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

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

Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status is a full-time three-year degree programme which includes both lectures and practical placement experience.

This Early Years Practitioner Status programme is included in the Social Care Wales’ list of qualifications required for work within the early years and childcare sector in Wales.  As part of this programme, students attend a placement at a variety of early years settings to gather the vocational experience necessary for gaining Early Years Practitioner Status. It is also a qualification offering graduate practitioner competencies in England as part of the Early Childhood Studies Degree Network (ECSDN).

The timetable is designed to support students to have plenty of time to complete placement experience and University-based learning. Suitable placements could include:

  • maintained and non-maintained nurseries
  • crèche
  • Cylchoedd Meithrin
  • Foundation Phase classes in primary schools
  • Flying Start Centres

Students who successfully complete this programme will have a degree as well as a licence to practice within a range of early years settings.

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Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status (BA)  
UCAS Code: YPS1 
Apply via UCAS

Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status (DipHE)  
UCAS Code: YPS5 
Apply via UCAS

Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status (CertHE)  
UCAS Code: YPS6 
Apply via UCAS

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

Tuition Fees 2023/24:
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 in the early years sector - supporting employability and professional development.
  2. Provide graduate practitioner competences in line with ECSDN in England
  3. We focus on your development as early years professionals and will prepare you for a fulfilling and exciting career across a range of disciplines
  4. Small class sizes, innovative assignments that enhance employment skills and no exams.
  5. 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.
  6. Bilingual and Welsh-medium study at the heart of our provision.

What you will learn

Course Overview

Students learn about all aspects of young children’s education and care, giving students opportunities to link practical activities and experiences to theories relating to holistic development.

Learning activities include group discussions, workshops, study visits as well as lectures in order to develop knowledge and understanding of a range of relevant topics.

There is an emphasis on hands-on learning in order to support the understanding of the links between theory and practice within the early years.

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.

There are also optional residential visits to other parts of the UK and abroad.

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.

Year One - Level 4 (Cert HE, Dip HE & BA)

  • Children’s Play: Theory and Practice (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Human Development (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Learning in the Digital Era (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
  • Multilingualism, Multi-thinking (20 credits; compulsory)
  • The First 1,000 Days (20 credits; compulsory)
  • The Professional Practitioner (20 credits; compulsory).

Year Two - Level 5 (Dip HE & BA)

  • Awe and Wonder - Mathematics, Science and the Outdoors (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Language and Literacy in the Digital Age (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Leadership and Teamwork in the Early Years (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Research for Learning (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Safeguarding: Practice, Legislation and the Multi-disciplinary Team (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Well-being, Care and Healthy Living (20 credits; compulsory).

Year Three - Level 6 (BA)

  • Catalytic Leadership - Rights, Resilience and Social Change (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Early Years Curricula (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Inclusive Leadership: Working Together to Support Families (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Leadership and Management for Systems of Quality (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Regaining Paradise? Sustainability in the Early Years (20 credits; compulsory)
  • Supporting Children with Additional Learning Needs (20 credits; compulsory).

All our programmes are assessed by 100% coursework. 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 employability skills.

Assessment provides 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 present your assignments in either language.

Related Links

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

  • Alison Rees Edwards
  • Ann Davies
  • Ann Marie Gealy
  • Dawn Jones
  • Glenda Tinney
  • Gwyneth Davies
  • Natalie Macdonald
  • Paul Darby
  • Sioned Saer
Entry Criteria
  • A typical offer for this course is 88-104 UCAS points.
  • All applicants will be required to provide a satisfactorily enhanced disclosure document from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
  • This degree is ideal for school-leavers studying a range of courses including A-Level, BTEC, CACHE and Welsh Baccalaureate. These course subjects can be linked to child development and care; however, the degree is also appropriate for those with no specific childcare qualifications and who have studied subjects including language, arts, music, drama, mathematics, sciences or humanities.
  • Early Years encourages and values applications from students who are returning to education.
  • As part of the application process, students will be given an opportunity to attend visit days. This provides applicants with an opportunity to visit the campus, meet the lecturers, ask questions about the degree and have a tour of the site with a current student.
  • During visit days the course lecturers are always interested in the applicant’s experiences of volunteering and working with young children, for example, school/college placements. The team also likes to hear about applicants’ interests, hobbies, and responsibilities.
  • 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 on to 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' 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 would need to supply their own refreshments for some visits.
  • Additionally, Early Years organises optional opportunities for students to gain additional qualifications during the latter part of their programme, for example, Health and SafetySafeguarding. These incur costs for the students; the cost is determined by the provider.
  • The School of Early Years 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 2018
“I am so glad I came here, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else doing any other course.”

Emma Blofield, graduated 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 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 extracurricular 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 (Froebel)."
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

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Bursaries and Scholarships section.


Visit our Accommodation section to find out more.