Bachelor in Early Childhood Care and Education (BA)


Program Description

B.A. in Early Childhood Care and Education MI007

CAO minimum entry points 2016: 375 first round

This B.A. degree programme in Early Childhood Care and Education is a full-time four-year degree course designed to provide an exciting and challenging programme for those interested in working with young children in a range of educational settings.

Mary Immaculate College, with its long tradition of excellence in teaching and learning in the early years, has designed this degree programme in response to he Department of Education and Science's White Paper on Early Childhood Education, Ready to Learn. The College recognises that quality provision in early years is crucial in helping each child develop to their full potential. Quality provision "...depends in a crucial way, on the quality and training of personnel involved..." (National Forum Report, 1998, p.103). The benefits that accrue from quality early childhood eduaction and care apply to all children, but as research shows the benefits are particularly significant for children with special needs and children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This degree focuses on the holistic care and education of young children in a diversity of settings.

Entrance Requirements

All applicants are required to fulfil at time of enrolment the minimum entry requirements of the University of Limerick. These are:

  • At least Grade C3 in two Higher Level subjects, and
  • Grade D3 in four Ordinary or Higher Level subjects including Mathematics>; Irish or
  • another language; and English in the Leaving Certificate (or approved equivalent*).

* In terms of Irish examinations the following are accepted as approved equivalents in fulfilling minimum entry requirements for the BA programme:

  • National University of Ireland Matriculation Certificate, University of Dublin (TCD) Matriculation Examination, Northern Ireland Schools Examination Council GCSE and GCE (Advanced Level)
  • Candidates may fulfil minimum and additional entry requirements from more than one sitting of the Leaving Certificate.

Alternative Mathematics is acceptable in fulfilling minimum entry requirements for the BA only. It is not reckognizable for specific subject requirements or points purposes.

Programme Outline

The course is inter-disciplinary in design and offers students the opportunity to become specialists in the care and education of young children between birth and six years of age. Recent Government reports, along with a growing body of international research, highlight the importance of the early years period in human development. The course focuses on the concept of the term 'educare' and as such views the education and care of young children from a developmental perspective, which is holistic, yet tailored to suit individual needs. Specialisation in the combined areas of care and education demands a deep knowledge of both theory and practice. Consequently, the course is delivered as an integrated whole with periods of work placement interspersed throughout the four years.

Theoretical underpinnings encourage students to understand the nature of child development within an ecological framework that is influenced by such things as the concept of the family in contemporary society, the community, societal attitudes and values, social policy and a host of historical, philosophical, sociological and international factors.

Work placement allows students an opportunity to learn from experience through supervised work practice. Allied to experiential learning in this way is the opportunity for students to engage in reflective practice. The process of reflective practice establishes the foundation for observation, which is an essential element in meeting the developmental needs of children. This, in turn, facilitates curriculum planning, assessment, conducting research and analysing the results.

Career Opportunities

There is a growing awareness in Ireland of the need for high calibre professionals to provide young children with the best possible care and education. Graduates may pursue leadership roles in both the private and public sector where high-quality childcare provision is required.

It is envisaged that graduates of this degree programme will be specialists in Early Childhood Care and Education. Graduates may find employment as managers, directors, coordinators or facilitators in a wide range of early years settings.

Last updated Mar 2019

About the School

Founded in 1898, Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is a Catholic College of Education and the Liberal Arts. The College offers a wide range of programmes in Education.

Founded in 1898, Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is a Catholic College of Education and the Liberal Arts. The College offers a wide range of programmes in Education. Read less