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BA in Early Childhood Care & Education (MI007)

Note: The 'At a Glance' section below is indicative only. Hours and assessment methods vary across semesters, years and subjects.

CAO Points 2023: 390

Duration : 4 years full-time

Places Offered: 80 approx.

Location: MIC Limerick

Lecture Hours: 20 (incl. tutorials)

Tutorial Hours: See above


Practice placements, end of semester exams and continuous modes of assessment including essays, portfolios, reflective journals, individual and group projects, in-class presentations and assessment of

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Programme Overview

The BA in Early Childhood Care and Education is a full-time, four-year, honours degree programme (Level 8), 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.

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
  • Language Acquisition and Early Literacy
  • Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Early Childhood Education and Care Leadership and Management
  • Including Children with Special Needs in the Early Years
  • STEM in the Early Years
  • Professional Development
  • Research Methods

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.

Professional Placement & Study Abroad

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.

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.

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

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 early childhood settings, 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.

Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships

Each year, Mary Immaculate College awards up to 50 Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships across all undergraduate programmes valued at €2,000 each, on the basis of results obtained in the Irish Leaving Certificate Examination.

Further information about Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships available here.


MIC Admissions Office


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 to Three 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
Child Health and Well-being 2
Including Children with Special Needs in the Early Years 
Professional Development 3
Semester 5 (Year 3)
The Early Years: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives and Analysis
Sociological and Global Perspectives 
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: Three to Six 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  


Entry Requirements

Applicants are required to hold the established Leaving Certificate (or an approved equivalent) with a minimum of six subjects which must include Mathematics, Gaeilge or another language, and English, and must achieve the following:

  • Grade H5 on a Higher Level paper in at least two subjects
  • Grade O6/H7 in four Ordinary or Higher Level subjects

Minimum Grade F6 in Foundation Mathematics satisfies the minimum entry requirements; Foundation Mathematics is not reckonable for scoring purposes.

Language Waivers: Please contact the MIC Access Office for information on Language Exemptions on Deadlines apply.

Applicants may fulfil minimum and additional entry requirements from more than one sitting of the Leaving Certificate.

Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)

Link modules will be accepted for points purposes but they will not qualify as a subject for matriculation purposes.

GCE/GCSE Applicants

Further information about minimum grades and entry requirements is available here or please contact the MIC Admissions Office at E:

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

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

A limited number of places per year will be awarded to applicants through the Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS), which gives learners the opportunity to use their QQI Level 5 or 6 major award to apply, through the CAO, for a place on a higher education programme. Entry requirements vary for each degree programme.

Please see the Quick Guide on Further Education Entry Routes to MIC for more information on the entry requirements for each of MIC’s programmes.

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

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

Route 1
Applicants with the following qualifications or equivalent will be eligible for consideration for entry to the second year of the BA ECCE.

  • Full-time Diplomas of DIT or HETAC
  • Diploma in Pre-School Care and Education
  • Diploma in Social Care
  • Diploma in Humanities in Montessori Education


Two year full-time certificate in pre-school care from HETAC/NCEA or DIT with Merit or Distinction


CACHE Diploma holders (full time two-year course) - Grade A or B overall


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


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.

Applications are now closed.

Route 2
The Advanced Certificate in Supervision in Childcare

Applicants who have completed this certificate must have achieved distinctions in the following core and elective modules: 

Core Modules

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

Elective Modules

  • D20007: Early Childhood Education
  • D20159: Caring For Children (0-6)

The Early Childhood Care and Education

Applicants 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 is required in each of the following modules:

  • 6N1942: Child Development
  • 6N1944: Early Childhood Curriculum
  • 6N1945: Childhood Social Legal and Health Studies

One distinction is required in one of the following modules:

  • 6N1946: Work Experience
  • 6N1947: Work Practice

One distinction is required in one of the following modules:

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

Applications are now closed.

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

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

If you are at least 23 years old on the 1 January of the year of entry to College, you are considered as a mature applicant. All mature applicants who make an application to the College through the CAO for MI007 will be invited to attend for an interview.

Mature applicants for MI007 must apply through CAO, and the initial closing date is 1 February 2023.

Mature applicants who do not meet the normal minimum entry requirements will be considered for admission if, having attended for interview, they satisfy the College as to their ability to benefit from and sustain participation in the BA Programme(s) applied for. Mature applicants who have completed an interview will be contacted by the College to indicate whether or not they are being considered for a place and all places will then be offered by the CAO.

In addition to applying through CAO, mature applicants must also complete a Personal Statement and email it to The Personal Statement guideline can be downloaded here.

For details of Uversity Scholarships for Mature Applicants click here. Applications can be submitted from 1 February 2023 to 24 March 2023.

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

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

Further information about BA in Early Childhood Care & Education (International) and applying as an non-EU applicant is available here. For International Fees, click here.

You are advised to contact the MIC International Office before applying on +353 61 204988.

Fees & Grants


Tuition fees may be paid in respect of full-time undergraduate students undertaking approved courses in eligible institutions. Details of the Free Fees criteria are listed here.

If you do not qualify for free fees, undergraduate tuition fees and other charges may apply. See Undergraduate Fees here.


Students apply for a grant through Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) and if they meet certain criteria, they may be eligible for full or partial financial support.

Before applying at, please review the criteria carefully.

MIC Admissions Office
061 204348/061 204929

Ask a Question

  • Programme Overview
  • Programme Content
  • Entry Requirements
  • Ask a Question