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Young Children’s Learning & Development BA (Hons) (Top-up)

The Young Children’s Learning & Development BA (Hons) Degree will deepen your critical understanding and develop your reflective skills in relation to children’s learning by converting your Foundation Degree or similar Level 5 qualification into a BA (Hons) qualification.

Building on knowledge gained from the Foundation Degree, your experiences in the workplace and by reflecting on your personal skills and development during the course, your ability to lead, practice and promote children’s learning and development will give you a competitive advantage in your current job or employment prospects.

You will gain a valuable network of contacts through College study and be invited to join The Early Years Forum which has been developed to provide a regional focus for sharing good practice and interpretation of policy changes in a sector which is subject to continual government initiatives.

Teaching and learning will take place through a combination of lectures and seminars alongside 10-12 hours (pro-rata for part time study) of directed and independent learning each week outside of the scheduled sessions. Lectures and seminars provide an opportunity to share knowledge and experience providing a forum for discussion, debate and exploration of issues. You will be expected to become resourceful and entrepreneurial and to take responsibility for your own learning. Independent research, reporting on own reading, one to one guidance and small group discussion will be available to help you progress. Your independent study is supported by the excellent Learning Hub at the Aireville Campus in addition to the College’s Specialist Support Centre.

You will receive feedback on your formal assessments within four working weeks of the submission date.  You must receive a pass mark of 40 or above in all modules to achieve the BA (Hons) Degree.  Your overall grade for the course and your BA (Hons) Degree classification are based on the marks obtained for all modules.  More information can be found in the Regulations for Awards Validated by The Open University.

The Open University Academic Reviewer (2019) feedback said,
‘The students discussed their dissertation work and it was clear from their passion, and the confidence with which they talked about their work that they have a vast amount of knowledge about children’s early experiences and learning. I was hugely impressed with the nature of the students’ project work, which was innovative and focused on children’s holistic development, rather than restricted by dominant developmental discourse that can restrict the way the profession understands and values young children. Students were clearly inspired by their studies and tutors to explore practices that promote children as competent communicators and recognised the value of engaging with the voice of the child.
The students were clearly well supported by their tutors, both in developing knowledge and skills and in staying motivated; the students referred to tutors as their strongest support network. All of the students had clear career aspirations, and tutors had fostered a culture of empowerment, with students recognising their value as professionals in their current and future work contexts. It was evident in the dialogue between students and tutors that there were shared understandings about the ethos and values of being part of this course of study, in this college, and that all parties were proud of what they represent in terms of good practice for children and practitioners.
The team of tutors have a clear commitment to ensuring students succeed; their strong knowledge of the capabilities and contexts for each student ensures each is supported to reach their potential. It is evident that the team have ideas that they are working on to develop their provision and I hope that the development day facilitated by the OU later in the year will provide an opportunity to explore new and emerging research in the field.’

Aireville Campus
Study Location
1 Year (FT) | 2 Years (PT)
FT - £6,950 | PT - £1,160 per 20 credit module
Institution Code
The Open University
Validated by

Entry Requirements

  • 240 credits from Young Children’s Learning & Development FD or other Level 5 qualification in a relevant subject area
  • Relevant work experience
What you will study image

What you will study

1 • The Reflective Practitioner 20 Reflective Journal
1 • Working with Children & Families in Twenty-First Century England 20 Essay
2 • Children’s Learning & Development: Theory & Practice 20 Portfolio
2 • Leadership & Management 20 Literature Review & Presentation
2 • Dissertation 40 Research Report

What's Next?

To apply for a part-time higher education programme, please complete our online application form. To apply for a full-time higher education programme, please apply via UCAS.

Further Study

  • Childhood Studies & Early Years MA
  • Early Years Teacher Qualification
  • Primary School Teaching Qualification PGCE, QTS (Primary)

Students wishing to progress to teaching qualifications should check the entry requirements including GCSE English, Maths & Science.


  • Early Years Teacher
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Nursery Room Leader and Management
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Family Outreach Support Worker