module specification

SE7003 - Foundations of Being (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Foundations of Being
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
75 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
225 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Presentation
Coursework 70%   Essay
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester LMET Distance Learning Not applicable -

Module summary

This module focuses on aspects of young children's development in the first three years of life, with a specific focus on personal, social and emotional development and the implications of this for other areas of development and learning in early and later childhood. The module will consider a range of theoretical perspectives and the implications of these for early years provision and practice. In order to ensure an informed understanding of and response to provision for children from birth to three, students who are not based in settings covering this age range, will be expected to undertake the minimum of a one day observational visit to a relevant provision.  Students undertaking this module require experience of working with children within the birth to seven age range and be currently employed or have access to placement within this sector.

Module aims

This module aims to:
- Introduce key theories in relation to babies and young children's development
- Consider the implications of these for development and learning in early and later childhood.
- Analyse the relationship between social policy and cultural contexts and provision for 0-3 year olds
- Enable students to identify and evaluate good quality provision for 0-3 year olds
- Enable students to reflect on their own personal development in relation to early years practice


This module will review current and historical social policy perspectives on provision for 0-3 year olds and offer a comparative overview of differing international and cultural perspectives.  Relevant developmental psychology, psycho-analytic and neuro-scientific theory and research will be used to explore the growth and development of personal, social and intellectual understanding in infancy and early childhood.  There will be a consideration of babies and young children's emotional development and the importance of key relationships; the implications of this for practitioner's skills and attributes will be explored. 

Students will explore and analyse concepts of good quality practice and provision in relation to working with parents; observation, assessment and planning for children from birth to three; creating appropriate environments and developing and resourcing a curriculum for children from birth to three, through their observations of practice in a setting.

Learning and teaching

Students will receive theoretical input through bespoke on-line module materials with access to an allocated tutor who is available to support them either face-to-face, by e-mail or by telephone. All students will benefit from a blended learning approach through the use of WebLearn for supplementary materials, links to E-books, on-line discussions and self-assessment exercises such as reflective tasks.

Reflection and discussion are key to teaching – reflection will be promoted by the discussion-board exercises incorporated into the web-based materials. 

Teaching and learning strategies and methods will link module content to workplace skills and professionalism in the early years.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
1. reflect critically on the  impact of their own experiences and values on their approach to early care and learning
2. discuss a range of theoretical perspectives on children's personal, social and emotional development
3. analyse perspectives on developmental theory in relation to children from birth to three
4. locate main debates and research surrounding the care of 0-3 year olds in a historical, social and cultural context
5. identify and evaluate provision and practice that effectively supports the development and well-being of 0-3 year olds


Bowlby, J. (1969) Attachment and Loss Vol.1: Attachment. London: Hogarth

Brooker, L. (2010) Constructing the Triangle of Care: Power and Professionalism Practitioner/Parent Relationships, British Journal of Educational Studies, Vol 58, No 2: 181-196

Dalli, C. and Kibble, N. (2010) Peaceful Caregiving as Curriculum: Insights on primary caregiving from action research. In Meade, A. (2010) (Ed) Dispersing Waves: Innovation in Early Childhood Education. New Zealand: NZCER Press.

Damasio, A. R, (1999) The Feeling of What Happens. Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness. New York. Harcourt.

Dowling, M. (2010) Young Children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development. London: Paul Chapman Publishing

Elfer, P. (2012) Emotion in Nursery Work: Work discussion as a model of critical professional reflection. Early Years Journal of International Research and Development, 32 (2): 129-141.

Eliot, L. (1999) Early Intelligence. How the brain and mind develop in the first five years of life. London: Penguin.

Gerhardt, S. (2004) Why Love Matters. How affection shapes a baby’s brain. Hove / New York: Brunner-Routledge.

Goldschmied, E and Jackson, S. (2004) 2nd Edition. People Under Three, Young Children in Day Care. London: Routledge.

Greenman, J., Stonehouse, A. and Schweikert, G. (2008) Prime Times. A Handbook for Excellence in Infant Toddler Programs. St. Paul, USA: Redleaf Press.

Hakim, C.  Bradley, K.  Price, E and  Mitchell, L (2008) Little Britons: Financing Childcare Choice. London: Policy Exchange

Holmes, J. (2014) John Bowlby and Attachment Theory.  Hove: Routledge

Kellegrew, D. Youcha, V. (2004) Zero To Three's Model of Leadership Development: Knowing and Doing in the Context of Relationships. Leadership Development in the Infant-Family Field.  Zero to Three November 2004 Vol. 25, No. 2: 6-14

Manning-Morton, J. (2014) (Ed) Exploring Well-being in the Early Years. Maidenhead: OUP McGraw-Hill Education

Manning-Morton, J and Thorp, M.  (2015) Two-Year-Olds in Early Years Settings. Journeys of Discovery. Maidenhead: OUP McGraw-Hill Education

Page, J. (2011) Do mothers want professional carers to love their babies? Journal of Early Childhood Research October 2011 vol. 9 no. 3: 310-323

Petrie, S. and Owen, S. (Eds) (2005) Authentic Relationships in Group Care for Infants and Toddlers – Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) Principles into Practice. London: Jessica Kingsley

Roberts, R. (2010) Well-Being from Birth. London: Sage