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Early Childhood Education and Care – BA (Hons)

  • CAO Points: 329

  • Campus: Moylish, Limerick City

  • years: 4

Course Overview

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) reflects a holistic view of the education (e.g. early stimulation, education, developmental activities) and care (e.g. health, nutrition, hygiene, safety and security, responsive caregiving) of young children from 0 to 6 years of age. Therefore, this course is designed to equip graduates with the essential core knowledge, practices and values to fulfil the role of a professional early childhood educator.

The course is practical and applied, supporting graduates to become professional, reflective educators with an integrated approach to ECEC. Students will acquire skills in relevant areas, such as learning through play and creativity, children’s development through art, literature and music, as well as psychology, sociology and social policy. A supervised work placement in years 2 and 3 in various early years settings enables students to apply their theoretical knowledge and learn from practice, which are key elements of the course.

The course design and content have been guided by this sector’s policy and regulatory frameworks, such as Aistear, Síólta, First 5 and the Professional Award Criteria and Guidelines. It is an innovative practiceled course where students learn how to combine theory and practice and develop as reflective practitioners. An active learning environment is achieved through lectures, seminars, workshops and enquiry-based learning with children’s learning materials.

Professional Accreditation
In 2022 this degree completed programmic review and continues to be officially recognised as meeting the Professional Award Criteria and Guidelines for Initial Professional Education (Level 7 and Level 8) Degree Programmes for the Early Learning and Care Sector in Ireland. TUS is currently list under the QAB Approved List of courses

Contact Details

Ashling Sheehan Boyle


What are the entry requirements?

Leaving Certificate

A minimum of 2 H5 & 4 O6/H7 grades in six Leaving Certificate subjects, including Mathematics and English or Irish.

Foundation Level Mathematics at grade F2 or higher is acceptable as meeting the Mathematics requirement for this programme.

Mature Applicants

Candidates applying as mature applicants may be required to attend an interview and may be requested to take an aptitude test to prove their suitability for a place on this programme.

International Applicants

International applicants should apply directly to the International Office at TUS, allowing plenty of time for completing the visa process. Applications for September start should be made by 1st June at the latest to ensure visas are processed in time. You should familiarise yourself with visa processing times for your country of origin to ensure you make a timely application. Find out more here.

Course Modules

  • ECEC Frameworks

  • Introduction to Play

  • Creative Learning

  • Introduction to the Sociology of Childhood

  • Language Development in the Early Years

  • Child Care

  • Health and Wellbeing

  • Psychology of Child Development 1

  • Foundations of Teaching and Learning

  • Learning through Physical Activity

  • Professional Practice and Preparation 1

  • Learning through Art and Music

  • Outdoor Learning

  • Professional Practice Education Placement 1 (15 weeks/400 hours)

  • STEAM in ECE

  • Learning through Drama & Story Telling

  • Creating Inclusive Environments

  • Transitions in the Early Years

  • School Age provision

  • Health Nutrition and Wellbeing

  • Teaching and Learning through Play

  • Language and Literacy in the Early Years

  • Supporting Children with Additional Needs

  • Positive Behaviour Strategies

  • The Reflective Educator

  • Legal Frameworks and Governance for Early Childhood Practice

  • Professional Practice Education Placement 2 (15 weeks/400 hours)

  • Contemporary Curriculum Planning

  • Child, Family and Community

  • Management in Early Years Settings

  • Early Years Educator and Wellbeing

  • Therapeutic Play

  • Research Dissertation (year-long)

  • Relational Pedagogy

  • Psychology of Child Development 2

  • Professional Leadership and Early Years Practice

  • Sustainable Development in Early Childhood

What can you do after this programme?

Graduates can avail of various employment opportunities, such as a variety of roles within Early Years Education and Care and School Age organisations .e.g. Pre- school , full day services

Students can work in both the public private community and voluntary sectors. Many of past graduates have are working with organisations such as  Barnardo’s , Special Needs Assistants within a Primary and special schools , AIM ( Access and Inclusion staff in Early Years Education and Care settings)

Students can progress to working  as Manager or potentially own and   develop their  own business.

Other roles that may be of interest -Development Officer in Childcare Committees, Inspectors with TUSLA and Department of Education and Skills, Early Years Specialists with Better Start.

Successful graduates of this programme are eligible for Level 9 and 10 postgraduate programmes within TUS or elsewhere. Graduates have also academically progressed through postgraduate studies in early years education and care , STEM in early years, equality studies, child and family legal studies, child and family community studies, applied behaviour analysis, and adult and community education. Students may also be interested to progressing to Early Intervention and Inclusive Practice for Children – MA – TUS.

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