Early Childhood Studies with Psychology BA (Hons)

early childhood studies with psychology student holds papier mache owls
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019


If you want to make a difference in the lives of young people and understand what makes them tick, you can combine the study of childhood and psychology on this BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Psychology degree.

You’ll explore the theory and lives of children from birth to 8 years old, covering themes such as cover education, health and welfare. And you'll study psychology to build your understanding of children's individual and collective behaviour and how this affects their development.

At the end of the course you'll be set for a career in roles such as early years practitioner, play worker, youth worker, teacher and social worker.

What you'll experience

On this degree you'll:

  • Develop a thorough understanding of the first 8 years of children's lives and develop the skills you need for a career in the early years sector
  • Examine the issues that shape the lives of young children in society and explore what future care and education could look like
  • Be taught by staff that are active in research into areas such as animal cognition, autism, forensic psychology and quality of working life
  • Use specialist psychology equipment and facilities, including an observation suite, toddler and infant laboratory, psychophysiology laboratory, psychology of applied cognition laboratory, and digital analysis and video editing suite
  • Draw from current issues, using national and international viewpoints to explore the development of children in their first experiences at home and in initial education
  • Hone the soft skills that employers value including teamwork, communication, problem solving, self-motivation and time management
  • Complement your studies with our research seminars, guest speakers and School Book Club where you'll grapple with issues alongside other students and lecturers
  • You can also tailor your studies to include the Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) award. This doesn't give you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), but it does mean you can become a fully qualified teacher with specialised training for children birth to five years. Following your studies, you could go on to do a PGCE and gain QTS if you wish.

Careers and opportunities

When you complete the course, you’ll be prepared to take on roles in education, social care and health-related areas. You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level.

Previous students have gone on to work in:

  • teaching
  • healthcare
  • social welfare
  • the police force
  • early years teaching and training
  • nursery practice
  • play work
  • family support services
  • early years management
  • healthcare and health promotion
  • social work
  • the voluntary sector
  • special educational and disability support

Specific roles that our graduates have gone on to include:

  • training assessor
  • teacher
  • employability coordinator
  • careers advisor
  • schools liaison officer

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Child And Youth Development
  • Enrichment
  • Equality And Diversity In Practice
  • Health And Wellbeing Of The Child And Young Person
  • Introduction To Social Psychology
  • Perspectives Of Early Childhood Education

There are no optional units this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Advanced Psychological Science
  • Children's Social Minds
  • Enrichment
  • Just Playing?
  • Professional Practice In Early Childhood Education And Care
  • Research With Children And Young People

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Children's Literature
  • Development Of Learning
  • Digital Natives
  • Gender, Race And Education
  • Global Childhoods

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Developing And Extending Young Children's Thinking For Learning
  • Dissertation/Major Project (Education)
  • Enrichment
  • Promoting Early Learning (0-3)

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Disability: Theory, Research And Practice
  • Educational Psychology
  • Language And Communication
  • Psychology Of Human Sexuality

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies and build your links within the industry.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

Placement year

After your second year of study, you can do a paid placement year, working within local schools and organisations. This lets you put your knowledge and skills to work while developing your links with employers.

You’ll get mentoring and support throughout your placement, to ensure you’re getting the most out of the year.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • group-based activities
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • individual and group presentations
  • poster presentations
  • project work
  • lectures
  • practical research and experiments

    How you'll spend your time

    Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

    • Autumn teaching block – September to December
    • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
    • Assessment period – Easter to June

    Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

    There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

    How you're assessed

    You’ll be assessed through:

    • essays
    • group and individual projects and presentations
    • tests
    • written examinations
    • practical reports
    • self-led research project
    • a dissertation or work based unit

    You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

    You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

    Entry requirements​

    To do this degree, you need to apply for the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies course. This is because it's a ‘pathway’ degree.

    You’ll study Early Childhood Studies in depth and add Psychology as a complementary subject in years 2 and 3. You’ll graduate with a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Psychology degree when you finish the course.

    These are the entry requirements for the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies course.

    Entry Requirements

    ​Course costs

    Tuition fees (2019 start)

    • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
    • International students – £13,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

    Additional course costs

    These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

    Additional costs

    Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

    You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

    You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

    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.


    You need to choose BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies when you apply for this course, because this is a ‘pathway’ course. This is where you study Early Childhood Studies in depth and add Psychology as a complementary subject in years 2 and 3. You’ll then graduate with a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Psychology degree when you complete the course.

    If you change your mind after you apply, you can choose not to study Psychology in years 2 and 3. You’ll then graduate with a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies degree when you complete the course.

    How to apply

    To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

    • the UCAS course code – LX53
    • our institution code – P80

    You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

    Not quite ready to apply?

    Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

    If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

    How to apply from outside the UK

    If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

    To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

    Admissions terms and conditions

    When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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