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BA (Hons) Early and Primary Education Studies

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Waterfront (14) 1
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Three years full-time

Five years part-time

Typical Offer: 

112 UCAS tariff points (or above)


  • This course focuses on the social aspect of education, particularly transformation and helping communities.
  • Benefit from our excellent education links in Suffolk.
  • Small study groups means more time and dedicated support from your tutors.
  • Range of career progression opportunities including postgraduate study.


The BA (Hons) Early and Primary Education Studies degree is engaged in acknowledging the potential of education to support the transformation of individual and community living, whilst building a sustainable society within the framework of a philosophy of hope. 

The course stresses the role of education as a social endeavour, which needs to respond to the diverse needs of multicultural societies, and to acknowledge the role of education in issues of social participation and social justice.

The programme takes a multi-disciplinary approach constituting an appealing and stimulating course of academic study, which includes psychological, sociological, historical, legal, philosophical, political and economic perspectives in children’s education.

Two alternative strands can be followed: the ‘practice strand’, which involves 300 hours of supervised practice, and the ‘theories strand’, which focuses on the understanding of psychological and sociological theories relevant to the education of children.

A wider consciousness of the issues involved in education comprises the examination of government initiatives, as well as social and technological changes and issues of diversity and inclusion.

Course modules

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Becoming an Enquiring Practitioner in Education (Requisite)

This module offers an introductory approach to learning as a lifelong process, which will be the foundation to support learning throughout your studies. This module supports the development of an inquisitive and reflective disposition to learning, as well as skills and dispositions needed by professionals in children’s education. 

Developmental Psychology (Requisite)

Developmental psychology seeks to explain how the interaction between biological, social and cultural factors affects lifelong patterns of change in the individual. This module investigates psychological development of young children, including explanations of both typical and atypical developmental patterns in theory and practice.

Sociology of Education (Requisite)

This module takes the view that working successfully in any area of education today requires having a ‘holistic’ or multidimensional understanding, whereby knowledge is built upon through exploring theory, alongside relevant historical and contemporary connections. Material is drawn from a range of subjects including anthropology, political science, history and cultural studies to explore the relationship between the child’s educational experience and its social contexts, bringing to light the political and cultural background of education policies.

Diversity, Rights and Equality (Requisite)

This module engages in critical and cultural debates relating to the broad topics of diversity, rights and equality and prompts students to consider their impact on the lives of disabled children and young people. It identifies and explores the differing perspectives within diversity, egalitarian and rights theories. 

Principles of Study and Research (Requisite)

This module is specifically designed for students within the Department of Children, Young People and Education. This module focuses on research methods in general but will also cover methods and methodologies specific to research with children in a range of contexts such as Early Childhood, Disability studies, Education and Child Development and the participatory (participant-led) approaches used in research with children and  disabled children and young people.

Early and Primary Education (Requisite)

This module is an opportunity to introduce students to early and primary education and the underpinning values of professional practice. Students are encouraged to consider how the theoretical study of the child underpins the early and primary curriculum and adult role.

Research Methods (Mandatory)

This module focuses on research methods in general but will also cover methods and methodologies specific to understanding childhood and the child-centred participatory (participant-led) approaches. In exploring a range of research methods, students will acquire knowledge and understanding of the research process and issues related to doing research with children.

Safeguarding Children (Mandatory)

This module will help you to develop a sound understanding of the inter-professional and inter-agency context. You will engage in critical evaluation of current inter-professional practice including the move towards greater integration and co-location of front line children's services.

Developing Practice in Education (Optional)

The aims of the module are: to develop students’ practical skills and competence to work as a qualified Early Years Practitioner, be able to meet practical occupational competences equivalent to NVQ 3, develop students’ theoretical and conceptual knowledge and understanding of influences on young children’s development by linking theory and practice, and to develop students’ ability to reflect on practice in order to inform personal and professional development.

Children’s Geographies (Optional)

This module explores children’s everyday lives within various cultures, spaces, places and environments that they inhabit as such understanding is critical to making their worlds safer, facilitating their participatory roles in society, and implementing policies relevant to their geographies. Recent years have witnessed a proliferation in academic work and research into the children’s lives that examine the diverse experiences of children in numerous spatial locations.

The Health and Wellbeing of Children (Optional)

Positive health and wellbeing is the foundation upon which the flourishing of children is founded. With this in mind, the module seeks to engage students in a scholarly and creative exploration of this diverse topic area. The module draws upon a variety of perspectives; the arts, humanities and social sciences and, in particular, calls upon a ‘sociological imagination’ in order to examine the multi-faceted nature of health, illness and wellbeing as applied to children.

