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  • Acquire a deep understanding of why early years education is so important
  • Enjoy the freedom to follow up your own interests with a wide range of optional modules
  • Voluntary work in your second year counts towards academic credit
  • Focus on your employment prospects, whether you are looking to pursue a teaching career or other support roles in schools and early years settings
  • Benefit from a dedicated and supportive programme team

Research shows that early childhood education plays a critical role in cognitive development and later life. The Education Studies (Early Childhood) degree is perfect if you want to analyse in-depth why those early learning processes are so vital.

Although some of the philosophical and pedagogical theories you study are the same as on the BA Education Studies degree at Winchester, the focus is always on how to apply them to the early years. Alongside core modules, you learn about how other factors influence early childhood learning, including race, gender, power, technology, culture, ecology and inclusion.

One factor that makes this such a fascinating area for study is the intense political disagreement about all aspects of early education. On our course, you assess a range of political ideas about family life and caring for the young that have had far-reaching effects on schooling and wider society.

In Year 1, you learn to familiarise yourself with the important names and terms in educational theory and you are encouraged to reflect on how your own educational experiences have influenced you.

In Years 2 and 3, you learn more about the impact of different social, political and cultural perspectives on early childhood learning. The course gives you a lot of flexibility to follow your interests. In Year 2, you can choose from a range of optional modules as diverse as What is a Child?, Play, or Progressive Education. In this second year, you can also choose to do volunteering for academic credit.

In Year 3, you write your dissertation on a topic of your choice – examples of 2017 dissertations include the role of the parent in the nature/nurture debate, the impact of life scripts in early childhood, and the relation between physical education and academic performance. You also pursue optional modules which may include the Loss of Childhood, Early Childhood in a Changing World, or Film in Education. By the end of the programme, you graduate as a well-rounded, critical thinker in early childhood theory.

Our graduates pursue careers in teaching, social services, and the caring professions. Some do PGCEs, but most find the degree has opened their eyes to other possibilities. Many work in support roles in schools and early years settings, sometimes with children with special needs and often in challenging settings like pupil referral units or special schools. Others go into local government, international development or charity work.

The Education Studies (Early Childhood) BA is the right degree for you if you have a wide interest in education and early childhood. You may be thinking about teaching, but at this stage you are looking to keep your options open. The programme tutors form a dedicated and enthusiastic team who look forward to meeting you and talking about your ambitions.


Graduates pursue careers within teaching, social services, and the caring profession.

94.4% of our 2015/16 graduates (first degree and other undergraduate courses) were in employment and/or further study six months after completing their course.

The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record collects information about what those completing university go on to do six months after graduation. The Careers Service undertakes DLHE on an annual basis through surveys and a data collection process. DLHE is designed and strictly controlled by HESA.

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.


Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work placements

You have the opportunity to undertake professional practice placements during the programme for three months, six months or one year. Three or six month placements can be taken as part of credit bearing modules, allowing you to undertake a work placement and still graduate within three years.

Field trips

You will be offered the opportunity to participate in field trips in Year 2 and Year 3 of the course.

Study abroad

Our BA (Hons) Education Studies (Early Childhood) course provides an opportunity for you to study abroad in the United States of America (USA).

For more information see our Study Abroad section.

Learning and teaching

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market. 

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.

While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 240 hours
  • Independent learning: 960 hours
Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 228 hours
  • Independent learning: 960 hours
  • Placement: 12 hours
Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 228 hours
  • Independent learning: 972 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course. 

Education is arguably one of the most significant influences on our personal development and on the world around us. Consequently, Education Studies at the University of Winchester ensures that the course does not just teach about education but is in itself intrinsically educational. We take the view that all 'higher education' should aim to create thinking, questioning, and caring people able to play a fulfilling and critical role in all aspects of their lives. Learning and teaching are not something we just study, they constitute the experience of higher education, because what we learn and how we learn are intrinsically related. We know that excellent teacher/student relationships are the key to motivation, enjoyment and success, and to feeling valued as an individual within educational institutions. We hold these relationships to be the cornerstone of everything we do.


King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester


Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*:
  • 63% coursework
  • 4% written exams
  • 33% practical exams
Year 2 (Level 5)*:
  • 83% coursework
  • 0% written exams
  • 17% practical exams
Year 3 (Level 6)*:
  • 88% coursework
  • 0% written exams
  • 12% practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.

Student satisfaction

As rated by final year undergraduate students in the 2017 National Student Survey, Education Studies (Early Childhood) achieved greater than 90 per cent overall satisfaction.


