1 Date of Revision Date of Previous Revision Programme Specification ( ) A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University s Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes as set out in the DASA Policies and Procedures Manual. Programme Title BA Early Childhood Studies FT Programme Code ECS-BA-S UCAS Code Criteria for Admissions (Please see General Regulations) Final Award (exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes) X310 JACS Code BA (Hons) Degree X310 4 GCSE s at grade C (including Maths & English); 3 GCE A Levels at Grades BBB; B, B, B at VCE A Level: 12 or 6 unit award combination totalling 18 units; Interview relevant; Access NI Enhanced Disclosure and HSS Trust clearance are both essential. Mode of Study (Full-time, Part-time, other) Full Time Type of Programme Single Subject Early Childhood Studies Length of Programme 3 years Total Credits for Programme 360 Awarding Institution/Body Teaching Institution School/Department Framework for Higher Education Qualification Level dguidance Queen s University, Belfast Stranmillis University College Early Childhood Studies Level 6 QAA Benchmark Group y/subject-guidance/pages/subject-benchmarkstatements Early Childhood Studies
2 Collaborative Organisation and form of Collaboration (if applicable) Accreditations (PSRB) ATAS Clearance N/A N/A External Examiner Name: Dr Ioanna Palaiologou N/A Date of next scheduled accreditation visit External Examiner Institution/Organisation Canterbury Christ Church University Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations No (Please see General Regulations) Programme Specific Regulations Students with protected characteristics Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations (Please see General Regulations) Length of Programme N/A No Fitness to Practise programmes are those which permit students to enter a profession which is itself subject to Fitness to Practise rules 3 years
3 Educational Aims of Programme On completion of the programme the student will be able to: Please list below the overarching aims and objectives of the programme. The degree aims to provide the field of early years with qualified professionals who will be competent in their undertaking of the complex roles inherent in working with young children in the range 0 8 years, in the variety of contexts, which constitute the employment opportunities for the resulting graduates. Respond to the local and national requirement for a course which will meet the need for high quality training to a graduate qualification for a range of professionals in the field of 'Educare'; Break down barriers between professionals thus reducing the risk that the needs of children and their families will not be fully met; Meet the needs of the client group by providing a wide range of knowledge, skill, experience and expertise drawn from relevant professional perspectives which they require; Provide a structure which will be sufficiently flexible to meet client needs but also provide a degree of coherence and cohesiveness that is supportive of its members and gives the group its identity; Recognise and build on the richness and variety of the experience, knowledge and skills course members will bring as a valuable resource, and to acknowledge this formally by accrediting prior learning; Provide opportunities for all participants to increase and develop their key and transferable skills; Strengthen the links between theory and practice and through placement /work-based opportunities and experience, develop the concept of the reflective practitioner by building in support and opportunities for reflection on and analysis of practice; Provide core modules which all students will take and which will enable students to develop a cohesive group identity and to understand the issues central to working with young children in a variety of contexts; Employ a range of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, projects, discussion, video, visits, research and practice placements in order to supply students with a stimulating learning experience which will develop their analytical, oral and written skills; Use the 'group' as an integral part of the course in which members act as a support network and critical community;
4 Meet the specialist needs of students in planning a programme of study building on the core modules and allowing freedom to plan individual menus; Encourage the reflection and recording of the students' professional development by means of the Reflective Practice Portfolio, hereafter identified as the RPP, enabling students to become self-critical and reflective practitioners; Place high status on practical placements and professional roles undertaken by course members linking assessment to workplace and practical placements thus enabling students to be given credit for the application of their knowledge and the demonstration of their competence in varied professional settings. Engage with a wide variety of students from non-traditional backgrounds and with a variety of entrance qualifications and professional experience; Capitalise on the experience which exists within the existing bodies of Early Years professionals working in fields of education, welfare and health; Encourage each student to be an advocate for children. Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills On the completion of this course successful students will be able to: Exercised analytical, critical and problem solving skills in the context of theory within the discipline, methods of enquiry, applications and interventions; Displayed the capacity to communicate information in an accessible and understandable manner through both the written and spoken word, to different audiences and for different purposes; Directed their own learning and thinking; Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies A number of supportive structures within teaching, learning and assessment methods form the basis of students developing cognitive skills in the area of Early Childhood Studies. Both teaching and learning methods actively encourage students to develop their analytical and critical thinking skills. Students are frequently required to consider aspects of both practice Methods of Assessment Assessment methods are focused across the programme on the requirement to communicate information in an accessible form which can be understood by different audiences; thus allowing the students to demonstrate their developing specialist cognitive skills.
