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. Please email carolinesmyth@serc.ac.uk if you require further details.

Academic Year: 2024/25

Course Code: 10665

Campus: Lisburn

Study Type: Full-Time

Education Level Higher Education


The following sessions are open for application on this course:

Campus & Course Type Start
Day: Wed, Thur

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)

Course fees are payable on each year of the Programme.

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 at C or above
  • Level 3 Diploma or Extended Diploma at MMM grade or above
  • Level 3 Extended Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development at MMM or above

Republic of Ireland

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

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). 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.

    Queens University Belfast

    Terms & Conditions

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

    We strive to ensure the description of courses on SERC's website and in publications is accurate. However, for various reasons there may be occasions when the College may need to change arrangements or be unable to deliver classes due to circumstances such as reduced funding. If there are insufficient numbers applying for a course it may not be viable to deliver the class.

    Available Sessions Summary

    The following sessions are open for application on this course:

    Campus & Course Type Start
    Day: Wed, Thur

    Enquiries Information

    For more information or help with this course send us an enquiry and a member of our team will get back in touch.

    Student Testimonial

    Photo of Megan Pentland
    Megan Pentland
    Queen's University Belfast Foundation Degree Early Childhood Studies
    My time at the college allowed me to learn so much about my dream profession and was a springboard into university. I have just started my PGCE in Primary Education on NI’s top PGCE course, which has been possible because of my time at SERC.
    Read Full Testimonial
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    Available Sessions

    The following sessions are available to apply for:

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    Queen's University Belfast Foundation Degree Early Childhood Studies



    Day: Wed, Thur



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