Award Type and NFQ level : UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE (8)

CAO/PAC code : MH801

CAO Points : 347

Closing Date : 01 February 2021

View QQI details

This part-time degree will prepare you to spearhead and lead learning and development in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). Modules include exploring curricula and pedagogy, play, learning and development, reflective practice, supporting creativity and imagination. Professional work placement practice is an important feature.

The programme is delivered in partnership with Early Childhood Ireland; a leading organisation in Ireland focused on the development, delivery and advocacy of early childhood care and education. Offered in partnership with Early Childhood Ireland this is a part-time, level 8 honours degree, which is delivered over evenings, some Saturdays and two one-week blocks.

  • The programme was originally designed to provide flexible learning opportunities for those already working in Tusla-notified early childhood settings but it also caters for those aspiring to enter the sector from Leaving Certificate and further education paths. This level 8 Bachelor’s degree allows you to work and study simultaneously.
  • Work placements take place in Tusla-notified early childhood settings.
  • It is a flexible and progressive part-time level 8 degree where relevant prior learning is recognised.
  • You would like the option of progressing your career in early childhood in varied professional roles.

Over the three years of the course students are required to have completed 180 credits to successfully obtain their award.

  • Attendance at class 5-9pm one evening per week, one Saturday per month 10 – 4pm and 2 block weeks per academic year.
  • Work placement is an integral part of the course and students must complete placement in a Tusla notified setting service (300 hours per academic year minimum working directly with children aged from birth to six years – own work setting acceptable). In each year students must complete an additional 15 hours in an alternate setting. Students can source their own placement once it is in a Tusla notified setting. However, our placement coordinator will also support students with placement.
  • Each module will involve written assignments and classroom-based work.
Course Duration: 3 years (part time)

Graduates emerge as early years teaching professionals. Career progression within this sector, for those with this kind of degree, is expanding rapidly beyond early childhood care and education settings to include opportunities within policy development and evaluation agencies within the Department of Education and Skills, Department of Children and Youth Affairs etc.

  • The Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Teaching and Learning positions graduates to spearhead and lead learning in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services.
  • Graduates may also take up roles with local development agencies within the early childhood sector both nationally and internationally.

Visit the Graduate Studies website for more information about postgraduate options.

This table displays the requirements for Leaving Certificate applicants.
Subject Required Ordinary Level Grade Higher Level Grade
Irish Yes O6 H7
English Yes O6 H7
Language No N/A N/A
Math No N/A N/A
Science No N/A N/A

International & EU/EFTA Entry Requirements

Mature Students

As this is a part-time degree, the mature age is 21 years or older by 1st January in the year of entry to the University. Admission is based on  application and interview. All mature applicants must:
  • Be at least 21 years of age on or before 1.1.2021 for admission in September 2021
  • Complete placement in a Tusla notified setting (300 hours per academic year minimum working directly with children aged from birth to six years – own work setting acceptable). In each year students must complete an additional 15 hours in an alternate setting. 
  • Possess sufficient language, literacy, numeracy and ICT skills
  • Attend for interview if shortlisted
  • Undertake vetting by National Vetting Bureau 
  • Priority will be given to mature students who have experience of working with young children and who have completed Level 5 and/or Level 6 in early years studies.
Apply to the CAO by February 1st 2021. Late applications from mature students may be accepted after this date - consult the Undergraduate Studies website for updates. Application may not be made to the CAO after May 1st 2021.
Vetting by the National Vetting Bureau required.
Mature students must complete the CAO section for mature applicants fully, indicating clearly past or current studies, and outlining educational goals and objectives. Applicants are assessed on the basis of the information provided on their CAO application form. All questions should be answered in full.
What happens after I have submitted my application?
Mature students who meet the application criteria will be shortlisted and invited to come to Maynooth University in March/April for an interview and will be advised accordingly

Mature student applicants who have a disability 

If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia), please contact the Access Office

For further information on the supporting documentation required, as well as examination and other supports visit the Access Office website.

01 February 2021

Additional Information

Leaving Cert applicants are required to present 2H5 & 4O6/H7, Irish & English.
National Vetting Bureau
Offers of places on this programme are subject to a satisfactory background check by the National Vetting Bureau.


The application process depends on the type of applicant you are. Click here for all information about how to apply.

Categories of applicant:

  • School-leavers (Leaving Certificate students)
  • Mature students (23 years or older by 1st January in the year of entry to the University/part-time degrees the mature age is 21)
  • EU/EFTA/UK students
  • International students (outside the EU)
  • QQI (Further Education) students
  • Transferring students
  • Deferring students
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