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A systematic review of early years degrees and employment pathways

Researchers: Dr Verity Campbell-Barr | Dr Sara Bonetti ...

Project overview


This project will identify and systematically examine early years degrees and early years employment pathways for early years degree graduates.

High quality early years education is fundamental in supporting children’s development, reducing social disadvantage, and facilitating parental employment. Degree-level qualifications are widely recognised as central to the quality of early years teaching, but very little is currently known about the similarities and differences between the various degrees on offer. There is a wide range of entry requirements, modules and practical placements offered, with different skills and competencies taught.  In addition, there are several unanswered questions about the employment trajectories for graduates.

To answer these questions, this project will be conducted in two phases. In stage one, researchers will identify the full range of early years degrees available and their entry requirements. They will also undertake a framework analysis of the different elements of the degree courses, cross-referencing these against the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) standards. Stage two will use the Higher Education Statistics Authority’s (HESA) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Longitudinal Survey (Long DHLE) to conduct a comparative analysis of early years graduates’ employment pathways.

The aim of this project is to fill an important evidence gap and improve understanding of what early years degrees entail and the extent to which they can equip graduates to provide high quality early years education. The findings should also help inform the development of early years degrees and to provide useful insights for policymakers and advocacy organisations regarding the importance of a graduate workforce.

Team


  • Dr Verity Campbell-Barr
    Institute of Education, Plymouth University
  • Dr Sara Bonetti
    Education Policy Institute
  • Jo Hutchinson
    Education Policy Institute
  • Natalie Perera
    Education Policy Institute

  • Eleanor Ireland
    Programme Head, Education
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

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