Early Childhood Studies Stories | Katie

The University of Northampton is highly rated for its Early Years and Education department, which influenced my choice of where to go. I was very undecided about what course I wanted to do; I saw myself studying within early years, but was overwhelmed in choosing a course.

I attended an Open Day where the Early Year’s courses were explained. Early Childhood Studies stood out to me. I liked the flexibility of the course as it enables you to go into many different careers.

I had been out of an educational environment for about three years prior to starting the degree, so I was very nervous and apprehensive. But I remember on my first day how welcoming, supportive, and reassuring the lecturers were.

The course covers a wide range of topics from children’s development, children’s health, professional development, creativity and child protection. You are assessed in various ways such as essays, group presentations, practical projects and placements. Through placements, I put the skills I had learnt during lectures into practice and begin to understand theoretical approaches to this.

I have enjoyed the course a great deal from my academic progress, socialising and professional development. The course has educated me on topics I never knew existed and challenged my views and opinions.

I have enjoyed the course a great deal from my academic progress, socialising and professional development. The course has educated me on topics I never knew existed and challenged my views and opinions.

There are plenty of exciting opportunities offered by the University to go on trips — in the first year we visited the ‘ragged school’ (charitable organisations providing free education of poor children in 19th century Britain) and Childhood and Youth Museum, which was very interesting. In year two, we visited Kew Gardens and attended a residential trip to Sweden. In Sweden, we visited three different schools and it was so interesting to see how different their system is compared to the UK.

There are also opportunities to engage with Changemaker Hub through career support, CV writing and employment fairs. There are several events put on by the University to support your learning, development and career with additional support available through the learning development and academic librarian teams, who are very knowledgeable and supportive.

There are also events put on by the Early Childhood Studies team such as career days, first aid courses, parental partnership courses, forest school experiences, the list of opportunities available to students are endless.

Before I started university, I was unsure which direction I wanted to go in, throughout my three years, I have found my passion for safeguarding, child protection and children’s mental well-being. I have now been offered a place for a Master’s course in Counselling Children and Young people at UON. I never have thought I was capable of finishing my degree, let alone get offered a place for a Master’s course if it wasn’t for the dedication and passion of the lectures on the course. I am very grateful for the opportunities they have provided me with to develop and further my career, which has enabled me to realise my dream job and apply for a master’s course. My university experience has been a journey of self-development and discovery. When I first started, I was unconfident and unsure of myself and three years later I am passionate, empowered and resilient.

If you are thinking of applying but are unsure, I would say go for it. I never thought I would be able to complete a degree but with the support and motivation from the lecturers I have. The course covers all aspects of the early years, which will help you to find your area of interest and passion. The support from the University and the lecturing team has been very positive, especially considering the current Covid-19 restrictions. The University and lecturers have been in constant communication; with a move to online lectures almost instantly, the quality of lectures has not changed, enabling me to complete my dissertation and degree. The lecturers and my dissertation supervisor could not have done more to support me through the last few months of my degree. I am very thankful to The University of Northampton and the Early Childhood Studies team for their support, advice and knowledge, enabling me to reach my full potential.

Find out more about the Early Childhood Studies course here: https://www.northampton.ac.uk/courses/early-childhood-studies-ba-hons/

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Welcome to the University of Northampton blog! Featuring student & staff opinion, real experiences and a fun meme or two. www.northampton.ac.uk