The BA: Childhood Practice degree programme, delivered in partnership with Queen Margaret University, is designed to provide a rigorous, academic area of study, enabling you to develop the necessary skills and understanding to register as a Lead Practitioner or Manager of Childcare Settings with the Scottish Social Services Council.

The degree meets the rules and requirements set out in the Standard for Childhood Practice (Revised 2015) and is jointly approved by the Scottish Social Services Council. 

The BA: Childhood Practice provides a practice-based examination of the theoretical approaches important to leadership and management within childhood practice.

You will graduate with the knowledge of the multi-disciplinary nature of working with young children and their families, as well as the importance of quality partnerships with parents and other agencies.

Central to the degree programme is an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on education, health and welfare, sociology, psychology, geography, history, children’s rights, law and justice, political and economic science, anthropology, social policy and philosophy.

Theory and practice are combined to ensure that you reflect appropriately on your experience and draw upon recent and relevant research to evaluate and drive towards improvement. 

Teaching and learning strategies are designed to facilitate your ability to develop your own practice and confidence as a manager/lead practitioner of Early Years settings, by using theoretical knowledge and concepts as reflective tools. This is achieved by:

  • Curriculum design and content that encourages the integration of theory and practice
  • High quality and regular contact between you and your tutors
  • Integrated study in which you share and reflect on theory and practice in informal ways during class time and formal ways during assignments
  • Assignments that support you in building your interpersonal skills as a leader and manager through a combination of individual and group work.


  • Teamwork
  • Collaborative skills
  • Time management
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills
  • Confidence
  • Adaptability
  • Resilience
  • Two years for SCQF level 9
  • Part-time supported online work-based study

Some of the units you will study include:

SCQF Level 9 study

  • Early Years Placement
  • The Pedagogy of Play
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Supporting Children and Families
  • Supporting Literacy and Numeracy in Early Childhood
  • Research Methods
  • The Role of Play in Early Years Settings   
  • Management and Leadership of Early Years Settings
  • Achieving Social Justice and the Practical Application of Children’s Rights Within Early Years Settings 
  • Early Childhood Literacy and Numeracy
  • Supporting Children and Families Within Early Years Settings    

Modules will be delivered via workshops or seminars, with regular one-to-one contact with your tutors, as well as reflective group work with your fellow students. The workshop/seminar format will be complemented by key lectures, guest speakers, and self-directed enquiry. Alongside the core classroom-based modules, you will be required to undertake your own independent learning and develop your confidence as future practitioners.

Placements will be a key component of this course and will be undertaken in Semester 1 of each year.

  • The BA: Childhood Practice is an innovative programme of study designed for those who have been registered as Practitioners with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), and employed for two years within the sector and who wish to become registered as Lead Practitioners /Managers. We will require the SSSC Registration details for anyone applying for the course.
  • You must hold an HND in Childhood Practice (SCQF Level 8) or other childcare based HND qualifications with graded unit at grade A or B. (240 SCQF Points) 
  • On submission of SCQF Credit Points gained to date (usually provided at the time of SQA certification) the academic team will advise best progression route for studies
  • As this is a practice-based qualification, you must be currently employed in an Early Learning and Childcare setting, with a minimum of 2 years’ experience prior to undertaking studies 
  • You will also require a signed statement of support from your employer.
  • All BA Childhood Practice students will be required to attend a contrasting practice experience at an alternative early years setting, during the duration of their degree studies. (This requirement is at both SCQF Level 9 & SCQF Level 10). It is expected that students will negotiate a minimum of five continuous days in another setting. Understanding of this requirement should be included in the pre-application employer support letter.  


  • BA (Hons): Childhood Practice
  • Manager/Lead Practitioner in Early Learning and Childcare Centres or Social Care
  • College Lecturer
  • On further study - careers as a Primary School Teacher, Secondary School Teacher
  • Students are required to purchase stationery and textbooks at an approximate total value of £250 and have access to the internet and ICT equipment to complete online study using Microsoft packages.
  • Students can contact Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) to find out about help with fees.
  • Online Application