Education: Language, Culture and Communication (Mandatory)

This module focuses on language, culture and communication covering both statutory and non-statutory guidance. In this module, such issues will be linked to the areas of Communication and Language and Literacy (for 0 to 5 years old children), and to the subjects of English and Foreign Language (for children 5 to 11 years old).

Education: Mathematics, Science and Technology (Mandatory)

This module is the second of the four thematic modules in education, which address issues related to curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in some areas of the EYFS and subjects of the National Curriculum. This module focuses on mathematics, science and technology as depicted by both statutory and non-statutory guidance.

Diploma Project (Dip HE only)

The primary purpose of this module is to provide Diploma students with the opportunity to examine and explore in depth a topic relevant to Early and Primary Education Studies that is of interest to them. This module is also designed to help students develop autonomy in their learning and will also enable students to demonstrate an ability to evaluate and represent issues and ideas.

Dissertation (Mandatory)

This module builds on previous study undertaken by students and takes as its basis the theoretical knowledge acquired in research methodology, principles, values and process together with skills in the critical evaluation of published research. It provides students with an opportunity to carry out an in-depth investigation on a topic of their own choice, and seeks to equip them with the skills of project planning, design, analysis and critical evaluation.

Professional Practice (Optional)

This course is based on a multi-disciplinary approach. Students are encouraged to link the theoretical study of the child to practice and to take a critical stance in respect of issues affecting early childhood. This module is a further opportunity for students to develop their practice or ensure they have relevant and validated practice experience in their final year as an undergraduate. 

Children and Popular Culture (Optional)

The aim is to provide students with an opportunity to explore contemporary issues in the lives of young children. It will as such cover a wide variety of topics dictated to some extent by the very latest academic and current affairs coverage. For example children and friendships; the sexualisation debate, children’s literature, the politics of family life, children art and visual cultures; immigration and community etc. 

Childhood and Family Matters (Optional)

In this module controversial, topical and contemporary family and childhood issues that emerge in the public domain are critically explored. Students will evaluate how societies respond to, and engage with contemporary issues in the lives of families and children. Such issues will vary upon each delivery of the module to reflect the most topical, highly contemporary debates in both the academy and public discourse.

Education: Movement, Creativity and Health (Mandatory)

This module focuses on movement, creativity and health included both in statutory and non-statutory guidance. In this module, such issues will be linked to the areas of Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Expressive Arts and Design, (for 0 to 5 years old children), and to the subjects of Art and Design, Music and Physical Education (for children 5 to 11 years old).

Education: Participating in & Understanding the Social World (Mandatory)

This module focuses on participating and understanding the social world included in both statutory and non-statutory guidance. In this module, such issues will be linked to the areas of Social and Emotional Development and Understanding the world (for 0 to 5 years old children), and to the subjects of Geography, History and Religious Education (for children 5 to 11 years old).

Career opportunities

Students benefit from excellent links with the education sector in Suffolk. A career in teaching can be achieved by progressing at postgraduate level onto an appropriate training programme. Other possible career opportunities include local, national and international governmental and non-governmental organisations which support children’s formal and informal education, and postgraduate study in research and development in the fields of education and social sciences.

What our students say

“If the Early and Primary Education Studies course had existed when I was choosing my degree I would definitively have been interested. A degree focusing on education would be brilliant for those like myself wanting to go into a career in primary and early years education. Modules like 'Becoming an Enquiring Practitioner in Education' would be so useful and interesting for those interested in the field and 'Education: Language, culture and communication' and 'Education: Mathematics, science and technology' would be really useful for practice and professional exams. My plans for the future are to hopefully become a primary school teacher. I would definitively have taken it up if it had been available previously. I particularly like the ‘complex hope and the personalised aspects - this is very positive degree. Something we all need.” Olivia, student in the final year of Early Childhood Studies.

“I think you may have got my interest if I was starting my degree again!” Amanda, student in MA Education Studies.

Fees and finance


  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credit module (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £12,150 p.a.

Further Information

At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for. 

Entry requirements


Lecturer, School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Facilities and Resources

Our teaching takes place in our modern Waterfront Building, with views of Ipswich marina. The building offers teaching spaces including seminar rooms for small groups, lecture rooms and a 200 seater auditorium for larger lectures. 

The Waterfront Building is also home to several flexible study spaces with computers, as well as Cargo Cafe on the ground floor for refreshments. 

Teaching may also take place in our newly refurbished Atrium building, boasting modern seminar rooms and AV equipment.