5 Developed the capacity to think independently and to collaborate within a critical community of learning; Developed research skills and engaged with information retrieval, small-scale research design, data collection and analysis; and theoretical perspective. Problem solving activities, for example in the shape of case study considerations, form the basis of a significant number of seminar activities. Through these, students learn to apply their knowledge and understanding to situations, both real and imaginary, thus requiring the use of their cognitive abilities. In these situations, students increasingly direct their own learning and demonstrate their capacity to think both independently and collaboratively. Teaching places heavy emphasis on the acquisition of research skills, including information retrieval, smallscale research design, data collection and analysis, and seeks to utilise these techniques across the levels to progressively build a student s capacity to engage with this skill. Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills On the completion of this course successful students will be able to: The ability to communicate; The capacity to apply number; The skill to employ information technology appropriately; The aptitude to work with others; The recognition of their own role in improving their own learning and performance; Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies The teaching, learning and assessment of the full range of transferable skills are integrated across all level of the degree programme. Teaching in subject specific contexts allows students to experience each of the Methods of Assessment The assessment methods employed across the range of modules affords the opportunity to examine and quantify each student s developing capacity in this area. For example, the initial
6 The facility to problem solve. Additional transferable and employability skills have also been identified: The ability to study effectively; The capacity to begin to develop skills in relation to entrepreneurship; The development of an awareness of career planning; These will be promoted through the engagement of students in a variety of Degree Enhancement programmes, including advice sessions related to career and employability issues. transferable skills in a progressive way. Seminar, workshop and tutorial activities, in particular, provide a context in which these skills can be fostered as students interact, debate, collaborate and discuss a range of issues pertinent to the module under study. Students also have the opportunity to undertake a number of taught programmes/sessions (including in modular form) which seek to enhance specific transferable skills. For example, sessions related to career and employability skills, including opportunities to engage in mock interviews. This provides a context in which students can set and monitor gaols for learning and development. Similarly, provision within the programme extends to the acquisition of a recognised qualification in First Aid and a College base certificate to demonstrate students knowledge and understanding of the principles of policy implementation in the area of safeguarding in child protection. and reflective accounts of student learning required in each section of their RPP confront students with the opportunity to monitor their own progress and set and evaluate targets in relation to their learning. Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and Understanding On the completion of this course successful students will Teaching/Learning Methods and Methods of Assessment be able to: Strategies Engaged in in-depth investigations of the context and The approach adopted to teaching, Assessment will match the
7 development of early childhood services in Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and a variety of international contexts; Sought to gain knowledge and understanding of the processes of early childhood education and care from a variety of professional perspectives; Developed an understanding of the policies and procedures related to important aspects of practice in early childhood education and care, for example, safeguarding and child protection; Participated in a critical community of learning, thereby enhancing their knowledge and understanding of the importance of the adult s role in the lives of young children. learning and assessment will provide students with experiences which are progressive as the programme moves forward. Students will be encouraged to move to a position of independent learning through a series of guided experiences. Learning at Level 1 will concentrate on providing a foundation to each student s understanding of the chid and the highly complex role of an Early Years practitioner as they engage in the reciprocal nature of the learning and exchange of knowledge occurring between adults and children. Learning will, subsequently, progress to deal with issues of enhanced practitioner knowledge and understanding through to skills of critical analysis and interpretation. From this position in Level 1 students will be encouraged in a learning journey towards individualised development, marked by the capacity to critically analyse their own practice. A blended learning approach will be adopted with regard to delivery, incorporating QUB Online as the virtual learning environment. At all times teaching will take account of the need to integrate theoretical perspectives with practice from settings providing services for young children and their families. Students will, therefore, be learning how to apply their enhanced learning outcomes of the various modules and seeks to provide both formative and summative feedback to students at all stages. A variety of methods are chosen to allow the broad base of learning outcomes to be examined and also the range of students backgrounds, interests and styles of learning to be accommodated. The course recognises the need to incorporate innovative and dynamic assessment techniques, including self and peer evaluation. Of particular importance for this course is the development of a RPP, which systemically charts each student s developing thinking, understanding, and competence in the field of practice. The range of assessment methods used includes, among others, the RPP, peer reviewed oral presentations, self-reflective accounts, and essays, as well as a range of examination methods. Assessment criteria are rigorously applied to each submission and provide a scale of achievement drawn from the University College s conceptual
8 knowledge base to a variety of placement/employed contexts. equivalent marking framework. In addition to this normal pattern of placement experience, an opportunity exists within the programme for international experience. BA students may avail of the European Erasmus links which the University College has and can spend twelve weeks studying in a higher education institution in a country within the scheme. This also allows for placement experience to be undertaken within this context. Teaching will place a heavy emphasis on the growing body of literature which now underpins this area of study. At Level 1 students will guided through these sources, with teaching methods demonstrating to students how they gain increased independence in accessing and retrieving such information. Level 2 students are encouraged to take ownership of this process and to broaden the scope of their search techniques. Thus they enhance the links which they make between theory and practice and are able to demonstrate a much deeper level of understanding of the issues affecting this age phase. Level 3 students are required to show the capacity to manage their own learning, and to demonstrate their ability to
9 engage fully with relevant sources of knowledge and debate in the field. The programme has been designed to promote student development across five strands, each of which progresses across the three levels of the degree, focusing on a different context within the lives of children. The five strands include, Health & Well- Bing, Placement Experience, Professional Communication & Relationships, Curriculum, and Shared Understanding of Psychological Perspectives. The context of each level allows for progression within these thematic areas, with Level 1 concentrating on the The Child, Level 2 emphasising The Child in Practice and Level 3 highlighting The Child in Family & Community. Teaching in all strands and at all levels emphasises each students experiences in the Placement/Employed context as a framework for exploration and learning. These are integral to the teaching process and are used as the basis for group discussion, seminar activity, assessment activity and the overall the developing competence of the students.
