BA (Hons) in Early Years and Primary Studies

Welcome to Early Years and Primary Studies

The Early Years and Primary Studies course at University Centre Colchester is designed to produce well-rounded resilient graduates who; understand and support children’s developmental needs and will be an asset to educational and care settings for children.

We welcome all budding Early Years and Primary Studies practitioners on board the programme and look forward to creating a positive and educated workforce within the sector. We care for our students in the same way you care for children which is why we feel passionately about developing and supporting you in your studies and career paths. Our dedicated and experienced tutors will enable you to really grow with the next generation!

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Your profile

You are creative, enthusiastic and keen to make a difference in young people’s lives. You want to empower children and provide them with the life skills that will support their development. You enjoy exploring the theory and understanding the debate around early years development. You are ready to grow with the next generation.

Your subject

Working with children aged 0-11, you will be ideally placed to make a lasting, positive impact on their wellbeing and development. As an Early Years practitioner, you will be a key influence in the lives of many children by providing physical, emotional, social and intellectual care. Research shows the first few years of children’s lives are crucial to their development, which is why the government has pledged to invest an extra £66 million into the Early Years sector. Educated practitioners are needed to guide young people’s learning to ensure every child has the best opportunities in life. The Early Years and Primary Studies degree therefore follows a child-centred ethos; children’s rights and how their views can be represented is integral to the programme. You will then have the opportunity to transfer theory into practice through work experience opportunities.

Your course

University Centre Colchester’s Early Years and Primary Studies programmes embed the government’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) standards and the national curriculum into each module. As a student, you will explore how children learn and develop in a diverse and evolving society. You will learn about a range of topics relating to child development, health and training, and put that knowledge into practice through work experience opportunities. You will be taught by experienced lecturers and practitioners who will take you on valuable observational visits to ensure you graduate with a high level of practical and theoretical experience in readiness for the job market.

Your future

Once you complete the programme you will gain real-life experience, training, qualifications and confidence to achieve a career in the education and childcare sector. Upon graduation, there are a wide range of careers you will be able to pursue, from roles in social care, or child development research, to pre-school and primary school teaching, support work or youth work, to name a few. Past graduates have gone on to successful careers in play therapy, children’s rights, family support and work in the education sector.

Undergraduate courses operate on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Each module is worth a specified number of credits, with most modules counting for 20 or 40 academic credits (depending on the programme), with each credit taken equating to a total amount of study time which includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity.

Most full-time students will take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. A total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits are needed for an honours degree as a whole. Overall grades for the course and degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.

Our teaching is informed by research, professional practice and industry engagement and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.

Course Overview Course Structure Year One (Level 4) Year Two (Level 5) Year Three (Level 6)

BA (Hons) Early Years and Primary Studies

64 UCAS points* and GCSE maths and English (grades A*-C). Students wishing to progress into teaching will also need GCSE science grade C. All applicants will be interviewed and required to demonstrate that they have relevant experience in working with children, and have good communication skills. They will also need to undertake a written piece as part of the interview. Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)** enhanced check.

Mature applicants with significant work-based experience, or employed within the industry, will also be considered.

CertHE Early Years and Primary Studies

An existing level 3 qualification which includes assessed practical competence. Mature students without formal qualifications, but with evidence of practical experience and relevant employment will also be considered for this course. All applicants will be interviewed and required to demonstrate that they have relevant experience in working with children, and have good communication skills.

They will also need to undertake a written piece as part of the interview. . Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)* enhanced check.

To progress into teaching you will also need GCSEs in English, Maths and Science (grades A* – C).

**Please note there is a charge of £44 for a DBS check

*UCAS Tariff points where shown, are for entry on to higher education programmes starting from September 2023.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0, with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Additional requirements for International Students:

  • You must provide evidence of having been in general education for at least 10 years and of having studied within the last five years
  • a face-to-face interview is required before an offer is made.

Progression routes upon completion of the programme could include teaching assistants, family support worker, nursery manager, play worker, and employment in education management roles or health and civil services.

