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What makes Birth and Beyond BA (Hons) Top-up Degree at Worcester special?

This ‘top-up’ degree enables you to explore the fascinating field of ‘Birth and Beyond’ with the NCT. You will have the opportunity to explore the historical, political, economic, sociological and cultural factors that shape the 1st 1000 Days after birth. 

The course then considers the theoretical and practical skills required to change and influence this cultural shaping.  One of the key skills developed is an understanding how adults learn as an individual and in more formal group situations.  Finally, you will be able to specialise in an area of particular interest to you within your Independent Study.

Key features

  • A unique partnership between University of Worcester and the NCT, a leading organisation in the field.
  • A flexible course that can be studied full or part-time, using a mix of attended structured study days and self-directed learning.
  • A chance to study an area of real significance to society and individuals today.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

240 HE credits with at least 120 credits at L5. *

  • These credits may be from an NCT Diploma or Foundation degree or another discipline related to the ‘Birth and Beyond’ period.
  • Non related subjects will be considered but you will need to demonstrate a real interest in the field and there will be required pre reading.

Your qualification must include an element of research studies if you have not completed the UW NCT FdA commencing in 2016 -17. You will need to demonstrate you have an appropriate qualification or the necessary knowledge, if not we can provide a short course of study to give you the knowledge and skills required **

*Your credits will need to be regarded as ’current’ by the university this normally means it must be no more than 6 years since your completion. If your qualification is over 6 years old but is an NCT qualification and you are a current practitioner, please contact to discuss possible options.

** accepted qualifications are the NCT Level 5 Research module (UW), the NCT Level 6 UoB module.  If you don’t have one of these you can apply for RPL (recognition of prior learning) or attend an internal NCT research short course. Contact to find out more.

Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from   

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Course content

What will you study?

Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ.

Year 1

The Cultural Shaping of Birth and Beyond (30 Credits)

This module explores how and why we have arrived at the current experience of ‘birth and beyond’. You will explore how pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenthood have developed over time in our society and come to understand more about the major influencing factors. This will take you on a journey through contemporary social, philosophical and political theories that have affected thinking in UK society, focusing on how this relates to the ‘birth and beyond’ experience. You will examine theories and events from a range of perspectives including: culture, politics, economics, society and technology. As a result you will be able to consider the implications for the contemporary experience of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenthood.            

Bringing about Change for Birth and Beyond (30 Credits)

This module explores change in relation to the experience of ‘birth and beyond’.  You will explore how to recognise what changes may be coming, analyse what change is desirable, and develop a plan to influence change. During the module you will explore the social, cultural, economic and political factors that stimulate and affect change, and look at theories and evidence of change in practice. You will engage in the national debate about birth and beyond, undertake your own research into a change topic, and develop essential practical skills in building and presenting a local or national case for change. As a result of this module you will be more confident in identifying, presenting, and implementing change either within NCT or when working with other professionals in local or national organisations.

The Adult Learner (30 Credits)

This module aims to deepen your understanding of adult learning by exploring the theoretical underpinning, enabling you to better support learners in both formal and informal, group and individual learning environments.  During the module you will build on your existing knowledge by exploring current and historical educational theory about the ways adults learn, the barriers to learning and how to best support learning. As a result of this module students have felt their interaction with adults and learners to be enriched, and their personal motivation increased, bringing new and greater satisfaction to their work.

Independent Study (30 Credits)

This module is an opportunity to put your research, analysis, and writing skills into practice, though an in depth exploration of an area of personal interest in the field of ‘birth and beyond’ or ‘teaching and learning’. Through delving into the literature around a topic of your own choice you may discover new ideas, and develop new concepts or theories. You will have the support of the module leader and a supervisor, chosen specifically to help you with your own field of enquiry. As a result of this module you will have achieved a significant piece of work, and huge self-development.

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

Teaching Approach

This course includes a mixture of structured teaching, on-line tutorials, e-learning resources and self-directed study. This flexible use of blended-learning allows students to organise their study in a way that best suits their lifestyle. Contact time involves tutor input, discussions, and practice of practical skills. All 4 modules are mandatory for the BA (Hons) Each of the modules, with the exception of Independent Study, is also available as a standalone module.

