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BA (Ord) in Early Childhood Studies - Blended Learning

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14 Months


Degree Level 7


Awarding Body

Start Date

Start Date
October 2020

BA (Ord) in Early Childhood Studies - Blended Learning

We are working remotely and are available to support you with any queries you have - please email Jenny at or call her on 01-8920031. 

Our academic delivery teams are all also working remotely and are supporting our students to continue with their studies through online learning or to get started for those just commencing their learning journey.  

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 degree?

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 level 8 and right through to a Level 9 Masters 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. Visit our Graduates Success Stories here to understand the opportunities they availed of and their learning journey.

What is blended learning?

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.

What will I learn during this level 7 BA in Early Childhood Studies?

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.

Who will recognise my degree?

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 I learn from?

The programme management and tutoring team on the level 7 degree in Early Childhood Studies have been carefully selected. They have been chosen on the basis of their qualifications, combined experience in the early years sector and education, and their belief of the impact higher education can have for practitioners, children and families. Meet our Team by clicking here.

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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. 


Entry Requirements

Entry to this programme is by direct application to Portobello Institute. You will be required to hold a QQI Level 6 major award in ECCE or have acheived an equivalent qualification. The ECCE level 6 award is available to study by blended or part-time study in Portobello Institute.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Portobello Institute has mapped the learning outcomes of the awards listed below thereby gaining recognition of prior learning (RPL) with LMU for students holding the following qualifications:

• QQI Level 6 Early Years Care & Education

• QQI Level 6 Advanced Supervision in Childcare

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.

There are 9 modules covered during this programme. Detailed below are each of the modules and the learning outcomes you will achieve.

Approaches to Pedagogy and Curriculum (30)

1.   Critically analyse aspects of early childhood curricula in relation to theories of learning and pedagogy and relate this to practice in their settings

2.   Describe, analyse and constructively critique a range of perspectives on early childhood education in this and some other countries

3.   Identify the relationship between the history of early childhood provision and its present form

4.   Articulate the practitioner’s role in planning and implementing a broad and balanced, child-centred curriculum indoors, outdoors and beyond the early childhood setting


Enquiry-based Learning (30)

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of enquiry-based learning and identify how this relates to practice in early childhood.
2. Describe, analyse and constructively critique pedagogical and theoretical perspectives on enquiry based learning
3. Analyse and evaluate enquiry based learning theory and research in the light of current issues.
4. Apply and evaluate methods of small scale enquiry practice including planning and the appropriate collection, analysis and presentation data


Challenging Inequalities in Early Childhood (15)

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of legislation and official guidance in the area of equalities and special educational needs and identify how these relate to ethical practice in early childhood. 
  2. Describe and analyse the ways in which inequalities may impact on babies, young children, families and staff within the early years setting.
  3. Examine and evaluate their own practice in addressing inequalities and ensuring access to the full curriculum for all children.


Children’s Rights in Today’s World (15)

  1. Evaluate current debates on the sociological and socio-legal theories and concepts of childhood and children’s rights in relation to the UN  Convention of the Rights of the Child
  2.  Articulate how relevant legislation and codes of practice impact the varied childhoods experienced by children in the minority and majority world
  3. Critically consider the rights and responsibilities of people/agencies concerned in the planning and provision of care, education, health, welfare and advocacy of children and young people


Communicating in Multilingual Contexts (15)

  1. Describe, analyse and constructively critique current research and theories of language acquisition and communication in children from birth to six years old
  2. Identify and discuss the ways in which children may be supported in the development of their first language whilst acquiring English
  3. Articulate the role of the family, practitioners, other adults and peers in the communication, linguistic and representational competence of babies and young children.
  4. Plan, execute and evaluate  practice and provision that effectively addresses linguistic and symbolic diversity


Early Years Learning and Practice Frameworks (15)

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the underpinning policy, and principles of the Irish frameworks, guidelines and regulations both nationally and internationally.
2. Examine, plan and evaluate one aspect of the curricula and make links to principles endorsed in frameworks, guidelines and regulations.

3. Examine the role of early years’ practitioners in providing an enabling inclusive environment and in scaffolding children’s learning and development.


Leading Practice with Children Families and Professionals (30)

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Discuss and evaluate the impact of their role in developing and leading effective practice

2. Critically evaluate provision and practice and how it impacts on the development and well-being of babies and young children

3. Describe, analyse and constructively critique legislation, social policies, and research related to partnership between young children (0-6), families and professionals

4. Describe, analyse and constructively critique the theory and practice of leadership when supporting teams in promoting high quality provision


Debating Children and Childhood (15)

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Analyse different social constructions of childhood.
2. Critically discuss relevant aspects of global, political, cultural, historical, and economic contexts of early childhood.
3. Consider the impact of inequalities on young children’s lives.
4. Critically evaluate contemporary debates in relation to early childhood.


Reading research and research methods (15)

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Describe, analyse and constructively critique the major research methodologies used in the field of Early Childhood Studies
2. Apply ethics in relation to research
3. Understand a range of research methods and approaches and be able to articulate when to use them
4. Be able to critique existing research in the early childhood field

What are the assessments?

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.

Course fee €3395

Registration fee €305

Payment must be paid in full at the time of booking, registration fees are payable within 2 weeks of the start date. Please call Jenny Matteazzi to arrange your booking on 01-8920031

Easy Payment Plan

There are a choice of payment plans available to students who wish to spread out payment for this programme.

Option 1

€900 deposit payable upon booking.

8 payments of €335 payable on 10th of the month commencing the month after the start date

Option 2

€350 deposit payable upon booking

14 payments of €240 payable on 10th of the month commencing the month after the start date

Group Discounts

Group Discounts are available for groups of more than 3 students enrolling together. Click here for more information or call Jenny directly on 01-8920031

We are delighted to share just some of the success stories from happy graduates reaching their ultimate goals from completing a degree in Early Childhood Studies. 

This month we are featuring the profiles of Natasha Murphy and Kate Walsh. For further Graduate Testimonials and an insight into their loearning journey, click here.

Natasha Murphy   Kate Walsh 

Course Progression

This level 7 degree gives you entry to the final year of the level 8 honours degree in Early Childhood Studies. This is available to study by blended learning through Portobello Institute. With this degree, there is a path of study right through to a level 9 Masters in Early Childhood Studies.


Kate began her studies in 2016 and found the college to be everything she hoped it would be and more. 

I couldn't believe that in one year I would complete a QQI Level 6 Major Award in Childcare with Montessori and would be able to begin working right away and even have the option to open my own Montessori school if I wanted or porgress onto a degree programme. Full story

Kate Walsh


“I am so happy I made the decision to develop professionally and it’s not just me who benefits but my own children and the children that I work with too.” Read more

Sinead Darby


“Thanks to the intimate class sizes, tutors quickly got to know every student’s strengths and weaknesses and essentially guided them to achieve their full potential. They constantly made themselves available to students and always pointed us in the right direction for further reading on areas of interest.” Read more 

Aoife Hurley
Aoife Hurley - EY

Apply Now

Course Code Location & Info Price
EYEO-B-PI-OC-20 Online Webinars

03/10/20 - 04/12/21
This is a blended learning course with 9 tutorial webinars held on a Saturday, 10am - 4pm
€3395 Book Now
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