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Childcare & Special Needs

EARLY CHILDHOOD STUDIES Level 5 Foundation Degree

Queen's University Belfast Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies

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Level 5
Mode of Study
Part Time
Course Type
Higher Education
Newry Campus


This course, awarded by Queens University Belfast in association with Stranmillis University College, has been designed to provide you with specialist knowledge and understanding of working with 0-8 year olds. 

This course focuses on the key theories, concepts and practical skills required to work with this age group in the primary school or other specialist early year’s settings.

Both full-time and part-time provision runs for 32 weeks per year. Part-time: 9 hours per week in College plus 10 hours work placement (including tutorial support).

The team delivering this course comprises of a wide range of professionals including primary school teachers, social workers and early years practitioners with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in their fields.

The course is subject to change by Queen's University Belfast.


  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on or before 1st July in the year of proposed entry to the course.
  • Applicants should have obtained a minimum of 64 UCAS points achieved through the completion of A Levels, Extended Diploma's, Access or other alternative approved level 3 qualifications*.
  • Applicants should have attained at least 15 points at Level 2 or above (e.g. GCSE) or have alternative approved qualifications. This must include GCSE English Language Grade C or Essential Skills Communication Level 2 and GCSE Mathematics Grade C (Essential Skills Numeracy not accepted). In addition, applicants must provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English Language.
  • Applicants will be required to attend for interview. 
  • Candidates must demonstrate access to an appropriate setting (0-8 years). 

*Approved qualifications will include:

  • A-Level - Grades CC
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (Grades MMM)
  • CACHE Extended Diploma (Overall grade C – Children’s Care, Learning and Development)
  • CITY & GUILDS - Level 3 Qualification (Grades CCLD)
  • Irish Leaving Certificate (Grades H5H5H5H5 to include English and Mathematics)

Please note: 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. 

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. 
Please Note: The entrance criteria above may change subject to awarding body regulations. The College reserves the right to enhance the entrance requirements beyond the minimum 64 UCAS points where demand exceeds the number of available places. In addition, where places remain available the College reserves the right to offer places to candidates with a profile less than 64 UCAS points. 

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.if you require further information on entry requirements or the admissions process for the Foundation Degree Early Childhood Studies.



Modules covered:

  • Child Development.
  • Learning Through Play.
  • Professional Practice 1.
  • Historical Overview of the Development of Early Years Provision.
  • The Acquisition of Language and Communication Skills.
  • Quality Provision in Early Years.
  • Safeguarding Children.
  • Developing Skills and Strategies for Managing Children’s Behaviour.
  • Professional Practice 2.
  • Anti Discriminatory Practice and Inclusion in the Early Years Environment.
  • Working with Children with Additional Needs.
  • Working with Babies 0-3 years.
  • Science and Technology in the Early Years.


3 Years


This course is accredited by Queen’s University Belfast.


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Educational enrichment activities to local childcare, university and other course relevant facilities will accrue travel expenses of approx. £5-10, three times a year. 


On successful completion of this course you may progress to Stranmillis University College and enter year 2 of the BA (Hons) Degree in Early Childhood Studies (full-time or part-time) or into year 2 of a similar course.

SRC Students will have the opportunity to progress to year 2 of the BA (Hons) Degree in Early Childhood Studies (part-time route) at Southern Regional College.


All full-time courses starting in September 2021 are open for applications. Please click on the Apply Now button (top right in the blue box) to begin your application. 

If you require any assistance with your application you can call us on 0300 123 1223.


Heather Kinnear

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Barbara Rooney

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028 3025 9685


In light of the continuing Covid-19 situation, Southern Regional College may have to amend the delivery methods for a number of courses for the new academic year, or should the need arise effect a temporary College closure. This may also lead to restrictions when accessing student services. Please be assured that the safety of our students is paramount and as such we will be implementing a range of measures in line with government advice and protocols. We will make all appropriate and reasonable adjustments to maintain the ongoing quality of teaching and learning and our support services.

In accordance with the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you will be notified of any such changes, the reasons for the changes and any options available to you to avoid such changes having an adverse impact on your future career. All higher education students and applicants should refer to the Consumer Protection page.


Information about our fees policy including details on registration and reduced fees as well as refunds can be found HERE

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    £598.00 (Course - Each Year)
    £TBC (Exam)
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