The Mode of Delivery

This course is available full time or part time. The first three modules are also available as standalone modules. It is possible to take up to a maximum of 4 years to complete the programme should you choose to.

If you are taking the course part time you will study "The Cultural Shaping of Birth and Beyond" and "Bringing about Change for Birth and Beyond" in your first year. You will then complete "The Adult Learner" and an "Independent Study" in the second year. If you wish to take longer over your studies, please discuss this with the course manager.       

Time commitment

The independent study module has 2 days of contact (one is in June of the previous academic year) with 4 hours of 1 to 1 with a supervisor.  The other three have between 4 and 6 face to face contact days plus some online tutorials. If you study full time we expect the maximum number of contact days in the year to be 18 which includes an induction day.   A Level 6 degree course requires a substantial amount of personal study time; at least 1 or 2 days per week.


This will vary for each contact day between 2 to 4 venues including possibly Bristol, Birmingham, London and Worcester. We are not able to offer a choice of venues as the numbers are not expected to be large enough to sustain this.  Some tutorials will be offered remotely to reduce travel.


We use a range of assessment types including: essays, written reflection, patchwork of blogs, book proposal, interactive facilitated learning session, presentation, systematic literature review.  Formative assessments are also provided to aid your learning and preparation for final assessments.


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Where could it take you?

Opportunities for further study

Successful completion of the BA (Hons) Birth and Beyond enables students to progress to postgraduate study with NCT College and undertake research relating to supporting parents in the transition to parenthood, or to adult learning. Alternatively, students could progress to non NCT postgraduate study, including, for example a PGCE in Early Years or Primary Education or a Master’s in Public Health.

Those that already have an NCT specialism may also choose to undertake internal training within NCT for senior practitioner roles.  Students that were new to the NCT may decide to train for one of the NCT practitioner roles as a first step to a career with NCT.


The course prepares students for employment by ensuring that the programme includes an in-depth exploration of the key factors of the Birth and Beyond field, as well as a range of advanced skills which will enhance employability for a variety of roles within the field of Birth and Beyond and Early Years. Students will have also acquired a wide range of transferable skills, which could be used to apply for a much wider range of careers that require degree level education.

For those that are already NCT practitioners the course is aligned with the requirements NCT has of its practitioners and senior practitioners and their development into more senior roles. 

Other possible employers are Sure Start or Children’s Centres, Early Years settings, other charities working in the ‘Birth and Beyond’ period, Public Health and the NHS.

Whilst there is currently no professional body for those supporting parents in the transition to parenthood, NCT has prepared its own competencies as the foundation of formal accreditation in this field.  The BA (Hons) Birth and Beyond is completely aligned with these competencies.


How much will it cost?

Tuition fees

The fee for completing 120 academic credits at Level 6 will be £6,890 for the 120 credits required, or you can do individual 30 credit modules at £1806 each.

Partial Fee Waiver

We are pleased to announce that NCT and the University of Worcester will be able to offer a non-repayable grant to NCT Practitioners who are not eligible for a government student loan in 2017-18.  It will be equal to £500 for each 30 credit module which means fees payable will be £1,306. No application form is required for this grant.


Support with costs

If you have a question about tuition fees and how to pay for them, please contact our Finance Department on 01905 542474 or 01905 855115 or email

For more information, please visit our course fees page. 

Students can request to pay in 3-6 instalments using either direct debit or credit card.

NCT will provide information and support for students wishing to explore ways of reducing the cost of their training. This will include information on:

  • Career Development and Student Loans
  • Grants
  • Bursaries.

 Please see the NCT student funding and bursaries page for further information.


How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Top up Degree BA (Hons)

Current University of Worcester students should apply via their SOLE page.


Part-time study

Please apply using this link to our online application form for September 2017 entry.


Full-time study

Please apply via the UCAS website for full time study. Institution code W80, Course code is L522.


Closing date for applications is 30th June 2017.


Individual modules

If you wish to apply for an individual module please follow the instructions below.

Current students should apply via their SOLE page.

If you are an NCT practitioner, please apply for Level 6 Individual Modules using this link to our online application form. Please ensure that you state clearly in your personal statement which module or pathway you are applying for.



Apply now via UCAS

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

NCT Admissions

01905 542 477 or 0208 752 2453