Delivered through blended learning, you can work full time and complete this BA (Ord) in Early Childhoodhood studies. Upon completion of this Level 7 degree you will be eligible to gain the higher capitation grant from the DCYA for your role in an early childhood centre.
Start Date13th February 2021
QualificationLevel 7 Ordinary Degree
Course Duration3 academic semesters
You can gain a level 7 BA in Early Childhood Studies, in just 14 months whilst you are working, if you currently hold a QQI ECCE Level 6 award. You can study this degree in your own time through blended learning, with a combination of webinar tutorial seminars and online learning. You can join the large network of early years practitioners on this learning journey. There is an easy payment plan designed to make this degree affordable. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you a level 7 degree that is accessible, affordable and achievable.
Why should I study this course?
If you hold the ECCE full major award and are looking to further your qualifications, we have designed this level 7 BA Early Childhood Studies for you. It is delivered by blended learning to support your work-life balance and offers you a path of progression to level 8 and right through to a Level 9 Masters in Early Childhood Studies.
As an early years graduate, working as a manager in an early childhood setting is a natural career progression. There will also be new career options available to you. You will be eligible to apply for more diverse roles such as those within community projects and public health.
If you hold this level 7 degree, you are eligible to gain the higher capitation grant from the DCYA (Dept. of Children and Youth Studies) for your role in an early childhood centre. Visit page 9 of the DCYA list here to view details.
Who will recognise my qualification?
Upon successful completion of this programme, you will be awarded a BA in Early Childhood Studies. This is awarded at level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications
Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK
The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement. Further guidance on this framework is available here.
What will I study during this BA (Ord) Early Childhood Studies course?
During this course, you will learn about play, development and learning in children, from birth to six years old in a socio-cultural context and the implications of this for practice in early childhood settings. You will consider a range of local and international perspectives including: children’s rights, children’s health and well-being, pedagogical and curriculum approaches, diversity and inclusion. You will explore a range of disciplines such as psychology, sociology and social policy, education and health. Learning the links between theory and practice, is key to your development as a professional early years practitioner.
There are 9 modules covered during this programme. Detailed below are each of the modules and the learning outcomes you will achieve.
Who will I learn from?
I started my career in education at the age of 16 and was teaching English to preschool and school-aged children in Kyiv, Ukraine. To develop my interest in languages and teaching, I completed a BA and then MA in Teaching English and German, followed by a PhD in Linguistics at Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv. Between 2000 and 2005, I worked at the English Language Department of the university and was responsible for teaching English to future English teachers and interpreters and supervising student research projects.
Having married an Irishman, I moved to Ireland in 2005 and as I started having my own children, I developed an interest in early childhood education. I completed training in Montessori education and started my career as a Montessori Teacher. Around that time Siolta and Aistear frameworks were introduced and I realised that I wanted to enlarge my knowledge about the variety of methods and approaches used to educate children. This led me to a BA Hons in Early Childhood Studies with Portobello Institute/London Metropolitan University and after completion of this programme with First Class Honours I taught on Portobello level 5 and 6 Early Childhood Care and Education programmes while still continuing to work directly with children and families in Early Years settings. In 2018, I joined the Portobello team in a full-time capacity as the Programme Manager for the degree programmes and my role is focused on providing positive learning experiences for the students through leading the team of tutors and working with other Portobello departments as well as communicating with the teaching team at LMU.
I am eager to learn more about third level education and working with adult learners. I am currently completing a MA in Education, Learning and Development programme.
Why did you choose to work in education?
I believe that the learner-centred approach is as important in third level as it is in early childhood education. The student’s well-being is very important and it is only when the student feels they are welcome and accepted as unique individuals, learning can take place. I work to create this welcoming atmosphere and make sure that students have no barriers in approaching the team, that they receive the necessary information timely, know where to get help and can get help. Education is not just about content knowledge, it is about making relationships, meeting inspiring people, learning from others – and this is what we offer the students in our department and in our Institute.
Your experience as a Programme Manager.
