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Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status (2 Years) (BA)

This course can be studied at our SA1 Swansea Waterfront campus, our Carmarthen campus or our Cardiff community campus.

Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status (2 Years) is designed for students already working in the childcare and education sector, and allows them to study flexibly around their work commitments.

It is an innovative, condensed full-time, two-year degree programme which is included in the Social Care Wales’ list of required qualifications to work within the early years and childcare sector in Wales. It is also a qualification offering graduate practitioner competencies in England as part of the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network (ECSDN).

Students who successfully complete this programme will graduate with a degree, as well as a licence to practice within a range of early years settings. Lectures are delivered one evening a week and on occasional Saturdays in order to enable students to carry on working while completing their degree.

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Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status (2 Years) (BA)
Apply via UCAS

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Contact Email: g.tinney@uwtsd.ac.uk
Contact Name: Dr Glenda Tinney

Tuition Fees 2021/22:
Home (Full-time): £9,000 per year
Overseas (Full-time): £13,500 per year

Why choose this course?

  1. A qualification recognised as a licence to practice by Social Care Wales - supporting employability and professional development.
  2. Providing graduate practitioner competencies in line with ECSDN in England
  3. Accelerated programme - gain a full BA (Hons) degree in only two years.
  4. We focus on your development as early year’s professionals and will prepare you for a fulfilling and exciting career across a range of disciplines.
  5. Bilingual and Welsh-medium study at the heart of our provision.
  6. Small class sizes, innovative assignments that enhance employment skills and no exams.
  7. Student experience - widening horizons through visits, guest speakers, and extra training opportunities. We offer a range of additional qualifications to enhance your skills and knowledge.

What you will learn

Course Overview

The programme has been developed to provide opportunities to learn about all aspects of young children’s education and care.

Students benefit from linking practical activities and experiences in the work environment to theories relating to children’s education and care.

Learning takes place through group discussions, workshops and study visits, as well as lectures, to develop a knowledge and understanding of a range of relevant topics.

There is an emphasis on hands-on learning in order to support understanding of the links between theory and practice within the early years. There are also optional residential visits to other parts of the UK and abroad.

Guest speakers provide opportunities to hear from sector-leading experts and keep students up to date with current policy and developments within the early years’ sector.

Module Topics

The programme is taught in an innovative block teaching method, allowing students to focus in-depth on one topic at a time.

We have found that this method is successful in supporting students to gain a better understanding of the topic content. Students study six topics on each level of the programme, each based on essential knowledge and understanding of specific aspects of early years education and care.

Students study a wide variety of subjects relating to early years education and care, with a focus on aspects of childhood such as holistic development, well-being, play, literacy, safeguarding, outdoor learning and inclusion. Leadership is also a key focus, developing early years leadership skills.

Typical topics include:

Year 1:

Level 4 

  • Learning in the digital era
  • Professional Practitioner
  • Human Development
  • Children’s Play: Theory and Practice
  • The first 1000 days
  • Multilingualism, multi-thinking

Year 2: 

Level 5 

  • Research for Learning
  • Safeguarding: practice, legislation and the multi-disciplinary team
  • Well-being, care and healthy living
  • Language and Literacy in the Digital Age
  • Awe and wonder-mathematics, science and the outdoors
  • Leadership and Teamwork in the Early Years

Year 3:

Level 6 

  • Early Years Curricula
  • Supporting Children with Additional Learning Needs
  • Leadership and Management for systems of Quality
  • Inclusive Leadership working together to support families.
  • Regaining Paradise? Sustainability in the Early Years
  • Catalytic leadership-  rights, resilience and social change

Please note, topics alter a little from year to year, owing to staff changes, curriculum development and recommendations following validation.


All our programmes are assessed by 100% course work. There are no exams.

We have found that using a varied range of assessment methods increases employability skills.

Employers seek graduates who are problem-solvers and who have a range of transferable skills. Assessment gives opportunities to develop skills such as the ability to work in a team, have effective oral and written communication while using a range of information sharing methods, including briefing papers, academic posters, group debates and professional discussions.

There are also opportunities for practical work experiences, supporting employability, professional development and careers.

Bilingual and Welsh-medium study is at the heart of our provision; you can choose to enrol on the Welsh-medium or English-medium programme and can present your assignments in either language.

Yr Athrofa


Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education

UWTSD Early Years graduate shortlisted in the 2019 British Education Awards

Karen Llewellyn, a recent BA Early Years Education and Care graduate from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has been shortlisted as a finalist at this year’s British Education Awards (BEA).

Key Information

Entry Criteria

This programme is delivered in the evening and on occasional Saturdays.

