Course Title
Institute of Education

Early Childhood Education

Bachelor of Early Childhood Education

  • CAO CodeDC001
  • Course Type Undergraduate
  • NFQ Level 8
  • Delivery Modes Full-Time
  • Min Points 2019 398
  • Duration 4 Years

Course Fees

  • Student Contribution€3,043
  • EU Status Fee€5,607
  • Non EU Fees€12,600
About fees & requirements

Already sought after, the demand for accredited Early Childhood Education and Educators is growing as the field and its benefits gain recognition. This course will help you learn how best to support the wellbeing and learning of children, in partnership with their families, during the crucial early years.

There are half a million children in Ireland under six and most of those access some form of early childhood education. State provision for ECEC is increasing.

The course prepares you for a range of early education settings and develops your knowledge, competencies and understanding of: children's welfare, development and learning; key national frameworks and how to create settings that support and challenge young children; how to translate teaching theory into practice; social and legislative context and its impact on children; how to work, communicate and build relationships with children, parents, and colleagues.

Placement on the Bachelor of Early Childhood Video

Why do this course?

  • Our programme aims to develop well-informed, articulate professionals who are passionate about and hold a personal stance on key issues in early childhood education and care (ECEC).
  • Prepare for the working world by spending around 1,000 hours on professional placement during your course.
  • Opt to take an elective module that will prepare you to teach Irish as a first or second language in Naíonraí, or specialise choose from a range of other specialisms.
  • You'll be part of a small study group that will give you peer feedback and support.

Student Voice

I chose this particular course to study because 25% of the four years is spent on placement…you can’t beat placement experience, working with the children, making relationships with staff…and there’s such a wide variety of experiences.

Regan Fahey

About the course

All students take required early childhood education and care modules and spend approximately 1,000 hours on professional placement related experiences.

In Year One, you will cover the core information needed to understand young children and how they develop.

Year Two focuses on the ECEC environment. Students learn how to create settings that support and challenge young children.

Diversity, equality and inclusion are key themes in Year Three. You’ll discover how to support and engage with the rich culture, languages, traditions and needs of a diverse range of children and their families through respectful relationships.

The final year focuses on leadership, ethics and research—you’ll complete a dissertation in an area of professional interest to you. Students can also select from a range of relevant specialisms in final year.
Throughout the course, theory is put into practice through placement in a range of different early education settings such as community-based crèches and privately run preschools. You’ll work with children from a variety of linguistic, social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. You’ll also work with children who have special educational needs.

View the current course structure →

Course Life

We have a unique and vibrant culture on our modern campus close to Dublin city centre. We provide state-of-the-art study facilities for all our courses and everything else you need for a healthy, fun and active student life.


Exceptional Facilities
DCU students enjoy exceptional teaching and learning facilities across our 3 academic campuses. These include modern learning theatres, research centres, television and sound studios, classrooms, computer suites and advanced laboratories in the areas of languages, engineering, physics, chemistry and biotechnology, as well as a sports performance centre and a virtual hospital ward.


A Vibrant, Dynamic Social Environment
Student facilities include a superb sports complex with a 25 metre pool, two libraries and The Helix, our renowned performing arts centre. In 2016 we announced plans to invest over €230m in developing new, world-class facilities across our three academic campuses. Already building has begun on an exciting, new €14m Student Centre that will be home to the more than one hundred and twenty student clubs and societies. This commitment to student facilities means that our world-class learning experiences are complemented by a vibrant, dynamic social environment.


The BECE degree is a gateway to a number of careers, including:

  • Early childhood educator
  • Manager in a preschool, community playgroup, Naíonra or crèche
  • Early years inspector
  • Early years specialist
  • Training coordinator
  • Director
  • Entrepreneur in the ECE field

Opportunities also exist for further education at masters level to pursue careers in research, psychology, speech and language therapy, primary teaching among others.

  • Co-ordinator
  • Director
  • Early Childhood Educator
  • Early Years Inspector
  • Early Years Specialist
  • Manager
  • Mentor
  • Trainer

In these areas


Leaving Certificate

There are no additional entry requirements for this programme apart from the general entry requirements for admission to the university.

GCE A Level

There are no additional entry requirements for this programme apart from the general entry requirements for admission to the university.

QQI level 5

For details of QQI requirements and relevant codes please click here. Simply enter the DC code for the programme you are interested in or if you are not sure of the code enter DC in the Select by Institution option, then click on Go.  Students must have attained the FULL Level 5 or Level 6 QQI award with distinctions in relevant modules.

Transfer Applications

No Entry Path

International Applications

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here.

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving examinations

Applicants presenting EU School Leaving/QQI Level 5 examinations: Apply through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1st February or 1st May

Applicants presenting examinations from outside the EU

Candidates should apply directly to DCU. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis up to 1st July. All Non-EU candidates are advised to apply early, as places are limited.

Mature Applicants

All mature applicants apply through the CAO by 1st February. For further information and for special application procedures for mature students, please click here

EU Transfer Applicants

Apply directly to DCU by the 1st July

Make an Application

Candidates required to apply through the CAO can apply online at
Candidates required to apply directly to DCU can download, print and complete a direct application form by clicking here

Fees & Payments

For information about payment methods & Schedules, download the DCU fees booklet.

Register/Pay Online

Course Fees

Course Student Contribution EU Status Fee Non EU Fees
Full Time €3,043 €5,607 €12,600

Note: all first year students on this programme are additionally liable for a material charge of €175