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First online distance learning BA degree launched at Leeds Beckett University


Leeds Beckett University is launching its first online distance learning undergraduate degree course – the BA (Hons) Early Years with Enterprise - and applications are now open.

Sharon Colilles

The BA (Hons) Early Years with Enterprise degree course will begin in September 2018 and will run as both a part-time, online, distance learning degree, and a full-time programme delivered in Leeds.

The new course is the first of its kind, supporting students to have an understanding of child development as well as equipping them with an awareness of business and enterprise skills. It has been designed to both develop students’ knowledge around the child, child development, and also, uniquely, explore enterprise, leadership and management to prepare graduates to move into leadership positions within Early Years settings.

The online distance learning course is predominantly aimed at those in full-time work, providing the opportunity for Early Years practitioners to combine academic grounding with practical experience within their workplace or through volunteering, and equipping them with the theory and practical knowledge to meet sector demand for inspiring Early Years professionals. Applications are welcomed from across the country and internationally.

Sharon Colilles, Course Director in the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett (pictured top), said: “Our aim is to develop graduates that are not only completely child-centred and knowledgeable about working in the Early Years sector, but who have an understanding of how to nurture an Early Years business in a competitive market place.  We strongly believe that the Early Years professional of the future needs to know about marketing and promotion; they need to be confident in understanding numbers, and they need to be aware of the impact that different approaches to leadership and management can have on their staff, and the other people around them.”

The Government’s revised statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) came into effect in September 2017, signifying the continual change in educational policy development for individuals working in private, voluntary and independent childcare settings, as well as in state-funded nurseries and children’s centres.

Sharon added: “In these changing times for the sector, it is more important than ever that we equip our students and future graduates with the skills and knowledge necessary to establish, and lead, successful Early Years enterprises and teams.”

Both the traditional Early Years elements and the unique enterprise elements of the BA (Hons) Early Years with Enterprise course will be taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars from experienced university lecturers and established leaders in the Early Years sector. These leaders have been involved in the design of the course, will contribute to its delivery to students, and will be involved in assessments.

Online distance learners will be supported and guided by online tutors and will have access to online forums for networking with fellow students.

Subject areas will include: child development, working in the EYFS framework, play, safeguarding, marketing, and business planning; and students will have very practical tuition on subjects such as outdoor education, paediatric first aid, and food hygiene.  Students will also complete early years placements in every year of their course, allowing them to develop their own links with the wider birth-to-five-years sector.

For more information about the new course and how to apply, please click here.

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