BA (Hons)

Early Childhood Studies with Psychology

Understanding the individual psychological needs of a child

X3C8UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

If you want to study the experiences and needs of children in their first years, with a prime focus on the way psychology affects a child’s development, this course is ideal for you. You will approach this by covering a range of themes including health, education and sociological matters.

You will study topics, ideas, models and theories relating to both past and present practice.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Study young people’s behaviour and responses in our psychology laboratories
  • Volunteer at local schools or charities to gain work-based experience
  • Attend lectures by guest speakers researching in the field

What opportunities might it lead to?

Studying in the School of Education and Continuing Studies can lead you onto a variety of career pathways, some of which may require postgraduate study. You will be able to apply for a range of roles in education, social care and health related areas.

Please note that this course does not provide Qualified Teacher Status.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • education and training
  • family work
  • healthcare and health promotion
  • social work
  • the police
  • work in the voluntary sector
Victoria Byrne, BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies student

The course has a good range of units, focusing on practical hands-on experience and commentary on issues in the world today.

Victoria Byrne, early childhood studies student

Apply for September 2016

If you're still considering your options, we’re here to help you make the right decision.

Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
240-300 points from 3 A levels or equivalent. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5. Other qualifications

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*

International students
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,000 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 8299
School of Education and Continuing Studies
Programme specification


Education, Childhood and Youth Studies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Hands-on opportunities to work in a relevant educational setting
  • The support available to all students
  • The flexibility of unit options that enable you to tailor your study to your own interests

Browse all courses in Education, Childhood and Youth Studies

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

In each year you will spend two-thirds of your study time in Early Childhood Studies courses, with the remaining third in units offered by the Psychology department. In your first year, you will study this programme:


  • Child and Youth Development
  • Equality and Diversity in Practice
  • Introduction to Psychological Science
  • Perspectives of Early Childhood Education
  • The Psychology of Everyday Life


Year two

In your second year you will consolidate the work of your first year, while making choices to focus your degree on a specific area of interest. You’ll also have the opportunity to experience paid or voluntary work with children and young people as part of the Faculty electives programme.

  • Approaches to Psychology
  • Contemporary Issues in Psychology
  • Global Childhoods
  • Just Playing? 
  • Research with Children and Young People
  • One Option from
    • Children’s Literature
    • Development of Learning
    • Digital Natives
    • Gender, Race and Education
    • Learning from Experience (LiFE)

Year three

Your third year will give you the opportunity to specialise through your choice of dissertation topic and a further range of optional units.

  • Dissertation
  • Promoting Early Learning (0-3) 
  • Developing and Extending Young Children's Thinking for Learning
  • Two Options from
    • Disability: Theory, Research and Practice
    • Educational Psychology
    • Language and Communication
    • Psychology of Human Sexuality

Teaching and Assessment

We pride ourselves on the quality of teaching and student support on this course. Learning takes a variety of forms including group-based activities, seminars, tutorials, individual and group presentations, poster presentations, project work, elearning activities and lectures.

How are you assessed?

We use a range of assessment methods to ensure that you reach your academic potential. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • essays
  • group and individual presentations/projects
  • tests
  • a 10,000-word dissertation
Joy Chalke

Tutor's view

Joy Chalke
Early Childhood Studies

The BA Early Childhood Studies provides students with the opportunity to engage with the subject from a range of national and international perspectives which support a deepening knowledge and understanding of the constructions of the young child in the world today.

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Study in SECS

The School comprises a body of enthusiastic staff with a range of expertise in the professional and academic sectors. We offer a welcoming learning environment, in a location near the heart of town, the student buildings and the sea front.

3rd Space

A social learning space for you to study or meet up with friends. Small and large groups, or individuals looking for a quiet space can find a quiet area which can be screened off. Alternatively, grab a coffee or play a game of pool in between lectures.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

You will be well prepared for a career working with children, either in school settings or other government or private institutions; your degree may also lead you onto a variety of career pathways, some of which may require postgraduate study.

Graduates of courses in the School of Education have gone into roles as early years’ practitioners, children’s centre workers, play workers and youth workers, and are well placed for roles developing rapidly in response to current government initiatives in both areas. You may also train to teach, to gain Early Years Professional Status, study as Speech and Language therapists or undertake a Masters degree in Social Work.

Please note that this course does not provide Qualified Teacher Status or British Psychological Society accreditation. It is possible to top up credits to gain full BPS accreditation at a variety of institutions throughout the UK. See for more information.

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which lets you earn credits toward your degree for work/research placements, volunteer roles or internships undertaken alongside your studies. The option gives you the opportunity to enhance your employability skills, to reflect on the ways in which you've done so, and to learn to express this to potential employers.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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