Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Early Childhood Education & Care CW748

  • NFQ Level 8
  • CW748
  • 50
  • 285
  • 3 Years
  • Overview
  • Further Studies
  • Career Prospects
  • Entry Requirements
  • Subjects
  • Enquiries

What is the Course about?

Children require high-quality education and care during their formative years to reach their unique potential and this is the focus of the BA Honours in Early Childhood Education & Care, covering areas such as: education and play; child development and education; social environment; health; hygiene; nutrition; safety; communication; management and personal and professional development.

This three-year programme is structured to enable participants to become professional, reflective practitioners with an integrated approach in early childhood education and care. Students will acquire skills in areas such as: children's play; creative studies; care; education; children's literature; sociology and social policy. In the second half of the programme, students can specialise depending on areas of interest. A supervised work placement in a variety of early years settings is a key element of the programme enabling students to learn from practice as well as theory. The design and content of the programme has been determined by the Model Framework for Education, Training and Professional Development for the Early Childhood Care and Education sector.

The programme includes a work placement that will bring students into direct contact with children and therefore offers for this programme are conditional and could subsequently be withdrawn if applicants do not successfully complete the Garda Vetting process

Special Features:

  • Innovative practice-led programme where students learn how to combine theory and practice and to develop as reflective practitioners.
  • Active learning environment achieved through lectures, seminars, workshops, enquiry-based learning with children's learning materials.
  • Supervised professional practice placements (taking place in year 2 and year 3) are an essential part of this programme.
  • Wide variety of expert industry and academic guest lectures.
  • Final year students host an annual research symposium.
  • Graduates of this programme are employed as early childhood educators and managers in a variety of award winning early childhood settings in the private and community sectors.
  • Graduates have also gone on to postgraduate studies in Ireland, UK, Australia in areas including: speech and language therapy, equality studies, legal studies, child and family community studies, applied behaviour analysis, Montessori and adult and community education.  

What follow-on study opportunities are available?

Graduates may undertake either a Research Masters in Early Childhood Education and Care or progress to the Taught Masters in Child, Youth and Family Studies at IT Carlow.

What exemptions will I receive?

Graduates are eligible to join the National Children Nurseries Association or the Irish Preschool Playgroup Association.



What will I be able to do when I finish the course?

Graduates of this programme will have the knowledge, competencies and skills to work directly with, or on behalf of, young people in a range of early year's services. Graduates will be trained to think, act, manage and operate at the level of experienced practitioner. Employment opportunities include roles as managers, directors, coordinators or leaders in early years settings such as: pre-schools; crches; special needs services; family support centres and community services in the statutory; voluntary; community; private sectors; government agencies and public agencies.

Supervised Professional Practice Placement

Students undertake two supervised professional practice placements - one in Year 2 and one in Year 3. A supervised professional practice placement is where a student applies their academic knowledge to practice, learns key skills and achieves the required competencies. Learning in the contextual setting of a practice enables students to confront many of the challenges and issues related to working in a caring environment. Placement opportunities are available across community, state-run, private and voluntary settings with  local, national and even international organisations available. A dedicated supervised professional practice coordinator guides and supports students through this process.

What are the minimum entry requirements?

Leaving Certificate

  • 6 subjects with at least 2 subjects at Higher Level Grade H5 or better.
  • 4 subjects at Ordinary Level Grade O6 or Higher Level Grade H7.

Subjects required

  • English or Irish at Ordinary Level Grade O6 or Higher Level Grade H7 or better.

Mature applicants will be assessed on an individual basis and may be interviewed.

For Further Information Contact

Programme Director
Mary Beare Aust, BEd, MA (Ed), AdvMontDip, FHEA