7; Diploma: level 7; Degree: level 8
The programme of study builds year to year on the skills and knowledge students develop through their exposure to key areas of the course, including theory, social policy, the development of research skills, and the enhancement of practical experiential learning opportunities. By the completion of year four, the graduate emerges as a reflective practitioner with an in-depth understanding the holistic needs of children and families and the role of early years services in the broader community and policy context.
Introduction to Learning 5 ECTS
Psychology: The Developing Child 1 10 ECTS
Creative Development in Early Years 5 ECTS
Child Protection and Safety in Childcare Services 10 ECTS
Health, Hygiene and Nutrition in Early Childhood 5 ECTS
Work-based Project: Year 1 10 ECTS
Psychology: The Developing Child 2 10 ECTS
Implementing the Early Learning Curriculum 10 ECTS
The Child and Family in Irish Law 5 ECTS
Quality Awareness in Early Learning 10 ECTS
Work-based Project: Year 2 10 ECTS
Children and Families in Society 10 ECTS
Working in Varied Care and Education Settings 5 ECTS
Management Skills for Childcare Environments 10 ECTS
Effective Leadership for the Childcare Sector 5 ECTS
Research Methodologies 5 ECTS
Work-based Project: Year 3 10 ECTS
Promoting Inclusion in Early Years Care and Education 10 ECTS
Irish Social, Family and Childcare Policies: Critical Analysis 10 ECTS
Critical Reflection on Learning and Practice 5 ECTS
Research Dissertation 20 ECTS
Applications and selections
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process that allows students to gain admission to a programme of study or to gain exemptions/credit from some parts of a programme, based on demonstrated learning achieved prior to admission. Applicants to this programme of study may apply for exemptions from some modules, in accordance with the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning policy as determined by the Academic Directors. For further information contact the programme co-ordinator.
Requirements and assessment
Programme assessment generally takes the form of a combination of continuous assessment but may also include written examinations. Continuous assessment methods may include written assignments, learning portfolios, end of year projects and practical assignments.
Duration & Attendance
A Certificate in Early Childhood Studies and Practice (NFQ: Level 7) will be awarded on the successful attainment of 45 ECTS at the end of Year 1. A Diploma in Arts (Early Childhood Studies and Practice) (NFQ: Level 7) will be awarded on the successful attainment of 90 ECTS at the end of Year 2. The BA in Early Childhood Studies and Practice (NFQ: Level8) will be awarded on the successful attainment of a further 90 ECTS (total of 180 ECTS) at the end of year 4.
The programme will be delivered on a modular basis over 4 years using a blended learning approach. This allows adult learners, with work and family commitments, to study at times that suit their needs. Blended learning combines face-to-face learning approaches with distance learning and includes:
Required textbooks which students are expected to purchase
Additional readings which may be available in the library
Workshop or classroom sessions
Online learning (discussion boards, online collaboration, e-mail, etc.)
Fees for this course
EU (Total): €2,900
Michelle O’Doherty (3BCP1)
I am currently in my third year of the B.A. in Early Childhood Studies and Practice and my experience as a part time student with N.U.I. Galway has been an extremely positive one. Working full time as a childcare manager I have found the learning within this programme to be extremely practice based and relevant to my role, enhancing my professional development. The programme has a good balance of theory and practice as well as lively interactive classroom discussions. Returning to education as an adult learner I have found the tutors and the administration team to be very supportive as well as my classmates with whom I have formed lasting friendships.
Angela Walsh (2BCP1)
The structure of this course suits me down to the ground. The opportunity to study in a degree program, while also working and parenting, is now attainable. Each module includes both a national and international perspective. I am currently in year two, but am already reaping the benefit of my studies. My professional practice is constantly evolving, to the benefit of all the children I work with. I am truly excited about the future.
Jacqueline Moyles (1BCP1)
I am very glad that I choose NUI Galway as I am really enjoying my course. I find the staff and tutors friendly, helpful and professional. Linking theory to practice is a very rewarding experience. I find that as a result of my course I am beginning to apply a much deeper level of reflective practice, knowledge and understanding to my work practice. I highly recommend the BA in Early Childhood Care and Practice.