2018 Entry: 104-120 points

A GCSE A*-C or 9-4 pass in Mathematics and English Language is required.

International Baccalaureate: 26 points

If English is not your first language: 

Year 1/Level 4: IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234

Send us a message

International Students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Days.

Year 1 (Level 4)

Modules Credits

Literacies in Higher Education 15

This module explores the concept of literacy in the light of the information overload that characterises the twenty-first century. Critical literacy as you begin your university study requires more of the ‘reader’ than the basic ability to translate symbols on a page into words. The module provides an introduction into interpreting and referencing a range of resources which may include newspapers, films, internet websites, television, radio, fine art, popular art, ephemera, academic journals, novels, non-fiction books and music. The module will prepare you to evaluate effectively the wide range of material that can be used as evidence in our study of education in its broadest understanding. 

Introducing Special and Inclusive education 15

This module introduces important policy, theory and debate in the fields of special and inclusive education. As it considers perspectives on various impairments, the module draws on insights and ideas from medical literature, psychology and sociology. In this way substantive questions in special and inclusive education are addressed. We will explore how might educational institutions might most effectively respond to students with impairments. This exploration will lead us to investigate differences between impairment and disability and what it might mean to be an inclusive educator.

Principles in Education 15

This module encourages you to discuss issues in education not just by asserting what you think to be right, but by working with a set of principles which enable you to make a sustained and coherent argument to defend and explain your position. You will be introduced to a series of differing forms of schooling and distinct educational practices in relation to educational contexts, issues and situations. Students are provided with opportunities to engage in independent and group research to examine these practices and issues. The module draws upon Kant’s notion of a universal principle to inform a substantive engagement with educational concepts, contexts and practices.

Educators 15

The module combines an introduction to the ideas and theories of various educators concerned with education. Some of the educators encountered will offer ideas about education directly in relation to schooling whilst others offer insights into education in its broader sense. The range of educators examined will represent particular interests of course tutors and will introduce students to the breadth of content they will encounter during their studies. Drawing on a diverse range of figures from various fields, including the arts, religion, and philosophy, this module asks students, not only to engage with the insights and teachings of each of the individuals they encounter, but also with the very question of what it means to be an educator and to educate.

Educational Reflections 15

This module enables students to reflect meaningfully on their own educational experiences and provides an opportunity for collaborative work.  Through studying a range of educational theorists, students will be introduced to various approaches to teaching and learning which will a) provide a point of departure and foundation for future study and b) provide a means through which they can reflect on their own educational experiences and those of others. In addition, students will be encouraged to explore and question what ‘educational experience’ might mean beyond formal, institutional settings.      

Learning from the Renaissance 15

Educational ideas and the people responsible for their circulation are defined by their historical context. This module takes one of the most significant periods of cultural change in modern European history – The Renaissance (meaning ‘rebirth’) – as a starting point for contextualising developments in educational thought. The module will introduce and explore the Renaissance’s scholarly branch of learning, humanism, and its enduring legacy.  It will also look more deeply into selected ideas, events and individuals with a view to illustrating their significance both within the Renaissance and beyond. Central to the approach of the module will be to illustrate ways in which the Renaissance holds an ‘educational’ import both within itself and in terms of its lasting impact. The module aims to increase student knowledge and understanding of the Renaissance but also to draw out its fundamental import for the notion of education in its widest sense.

Introducing Early Childhood 15

Exploring a range of issues and themes relevant to early childhood experience, this module interrogates the ‘Early Childhood Studies’ (ECS) discipline in its political, professional and academic dimensions, and how ECS has been culturally constructed as a phenomenon of the Academy and of the Early Education and Care professions. The module considers what our construction(s) might mean, and what might be driving those constructions, at individual and societal levels. Before we can begin to achieve some clarity about what ‘early childhood’ might be or mean, we need to challenge many of our most taken-for-granted assumptions about such phenomena as ‘development’, ‘quality’, ‘learning’, ‘play’ etc. In successfully ‘deconstructing’ and ‘unlearning’ at least some of these assumptions, an opening-up of a critical space for deepening our understanding of the phenomenon of early childhood for the rest of the degree programme will have been achieved.

Political Perspectives on Education 15

The aim of this module is to ensure that students are well informed on a range of political concepts and perspectives. This is essential if they are, later in the programme, to make reasoned judgements on a variety of contemporary issues related to policy across the range of educational provision, including beyond the UK. This module therefore introduces students to a variety of contemporary political and policy issues and to concepts that can be brought to them from across the political spectrum. The second half of the module draws on the perspectives introduced in the first to introduce students to a considered theoretical engagement with the question of children as citizens.

