The Early Years Education and Care degree provides students with the knowledge and skills to understand the diverse and complex nature of young children and their families. The degree explores the links between theory and practice placing a strong emphasis on children's wellbeing and development. It explores a variety of different disciplines including: psychology; sociology; history; ethics; health; creative development and education for sustainability and global citizenship.
The degree reflects the values of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child with a strong emphasis on young children's rights, the importance of listening and respecting children's ideas and decisions, and the right for young children to have access to play.
During the degree students will have several opportunities to explore the importance of play for young children's development and learning. These ideas will be explored in the context of the Foundation Phase, Flying Start, the Foundation Stage and other international early childhood approaches.
The degree places a strong emphasis on practical, hands-on learning and offers several opportunities for students to undertake practical activities which support the content of lectures. Throughout your study there will be opportunities for students to learn in different environments and to use their own ideas and initiative to undertake learning tasks. There are also opportunities for educational field visits and trips which are included as part of the different module content. These may include; language and play workshops; visits to early childhood centres; speakers from local and national early years organisations and professions.
There are also opportunities for optional visits abroad.
During the degree students will develop effective research, critical thinking, analytical, problem-solving and IT skills as well as developing both team and independent working skills.
The School, and degree, is located on our Carmarthen Campus which provides a welcoming and friendly learning community. Throughout the course staff provide a supportive and engaging environment where students are encouraged to develop new skills and partake in new experiences.
This degree is designed for those who wish to expand their knowledge and understanding of early years education and care. The degree provides an opportunity to study issues linked to working with young children and families as well as exploring important aspects of childhood such as holistic development, wellbeing, education and care. Those studying this degree will be encouraged to volunteer in the early years settings to support their learning. There is an emphasis on academic study and students will have an opportunity to focus on their research skills, including the opportunity to undertake a significant research project in their final year. This is an ideal course for those interested in developing their knowledge and understanding of the issues which impact on young children and their families.
Within the degree there are also opportunities to undertake certificated courses such as the John Muir Award. There are several opportunities for visits, to listen to guest lectures from early years experts and professionals and for optional visits to other countries within Europe and further afield. Current students in the School of Early Years have gained confidence and valuable life experiences from such opportunities. All these experiences are designed so that students can develop a varied and impressive CV alongside their academic degree.
The degree is designed to develop students' research, evaluation and self-reflection skills so that they are well equipped to question and develop their own professional development. Time is also provided within the timetable for students to volunteer in early years settings to gain important practical work experience.
The School has developed a strong study skills programme which is designed to provide students with additional support with written and academic skills. This support provides students with the opportunity to increase their confidence and improve their attainment in assignments.
Typical modules in the first year include:
- Academic study skills
- The professional practitioner
- Human development
- Children's play: principles and practice
- The young mathematician: exploration and problem solving
- Multilingualism, multi thinking
Typical modules in the second year include:
- Research methods in early years education and care
- Reflections on early years provision
- Well-being, care and healthy living
- Language and literacy in the early years
- Learning environments: indoors and out
- Safeguarding in the early years
Typical modules in the third year include:
- Leadership and teamwork in the early years
- Children with additional needs: inclusion. advocacy and equity
- Personal research project
- Sustainability in the early years
- Media and digital literacy
- Early years: international perspectives
- Ash Burns
- Ann-Marie Gealy
- Jen Dafis
- Gwyneth Davies
- Paul Darby
- Eileen Merriman
- Alison Rees Edwards
- Angela Rees
- Sioned Saer
- Dr Glenda Tinney
The degree is assessed using a variety of different types of coursework assignment including:
- academic posters
- briefing papers
Each module usually includes one piece of coursework that allows a student to demonstrate a range of skills, from their academic written skills through to oral presentation and debating skills. There are opportunities for group and paired coursework tasks as well as individual assignments. There are no formal examinations.
The course is a recognised route into further training courses such as the PGCE to become a primary school teacher and the MSc in Social Work. However this multidisciplinary degree means that students can access several other careers linked to working with young children and families.
Past graduates have gone on to work / train as:
- Early years development officers
- Foundation Phase Coordinators
- Play officers
- Further and higher education lecturers
- Family Centre personnel
- Police personnel
Graduates have also progressed to working in the government, voluntary and private sectors.
The degree focuses on developing students' research skills, written and oral communication skills as well providing students with excellent time-management and organisation skills. These are all skills which are highly sought after by a variety of diverse employers, and thus skills gained during the degree are transferable to different career pathways.
We work closely with employers and this helps the lecturing team ensure that the content of the degree supports the types of skills and experiences required of graduates when applying for work.
The School of Early Years has a successful reputation for delivering high quality higher education. The lecturers have a diverse range of expertise from previous careers including those who have worked as nursery and primary school personnel, nursery owners and managers, police child protection officers, early childhood development officers, health visitors and researchers.
Lecturers also maintain close links with the early childhood sector in order to ensure students have the opportunity to link what they learn in University with real issues in the workplace. The School also has close ties with the local community and a strong focus on widening access so that non-traditional students are able to return to education.
Students who study the Early Years Education and Care degree are provided with an innovative and exciting course, which is tailored to facilitate students' involvement and participation in their own learning so that they become confident graduates in the future.
- Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Practitioner)
- Integrated Master's Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Practitioner)
For students following the Non Practitioner Status programmes, there is one mandatory cost in addition to tuition fees:
1. Students are required to apply for, and obtain a UWTSD Enhanced Disclosure Barring Check (DBS). The fee for this is dependent on the DBS; it is currently approximately £44.
Students may incur additional costs as:
- they are required to attend some module lectures with appropriate clothing for study outdoors.
- occasionally, depending on a student's background research for assignment topics, they may need to travel to early years settings.
The School of Early Years organises mandatory study experiences and enhancement activities for students. The cost of travelling and the study on offer is incurred by the School. However students, for some visits, would need to supply their own refreshments.
Additionally the School of Early Years organises optional opportunities for student to gain additional qualifications during the latter part of their programme, for example Health and Safety, Safeguarding. These incur costs for the students; the cost is determined by the provider.
The School also offers students optional opportunities to partake in visits beyond the campus for example Cardiff, London, Sweden and Canada. The costs of these optional visits are incurred by the students.