BA in Applied Early Childhood Studies [Advanced Entry to Year 2 Only]

Course Points
Course Duration
2 Years
Course Level
Level 7
Course Start Date
September 2020

Four great reasons to consider this course

  • QQI Level 7 Award
  • Programme is recognised on the Department of Children and Youth Affairs early years qualifications listing
  • Eligible for 20% Tax Relief from Revenue
  • Blended course delivery (online & in-class) to allow greater flexibility to learners as they manage full-time employment and part-time study.

Course Summary

The BA in Applied Early Childhood Education [Year 2-entry only] is a two-year part-time course, designed for people who are interested in pursuing opportunities in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) sector. The course focuses on the study of play, development and learning in children from birth to six years old. The aim of the course is the development of high-skilled professional educators for the future who specialise in early childhood education.

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. The Early Childhood professional educator needs to understand many facets of the young child's development and how best to plan and implement programmes that address the child's needs in a holistic way.

This course designed for people who have been working in the early childhood care and education sector for a number of years and who may already hold some qualifications in the early childhood area, but now wish to obtain academic qualifications to degree level. It is in response to national strategies on early childhood care and education which has identified the need to up skill the workforce in this sector.

The course will nurture students' personal, social and professional development with a view to producing a highly competent professional educator committed to providing high quality services to babies, young children and their families based on the contemporary principles of best practice as determined by Aistear and Siolta.

Student Case Study: Siobhan Duffy

For Stage 2: The course takes place over 2 years, for students who gain advanced entry to stage 2.

Learners will be expected to attend DkIT OR Cork College of Commerce two evenings a week (6.00pm-9.30pm) and one Saturday in three (full day) in DkIT (or Cork College of Commerce).

Due to the blended learning delivery within this course students should have access to PC / Mac and a broadband internet connection from home, so as to be able to fully participate in the course.

In Stage 2, Semester 2 of the course, students will be required to undertake a full time 5-day work placement in a Special Needs setting. The placement site for this mandatory practice is organised by DkIT.

Graduates of this degree may follow a variety of career paths in the education, health and social-care fields. There is an identified skills shortage for well-trained graduates who can quickly move up to more senior roles in Child Care Centres and other early childhood care and education settings.

Employment opportunities include roles as managers, directors, coordinators or leaders in early years settings such as:

  • pre-schools
  • crèches
  • special needs services
  • family support centres and community services in the statutory
  • voluntary
  • community
  • private sectors
  • government agencies and public agencies

STAGE 2 course fee is €2,500 per year. The fee is payable in 4 parts as follows:

  • Payment 1 = Application Fee = €50 (This is non-refundable if you are made an offer of a place)
  • Payment 2 = Accept Offer Fee (non-refundable) = €100
  • Payment 3 = €1,100 payable by 31st October 2019
  • Payment 4 = €1,250 payable by 28th February 2020

STAGE 3 course fee is €2,500 per year. The fee is payable as follows:

  • Instalment 1 of €1,250 is payable by 31st October 2020
  • Instalment 2 of €1,250 is payable by 28th February 2021

For Advanced Entry to Stage 2, candidates must have:

  • QQI Level 5 AND Level 6 


  • QQI (FETAC) Level 6 only (if awarded since 2015)

in Early Childhood Studies or equivalent and have two years’ work experience in a Tusla registered early child care service (minimum of 15 hours per week).

Candidates may be required to attend for interview. Length of work experience and position in employment may be used as ranking criteria in a shortlisting process. 

Work Experience while undertaking the B.A in Applied Early Childhood Studies:

Applicants must have access to a Tusla registered early childhood service (minimum of 15 hours per week) or work in another relevant organisation in the Early Years Sector throughout their course of study to facilitate the integration of theory with practice and to meet the different module learning outcomes. Applications will not be accepted without a written confirmation from the applicant’s organisation covering each of the points below:

  • Details of the organisation for which the applicant is working in
  • Details of the length of time the applicant has been working in the organisation
  • Details of the roles and responsibilities of the applicant in the organisation in the time-frame stated above, including promotions and progressions, clearly indicating the specific nature of the applicants' current role.
  • Agreement from their organisation that the applicant, throughout their course of study, will be facilitated to integrate theory with practice to meet the different module learning outcomes, with particular reference to the Applied Professional Practice modules.

Professional practice (fieldwork) is a part of the course. With the exception of the «Special Needs» module, professional practice will be assessed in the applicants' own workplace.

For all applicants, Police/Garda vetting, Hepatitis B vaccination and up-to-date First Aid Certificate will be required as conditions of the course.

Early Childhood generally refers to the care and the education of children aged 0-6 years. The course is suitable for:

  • Early year’s educators who are working with young children in crèches, pre-schools, school age childcare services and special education services.
  • Managers of crèches, pre-schools, school age services, special education services
  • Early childhood practitioners in the Health Services Executive
  • County Childcare Committee staff
  • Practitioners in the child and family support sector

This course is designed for people who have been working in the early childhood care and education sector for a number of years and who may already hold some qualifications in the early childhood area, but now wish to obtain academic qualifications to degree level.

Mary McSkeane (Programme Director, Department of Nursing, Midwifery & Early Years)
Phone: +353 429370798

Dr. Geraldine O’Connor (Head of Section (Part time courses), School of Health and Science)
Phone: +353 42 9370200 Ext 2736 

Ann Corcoran (For Cork Enquiries) (Head of Adult Education, Cork College of Commerce)
Phone: +353 21 4222100

Course ID DK_NAESS_7
Level 7
Duration 2 Years
Credits 180
School School of Health & Science
Department Nursing, Midwifery and Early Years
Awarding Body Dundalk Institute of Technology
Fees TBC
Starting Date September 2020
Apply to DkIT

How to Apply

Applications for this programme will open in Spring 2020. All programmes are delivered subject to demand.

If you have any questions about this course, please use the 'Enquire about this course' button below.