From education to employment

New education programmes developed to meet the needs of changes in the sector

New programmes have been developed by the University of Chester to equip the educators of tomorrow with the expertise needed to respond to the needs of the sector. 

The University’s School of Education has created the BA (Hons) Education with an optional pathway in Inclusion, Diversity and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and the BA (Hons) Early and Middle Childhood which offers pathways into Early Childhood Studies and Primary Education Studies

The two new programmes offer specific learning pathways in response to the changing requirements of the education sector in the light of Government policy, including Levelling Up, the Education White paper, the SEND Green paper and recent QAA (the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) benchmark updates.  

The BA (Hons) Education provides students with an understanding of the sociology, psychology and philosophy of education and how this relates to real life practice. This highly practical course has placements in each year, which will enable students to relate theory to practice and gain transferable hands-on skills.

The BA (Hons) Early and Middle Childhood programme equips students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required for a range of careers working with children and their families.

Both programmes have been developed to increase employability outcomes as well as enabling students to follow studies that respond to new initiatives in the sector as well as any future changes in policy and practice. 

The courses and pathways have also been developed to meet the University’s Citizen Student Strategy, in that they will offer a premium, personalised and purposeful student experience. Learning on the programme will enable students to fully engage in an increasingly uncertain world and have the ability to embrace change through the development of robust self-worth and resilience. Placement opportunities throughout the programmes will enable students to develop skills, expertise and connections for future employment. 

The programmes also focus on internationalisation, promoting student mobility overseas by developing an awareness of education in a global context and learning about education systems around the world. This is supported by the option of a one-year international placement which allows students to put theory into practice.   

Tuesday Humby, National Director for Teaching and Training from the Ormiston Academies Trust, said:

“This updated and strengthened curriculum will provide a suite of relevant and forward-thinking connected pathways which draw on and speak to sector initiatives, research informed practice and governmental direction of travel in the education and family sector.” 

Adam Marycz, graduated from the University of Chester with a BA Childhood and Youth Studies degree and is currently studying for an MA Early Childhood Studies. He also works as an Early Years teacher, setting manager, writer, adviser, editor and lecturer.

He said: “Being a graduate of the University of Chester helped to provide me with the knowledge of early childhood and skills that I needed to become a more critical thinker and build a deeper level of understanding of the development of the children I educate in my role as an Early Years teacher and manager of a setting which was graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2022.  

“I was also able to use this degree to continue my professional development through the University of Chester which, alongside my drive to become a more reflective leader has allowed me to pursue other roles outside of my setting including as a freelance writer, editor and adviser in early years as well as becoming an associate lecturer myself. I am confident this new programme, BA Early and Middle Childhood with Debbie Ravenscroft as programme lead, will be a welcome addition to anyone’s CV in addition to improving their knowledge and understanding which will in turn have a direct impact of the children and families they engage with in their future roles.”   

Photo: Members of the BA Education team – left to right: Dr Helen Eadon-Sinkinson, Programme Leader; Jane Bradley, Senior Lecturer and Pathway Lead for Inclusion, Diversity and SEND and Kelly Bradburne-Tailby, Senior Lecturer.

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