Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Early Years Care and Education

 Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Early Years Care and Education

Course Overview

  • 4


  • 8


  • 306


  • US926

    CAO Course Code

Why take this course?

The early childhood education and care educator plays a pivotal role in the provision of quality care and education. Early childhood education and care is undergoing rapid change and development in recent times. This course reflects those changes and enables students to engage with the theory and practice of the provision of quality childhood education and care for children from birth to age six. Throughout this course, students will learn how to support children’s strengths, interests and abilities, as well as appreciate the role of the family and society in the provision of education and care in their formative years.

What will I experience?

This course has been approved by the Qualifications Advisory Board (QAB).

This course introduces students to the dynamic landscape of early childhood education and care. Policy, legislation and practice are currently undergoing unprecedented change. Students will have opportunities to develop knowledge, skills and values to support the holistic development of children from birth to six years. Engagement with academic and
theoretical literature, classroom simulated practice, and practice placement in early childhood education and care settings will enable students to develop as reflective educators with abilities to articulate what young children are learning, how they are learning and the pedagogic approach which underpins their knowledge.

Upon completion of this course, students will have developed knowledge and skills to co-construct learning experiences with children in diverse early childhood education and care environments. In addition, they should have the ability to work as part of a team, assume responsibility for decision making, and independently conduct primary and secondary research.

What opportunities might it lead to?

The Early Years Care and Education (ECCE) field in Ireland can look forward to an exciting, dynamic and challenging future. It requires well informed leaders who are competent and confident in terms of education, regulation, policy, advocacy etc. Graduates can expect to find employment as early childhood educators responsible for working directly with young children. Other roles include that of team leader responsible for running an ECEC room and in management roles.

As well as developing the core skills of providing education, care and support for young children, this programme develops the capacity to be an effective leader and manager in this rapidly changing sector. ​

Aoife Temple, a Student Ambassador from TUS Athlone talks about the mix of theory and practice incorporated in this course and how she has juggled studies and sport at an elite level.

Additional Information

National Vetting Bureau

All students on this programme will undertake National Vetting Bureau procedures prior to commencing their work placement. Failure to disclose previous convictions may result in students being dismissed from the programme. Previous convictions, depending on their nature, could result in student dismissal from the programme.

This programme is also available on a part time basis.

Contact Email:

Course Details

Course Duration:
4 Year
CAO Course Code:
Cut Off CAO Points:
Course Award:
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Course NFQ Level:
Level 8
Dept of Social Science
Minimum Entry Requirements:

Grade H5 at higher level in two subjects, plus Grade O6/H7 in four other subjects in the Leaving Certificate. Two of these subjects must be mathematics and a language (English or Irish). Note: An FL2 in foundation level mathematics will be accepted as meeting the minimum mathematics requirements for entry to this course. Mature applicants are not required to meet the minimum entry requirements. However, an interview may form part of the selection process.

QQI A QQI level 5 award in any discipline is acceptable. However, applicants must hold one of the following modules: 5N1370 Social Studies, 5N1279 Human Growth and Development, 5N1770 Early Care and Education Practice, 5N1773 Early Childhood Education and Play OR 5N1786 Special Needs Assisting, and hold a Distinction grade in a minimum of three modules. ​

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Course Structure

Year 1

Principles and Practices of the ECEC Sector, Developing Academic Practice and Autonomy, Introduction to Relational Pedagogy in ECEC, Early Childhood Developmental Psychology, Contexts of Early Childhood, Creative Skills for ECEC, Promoting Positive Health & Wellbeing in ECEC, Working Collaboratively with Parents and relevant stakeholders in an ECEC setting, Outdoor Pedagogy, ECEC Social Policy, Introduction to Inclusive Policy and Practice in the ECEC setting.

Year 2

Making Learning Visible: Multimodal Approaches to Literacy in ECEC, Introduction to the Regulatory Context for ECEC, Personal Reflection for Practice (PRP), Applied Pedagogy & Curriculum in ECEC, Preparation for Practice Placement 1, Child Health and Well Being: Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in the ECEC Setting, Children’s Rights and Advocacy, Language Acquisition, Applied Inclusive Practice in the ECEC Setting, Professional Practice Placement 2

Year 3

Professional Practice Placement 3, Introduction to Research Methodology and Practice, Law for the Early Childhood Educator, Therapeutic Recreational and Creative Play Intervention in ECEC, Teamwork and Group Dynamics in an ECEC Setting, Business Management & Enterprise in ECEC

Year 4

Advanced Business Management for the ECEC Sector, Childcare Environment Design, Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs in the ECEC Setting, Preparation for Professional Practice Placement 2, Applied Research Project, Pedagogical Leadership and Professional Practice in the ECEC Sector, Professional Practice Placement 4

Careers & Opportunities

Further Study

As a graduate of the programme, you will be eligible to progress to postgraduate programmes such as the M​A in Child and Youth Studies at the TUS Athlone Campus. Full details of all postgraduate programmes at TUS are contained in the postgraduate prospectus.

This honours degree provides routes, with additional study and experience into: Primary Teaching, Early Years Inspectorate, Mentoring.

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