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  • Early Years: Education & Leadership in Practice BA (Hons) top-up

Early Years: Education & Leadership in Practice BA (Hons) top-up

Why choose this course?

If you have a foundation degree in Early Years or equivalent, this course offers a work-based route to a BA (Hons) degree. You'll earn while you learn, combining academic study with work-based learning.

You will develop your critical thinking and understanding whilst exploring theory and practical subjects through a range of learning experiences.

The course covers diversity and equal opportunities, inclusion, critical choices, liaison with multi-agencies and other adults, pastoral care, management and leadership roles, and researching and developing an area of interest.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
1 year full time (employment based) X112 2019

External applicants: please note that places for external applicants are limited on this course. If you studied your Foundation Degree at a college that is not within the Kingston University partnership, please apply early to avoid disappointment.

Location Kingston Hill

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • 100 per cent of students from this course are in employment or further study six months after graduating (DHLE 2016/17).
  • This course is designed in collaboration with local authorities, Early Years settings and other educational organisations. You'll be kept up-to-date with the latest developments and initiatives.
  • The course reflects the evolving needs of the Early Years sector, ensuring what you learn will widen your employment opportunities.

What you will study

The course covers the following areas:

  • diversity and equal opportunities;
  • inclusion;
  • critical choices;
  • liaison with multi-agencies and other adults;
  • pastoral care;
  • management and leadership roles and responsibilities; and
  • the opportunity to research and develop a particular area of interest.

Please note: to obtain QTS you will need to complete a PGCE after successfully completing this course.


You will explore leading through transitions, diversity and equal opportunities and management theories.

Core modules

Leading Through Transitions

30 credits

This module is a core requirement of the BA(Hons) Early Years: Education and Leadership in Practice programme. The content will critically analyse relevant legislation, research, theory and literature to underpin effective pedagogical practices in transition for children, families, practitioners and professionals. Students are required to engage with online learning materials, including an audit tool, to inform professional dialogue concerning transition. The module encourages personal and professional reflection of transition practice and how this might be modified to improve outcomes for children and families.

Leadership, Diversity and Equal Opportunities

30 credits

This module is a core requirement of the BA(Hons) Early Years: Education and Leadership in Practice programme. The content examines leadership in relationship to equality and diversity within early year's provision.  Key legislation, statutory and ethical frameworks are analysed, identifying implications for policies and procedures in early years settings. National and international perspectives are explored encouraging students to identify influences that determine judgements. Methods of observations and documentation are critiqued, with data collection used to select strategies for developing an inclusive learning environment.

Critical Choices For Leaders

30 credits

This module is a core requirement of the BA(Hons) Early Years: Education and Leadership in Practice and BA(Hons) Early Years: Teaching and Learning programmes. The content explores leadership and management theories and students are introduced to key factors that affect strategies for implementing change in their work environment. It explores current issues and dilemmas facing practitioners in the early years field and identifies strategies that may support personal and professional development. Key legislation and statutory frameworks are critiqued identifying implications for early years' settings. The module provides an overview of recent and relevant interprofessional factors that affect provision, including safeguarding and child protection.

Dissertation in an aspect of Professional Practice

30 credits

This module introduces students to a range of methodologies, which will enable them to design and manage the implementation of a small-scale enquiry, which is pertinent to their interest and work place. They will gain an understanding of the philosophies and practices of systematic enquiry in education-related fields and its application within the professional and pedagogic contexts.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical Offer

  • FdA in Early Years (sector-endorsed) or equivalent qualification
  • 240 CATS points
  • Employment in appropriate setting (paid or voluntary) for 16 hours a week minimum for the duration of the course
  • Normally two years' experience in appropriate setting
  • Your background experience, previous education and training will be considered if you do not meet the formal entry requirements

Alternative routes

We will consider a range of alternative qualifications or experience that is equivalent to the typical offer.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is offered for those who are unsure of the current value of their qualifications. We actively welcome applications from mature students from a variety of backgrounds. We are seeking people who wish to enthuse and motivate young children as well as developing further their own knowledge, skills and understanding in young children's care and education.



International students who have the necessary visa/permit to work in the UK are welcome to apply. Please note the course does not meet the criteria for UK Tier 4 student visa. If you are unsure of the current immigration rules, please contact our CAS and Visa Compliance team at

Teaching and assessment

You will attend taught sessions once a week, usually a Tuesday evening, between 5pm and 9pm. (Please note that the time and day of teaching is dependent on student numbers and University resources).

Teaching includes lectures, work-based learning activities, tutorials, online learning, workshops and seminars.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal Now articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas. 

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.  

Your workload

Year 1
% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity: 87%
Scheduled teaching and learning: 1040 hours
Guided independent study: 160 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment is not by written exams. Progress is measured through a variety of assignments enabling you to draw on your professional knowledge in work-based situations which you will underpin with theoretical perspectives. You will also participate in practical learning experiences that will enable you to reflect on and apply the knowledge you have gained.

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Year 1
100% coursework

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Scheduled teaching takes place one evening per week between 5 and 9pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected. 

Who teaches this course?

This course is a work-based learning degree with part-time study at Kingston University. Our lecturers all have experience teaching in their specialist fields and remain actively connected to over 200 partner colleges and schools in the central and Greater London region.

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'Overseas' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
Overseas £14,200
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

This fee applies to students studying for the Education BA(Hons) top-up in the 2019/20 academic year.

Please note that a reduced fee of £7,300 will apply to foundation students from our franchise partners only.

 * These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials, security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses.


In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.


Travel costs are not included but we do have a free inter-site bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.


The Kingston Hill campus features an outdoor learning environment where trainee teachers lead curriculum-linked natural sciences activities with children. It includes a specially built 'cubby house', outdoor pond, beehive and nature trail. It offers early years students the opportunity to simulate teaching and learning with natural materials.

There are a number of teaching rooms set up to replicate actual classrooms. Each classroom is subject based - such as an art room, science lab, and each is equipped with all the relevant facilities you will need to practise your lessons before taking them into school.

Our library (the Nightingale Centre) has an excellent range of teaching resources to help you plan and teach your lessons, such as a range of children's topic books, music and nursery rhymes on CD, as well as artefacts and kits that can be used to illustrate historical periods, different religions, science, maths and music.


After you graduate

This qualification is valued by employers and will be a mark of your professional excellence and expertise, enabling you to develop your career. Once you complete this course, you will be well-placed to pursue postgraduate opportunities to enhance your professional development in education and related fields. Many graduates return to Kingston University for postgraduate and continuing professional development studies. These include Postgraduate Certificate of Education, Birth to Five Years with Early Years Teacher Status (Early Years Initial Teacher Training), the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or MA studies.

Types of jobs

  • After school care manager
  • Area manager
  • Childcare co-ordinator
  • Children's centre manager
  • Community nursery nurse
  • Deputy nursery manager
  • Early education and childcare officer
  • Early years manager
  • Nursery manager
  • Senior key worker
  • Sure Start children's centre co-ordinator


  • Surrey County Council
  • Nestles Avenue Children's Centre
  • Noah's Ark Pre-school
  • Royal Borough of Kingston
  • Furzedown Family Centre
  • Castle Daycare
  • London Borough of Wandsworth
  • Once Upon a Time Day Nurseries
  • Leatherhead Trinity School
Undergraduate study
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