You will begin by learning about how very young children grow and develop, both in the family and in different cultures, examining how toddlers make sense of the world around them through play and interaction with adults.
Underpinning the theory is an important strand of practical, hands-on work in which you may observe and work with young children in different settings. We have strong links to local settings and providers of early childhood care and education, through placement opportunities and a regular forum on early years research.
As you progress through the course, you can focus on particular areas of study that interest you by selecting from the diverse range of modules available.
In addition you research particular topics in early years education. Research interests of our staff include children’s language acquisition; the nature of children’s thinking; children and new technologies/media; outdoor learning; children’s spirituality; and children’s identity. There is also a strong strand of research related to the understanding of professionalism and multi-agency working in the early years.
As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here.
These compulsory modules are designed to provide you with the knowledge, understanding and skills you will need to successfully complete the course.
Families, Culture and Context
The study of families and cultures.
Studying Early Childhood (double module)
An introduction to the study of early childhood and development of skills.
Critcal Thinking in Early Childhood
Develop your critical reading skills through a range of group activities focusing on texts from a variety of sources.
You can choose four other modules from a range of options such as:
- Legal Aspects of Health and Social Care
- Constructions of Childhood
- Education in a World of Change: Policy and Provision
- Introduction to Child and Adolescent Development
- Understanding Language
- Education, Childhood and Youth Culture: Film and Literature
Years 2 and 3
There are four compulsory modules:
- Child Development
- Research Methods in Childhood and Education
- Dissertation (double module).
You can then choose from a range of optional modules, including:
- Child Development: Researching Development
- International Comparisons in Early Childhood Care and Education
- Early Childhood Studies Placement
- Reflective Practice
- Equality and Identity
- Professional Roles in Early Years
- Literature for Young Children
- Outdoor Learning
- The Social World of Childhood
- Children and the Media
- Controversial and Contemporary Research in Education
- Social Work with Children
- Social Work with Looked After Children.
There are opportunities for placements across a wide range of early years settings throughout the course. In one of the first year modules you will undertake a number of observational visits to settings that enable you to begin to make links between theory and research, and practice.
During your second and third years there are extended placement modules that will give you direct practical experience of working with young children and early years professionals.
You can choose a third-year placement according to your particular interests, for example working with children with special educational needs or with educational charities. The work placement modules in your second and third years are optional. Please note - the Early Childhood Studies Placement module in your second year is a prerequisite for the Reflective Practice module, so students are expected to take the second year module before they progress to the third year one.
You will be asked to cover your travel costs to and from placements. However there is no extra cost incurred for the placement itself.
There is also the opportunity to apply to undertake a twelve week teaching experience in bilingual schools in Chile, set up via a partnership between Oxford Brookes and Cognita, a UK based education group during your second year (see further information below).
We are always keen to explore ways in which you broaden your experience of education and development. In the past we have visited The Gambia developing long standing relationships with schools and colleges and we are actively exploring international opportunities in other parts of the world, aiming to be responsive to students' needs and interests.
These field trips are optional and will incur extra costs. The approximate cost for the Gambia trip in 2017 is £1000.
You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year.
Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:
- increasing your employability within an international market
- boosting your language skills
- building your confidence in adapting to new situations
- improving your knowledge of different cultures.
While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.
We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.
There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.
For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.
Free language courses for students - the Open Module
Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.
Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.
We do not expect students to purchase any compulsory course books, as they are all available in the library. If students wish to purchase additional books to supplement their reading this is at their own discretion.
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published
on the website. For more information, please visit our
Changes to programmes