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BA in Early Childhood Care & Education (International applicants only)

This degree is level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) awarded by University of Limerick.
PLEASE NOTE: This programme page is for International Students/students from abroad only who wish to study this programme in Ireland. It is not relevant for CAO applicants. Relevant programme page for CAO applicants may be found in the Undergraduate section and is labelled with a CAO code.
Places Offered: Up to 30
  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • How to Apply
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Programme Overview

The BA in Early Childhood Care and Education is a full-time, four-year, honours degree programme, designed to provide an exciting and challenging programme for those interested in working with young children, from birth to six years of age, in a range of educational settings. It provides a highly-regarded qualification in this most rewarding area, and was developed in response to contemporary developments in the field of early years education both in Ireland and internationally.

BA in Early Childhood Care and Education

The Importance of Formative Years

The College recognises that quality provision in the early years is crucial in facilitating each child’s development towards their full potential. According to Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Years’ Education: “The competencies, qualifications, dispositions and experience of adults, in addition to their capacity to reflect upon their role, are essential in supporting and ensuring quality experiences for each child. This demanding and central role in the life of the young child needs to be appropriately resourced, supported and valued.” (Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education, 2006). The benefits accruing from quality early childhood care and education apply to all children, but as research shows, the benefits are particularly significant for children with additional needs and children from areas of socio-economic disadvantage. This programme focuses on the holistic care and education of young children in a variety of settings.

The programme is multidisciplinary in design and offers students the opportunity to become specialists in the care and education of young children from birth to six years of age. Specialisation in the combined areas of care and education demands a deep knowledge of both theory and practice.


Subjects covered will include:

  • Child Health & Well-being
  • Language Development in Early Childhood
  • Child Development
  • The Role of Play in Development
  • Educational Psychology
  • Child, Family and Community
  • Creative Arts and Music
  • Language and  Early Literacy
  • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
  • Leadership and Management 
  • Curriculum ad Pedagogy
  • Research Methods
  • Professional Development

A particular focus of the programme is providing students with the knowledge, skills and competencies to support the inclusion of children with disabilities in the early years.

Experience in Early Years settings
Experience in Early Years settings
Possible placements include early childhood settings and services working with, or for, children

Professional Placement

Placement opportunities are provided for students in a variety of early years settings working with children under three years and with children of preschool age. A particular focus of the programme is providing students with the knowledge, skills and competencies to support the inclusion of all children, in the early years setting.

These placements allow students an opportunity to learn from experience through supervised work practice. This provides a valuable opportunity for students to engage in reflective practice.

Additionally, in Semester 6, students have the opportunity to work in an international context or in non-early childhood care and education settings including primary schools, early intervention services and a range of organisations working with, or for young children and families.

BA ECCE students who opt to undertake an Erasmus+ work placement in Europe can apply for financial assistance from the Erasmus+ programme.

In Semester 5 of the BA ECCE programme, students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills through studying abroad at one of Mary Immaculate College’s partner universities, which is a safe and well supported means of gaining valuable international experience. Through the Erasmus+ programme, BA ECCE students are provided with an opportunity to study in Denmark, Norway or Spain. Financial assistance from the Erasmus+ programme is currently available to such students. Study abroad opportunities at North American and Australian universities are also a popular option. MIC has exchange partnerships with universities across the USA.

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 early years provision is required. As specialists in Early Childhood Care and Education, graduates of this programme may find employment as managers, directors, coordinators or facilitators in a wide range of early years settings. The first cohort of BA ECCE students graduated in October 2007 and they have since taken up employment in such areas as managerial roles in playschools, daycare settings, Early Start Units, family centres as well as policy development roles and research roles within various Government bodies. Following the Irish Government’s introduction of the provision of a free year of pre-school education, job opportunities for graduates of this course are expected to continue to increase. With experience, graduates of the programme also meet the eligibility criteria to work as pre-school inspectors and early years inspectors in Ireland.

Diverse Career Options
Diverse Career Options
Graduates of this programme may find employment in a wide range of early years settings

Admissions Enquiries

EU Applicants:

Non EU Applicants:



Programme Content


The BA in Early Childhood Care and Education programme features a varied range of innovative modules.

Semester 1 (Year 1)
Foundation Studies in Early Childhood Care and Education
Child, Family and Community 1
Language Development in Early Childhood
Child Health and Well-being 1
Child Development 
Semester 2 (Year 1)
The Role of Play in Development 
Child, Family and Community 2
Curriculum and Pedagogy: Birth-3 years
Creative Music-Making in Early Years Curricula
Professional Development 1
Semester 3 (Year 2)
Professional Development 2
Semester 4 (Year 2)
Models of Curriculum
Educational Psychology
Models of Curriculum
Child Health and Well-being 2
Professional Development 3
Semester 5 (Year 3)
Sociological and Global Perspectives 
The Early Years: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives and Analysis  
Creative Arts in the Early Years
Leadership in Early Childhood Education and Care
STEM in the Early Years
Semester 6 (Year 3)

Language and Literacy in the Early Years 

Curriculum and Pedagogy: 3-6 years
Research Methods
Professional Development 4
Semester 7 (Year 4)
Professional Development 5
Semester 8 (Year 4)
Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Implications for Professional Practice 
Governance and Management in Early Childhood Education and Care Contexts
Advanced Studies in Play and Child Development 


How to Apply

Programme intake is once a year in September.

EU Applicants

You are advised to contact the MIC Admissions Office before applying 


Non-EU Applicants

Entry requirements and the application process vary according to country of origin. For information that is specific to your home country, click here.

Application Information

Intake onto this programme is once a year in September.

Download and complete the application form, paying particular attention to the following requirements:

  • Please enclose detailed certified results and awards for all examinations mentioned in the application form (certified original documents and certified English translation where applicable).
  • Official results and award of examinations to be taken should be submitted as soon as they are available.
  • If you are from a non-English speaking country, you will be required to show evidence of a high level of competence in English as part of the application. Click here for English language requirements.
  • Please note that your application form cannot be considered unless certified results and awards are submitted.
  • When detailing result/grade/mark, please include QCA/GPA, mark or percentage relative to marking system at your university.

Intake onto this programme is once a year in September.

You are advised to contact the MIC International Office before applying.


Telephone: +353 61 204988

Transferring from another 3rd Level Institution

The transfer route into MIC depends on the content overlap of your new and old course and the number of places on the new course in the year you apply. Before submitting an application you should contact where we will consider your case with the relevant Head of Department of the course you wish to transfer to.

EU/Non-EU Status Assessments

The designation of a student as being from the EU or a Non-EU country determines the fees they will pay at MIC, i.e. there may be cases where a non-EU national acquires EEA citizenship during the course of their third-level studies and would qualify for EU fees for example. 

Click here for more information on EU/Non-EU status assessments which will be conducted by MIC International office to determine status. 


Undergraduate programme fees available here.

US Students please note that you can apply for Federal Aid.

Garda Vetting /Criminal Records Bureau Check (for UK students)

Registration will be conditional upon successful completion of the Garda Vetting/CRB checking process.

Ask a Question

  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • How to Apply
  • Ask a Question