‘44 and ‘88 : The Acts 15

This module provides an in-depth analysis of the 1944 and 1988 Education Acts. It looks at the historical and political backgrounds to the Acts, investigates the ideologies which lay behind the Acts, and looks at the influence of and reaction to them amongst different groups. The ideologies of the Acts are compared and related to the wider social and political context in which they originate. The module encourages students to reflect on notions of educability, equality, selection and differentiation. It enables students to explore how those notions have been related to differing philosophical and political views and how they have been implemented in relation to different economic models of education including the education market. The implications of changes in early years education are considered in relation to the ideologies underpinning the Acts. The introduction of Special Education Needs into the state provision of education in the 1944 Act is also considered. The module also raises questions about education and social and cultural reproduction. Students are encouraged to reflect upon the two Acts in the light of their own views about education provision and their own experience of education.

Year 2 (Level 5)

Modules Credits

Education: Social and Political Thought (2) 15

In Education: Social and Political thought we studied attempts to offer definitive explanations of what should motivate individuals to act.  In this module we turn to theories of ethics that disrupt these accounts. The materialist interpretations of social and political relations advanced in Education: Social and Political thought are also disrupted as we consider the complexities of knowledge and power, along with the ethical dimensions of human relations. We will explore selected theorists through primary sources and you will be expected to have access to the key texts. A list of these is available on our web site. The goal of this module is to extend our understanding of education beyond the classroom and into the wider world. It will, of necessity, introduce many important ethical and political issues, and will provide perspectives that can be employed in other optional modules.

Theorising Early Childhood 15

A module for the Early Childhood degree pathway, module readings are related, first, to two early key texts – John Locke's essay 'Some Thoughts on Education' and J.-J. Rousseau's Émile; and second, to the more contemporary writings of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. The underpinning theme is the ‘Nature/Nurture debate’, which comprises a continually growing body of theory and argument that attempts to identify a set of fundamental causes said to 'determine' human nature, with the debate getting its name from these two supposedly opposed sources of causation. This highly topical debate provides a general reference point for most theoretical studies of early childhood education because the child is either thought to be 'plastic' and malleable in terms of possible outcomes (the nurture assumption), or relatively fixed in its characteristics – even pre-determined – before its birth (the nature assumption).


Education: Social and Political Thought 15

This is the first of the two mandatory modules for Education Studies at level 5. In this module you will be introduced to a range of thinkers who have argued for education as a tool for social and political reform. The emphasis in this first module will be on the notion of education as enlightenment, both in ancient and modern versions. We will explore selected theorists through primary sources and you will be expected to have access to the key texts. A list of these is available on our web site. The goal of this module is to extend our understanding of education beyond the classroom and into the wider world. It will, of necessity, introduce many important social and political issues, and will provide perspectives that can be employed in other optional modules.

Optional Credits

Optional Modules
  • What is a Child? 15 Credits
  • A Thinking about 'Race' 15 Credits
  • B Thinking about 'Race' 15 Credits
  • Independent Study 15 Credits
  • Impairments, Disability and Inclusion 15 Credits
  • Theories of Discipline 15 Credits
  • Theorising Progressive Education 15 Credits
  • Thinking the Holocaust 15 Credits
  • Technology and Education 15 Credits
  • Knowing through Observation 15 Credits
  • Globalisation and Comparative Education 15 Credits
  • Physical Education 15 Credits
  • Constructing Identity: Teachers' Lives and Pupils' Stories 15 Credits
  • Theorising Special and Inclusive Education 15 Credits
  • What was a Teacher? Histories of Teacher Education 15 Credits
  • 'Pioneers and Separate Spheres' Gender and History of Education 1789-1923 15 Credits
  • Social Inclusion and Exclusion 15 Credits
  • Sexuality: Education, Policy and Practice 15 Credits
  • The Teacher: Power and Pedagogy 15 Credits
  • Education and Work 15 Credits
  • Education & Nature: learning in the Anthropocene 15 Credits
  • Education Beyond Left and Right 15 Credits
  • Culture/ Education 15 Credits
  • Education and Christianity 15 Credits
  • Philosophies of Education 15 Credits
  • Play 15 Credits
  • Volunteering in Education Studies 15 Credits

Year 3 (Level 6)

Modules Credits

Early Years Education (B) 15

In part 1, key thinkers relevant to early childhood education (ECE) – Max Weber, key psychoanalytic thinkers Susan Isaacs, John Bowlby and Donald Winnicott, and Michel Foucault – are examined. These theorists provide ideas for illuminating current policy trajectories, including the contemporary English Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), aiding the construction of cogent analyses, critiques and alternatives. The structure and content of the revised EYFS Guidance (2011) and the Foundation Stage Profile are also explored.

