Queen's University Belfast Foundation Degree Early Childhood Studies

QUB Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies in partnership with Stranmillis University College 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 Full time, you must apply via UCAS at Stranmillis University.

Academic Year: 2022/23

Course Code: 10665

Campus: Lisburn

Study Type: Full-Time

Education Level Higher Education


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Course Structure

A total of 12 modules will be studied

These include topics such as:

  • Child Development
  • Historical Overview
  • Professional Practice 
  • Learning through Play
  • The Acquisition of Language and Communication Skills
  • Quality Provision in the Early Years
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Developing Skills and Strategies for Managing Children’s Behaviour
  • Professional Practice 1 
  • Professional Practice 2
  • Working with Children with Additional Needs
  • Anti Discriminatory Practice and Inclusion in the Early Years Environment
  • Science and Technology in the Early 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

Enhancement modules of study skills and research during the course.

Personal Study

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

Work placement

Minimum 2 days per week across both semesters. A minimum of 300 hours per Professional Practice portfolio (1&2). Candidates must demonstrate access to an appropriate setting (0- 8 years). Candidates will apply for vetting on offer of a place. It is the responsibility of the candidate to gain their own placement.

Entry Requirements

To apply for the full time option of 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; or equivalent Essential Skills in literacy at level 2
  • GCSE Mathematics Grade C or above. (Essential Skills in Numeracy Level 2 cannot be substituted for GCSE Maths).
  • 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 - CC (one of which should be from Health & Social Care, Early Years or Psychology)
  • Level 3 Extended Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development
  • City & Guilds Level 3 Qualification CCLD EYCE or Classroom Assistant or Teaching Assistant (together with evidence of ability in appropriate skills & knowledge to undertake the programme any evidence submitted will be assessed by subject specialists, we will determine the applicants ability for the programme).
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (18 units/180 credits) in a relevant discipline with overall grades merit/merit/pass

Republic of Ireland

  • Irish leaving certificate -BBCC at Higher Level (one of which should be from Health & Social Care, Early Years or Psychology) to include English and Maths at Grade D or above
  • Credit may be given to a maximum of 80 CATS points (4 modules at level 1).  Credit transfer will not be permitted for study undertaken earlier than three years prior to entry
  • Candidates must demonstrate access to an appropriate setting (0-8 years)

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).


Each Consortium College will take responsibility for vetting each student. An offer of a place on this course will be conditional until satisfactory completion of an Access NI criminal records check and if appropriate, a Social Services check.  

In the event of over subscription to the course, and if you meet the entry requirements specified above, entrance requirements will be enhanced at shortlisting stage.

Please email registry@stran.ac.uk if you require further information on entry requirements or the admissions process for the Foundation Degree Early Childhood Studies.

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.

All portfolio/assessed work is validated by Stranmillis University College and Quality assured.


(All candidates that are successful must register with Stranmillis before starting the course)

    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

    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.

    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.

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