Many students will successfully enter postgraduate study with students previously undertaken Masters in Social Care, Human Rights, Children’s Rights and Social Policy and Justice.

The postgraduate Initial Teacher Training programmes have always been a popular choice of which the degree programme will prepare you well for. 

Timetables: Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week.

Teaching and Learning: You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practicals. Seminars enable smaller group discussions to develop understanding of topics covered in lectures.

When not attending lectures, seminars and practicals or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-directed study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, learning zone or technical learning resources, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations

Assessment: The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally contains at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

 Feedback: You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

ApplyFull-Time
BA (Hons) Early Years and Primary Studies - Full Time
LevelLevel 6
LocationColchester
Duration3 Years
UCAS CodeBA (Hons) LX53 | CertHE LX54
Academic Year2024-2025
Study ModeFull-Time
Campus / Adult Skills CentreUniversity Centre Colchester
Start DateSeptember 2024
ApplicationsApplications for September 2024 are open now
Fee(s)2024-25: £8,750 per year
Awarding/Validation BodyUniversity of East Anglia
Course Overview

Early education represents a major area of public investment with the government currently investing £5.2 billion annually.

The first few years of children’s lives are crucial to their development and opportunities in later life – and the adults who work with them are ideally placed to make a difference.

As a BA (Hons) Early Years and Primary Studies student, you will graduate with knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum (2014), EYFS (2020) and alternative pedagogical approaches and curricula. You will explore the importance of play and creativity in learning and how these concepts can be applied in practice. The curriculum will enable you to develop an understanding and strong knowledge base of the role of childhood in society, how to safeguard children and how to advocate and inform children of their rights.

The programme will offer intellectual and professional development that will encourage students to question, challenge and experience critical discussions on a wide range of topics, issues and research. This will be achieved through critically examining education and childhood encouraged through a holistic approach to teaching, learning and assessment encompassing a wide range of resources, work experiences and exploring research, both contemporary and seminal, in this field.

The course team consists of experienced lecturers and practitioners who guide you through your journey from enrolment to graduation.  The course offers assistance to find placements and supported visits to ensure you can graduate with a high level of both practical and theoretical experience in readiness for the job market.

Reasons to study with us

  • We offer excellent work placement opportunities through our well-established links with early years providers
  • Develop your professional practice and work towards gaining Early Years Professional Status
Course Structure

Although designed as a three year full-time degree programme, there are two named routes into the qualification. The Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) allows for study of the first year of the programme and the BA (Hons) route allows students to study the full qualification.

The CertHE can be used as a stepping stones towards an Honours Degree with progression allowed following successful completion of each stage.

The CertHE Early Years and Primary Studies course introduces you to the development and learning of children aged 0-8 years. Case studies, presentations, practical projects and lectures allow you to develop the knowledge of policies and practice within early years settings. Students have the opportunity to learn and explore the various pathways available through a range of modules. By the end of the course you would have built the skills necessary to progress in your career or continue onto further study.

Year One (Level 4)

Module title: Child Development (20 credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this module is to provide students with an understanding of how children develop by exploring concepts, principles, theory and practice underpinning specific aspects of child development. Central to this understanding is the development of skills in observing and assessing children and of interpreting those observations.

What do I learn?

Students will explore major theories of child development, classic theorists are considered alongside more contemporary researchers. This module equips students with the skills required to undertake observations on a selected child aged 0-11 years.

What’s the assignment?

Students will produce a blog for submission that evaluates the 2 observations on a selected child aged 0-11 to meet Learning Outcomes 1, 2 and 3. Within the blog, students will include 2 observation cover sheets and 2 observation records

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Welfare and Safeguarding (20 credits)

What’s it about?

Children spend a considerable amount of their lives in schools and early years settings and practitioners are some of the most important adults that they will come in contact with. The purpose of this module is to promote students’ and practitioners’ duty to keep children safe and protect them from harm.

What do I learn?