I am really proud of the programmes we offer. A lot of the assignments are practice-based and both, those students who are new to the industry, and experienced practitioners, have a lot of opportunities to reflect on their work with children and families and learn to align it with best practice and research evidence. Our teaching team is very strong and they strive to help the students along this journey – we employ tutors who do not only have the academic knowledge but also have industry experience so they can relate in the theory to practice in a real way. My role is to develop and support the teaching team and ensure that we are meeting our students’ needs.
The students in our department come from a variety of backgrounds. Many of them have been out of formal education for a long time, many are experiencing third level education for the first time. Some have a fear of using technology and online systems, some have learning difficulties. We understand that each student’s needs and situations are unique. We do our best to support them and we are thrilled to celebrate their success on the graduation day – their success is our success!
Ever since I started tutoring with Portobello, I’ve been inspired by the learner profile of those who study with the college. The majority of Early Childhood Studies students are practitioners who have to juggle the pressures of work, study and family life. These are people who want to better themselves despite any difficulties that might come their way. This is what motivates me to do my work on a daily basis. And as a mum of three children, who also combines work and study, I feel I am in the right place to be able to understand our students.
In addition, I think we have an excellent team working for the college. I am surrounded by like-minded and hard-working people, some of whom have become really good friends. I am blown away in how creative and innovative our senior management is in advancing the college work and how supportive they are of the team.
Because our team is compact and closely-knit, I believe we can communicate a lot better and meet the students’ needs more effectively and efficiently than many other institutions. We are currently putting emphasis on improving our student feedback system and this will be instrumental in further promoting quality in our department.
- MA Teaching English and German
- PhD Linguistics
- BA Hons Early Childhood Studies
- PGr Cert Training and Education
- Early Childhood Ireland Research and Practice Seminar
Personal Academic Tutor
Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor to support you throughout your learning journey. They are available to offer you telephone and email support at any time. You can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance at a time convenient to you.
Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. Emailing your tutor at any stage during your programme to ask a query or submit a draft of your assessment supports you to achieve your personal best throughout your studies with Portobello.
This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello as your Institute of choice to complete your studies.
How will I learn?
This level 7 BA in Early Childhood Studies has been specifically designed for delivery by blended learning. It is very suited to you if you are working full-time with limited spare time yet you want to achieve your degree qualification. During the induction webinar, you will be given your log-in details to the online portal, “Weblearn”. Here you will find course notes, reading lists, podcasts, articles of interest and assessment guidelines. The content is structured in an easy to “find and follow” week by week format. You will need basic computer skills such as searching the internet and typing a word document.
Each module commences with an induction webinar and you will meet your lead tutor during this seminar. You can upload your assessments and your tutor will give you feedback on whether you are on the right track before you submit the final version. Blended learning allows you to study at your time with support available throughout your learning journey. The webinars are recorded so you may review these at a later date should you be unable to attend at the scheduled time.
This programme is structured into 9 tutorial webinars with tutor supported online content delivered over 14 months. These seminars are held online on a Saturday from 10am to 4pm. The day is broken into to 1.5 hr sessions with breaks throughout. The sessions are recorded so you may review the session at a later stage should you be unable to log-in at the scheduled time. You will be introduced to fellow practitioners studying the programme in your region and we will support you to set-up study groups with the network of practitioners in your region.
Webinars & Tutor Support
The tutorial webinars are held at the start of each module and are designed to guide and support you throughout the module. These webinars lay out the module for you and the content you will cover. The assessment and expectations for successful completion are covered in detail as is where and how to access the information on the LMU Weblearn platform. You will be encouraged to connect with fellow students and have the opportunity to create your study network for the duration of your learning journey.
You can email your tutor at any stage during the module to ask a simple query or submit a draft of your assessment. Our programme management team are always available to offer you telephone and email support and if you need to, you can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance. For more information about our team, click here. Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. This level of one to one support is unique to blended learning and is a particular benefit to choosing this mode of study. Portobello Institute has invested in a team of programme managers and tutors who are experienced early years practitioners as well as qualified and knowledgable educators. They are available to assist you at every stage of this programme.