Early Years Education (A) 15

In part 1, key thinkers relevant to early childhood education (ECE) – Max Weber, key psychoanalytic thinkers Susan Isaacs, John Bowlby and Donald Winnicott, and Michel Foucault – are examined. These theorists provide ideas for illuminating current policy trajectories, including the contemporary English Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), aiding the construction of cogent analyses, critiques and alternatives. The structure and content of the revised EYFS Guidance (2011) and the Foundation Stage Profile are also explored.
In weeks 7–11 see the study of some important writer-practitioners in post-Enlightenment European ECE – Froebel, Steiner, Montessori and Malaguzzi. Each has developed ideals and approaches which can be used to interrogate the Foundation Stage Guidance/Profile and the revised EYFS Curriculum. Themes common to these four educators are explored in week 11, in a session aimed at supporting the development of students’ applying their work to the contemporary English policy-making landscape, and for informing assignment 2.

Dissertation 30

The dissertation will be a piece of independent research undertaken by the student resulting in an 8,000 – 10,000 word project.

Optional Credits

Optional Modules
  • Construction of Gender Roles in Schools 15 Credits
  • Current Issues in Education 15 Credits
  • Democracy and Education 15 Credits
  • Independent Study 15 Credits
  • Loss of Childhood 15 Credits
  • Critiquing Higher Education 15 Credits
  • Constructing the Other: Race, Ethnicity and Religion 15 Credits
  • Educating the Teenage Consumer 15 Credits
  • The Inclusive Educator: Values, Virtues and Practice 15 Credits
  • Discipline and the Soul 15 Credits
  • Holocaust Education 15 Credits
  • Marxisms and Schooling 15 Credits
  • Exclusion in and from Schooling: Critical Reflections on Teaching, Policy and Theory 15 Credits
  • Utopia and Education 15 Credits
  • Education and the Arab-Islamic World 15 Credits
  • Film as Education 15 Credits
  • Reconceptualising Early Childhood Education (RECE) 15 Credits
  • Contemporary Theory and Practice in Early Childhood 15 Credits
  • Early Childhood in a Changing World 15 Credits
  • Philosophy, Education and the Learning Person 15 Credits
  • Deconstructing Philosophies of Education 15 Credits
  • Education and Jewish Though 15 Credits
  • Education, Ecologies & Ethics 15 Credits
  • Critiquing Inclusive Educational Practice 15 Credits
  • Critiquing the Museum Experience 15 Credits
  • The Language of Inclusion in Education 15 Credits
  • Education, Inclusion and Refugees 15 Credits
  • Evaluating Educational Research 15 Credits
  • Liberal Education 15 Credits

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Course Tuition Fees 

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

If you are a UK or EU student starting your degree in September 2018, the first year will cost you £9,250. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK and EU students. Remember, you don't have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year. If finance is a worry for you, we are here to help. Take a look at the range of support we have on offer. This is a great investment you are making in your future, so make sure you know what is on offer to support you.

Full-time £9,250 p/a

Total Cost: £27,750 (3 years) | £28,450 (sandwich option)

UK/EU Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,938

International Students

Full-time £12,950** p/a
Total Cost: £38,850** (3 years) | £39,550** (sandwich option)

International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £107.92 and a 15 credit module is £1,620. Fees for students from Vestfold University College in Norway (who receive a 10% reduction) and NLA are £11,655.



As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:


Core texts:Books and other reading materials are very important to the Education Studies programme. Multiple copies of core text are held within the library and e-books are identified where possible, however due to limited availability students are recommended to purchase a copy for their own use. It is possible for students to second-hand copies. Cost £100 per academic year.

Field trip: Second year students have the option to visit local schools and will be responsible for paying their own travel costs. Cost £0-20 per trip.

Field trip:Third year students will have the opportunity to attend a field trip in London, and will be responsible for paying their own travel costs. Cost £35-70 per trip.


We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

Key course details

UCAS code
3 years full-time; 6 years part-time
Typical offer
104-120 points
King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester