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Early Childhood Studies
Are you interested in how young children learn, interact and grow? You can explore this fascinating stage of development with our Early Childhood Studies course.
- look at childhood from a sociological perspective
- expand your knowledge of child psychology
- recall your experiences of childhood and reflect on them to develop your understanding.
You will critique experimental, observational and field studies. And your learning will be based on theory, research and practice.
The course covers a range of topics that include:
- UK early years policy
- a young child’s digital environment
- how adults support children’s learning
- health and wellbeing
- media reports about children
- knowledge of practice.
You'll have the opportunity to take placements across a range of early years settings.
On graduating you'll have the practical experience, academic and professional skills for a range of careers in the sector.
How to apply
Questions about fees?
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Questions about fees?
Please note tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.
Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.
Financial support and scholarships
Learning and assessment
You will begin by learning:
- 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.
As well as theory you will carry out practical, hands-on work. As part of this you might observe and work with young children in different settings.
Your compulsory modules provide you with the knowledge, understanding and skills you'll need to complete the course successfully. We have a diverse range of optional modules. So as you progress through the course, you can focus on particular areas of study that interest you.
You will also 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
- children’s identity.
There is also a strand of research related to understanding professionalism and multi-agency working in the early years.
You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.
After you graduate
Graduates of the Early Childhood Studies course embark on a variety of careers when finishing their studies.
Many students use Early Childhood Studies as the basis to go on to train for related jobs such as teachers, social work, educational psychology, play therapy, youth and family work. Recent graduates have taken up jobs in educational publishing and educational charities.
Some students use the degree as a platform to go onto careers in a wide variety of areas such as marketing, law and business.
Throughout the course there are regular opportunities for students to meet with careers advisers. A key principle of our approach to teaching and assessment is that it should equip students with key work skills such as team working and presenting to an audience. The direct practical experiences and reflection on the link between theory and practice within the course are also significant factors in our students' subsequent employability.
Examples of jobs that recent Early Childhood Studies graduates have gone on to are:
- Local Government Communications Support Worker
- Therapy Support Worker with the NHS
- Forest school Leader
- Primary school Manager
- Nursery Nurse
- Development Assistant, National Museum of Wales
- Children's Centre Outreach Worker.
The course can lead to a PGCE (Primary), also offered at Oxford Brookes. You may continue your studies at master's level, perhaps following a specialist Post Graduate Certificate in Challenging Behaviour or Children's Literature. We also offer a range of MA Education courses, including the MA Education: Childhood and Youth Studies.
"I will take lots of valuable life skills away from my time at Brookes. I have learnt how to conduct academic research, write in an appropriately academic style, and function well in groups"Read more about Daisy
"I enjoy being able to decide what I learn instead of having it chosen for me. If I had childcare commitments within a term I knew that I could work my timetable around them instead of having to arrange my childcare around my university commitments"Read more about Jodie
"The best thing about the course is the range of modules offered: from the unique Outdoor Learning module to the Special Needs modules. This was an area I’d never really looked into before, and really enjoyed"Read more about Jodie
Free language courses
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.
Information from Discover Uni
Programme Changes: 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 page.