10 Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific Skills On the completion of this course successful students will be able to Engaged in a multi-professional approach as they understand and respond to the issues central of working with young children and their families in a variety of settings and communities; Liaised competently with a wide variety of agencies in the fields of education, social welfare and health and thereby effectively applied childcare policies and responded to legislative demands; Responded to the needs of children and families in relation to child care issues; Developed the capacity to be an advocate for children; Developed and utilised skills in relation to child observation, thereby gaining deep insights into the lives of children, families and communities; Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies The developing subject specialism of Early Childhood Studies has created a context for specific skills to be developed among the range of professionals who interact with children and their families. Thus the degree course seeks to use teaching, learning and assessment methods which highlight for students how important their developing competence is. In relation to this subject area a number of issues can be highlighted which are specifically addressed to enhance the unique perspective which is presented by the degree course. Teaching methods seek to illuminate these issues for students and highlight the areas which can be best addressed through multi-disciplinary working practices. Thus, teaching takes account of a broad spectrum of expertise in the field, presenting a holistic picture of child development issues, education practices, and health and care concerns. Teaching also utilises liaison with other fields of study and professionals through accessing a Methods of Assessment Assessment methods, especially the RPP, encourage students to evaluate the uniqueness of their learning in this developing field of study and to use skills of reflection and evaluation to challenge and expand their thinking and practice.
11 variety of perspectives on issues to present a rounded picture of the skills necessary to progress in this area. Teaching focuses heavily on how students can respond to the needs of children and on demonstrating how these needs can be assessed and analysed. In this way, the role of the students as advocates for children is emphasised and encouraged. Thus, the course seeks to help students in their learning as they progress from a position where they are developing their subject specific skills to one where they are demonstrating the capacity to plan and respond to professional challenges.
12 Programme Requirements Module Title Module Level/ Credits Availability Duration Prerequisite Assessment Code stage S1 S2 Core Option Coursework % Examination % Study Skills SEC weeks yes 100% Children s Learning SEC weeks yes 20% 80% Intentions Foundations in Social and SEC weeks yes 100% Developmental Learning Childhood in Society SEC weeks yes 100% Professional Experience 1 SEC weeks yes 100% Child Development 1 SEC weeks yes 50% 50% Children s Health and Wellbeing SEC weeks yes 100% Partnership with Children SEC weeks Yes 100% and Families Research Methods SEC weeks Yes 100% Children in the Early Years SEC Yes 100% Environment Management, Leadership SEC Yes 20% 80% and Professionalism Early Years Curricumum SEC Yes 60% 40% (3-8) Professional Experience 2 SEC SEC1006 Yes 100% Diversity and Inclusion SEC Yes 100% Curiosity Creativity and the SEC Yes 100% Child Fundamental Movements SEC Yes 100% The Under Threes in the SEC yes 100% Early Years Setting European Mobility for Students of ECS SEC weeks yes 100% International Perspectives SEC weeks Yes 50% 50% Undertaking a Small-Scale SEC weeks yes 100% Project Developing Professionalism SEC weeks Yes 40% 60%
13 Advanced Social and Developmental Learning Children s Crisis and Trauma Management Advanced Understanding of Diversity and Inclusion Current Issues in the Early Years An Interprofessional Approach to Safeguarding Young Children SEC weeks Yes 40% 60% SEC weeks Yes 30% 70% SEC weeks Yes 30% 70% SEC weeks Yes 50% 50% SEC weeks Yes 50% 50% Approved by Director of Education: Print Name:.. Signature: Date:..