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Programme Details

The BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care is a degree which is designed with Early Childhood professionals, and the children they will engage with, in mind. The programme has three exit awards – Higher Certificate in ECEC (level 6), BA Ord in ECEC (level 7), and BA Hons. In ECEC (level 8). At each exit award stage, the programme aims to equip future ECEC professionals with the tools to navigate the ever changing landscape of early childhood education and care in Ireland and internationally, provide learners with the tools and dispositions to provide the best practice and care for the children they engage with, and to enable learners to think critically about their roles as professionals, both locally and globally.

A key aspect of this four year (240 credit) award is work based experiential learning, which permits the learner to consolidate theoretical and practical knowledge.  On successful completion of this programme, learners will achieve a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care at Level 8 on the NFQ.  

The exit award options are suitable for learners who unexpectedly are unable to continue to the final stage of the principle programme and wish to exit with a recognised award/qualification.

Programme Aims

The BA (Hons) Degree programme at Level 8 is designed to meet the needs of learners wishing to enter the early years workforce, or for those, already working in the sector, to upskill to an Early Childhood Education & Care degree qualification.  The programme will cater to a variety of adult learners, ranging from school leavers with no previous experience in the Early Years sector to more mature adults with relevant life and/or work experience. 

The programme offers the learner the opportunity to gain the necessary skills and theoretical framework from which to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of the role and work of an Early Childhood professional.  The programme design combines a core of foundational, educational and personal development modules as well as the opportunity to engage in specific areas of specialism.  Each module in its own right examines and explores the unique characteristics of the Early Learning and Care (ELC) sector. The programme aims to produce reflective practitioners who place children’s concerns at the core of their practice. They assume a facilitative role with their adopted theories and specialist knowledge.  The overarching objective of this programme is the development of the professional educators of the future.

Course Structure

Course Structure 

Stage LabelStage synopsis
OneHigher Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care – Learners will be equipped with the skills and attributes to lead a room in a service and in some instances run an ECEC service.
TwoOrdinary Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education and Care – Learners will be equipped with advanced knowledge on leading a team of professionals and professionally operating a high quality, compliant ECEC service.
ThreeHonours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education and Care – Learners will be equipped with specialist knowledge of an area of practice of their choosing and will evidence a mastery of research in the chosen specialised area of professional practice.

Who is the course for?

The BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care is a degree which is designed with Early Childhood professionals, and the children they will engage with, in mind. The programme has three exit awards – Higher Certificate in ECEC (level 6), BA Ord in ECEC (level 7), and BA Hons. In ECEC (level 8). At each exit award stage, the programme aims to equip future ECEC professionals with the tools to navigate the ever changing landscape of early childhood education and care in Ireland and internationally, provide learners with the tools and dispositions to provide the best practice and care for the children they engage with, and to enable learners to think critically about their roles as professionals, both locally and globally.

The BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Care, with its range of exit awards will respond to the needs of a wide range of potential learners.  This programme is suited to those learners who would like to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) or for those who currently work in the Early Years sector but who may like to pursue leadership roles.  Successful graduates will be well placed to direct and lead learning in a wide range of ECEC settings, in local and national development and voluntary organisations or other fields relevant to Early Childhood.  

The overall programme framework is based on an integrated and complementary structure which supports the learner to explore concepts, develop, critique and synthesise module content.  The design of this programme creates significant opportunities for the integration of learning.  Smart assessment techniques and a careful alignment of modules allows for a greater synthesis and explicit connection for the learner. 

Requirements

Application to programmes are open to those learners who meet the minimum entry requirements, namely an ordinary leaving certificate with;

  • Grade H5 or above in a higher-level paper in two subjects or more
  • A grade O6/H7 in four subjects, which must include Maths and English or Irish. Foundation level mathematics will meet the minimum entry requirement where a grade F2 or higher is achieved.
  • FETAC/QQI applicants must have achieved a full FETAC/QQI Level 5/Level 6 Major Award in ECCE or related discipline where appropriate. 
  • Other Qualifications would be assessed for equivalency, i.e. using Entry requirements criteria for EU/EFTA Applicants (other than Irish Leaving Certificate).

Mature applicants are also welcome, to apply but candidates must be 23 years of age or over on the 1st January of the year of entry to their programme of study.  Mature candidates with significant related employment field experience may be admitted to the programme if they can demonstrate their potential to meet the learning requirements of the programme and satisfy the respective Admissions Criteria and Admissions Regulations. Required eligibility will be determined by a review of the application, an interview with the admissions tutor (as required), and subject to confirmation with the respective programme leader (also as required). Where admission with advanced standing is considered all applicants may be required to provide written references for their work experience and/or suitable evidence supporting their application. (Applicants may also be formally considered for admission to the programme using the appropriate Regulations and RPL, procedures at each Programme Stage).

An applicant whose first language is not English or who has not been educated wholly or mainly in the medium of English will (a) either be expected to reach, before commencing a programme, a suitable minimum level of competence in English in order to participate fully in the Programme or (b) will be required to participate in pre-sessional or in-sessional English language classes in order to reach a required level of competency.

English language admission requirements either specified by CEG or the accrediting/awarding/professional body, as appropriate, are required to be satisfied before commencement of study at CEG. Programme Admission Criteria will specify the levels of achievement in written and oral English language. Normally this will include evidence of achievement of the British Council International English Language Testing Score (IELTS) at a score indicated in the programme submission (usually IELTS 6) and/or other recognised equivalent international English language test.

Future Careers

Future Careers

Graduate employment demand for pre-school education has been affected by changes in family structures, a commitment to equal opportunities and the demands of the labour market.  Consequently, there are increasing demands for qualified graduates in early childhood education in both the private and public sector, examples of which include;

Childcare workers/room leaders,

Early Learning and Care service manager,

Curriculum development

Community outreach worker,

Early intervention specialist

Early Years Education Programme Lecturer

Working with Children with Specific Learning Needs;

Additional potential employment opportunities include working in; Children’s Residential Care Centres; Family and Community Support Centres; After School Services; Youth Services, isability Support, Family Support Worker, Childcare Worker in Refuge etc.

The Award Title – a Level 8 award of BA (Honours) in Early Childhood Education and Care.

On completion of this award, students are eligible to apply to progress onto a Higher Diploma, Masters, or PhD programme.

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