Queen's University Belfast Foundation Degree Early Childhood Studies

This course is suitable for all students who wish to work in an early years setting. The course is delivered through a combination of classroom teaching and practical work placements. Both of these elements are a compulsory part of the course. There is a focus on helping you to develop the knowledge, skills and values necessary for employment and professional development with the Early Years sector. To apply for this course you must apply via UCAS at Stranmillis University.

Academic Year: 2023/24

Course Code: 10665

Campus: Lisburn

Study Type: Full-Time

Education Level Higher Education


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Course Structure

A total of 12 modules may be studied over two years full time.

These include topics such as:

Year 1

  • Child Development
  • Historical Overview
  • Professional Practice 1
  • Learning through Play
  • The Acquisition of Language and Communication Skills
  • Quality Provision in the Early Years

Year 2

  • Safeguarding Children
  • Developing Skills and Strategies for Managing Children’s Behaviour
  • Professional Practice 2
  • Working with Children with Additional Needs
  • Anti Discriminatory Practice and Inclusion in the Early Years Environment
  • Working with Babies (0-3 years)

Contact Hours

Contact Hours per week

15 hours contact time to include practical classes, lectures, workshops or tutorials.

Mandatory Additional Study

Maximum of 3 hours per week average over the academic year.

Personal Study

19 hours maximum studying and preparing assessments in your own time per week, including use of online materials.

Work placement (Full-time)

Minimum 2 days per week across both semesters. If timetabling allows, 3 days of placement could be completed.

Entry Requirements

To apply for this course you must apply via UCAS at Stranmillis University to be considered for this course.

GCSE and University General Entrance requirement statement

  • GCSE English Language Grade C or above;
  • GCSE Mathematics Grade C or above,
  • At least 1 other GCSE Grade C or above preferably in a Science subject


A minimum of 64 UCAS points which may include:

  • 2 A Levels
  • Level 3 Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Level 3 Extended Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development

Republic of Ireland

  • Irish leaving certificate - normally BBBBB at Higher (must have English and Maths Ordinary level Grade D or better)

Access Diploma

  • Access course - minimum of 55% including Mathematics and English

International requirements

  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2
  • IELTS 6.0; (minimum of 5.5 in all skills)
  • PTE 51 Or equivalent (Examples of equivalent qualifications would be a GCSE in English, Level 3 Programmes, Essential Skills in Literacy – Level 2, ESOL Level 2 or alternative qualifications gained at an Institution within the UK).


Successful completion of the admissions process (Instructions as above - Via UCAS) APEL Provide evidence of ability to undertake the programme by meeting the requirements for the accreditation of prior experiential learning. Further details on APEL can be found in the admissions section.


(Please note these criteria may be enhanced by Queen's University Belfast, Stranmillis University College). Evidence of examination grades must be submitted with the application form. Evidence is also required of ability in appropriate skills and knowledge to undertake the programme. Applicants are also required to provide a reference with their application. Completed application forms are submitted for approval to Stranmillis University College on set dates. Original examination evidence is also verified by Stranmillis University College Academic Registry prior to registration on the course.

How will I be assessed and given feedback?

Students are assessed using a range of different methods. These include examinations, coursework, Project Based Learning, presentations, practical, posters, leaflets, role-play, and case studies. This is dependent on the requirements of each unit of study. Oral, written and online feedback will be provided during your course to help improve and monitor performance.

    Where will it take me?

    On successful completion of the course you will graduate from Queen's University Belfast with a Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies. Those students who achieve the standard required by Stranmillis University College may be able to progress to Stage 2 of the full-time or part-time BA (Hons) Degree in Early Childhood Studies. Students also have the opportunity to top up this qualification through an online distance learning degree.

    How will it make me more employable?
    The Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies is designed for those people who wish to pursue a career in childcare or health and education or who wish to progress to degree courses in Early Childhood Studies. Students who are currently employed in any early years setting will be able to use this as placement experience.

    Additional Costs

    All full-time students will be required to undertake study visits for which they will pay a nominal sum. This will be in the region of £30 per year. To attend placement, students will be required to have an enhanced Access NI check completed which will cost £33.

    Course fees are payable on each year of the Programme.

    Queens University Belfast
    Terms & Conditions

    Students will be required to comply with SERC's Terms & Conditions of study.

    While we endeavour to run all our courses on the advertised day, SERC reserves the right to change the day of week on which the course runs.

    Available Sessions Summary

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    Higher Education

    Higher Education

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