Award Type and NFQ level : UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE (8)

CAO/PAC code : MH003

CAO Points : 380

Closing Date : 01 July 2024

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Full time, Level 8, honours degree, catering for those aspiring to enter the Early Childhood Education and Care sector from Leaving Certificate, further education or mature student paths. Those currently working in the ECEC sector may be interested in the flexible BA in Early Childhood Teaching and Learning (MH004).

Why choose this degree?

  • The programme is closely linked with Early Childhood Education and Care practice, and its staff are experienced in the development, delivery and advocacy of Early Childhood Education and Care.
  • Work placements take place in Tusla-notified Early Childhood Education and Care settings.
  • It is a progressive level 8 degree, supporting the development of outstanding early childhood educators.
  • This degree offers graduates the option of progressing their careers in Early Childhood Education and Care in varied professional roles.

Duration: 4 years (full-time)

This full-time degree will prepare you for a range of leadership roles in the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector. Lectures are 3 days a week and students spend 2 days a week in settings (for example, in 2022-2023 it was Monday and Friday in settings and Tuesday to Thursday in lectures).

Possible topics:

1st year

  • Reflective Practice: Educator as Learner
  • Introduction to Child Psychology
  • Introduction to Social and Legal Studies
  • Introduction to Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Health and Well-being for Infants and Toddlers
  • Inclusion in Early Childhood Education
  • Philosophy, Culture and Constructs of Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Professional Practice 1 

2nd year

  • Reflective Practice: Integrating Theory & Practice
  • Learning & Development Practices (Birth to 6 years)
  • Play 
  • Health and Well-Being for Young Children
  • Children’s Spaces
  • Building Relationships with Children, Families and Communities
  • Exploring Curricula & Pedagogy
  • Professional Practice 2

3rd year

  • Reflective Practice: Educator as Change Agent
  • Learning & Development in Context
  • Social Justice, Ethics & Diversity
  • Supporting Creativity & Imagination
  • Social & Legal Context of Childhood
  • Community as Context
  • Supporting Enquiry/Enacting the Curriculum
  • Professional Practice 3

Final year

  • Reflective Practice: Educator as Action Researcher
  • Learning & Development: Challenges
  • Leadership and Management
  • Transitions in the Early Years
  • Dominant Discourses in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
  • Literacy Numeracy and Scientific Enquiry
  • Professional Practice 4

Modules may change.

Course Duration: 4 years full-time

Options after graduation?

  • Graduates emerge as early years teaching professionals. Career progression within this sector, for those with a level 7 or level 8 Early Childhood degree, is expanding rapidly within and beyond Early Childhood Education and Care settings to include opportunities within policy development and evaluation agencies within government departments, semi-state bodies and NGO’s.
  • The Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Teaching and Learning positions graduates to spearhead and lead learning in Early Childhood Education and Care 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

Mature Applicants 

Mature applicants are assessed separately to school-leavers. Mature applicants are 23 years or older by 1st January in the year of entry to the University. For part-time/flexible degrees the mature age is 21. Late application (for existing CAO applicants) accepted up to 1st May 2024.

Click here to be taken to our mature applicant information page - tab 3 on that page outlines application steps for this degree.

Mature applicants who have a disability 

If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia), and require examination support for any written tests that may be required, please submit supporting documentation by 15 March 2024 to the Access Office. 

Unfortunately we are unable to consider applications for alternative examination accommodation after this deadline. 

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

01 July 2024

Additional Information

Leaving Certificate Applicants 

Required to present 2H5 & 4O6/H7, Irish & English. MH003 Round 1 Points 2023: 380

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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