physical activity in early childhood

Key Facts            


Type of course: Postgraduate combined (taught and research) worth 60PG credits.
Study options:

Combination of face-to-face taught days, virtual teaching & distance learning

Duration: 1 year
Start date: October 2021
Accreditation: Birmingham City University
Credits: 60 PG credits
Fees: TBC
Tutors: Pete Sturgess
Entry requirements:

An undergraduate degree is generally requested as applicants will be expected to study at postgraduate level, however applications from practitioners without degrees, but with relevant experience, are encouraged.


Upon your successful application via BCU and your place acceptance, CREC will contact you to request your Year 1 module choice.

If you are a continuing student, please contact the programme lead or your tutor to discuss your Year 2/3 options.

Who is this course aimed at?

Designed for all those working with children from birth to 7 years old, this postgraduate pathway takes a look at the young developing child through the lens of movement, physical activity and sport.

It is designed to support practitioners to combine their creativity, critical reflection, knowledge and experience, in order to improve outcomes for children, develop their own practice and grow as professionals.

Increasing numbers of physical activity programmes and courses are being promoted and delivered across the UK, targeted at the Early Years market. Some of these are delivered within schools, others are offered in the community by dedicated and enthusiastic ambassadors of the sports and activities on offer. This sector is however largely unregulated and falls outside of the scope of most sports’ governing bodies.
This pathway has been developed to encourage more professionals to challenge, influence and shape the provision of high-quality physical activity programmes for children so that early engagement is a positive and enjoyable experience and congruent with the latest research and knowledge on child development.

The pathway is aimed at anybody who wishes to enhance and develop their professional practice in the domain of Early Years physical activity, including:
- Primary or Early Years teachers and practitioners working with children from birth to 7 years in a sporting or physical activity context/setting
- Early Years specialists supporting provision and practice in this field
- Advisors, trainers and consultants working in the field of physical education and sports-based programmes
- Sporting or physical activity franchise holders working with children from birth to 7 years and older.
- Sports governing bodies wishing to explore and develop their Early Years offer

The key areas of focus include:
- Creating and enabling positive experiences for children through sport and physical activity
- Determining the role of the adult/coach/leader in the high-quality provision of sports and physical activity programmes
- Exploring the notion of creativity: what is it, can creative returns be developed and enhanced, restricted and confined?
- Understanding the importance of play and movement and how they link to cognitive development and learning theory
- Becoming a “reflective practitioner” who learns and further develops own competencies through critical reflection.

How will it help my practice?

This pathway will examine relevant pedagogical theories to aid discussion and critical analysis of current practice.

It will also develop course participants’ understanding of and confidence in determining:
- The factors that affect children’s relationship with sport and physical activity
- What good practice could look like in terms of promoting creativity and problem solving using the physical domain
- The part the adult could play in helping the child develop a healthy relationship between physical activity and learning
- Planning, providing and evaluating effective and age-appropriate physical activity experiences for young children involving play.
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