Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Early Education and Care

  • NFQ Level 8
  • Points Required 279*
  • Course Code SG242
  • Award Honours Degree Abinitio
  • Duration 4

Course Summary

The early years and experiences of a child’s life are fundamentally important for them in the here and now and can help shape their future. This honours degree programme will equip you, the early childhood educator, with a comprehensive knowledge base of all factors influencing children in contemporary society including play, society, the family, diversity, creative studies (drama, music, art, dance, puppet making), children’s literature, sociology, psychology, primary education, social policy and law which you will use to improve the life outcomes and opportunities of children.


The programme is structured to allow you gain a holistic perspective of the diverse aspects of a child’s life; the influence of family, society, policy, and the government and how they are intertwined together within the everyday life of the child.

Your studies in year one support your transition to higher education, whilst also providing key knowledge within the fields of policy, sociology, education, care, law and psychology. This is developed and enhanced as you progress through your programme with key core modules and the inclusion of elective modules where you can decide on what direction you would like to develop greater understanding.


This firm academic foundation is cemented by two practice placements which provide essential opportunities to link theory to practice under the supervision of a proficient practitioner. 

The 13-week placement takes place in Year Two and Year Three in professional learning environments for example montessori, crèche as well as family resource centres and agencies, hospitals, primary schools, depending on what aspect of Early Childhood Care and Education the student is interested in. There are also Erasmus opportunities.


You complete your programme with opportunities to complete a dissertation or research project, plus choose subjects that align with your future career aspirations.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for CAO courses at IT Sligo are available for download below:

Mathematics is not a requirement for this course.


You should note that all entrants to this course will be required to undergo vetting by the Garda Siochána. If you have a criminal conviction in Ireland or elsewhere, this may adversely impact on your ability to undertake a professional placement or to secure employment in the field of early childhood care and education.


A student on the BA Honours in Early Childhood Care and Education must be Fit to Practice. IT Sligo guidance on Fitness to Practice can be found within its policy.  Students will be required to read this Policy and acknowledge that they have read and understood this requirement.

Career Opportunities

With a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Care and Education, you can access a range of professional career opportunities including working in early childhood settings such as crèches, nurseries, playgroups, pre-schools, primary schools and breakfast/ homework clubs.

Graduates are employed in Community Development roles, County Childcare Committees, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, community-based Family Support programmes as well as in specialist areas such as additional needs services.

Some of our past graduates are working in the following roles- Manager Early Years Learning; Early Years Inspector; National Aistear Coordinator; Family Support Worker; Manager Family Resource Centre; AIM Coordinator; Manager Community service; FETAC Tutor; Project Worker; Youth Worker.

Further Study

Students may apply to progress to the MA in Leadership and Advocacy in early Childhood or post-graduates awards in Primary Education or Community Development.

Graduates of our programme have continued their studies and are working as Primary School teachers and Speech and Language Therapists. Programmes applied to are dependent on your personal plans for the future.

Graduates may also undertake Postgraduate study in psychology, disability studies, childhood studies and play therapy.


"I enjoy the active modules such as Drama, storytelling and art. I love the fact practice placement is a full 13 weeks as you get insight into what it is like to work full time. The option of completing a dissertation and choosing modules based on your interests is really great too."

Olivia Kelleghan, BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Care and Education student



Did you know?

This programmes benefits from a state-of-the-art early years skills laboratory, outdoor learning spaces and two creative practice spaces. Students undertake many off-site learning experiences locally, nationally and internationally.

A 13-week placement takes place in Year Two and Year Three in professional learning environments for example montessori, crèche as well as family resource centres and agencies, hospitals, primary schools, depending on what aspect of Early Childhood Care and Education the student is interested in.

Some of our students complete their second practice placement (in year 3) abroad, often funded as part of Erasmus grants. Our students go to Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Finland and the UK to early years settings, primary schools and bilingual Kindergartens.  Some placements offer free accommodation or the use of a car at weekends.

Leaving Certificate Mathematics is not an entry requirement for this course.



Nancy Healy talks about her experience studying Early Childhood Care and Education at IT Sligo

Course Format

Semester 1

Creative Practice 1: Introduction to Creative Practice10
Research Based Study Skills05
Introductory Sociology05
Children's Health and Well-Being05
Running the Country05

Semester 2

Interdisciplinary Care10
Learning through Play05
Research Based Study Skills 205
Applied Child Psychology (Infants and toddlers)05
Principles of Law - ECCE05

Semester 3

Creative Practice 2: Becoming A Creative Facilitator05
Professional Practices05
Inclusive Practice supporting Equality and Diversity05
Sociology of Childhood and the Family05
Applied Child Psychology ( 3-6 years)05
Children and Social Policy05

Semester 4

Practice Placement (2nd Year)30

Semester 5

Social Science Research Methods05
Welfare and protection of children.05
Applied Child Psychology (middle childhood)05
European Social Policy Analysis05
Social Science Law 05
Reggio Emilia [E]05
Steiner Education [E]05

Semester 6

Practice Placement (3rd Year)30

Semester 7

Perspectives on Childcare: Culture, Context and Comparison05
The Emerging Early Years Professional in Organisational Practice05
Transitions in the Early Years05
Children's Literature05
Research-based product [E]10
Dissertation/Research Project [E]10
The Psychology of Positive Behaviour [E]05
Addiction Studies [E]05
Youth and Community Work in Ireland [E]05
Social Policy and Social Justice [E]05
Comparative Social Care Policy and Practice [E]05
Working with Nature: Social Pedagogy and Engaging with the Natural Environment  [E]05
Inclusive Arts [E]05
Gender and Sexuality [E]05

Semester 8

Outdoor-Based Early Childhood Education and Care05
Management and Leadership for the ECCE sector 05
Family, Community and the Early Years Setting05
Practice, Policy and Evidence05
Counselling Psychology: Theoretical Perspectives  [E]05
Cyberpsychology [E]05
Disability Studies [E]05
Crime and Justice Studies [E]05
Creative Practice 3: Linking Generations. Creative Inter-generational Practice [E]05
Children, Culture and Society [E]05
Health, the Body and Society [E]05
Social Care Law [E]05
Child law [E]05
Futures of Care, Welfare and Society [E]05
Equality and Diversity in Care Work [E]05

[E] = Elective Module. Modules subject to availability.