The BA Early Childhood Studies degree is awarded by London Metropolitan University (LMU). In Ireland, there is an obvious need for well-qualified early childhood specialists working with young children and their families across all sectors: play, care, health and education. Portobello Institute is LMU’s only Irish accredited centre for Early Childhood studies. This programme has been co-developed for the Irish context to reflect the skills and knowledge needed by early years practitioners in Ireland today.
The focus of the course is the study of 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. A range of local and international perspectives are taken including: children’s rights, children’s health and well-being, pedagogical and curriculum approaches, diversity and inclusion. The course therefore draws on a range of disciplines such as psychology, sociology and social policy, education and health. There is also a strong focus on the links between theory and practice and highly values the development of professional as well as academic skills and knowledge.
This specific blended learning course is aimed at those who already hold the ECCE full major award and are looking to further their qualification in Early Childhood Studies. Holders of the BA Level 7 ordinary degree in Early Childhood Studies award will be eligible to gain the higher capitation grant from the DCYA (Dept. of Children and Youth Studies) for their role in an early childhood centre.
Assessments for each of the modules varies from a collection of practice based assignments to a personal development plan, reflective essays to lesson plans supporting the overall development of children in an early years setting. Module tutors are available to support learners throughout their learning journey including during the module workshops held at the start of each module.
All of the content required for successful completion of this degree has been developed by Portobello Institute and London Metropolitan University. The content is fully available on the online weblearn platform so learners can easily access the resources they need to complete the assignments. Basic IT skills such as being able to search the internet and type an assignment are the only computer skills required to complete this course.
Direct application with the college. Learners must already hold a QQI Level 6 award
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 is a blended learning programme including approximately 8 tutorials delivered over 14 months. These tutorials are held regionally in Dublin, Gort, Carlow, Navan, Roscommon and Cork.
The tutorials are held at the start of each module and these workshops lay out the module, the content to be covered, the assessment and expectations for successful completion and where and how to access the information on the LMU’s weblearn platform.