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  B.A. in Early Childhood Care and Education

B.A. in Early Childhood Care and Education MI007

CAO minimum entry points 2018: 356

Click here to view the ECCE 2018 Handbook.

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.

Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships

MIC will offer for competition, on the basis of results in the Irish Leaving Certificate Examination, five First Year Undergraduate Entrant Scholarships, to entrants on the BA ECCE programme, valued at €2,000 each. Further information available here.

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, socioligical 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.

Year I

Semester 1


Foundation Studies in Early Childhood Care and Education


Child Development 1


Language Development in Early Childhood


The Role of Play in Development 1


Professional Development 1

Semester 2


The Pedagogy of Early Childhood


Child Development 2


Child Health and Well Being 1


Models of Curriculum


Professional Development 2

Year II

Semester 3


Educational Psychology


Child Health and Well Being 2




Child, Family and Community 1


Professional Development 3

Semester 4


Child, Family and Community 2


Language Acquisition and Early Literacy


The Role of Play in Development 2


Professional Development 4

Year III

Semester 5


Curriculum Guidelines for the Early Years (Under 3’s)


Child, Family and Community 3


Research Methods


Professional Development 5

Semester 6


Professional Development 6

Year IV

Semester 7


Sociological and Global Perspectives in the Early Years


Historical Perspectives in the Early Years


Curriculum Guidelines for the Early Years 3-6


Professional Development 7


Dissertation 1

Semester 8


The Early Years: Philosophical Perspective and Analysis


Early Childhood Care and Educational Management


Teaching and Learning for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity


Professional Development 8


Dissertation 2

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, co-ordinators or facilitators in a wide range of early years 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 reckonable for specific subject requirements or points purposes.

Direct Entry into Year 2 of the BA ECCE Programme

Candidates/Applicants with the following qualifications or equivalent will be eligible for consideration for entry to the second year of the BA in Early Childhood Care and Education:

  1. Full-time Diplomas of DIT or HETAC:

    •Diploma in Pre-School Care and Education

    •Diploma in Social Care

    •Diploma in Humanities in Montessori Education


  2. Two year full-time certificate in Pre-School Care from HETAC/NCEA or DIT with Merit or Distinction


  3. CACHE Diploma holders (full-time 2 year course) – Grade A or B overall


  4. Two year full-time or 3 year part-time Irish St. Nicholas Montessori Qualification with an award of Distinction or Highly Commended


  5. The AMI Montessori Diploma (two year full-time) with a minimum of 2 Grade C’s and 1 Grade B in the written theory exam, the written practical exam and the oral practical exam

Direct Entry into Year 2 of the BA ECCE Programme - Pilot Scheme

Pilot scheme to allow entry to second year of the BA Early Childhood for those applications who possess a FETAC Level 6 award - Advanced supervision in childcare of a FETAC level 6 award - Early Childhood Care and Education (6M2007)

Advanced Supervision in Childcare - Requirements

The advanced certificate must comprise of the following modules:

Core Modules

  • D30005 Child Development
  • D30176 Early Childhood Programmes
  • D30177 Social and Legal Issues
  • D30178 Supervision in Childcare


  • D20007 Early Childhood Education
  • D20159 Caring for Children (0-b)

Applicants must have achieved Distinctions in each of the above mentioned core and elective modules

Early Childhood Care and Education (6M2007) - Requirements

Applications must hold a full FETAC level 6 Early Childhood Care and Education award. A full award consists of 120 credits and 8 modules

One distinction in EACH of the following modules:

  • 6N1941 Child Development
  • 6N1944 Early Childhood Curriculum
  • 6N1945 Childhood Social Legal and Health Studies

One distinction in ONE of the following modules:

  • 6N1946 Work Experience
  • 6N1947 Work Practice

One distinction in ONE of the following modules:

  • 6N1948 Team Leadership
  • 6N1949 Personal and Professional Development
  • 6N1950 Communications

The number of places available for the holders of either FETAC level 6 advanced certificate in Supervision in Childcare or holders of a FETAC level 6 Early Childhood Care and Education award (6M2007) who meet the stated criteria for each respective award will not exceed 10% of the second year cohort for the year in question.

In the event of the number of suitably qualified applicants exceeding the quota set by MIC in any one year, an interview process will decide the outcome.

All information on this page relates to direct entry to year 2 of the programme only.

Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 27th April 2018

Fees (EU):

2017/18 : Tuition Fee, Student Cont, Ecce Placement IT support. See here.

Non EU Fee:

Tuition Fee plus Student Contribution x2, plus levies.

Tuition fees and other charges are subject to change each year.

How to Apply

  1. Download and complete the relevant application form - click here for full time Diploma holder application or here for the pilot scheme form for the fetac level 6 award holders.
    • In the case of non-native English speakers, a copy of IETLS is also required, or equivalent.
  2. Return the application form plus application fee* by email to: admissions@mic.ul.ie or by post to:
    • Admissions Office, Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland
    • Telephone: +353 61 204348/204929

Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel:+35361 204300  V94VN26

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