Entry criteria:

  • Early Years encourages and values applications from students who are returning to education, as they will have experiences and life skills that could support their entry onto the degree.
  • Generally, students will have attained or will be working towards, a relevant level 3 childcare/education qualification such as NNEB, CACHE, BTEC, NVQ, A-levels. However, other experience is also valuable. They will also be working or volunteering regularly in an early years setting or a workplace that provides services for young children and families.
  • All applicants will be required to provide a satisfactory enhanced disclosure document from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
  • As part of the application process, students will be given an opportunity to attend meetings with the tutors. This provides applicants with the chance to visit the campus, meet the lecturers and ask questions about the degree. During visit days, the course lecturers are always interested in applicants' experiences of volunteering and working with young children.
  • To gain graduate practitioner competences a C level GCSE Mathematics and English or other suitable equivalent literacy and numeracy qualifications may also be required.
Career Opportunities

Careers in Early Years

Graduates go on to careers in a variety of fields including:

  • Additional learning needs support
  • Afterschool Leader
  • Childminder
  • Children’s Charity Roles (e.g. Barnardo’s)
  • Community Support Officer
  • Family Facilitator
  • Family Support Officer
  • Parenting Officer
  • Pastoral Support
  • Play Workers
  • Room Leaders
  • Setting Managers
  • Youth Workers

Further Study

Some of our graduates progress to other further studies. Some students have progressed on to our own MA programmes including our MA Early Literacy and MA Early Years Education and Care.

Postgraduate programmes such as these offer opportunities for students to up-skill and deepen their understanding of young children and their families. Such studies have enabled postgraduate students to progress in their existing field of work and for others to move to new careers.

Route into teaching

As a UWTSD Early Years student, you will be guaranteed an interview for the PGCE Primary programme subject to meeting entry qualification requirements. When applying for the PGCE Primary programme we in conjunction with Initial Teacher Education will support you through a mock application and interview process.

Postgraduate Study and Alternative Routes

Graduates will also be able to progress onto a number of postgraduate courses in their area of interest, a good degree classification in Early Years Education and Care meet the entry requirements for many postgraduate routes.

Below are a few examples of routes previous graduates have taken.

  • Family and Communities
  • Nursing
  • Play Therapy
  • Policy and Government
  • Research
  • Social Work
  • Speech and Language Therapy
Additional Costs
  • Students are required to apply for and obtain a UWTSD Enhanced Disclosure Barring Check (DBS). The fee for this is dependent on the DBS and is approximately £44.
  • Students are required to gain the equivalent of 700 hours of practical experience in places such as early years settings. This will incur travelling costs and refreshment costs. (Only applies to Early Years Practitioner Status programmes)
  • Students may incur additional costs as they are required to attend some module lectures with appropriate clothing for study outdoors.
  • Mandatory study experiences and enhancement activities are organised for students studying Early Years. The cost of travelling and the study on offer is covered by the Early Years discipline. However, students, for some visits, would need to supply their own refreshments.
  • Additionally, Early Years organises optional opportunities for students to gain additional qualifications during the latter part of their programme, for example, Health and Safety, Safeguarding. These incur costs for the students; the cost is determined by the provider.
  • The School also offers students optional opportunities to partake in visits beyond the campus, for example, Cardiff, London, Sweden and Canada. The costs of these optional visits are incurred by the students.
Student Quotes

Kirsty Goff, level 6, graduated in 2018
“I am so glad I came here, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else doing any other course”.

Emma Blofield graduated in 2017
“Studying the degree has helped me immensely not only to build on my knowledge and skills but also to enable me to believe in myself.  With the support of the University, friends old and new, my supportive family and my own determination to succeed, I successfully completed the degree graduating with a first!”

Anna Latham, Level 6 student, graduated in 2018
“It was really a wonderful week of opportunity and learning, thank you!! I feel so privileged and blessed to be studying at UWTSD where I believe the Early Years is second to none! Thank you so much for your incredible commitment and hard work in providing such an excellent course including these extra-curricular activities, and for offering us students so much support and encouragement”

Aimee Cousins | Early Years
"The lecturers are studying themselves and are very passionate about the subject. They big you up! I now understand why we do what we do - theory wise. We know the mathematical and scientific theory, for example, behind wooden blocks (Frobebel)."
What's Next: I am now working for 'Action for Children' the course has helped me to make a difference to young children using 'Flying Start' initiatives. 

Bursary / Scholarship Information

Visit our Accommodation section to find out more

Further Information

 If you would like to find out more about studying in Carmarthen or Swansea, you can visit us on an Open Day