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EQ103-15 Foundations for Learning: The Early Years

Education Studies
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Emma Langley
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

Experiences in the early years and at the start of the learning and development journey can have a lasting impact upon the individual. We consider what this means in terms of early childhood care and education.

Module web page

Module aims
  • To develop an understanding of the importance of early years for children’s long-term outcomes.
  • To explore how children develop in different domains (physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and language) and how these domains interlink.
  • To study the influence of key microsystems (such as the family and the school) on children’s learning and development.
  • To critically consider the issue of poverty and how it impacts the lives of children and their families.
  • To identify and interrogate national and international initiatives and research studies that have focused on improving life chances of young children.
  • To understand how child development is situated in, and influenced by, context and culture.
Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

  • What is early childhood and why is it important?
  • Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) policies and practice.
  • The developing child (physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and language development).
  • The role of culture and context (ecological systems theories).
  • The home and the family.
  • Early years settings and schooling.
  • Poverty and social disadvantage.
  • Early intervention.
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Explain the impact of early experiences on children’s long-term outcomes.
  • Articulate how children develop holistically and in specific developmental domains (physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and language).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of ecological systems theories and developmental theory (prenatal and through the early years).
  • Assess the influence of key microsystems (such as the family and the school) on children’s learning and development.
  • Discuss the impact of poverty and social disadvantage on children’s developmental outcomes and how the impact on children and families could be negated.
  • Critically evaluate key national and international initiatives and research that has focused on improving life chances of young children.
  • Analyse the interplay between research, initiatives, policy and practice relating to early childhood education and care.
Indicative reading list

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Subject specific skills

Students should demonstrate a critical understanding of -

  • the underlying values, theories and concepts relevant to childhood and education
  • reflect upon a range of psychological, sociological, health, historical and philosophical perspectives and consider how these underpin different understandings of babies and young children and childhood
  • the diversity of learners and the complexities of the education process
  • apply multiple perspectives to early childhood issues, recognising that early childhood studies involves a range of research methods, theories, evidence and applications
  • integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in early childhood studies
  • the complexity of the interaction between learning and local and global contexts, and the extent to which participants (including learners and teachers) can influence the learning process
  • the societal and organisational structures and purposes of educational systems, and the possible implications for young learners and the learning process
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the interrelationships between political, economic, cultural and ideological contexts in the lives of children and their families and communities
  • constructively critique theories, practice and research in the area of child development and education
Transferable skills
  • Active listening • Communication skills • Confidence • Coordinating with others • Critical thinking • Interpersonal and communication skills • Judgement and decision making • Management of learning • Motivation, tenacity, commitment • Negotiation • Passion • Personal development skills • Planning and organisational skills • Team working

Study time

Type Required Optional
Lectures 15 sessions of 1 hour (10%)
Seminars 15 sessions of 1 hour (10%)
Tutorials (0%) 2 sessions of 15 minutes
Private study 120 hours (80%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Independent study hours include background reading, completing reading/other tasks in preparation for timetabled teaching sessions, undertaking research using the library resources, follow-up reading work, working on individual and group projects, the completion of formative and summative assignments, revision


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Report 100% 30 hours

The assessment will take the form of a report, 2000 words in length. Students will be required to choose a topic from the syllabus and write a report for an early childhood professional. The report structure will include: an introduction to the topic/background to the issue; theoretical perspectives; a critical review of the research evidence, and a conclusion with clear implications for practice.

Feedback on assessment

Individual feedback


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of UEQA-X35B Undergraduate Education Studies