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BA (Hons) Childhood Practice

Study the broadest concepts of childhood in this practical degree.

Flexible to fit around your other commitments

Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades CCC or above.

Or BTEC triple grades MMM or above.

Or Access 23-45 D/M with min 6D.

And GCSE English Language at grade 4 or grade C or above.

This course is available for 2021 entry. It is not available for 2020 entry.


Applicants with other qualifications and/or experience will be considered on an individual basis.


UCAS points 96

UCAS code X32A

Duration Three years full-time or six years part-time

How to apply for this course

Places still available to start in September

Register your interest and we'll call you to chat about clearing and your options at Marjon.

Course Summary

This course is designed for those who are interested in the broadest understanding of childhood. Childhood Practice is the ideal stepping stone before studying for Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS), Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), Social Work or Youth Work. This flexible course can be attended on either a full or part-time (up to six years) basis, to fit in with your other commitments.

You’ll understand the steps children take on their learning and developmental journey, and learn how to support them along the way. Studies focus on specific elements such as how children develop language and an introduction to psychology, as well as a broader understanding of educational policy and practice theory. You’ll take part in work-based learning with placement opportunities, during which you’ll be encouraged to be critically reflective of your own work, as well as observing the practice of other professionals.

Why this course at Marjon?

Join a university with a longstanding history of creating exceptional educators.

Experiment with different styles of working with children in a variety of formal and informal settings.

A variety of placements give you the experience and confidence needed to succeed in postgraduate training.

Take time to practise for your QTS skills tests if your aim is to be a teacher.

At no stage will you be assessed in practice, giving you total freedom to explore your vocation.

Get practical experience via three work placements.

Students say...

Beth Costelloe

“I’m enjoying engaging with others in similar fields of work and discussing topics with people who feel as passionately as I do. I’m learning from different tutors about a range of aspects within the field of Early Years. I’m deepening my understanding of the importance of critical thinking and this course has enabled me to have more belief in my own approach to Early Years. It’s been an extremely rewarding experience, supporting me to grow personally as well as professionally.”

Becky McClure

“I love being part of insightful discussions and enjoy meeting fellow students from different settings. The tutors have been really supportive. The course has really helped my confidence, I always wanted to do my degree but didn’t feel clever enough to do it. Now I’ve learnt the theories behind the job that I love and I’ve got the confidence to apply the skills in my working life. I have really enjoyed my three years at Marjon and feel like I have grown, both as a professional and as a person.”

Gemma Stocker

“I am loving the variety of learning relating to child development. I feel much more knowledgeable, with a deeper understanding of theory and how childhood has been shaped by history. I want to become an Early Years Practitioner, eventually owning my own Nursery. With support from lecturers and my development tutor I’m exploring particular areas that I am interested in going into. With each week, and the placement opportunities, I’m developing in confidence as an aspiring practitioner.”

This course is perfect if you're curious about

How do children develop? Which skills do they learn first?

Why do some learn faster than others, and at what stage do we need to intervene?

How does our knowledge of psychology affect the way we should work with children?

How do childhoods differ around the world? What can we learn from how other cultures treat children, socially and politically?

How might you support a child with a mental health condition?

Do young children develop better in nursery or at home?

What might you become?

Move on to early years or primary teaching through a postgraduate qualification (usually PG Diploma with EYITT, PGCE or School Direct). Other opportunities include community education, integrated services, children’s workforce professionals, care services and social work. The inclusion of psychology modules enables students to progress to postgraduate psychology courses should they wish to move into child psychology at a later date.

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

We start with a look at childhood and how children see the world before learning about children’s developmental stages and how some children develop at different rates. In your second year you will learn how childhood can be different around the world, study how education and politics mix and undertake a work placement. In your third year, you learn how to support young people and families dealing with difficult circumstances, work on the values that will develop you into a principled professional and complete your dissertation.
Jan Gourd - Lecturer


1st Year

Provides you with the tools you need to produce your best academic work, to develop your criticality and to develop your career planning.
Creative & inclusive practice
Explore how children can be best supported through the effective application of creative and inclusive practice
Childhood practice - ideas, origins and policy
This module looks at what we mean by childhood, how long childhood lasts and the voice of the child.
Child development
Understand different ages and stages of childhood; what is expected at each stage of development and the different paces at which children develop.
Speech, language and literacy development
How do children learn to speak and communicate at home and at school?
Placement I
You’ll spend twenty hours in a chosen setting, to further develop your thinking around childhood and to consider your career ideas.

2nd Year

Pedagogical paradigms
Many key thinkers have influenced educational practice. We consider the ideas of a number of these.
Global childhoods
How is childhood different depending on where you live in the world?
Thinking and learning
A psychological module looking at the theories of how we think and learn.
Inter-professional practice and the child’s voice
How do different professions interact to support children and their families? How do so many differing people ensure the child is heard?
Placement II
Another twenty hours spent learning in a setting of your choice.
Researching education
What’s the difference between facts and alternative facts, evidence and fake news? In the politically charged area of education, getting facts straight is essential and you’ll learn about researching settings and pedagogy to develop our knowledge of what actually works.

3rd Year

Culture and values in childhood practice
What values do you hold dear and how do you make sure that you develop into a principled professional?
Honours project (Dissertation)
You’ll produce an original piece of research that you present as a paper at our own conference.
Placement III
Another 20 hours to develop your skills in the workplace – an opportunity to gain valuable experience and prove your capabilities.
Leadership and quality in education
How do we make sure that the settings we work in are quality settings? How do we lead staff to be the best they can be?
Critical perspectives on the Early Years Foundation Stage
Explore the EYFS curriculum and debate the content. Why has the content changed over time and what ideologies are inherent in each iteration?
Supporting Children and Young People
Learn about supporting young people and families when circumstances are difficult.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £12,000 per annum

Funding available for this course


Additional costs:


Your schedule



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Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Takes place through lectures, seminars, workshops, visits to local settings and masterclasses.

How will you be assessed?

Through a variety of tasks including poster presentations, the making of artefacts, essays and blogs.

Course leader

Jayne Garcia

Jayne teaches Child Development and Early Years Initial Teacher Training, and can draw on her previous experience as both an Early Years Teacher and a Pre-School Manager.

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Dr Hazel Bending

Senior Lecturer

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Hazel is a chartered member and associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a senior fellow of the HEA.  She teaches psychology, mental health and wellbeing and neuropsychology. Her research focuses on identity, student engagement and hidden disabilities.

Jan Gourd

Senior Lecturer

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Jan was previously a primary head teacher in the South West and she now leads a teaching team at Marjon who together draw on decades of classroom experience and wide-ranging research specialisms to deliver Education courses.

Hannah Holdgate


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Hannah is a former SureStart Children's Centre Manager, Nursery Manager and Early Years Professional, assessor and mentor. She is particularly interested in Early Years, Play, Inclusion and Leadership.

More information

You'll have opportunities to work in our partner settings as part of your modules and on placement experiences.  This will give you the necessary experience for later application for EYTS, School Direct or PGCE. You do not need to have QTS Skills Tests for this course, however; you will need to achieve these prior to starting EYTS, School Direct or PGCE.


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