Online Learning Portal – Weblearn
LMU have designed an online learning platform called Weblearn. During the induction seminar, we will show you how to navigate and find what you need with all of the information you need to complete this programme uploaded on to Weblearn. The content of this programme is set out in an easy to follow format with a combination of notes, articles, podcasts and other materials that will help you to understand the subject and complete your assessment. You will need basic computer skills to search the internet and type a word document to complete your assignment.
How will I be assessed?
Assessments for this degree are not exam based. Instead the assessments vary from practice based assignments to lessons plans. We encourage you to reflect on your knowledge gain with a number of assignments designed to explore your learning journey. All of these methods are seeking to support you to combine theory with scenario based learning and how to practically implement these methods into your every day practice.
Who else has studied this degree?
Student Feedback – Eileen McLoughlin
Eileen lives in Donegal and the blended learning approach suited her. Each module commenced with a face to face workshop/tutorial which she found very beneficial “It was lovely to meet the tutors and discover what exactly was involved in each assignment …I gained so much understanding at these sessions… While there was lots of material online which was really helpful, the discussions during the workshops and the advice and guidance from the tutors helped to make sense of the readings provided.”
Blended learning was new to Eileen, yet she never felt alone in her studies. She found the tutors supportive “they encouraged me to think about why we do the things we do, and to not be afraid to question ideas and thinking. They were very encouraging, and challenged me to do as well as possible. They were also friendly and approachable, and since they all have experience of working in Early Years, they were very well aware of the problems and challenges that we all face.”
Speak to an expert
Choosing a course that will lead you to your career of choice is a significant decision. Understanding the delivery modes, supports available, career opportunities and further study options are all key considerations when making your choice. Our course adviser team are experts in the courses Portobello offers, the employment prospects and possible progression routes to Masters programmes – they will guide you through the detail and support you with any queries you may have.
It is important you make the right choice for you and choose the Institute and course that will best suit your needs.
How long are you working in Portobello?
I have been working for Portobello Institute for over 5 years now.
What do you enjoy about working in Portobello?
I love the interaction with students. Every day I get to meet different individuals and learners who are looking to change their lives and I get to be the person who advises them on the best programme to take. It is a fantastic feeling to be part of their journey. For many learners this is a huge decision and I get to be the person who supports them in making that decision. There is an incredible sense of pride when I see our learners graduate and achieve their education goals.
What inspires you about working in education?
I believe that education is impowering and it can often change people’s lives. It increases the learner’s confidence and it allows the learner to reach their full potential. Coming back to education hugely lifts the learner’s self esteem.
Have you a story that you recall that touched you/made you laugh/made you cry?
One particular lady struggled with dyslexia all her life. Her disability really affected her years in school, her career choices and when this learner approached Portobello Institute I worked with her to establish the best way forward, the right course for her was without a doubt in childcare. This lady registered on the course and she needed a lot of hand holding throughout her studies from both myself and the academic team. I recall that the day of her graduation, she received the “Student of Year” award. We were all thrilled and delighted for her! This learner has since gone on to open a very successful Montessori setting.
How do you feel when you have helped a student reach a decision on their course choice?
I am there to be the deciding factor for our learners. We support people in making the right choice of programme for them. We reassure them the whole way and we support them throughout. It is a very rewarding feeling to be part of this process.
How do I apply?
Entry to this course is by direct application to the college.
Please note places are only confirmed once tuition fees have been received.
Exam Body Reg. Fee
Easy Payment Plan
10% deposit payable upon acceptance of a place. Balance to be paid in 14 instalments of €238 payable on 10th of the month commencing the month after the start date.
Includes one off instalment fee of €210.00. Payments scheduled every 1 month(s).
- €251.36 due on 10th March 2021.
- €251.36 due on 10th April 2021.
- €251.36 due on 10th May 2021.
- €251.36 due on 10th June 2021.
- €251.36 due on 10th July 2021.
- €251.36 due on 10th August 2021.
- €251.36 due on 10th September 2021.
- €251.36 due on 10th October 2021.
- €251.36 due on 10th November 2021.
- €251.36 due on 10th December 2021.
- €251.36 due on 10th January 2022.
- €251.36 due on 10th February 2022.
- €251.36 due on 10th March 2022.
- €251.36 due on 10th April 2022.