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UCAS Code: X320|Duration: 3 years|Full Time|Hope Park|UCAS Campus Code: L46
Work placement opportunities|International students can apply|Study Abroad opportunities
Entry Requirements


The early experience of children in today’s society is crucial to their future life experience. Early Childhood is receiving significant attention due to its importance for securing lifelong learning and development. The Early Childhood degree at Liverpool Hope allows you to study early holistic development from a local, national and international perspective.

The widening gap nationally and internationally between advantaged and disadvantaged children clearly emphasises the implications of supporting children and their families in their early years. For Single Honours students there is a compulsory placement as part of your degree. The placement will enable you to enhance your understanding of key themes and provides you with an insight into the professional context. For Combined Honours students the placement is optional.

The degree is taught by academics from a wide variety of backgrounds, including Sociology, Education, Philosophy and Psychology. The teaching team are all actively involved in research and have published in their specialist fields. They are all members of the thriving Liverpool Hope Childhood Research Forum and contribute to a range of research conferences both nationally and internationally. This experience provides an informed and supportive learning environment for the student characterised by depth and challenge.


Teaching on this degree is structured mainly into lectures, where all students are taught together, seminars of smaller groups of around 20-30 students, and tutorials which typically have no more than 10 students. You will also take part in workshops, guided reading activities, distance learning and using the University’s Virtual Learning Environment. You also have the opportunity to meet with your tutor on a one-to-one basis each week.

If you are studying Early Childhood as a Single Honours degree, in your first year there are approximately 12 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 10 teaching hours in your second and third years. If you are studying Early Childhood as a Combined Honours degree, in your first year there are approximately 6 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 5 teaching hours in your second and third years.

On top of teaching hours, you are also expected to spend a number of hours each week studying independently, as well as studying in groups to prepare for any group assessments you may have.


Throughout your three years of study, you will have a variety of assessment methods including essays, exams, posters, and reflective journals. Feedback on assessments will be given to you online and you will also have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with your tutor. Longer pieces of writing are supported by interim constructive written and oral feedback.


Introduction to Early Childhood

Your first year of study is an introduction to Early Childhood. You will look at the socio-cultural and historical constructs of childhood, including perceptions of childhood and the contemporary understandings of child development. Other topics you study include the history of the development of the study of Early Childhood, including the Early Childhood pioneers, as well as the role of play.

There is also an exploration of attachment theory and the role of the key person, and you are introduced to researching young children, the role of research ethics and child observation. 

Single Honours students also study education for sustainable development, focusing on the environment, children and nature, and are introduced to notions of professional practice, involving the role of the critically reflective learner and the role of using evidence for learning. Finally, you study contemporary trends in Early Childhood associated with the environment, focusing on research informed understandings of child-friendly cities, outdoor play, risky play, enabling environments.


Explorations in Early Childhood

In your second year, you develop your knowledge of Early Childhood and the key themes that underpin it. You will build up your understanding of learning theory, including socio-cultural approaches such as inclusive practice and current educational approaches for working with babies and young children. You investigate contemporary understandings of developmental psychology, involving the biological basis of infancy and cognition in infancy.

There is also an exploration of culture, environment and experience on well-being, learning and development, for example gender and identity. You will look at international comparisons of Early Childhood education and care, for example Reggio Emilia, Te Whariki, High Scope, and Forest Schools. Other topics studied involve exploring researching young children, including the critique of research design, research patterns, research methods and measurement techniques.

Single Honours students develop your understanding of professional practice, including a critical knowledge of current provision for prenatal, babies and young children, the sociology of childbirth, and the constructions of parenthood/motherhood. You also develop your understanding of education for sustainable development, focusing on equity, democracy and inclusion. Finally, you examine contemporary trends in early childhood associated with well-being and development, for example, research informed understandings of creativity, autonomy and agency, relationships, the non-institutionalised child, social anthropology of childhood.


Advanced Studies in Early Childhood

Your final year is an advanced study of Early Childhood. You will explore the historical, philosophical, global, economic and political development of ideas of childhood, involving issues in relation to rights, diversity, equity and inclusion. You also look at the historical, social and global development of policy and legislation regarding children and their families.

You will explore some of the key issues for children in their early years and their families, for example poverty, disability, discrimination, and will critically examine the function of a multi-agency team in relation to high profile cases, including the challenges and constraints of multi-professional and multi-agency working.

Another topic studied is the professional practitioner, focusing on leadership in early year’s contexts, understanding the needs of babies, young children and families within the local community, and managing transitions and advocacy for families.

Single Honours students also study education for sustainable development, focusing on economy, social justice and social action. Undertaking research in the area of early childhood, you explore enhancing research, such as the philosophy of research, creativity in research, and innovation in research. You will explore contemporary trends in early childhood associated with the needs of the child and family, such as research informed understandings of the looked after child, excluded children, disabled children, and global childhoods.

All third year students complete a dissertation, which analyses a topic of your choice with guidance from your tutor.


UCAS Tariff Points120-112. UCAS Tariff points must come from a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent). Additional points can be made up from a range of alternative qualifications
Access to HE120 - 112 Tariff Points
Irish Leaving Certificate120 - 112 Tariff Points from Higher Level qualifications only
Welsh BaccalaureateThis qualification can only be accepted in conjunction with other relevant qualifications
Subject RequirementsNo specific subject requirements


Specific Country RequirementsSelect your country
IELTS6.0 overall (with reading and writing at 6.0) and no individual score lower than 5.5


Graduates of the Early Childhood degree have gone on to pursue careers as members of Local Authority multi-agency teams, leaders in Children’s Centres, Children’s Learning Officers at national museums and employees of national and international charity organisations, such as Save the Children and Barnardo’s. A significant number of graduates also enter the teaching profession (after successfully completing a PGCE) or the social work profession (subject to further qualification), whilst others have successfully achieved careers in business, management and government.

Graduates of this degree will have the knowledge and skills to move into a wide variety of roles in working with young children and their families.


Work Placement Opportunities

In your second year, you will be encouraged to get involved in a placement in a children’s setting or service. These placements will provide you with a valuable insight into professional practice with a view to graduation. For Single Honours students this placement is compulsory, for Combined Honours students the placement is optional but highly recommended.


The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.

Study Abroad

As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.


The tuition fees for 2019/20 are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.

If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.

The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.


On top of tuition fees, you will need approximately £100 to buy key textbooks required for the degree.

You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation pages for further details about our Halls of Residence.


We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.


The International tuition fees for 2019/2020 entry will be released in due course.

Visit our International fees page for more information.

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Department of Early Childhood


  • Visiting lecturers from the childhood sector enhance your learning
  • The Early Childhood Team are all active members in the Childhood Research Forum
  • Fieldtrips to visit various children's settings or services

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