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Have you always been fascinated by how children learn and experience childhood? Are you passionate about their emotional wellbeing, development and rights?
If so, our BA (Hons) Early Childhood and Primary Education Studies course could be for you. You’ll develop into a thoughtful and flexible practitioner, acting as an amazing advocate for young children. You’ll benefit from practical work placements, smaller classroom sizes and one on one support.
The quality of teaching is fantastic. The variety of teaching styles allows us students to get a range of skills and find ways we prefer to learn. Due to the slightly smaller scale of the university, you feel like you belong to more of a community. With BNU, there is something for everyone.Morgon Wall
We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.
For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.
At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union has been ranked in the top three in the UK in the National Student Survey (NSS 2020). We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich your university experience. It’s a big deal!
Education in the early years is about sharing engaging, worthwhile experiences with children, linked to their interests and what they already know, thus building on their fascination and wonder at the world around them.Wendy Scott, OBE
Why study this subject?
How children learn and experience childhood has never been more important in education, together with a whole host of other areas including emotional wellbeing, safeguarding and the rights of the child.
Early Childhood and Primary Education Studies could lead you into primary age teacher training via School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT), Early Years Initial Teacher Training, or Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). You could also choose to progress into a leadership role in early years, social work, special needs, play therapy, special needs, charities and international development work.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
Studying a BA (Hons) Early Childhood and Primary Education Studies degree at BNU will give you the deep insight and knowledge you need to become a valued and trusted support for the children and families you'll work with in your future career.
It’s important to us that we provide you with not only the academic theory but also the practical experience you’ll need to step into your future confidently.
Our lecturers are experts and have rich experiences to share that will make your learning come to life. They're all former practitioners themselves meaning they can tell you about the realities of working with children in different settings. It also means your learning will always be linked to real-life practice.
Our intimate student community and friendly teaching team on this course makes studying at BNU unique. You’ll always have someone there to talk to and share your experiences with.
Best of all, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and work with front-line professionals who will understand exactly what you’re going through. They can help prepare you to be confident and resilient no matter what you choose to do beyond graduation.
What will I study?
We'll work hard to develop your knowledge and understanding of how young children learn and develop in areas like play, school-based learning, emotional wellbeing, and importantly their place within family and society.
The mental health and wellbeing of children is a core theme within this course and is specifically where you’ll cover the difficult but important topic of supporting them through loss and grief.
At BNU, we’re always thinking about your future career so it's at the heart of everything we do. This programme will give you the opportunity to develop important employability and transferable skills like teamwork, giving presentations, role play, and communication both with colleagues and, crucially, with the children and families you support. You'll be able to take all of these important skills with you to flourish, whatever career path you choose.
How will I be taught and assessed?
This course is offered as a four-year programme, which includes the addition of an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree.
This programme aims to assist you in developing a solid understanding of the principles of working with children in early years and primary education.
You’ll be taught through classroom learning, lectures, group discussion and seminars, enabling you to learn from your tutors and reflect on your experiences with your course mates. This sharing of experiences is seen as an important part of your development to prepare you for becoming a reflective practitioner in your future career.
You’ll take part in individual tutorials, guided independent study, workshops and presentations as well as benefiting from visiting guest speakers including social workers, headteachers, nursery managers and playworkers who will enhance your learning by sharing their ‘real-life’ experience.
The delivery of this course has been designed in a way to allow you to have a part-time job or to volunteer in an educational setting while you study.
We assess your work in a number of different ways to reflect the different learning styles our students have. You’ll work on essays, literature reviews, reports and reflective assignments, and be given the opportunity to show your creative side through collages, storyboards and poster presentations.
All staff have gone above and beyond to ensure that I am supported in every module by providing tutorials, guest speakers and workshops. Also, staff appear to want the best for the students so are available by email in between lectures which I have found really helpful, so you do not have to wait for support until the next lecture.Morwenna Bone
BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
Our Early Childhood and Primary Studies programme has a strong focus on employability, so we offer a number of opportunities for early career development. Through placement learning experiences you can practically apply everything you learn in the classroom and get a real feel for what your career beyond graduation will look and feel like.
What are the course entry requirements?
Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
Year 1 Modules
Ways of Learning About the Social World
Preparing for Success: Knowledge and Creativity
Preparing for Success: Self Development and Responsibility
Inquiry Based Learning
Year 2 Modules
Theoretical Perspectives of Child Development
Born to Learn: Play and Creativity
Social Constructs of Childhood
Protecting Children’s Health and Wellbeing
Introduction to Frameworks for Learning
Year 3 Modules
Building and Promoting Inclusive Learning Opportunities
Exploring the Occupational Landscape in Practice
Education for Sustainability
Supporting Emotional Wellbeing following Childhood Loss
An Introduction to the Philosophies and Concepts of Research
21st Century Families
Year 4 Modules
Project: Evaluating Educational Initiatives
Supporting the Emotional and Physical Wellbeing of Children
Learning and Teaching with Technology
Exploring Children's Literature (optional)
How much does it cost
Home and EU
Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022
£9,250 per year
International, Academic Year 2021-2022
£13,750 per year
What are my career prospects?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
Once you’ve graduated with your degree in Early Childhood and Primary Education Studies, you’ll be well qualified to think about a number of different careers.
You could consider completing teacher training via School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT), Early Years Initial Teacher Training, or even a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
If teaching isn’t your thing, how about progressing into a leadership position in early years, social work, special needs, play therapy, charities and international development work. You could even consider training and assessment in the public or private sector – your options really are endless!
Graduates can also choose to study one of our postgraduate course like PGCert Practice Education here at BNU.