This module aims to deepen students understanding and awareness of the issues which frame the welfare and safeguarding of children, and/or their families and carers. There will be an emphasis on why some procedures and structures fail and others succeed. This module will raise the level of debate about safeguarding children and the management of risk and it will explore ways in which children can be supported to safeguard themselves.

What’s the assignment?

A 25-minute mixed media presentation to cover factors that can lead to child abuse and the legislation, procedures and provision for safeguarding children in contemporary society.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Academic Practice (20 credits)

What’s it about?

The content of the present module seeks to cater for a student community with a wide range of prior experience, both academic and practice based. Students are introduced to the rules of the academic world and their relevance to degree-level work. All sessions contain a mixture of activities, from reading and analysing excerpts of text, reflecting on spoken commentaries, and learning how to annotate and write in a variety of formats. Digital skills will be embedded throughout.

What do I learn?

The content of the taught sessions of this module establishes a structured framework for learning a range of academic research skills. The patchwork assignment will enable students to practice applying the skills they have learnt, and engage with peer feedback before the final submission. Students will learn how to differentiate between available resources by evaluating texts produced for a variety of purposes, including academic articles, book chapters, reports, newspaper articles and filmed material. They will apply this to managing their studies effectively, working collaboratively, developing emerging critical thinking skills and applying this knowledge to inform their writing.

What’s the assignment?

Write an overview of the research methodology and findings from an academic primary research paper related to your subject. Follow a logical sequence in your explanation. (500 words)

Provide a critical review of the research methodology applied to the paper summarised in the previous patch. Include a discussion of the ethical considerations of the methodology applied. Use references to support your review. (1000 words)

Write a reflective patch that assesses your research and study skills developed over the semester. Include a CSMART development plan that will support you to develop skills beyond this module. (1000 words)

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Professional Practice: The Practitioner (20 credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this module is to explore support roles within settings considering their responsibilities, duties, knowledge and experience and how this may differ within varying types of provisions. Support roles compromise all staff that assist in the learning and support of children for example Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs), teaching assistants, special needs support staff, early years practitioners, minority ethnic pupils support staff and bilingual assistants. While most support staff roles are employed by settings or schools, some are employed by local authority services and work across a range of provisions, therefore it is essential students have an understanding of the varying roles and responsibilities.

What do I learn?

The principal aim of the module prepares students to be able to work with other professionals to raise the learning and attainment of children while also promoting their independence, self-esteem and social inclusion. Support roles provide assistance to children so that they can access the curriculum, participate in learning and experience a sense of achievement. To enable this, students are encouraged to identify and develop their own skills, expertise and experience to carry out a range of activities at different levels, develop themselves professionally and maximise their potential in a team.

What’s the assignment?

Students will plan and conduct a 20-minute assessed practical activity including a rationale for their proposed activity.

  • The plan should identify how the activity meets and develops children’s holistic needs and a reflection on the activity to evidence where and how students have met the professional attributes, professional knowledge and understanding and professional skills of the HLTA standards.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click click here.

Module title: Understanding and supporting SEND (20 credits)

What’s it about?

Practitioners have an important role in identifying any special needs a child might have, supporting that child and their family, liaising with other professionals and being an advocate for the child. This module will introduce students to principles and concepts of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), exploring the issues that practitioners need to consider in terms of the legal requirements and their own attitudes to SEND.

What do I learn?

The aim of the module is to promote students to explore appropriate terminology and discuss how this is related to current legislation. The SEND code of practice will be examined alongside how to best support varied needs. An overview of some specific needs will be covered and students will be encouraged to debate and analyse how to meet a child’s holistic needs.

What’s the assignment?

Students will complete a report to develop their academic skills and access a wide range of information in a structured manner. Students will need to research specific information and present this to meet the learning outcomes.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Curriculum Studies (20 credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this module is to inform students of the key curriculum frameworks children will experience from 0 to 11 years of age. The module aims to provide an overview of the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and 2 of the National Curriculum, identifying what changes the revised curriculum of 2014 brought to planning in schools.

What do I learn?

Students will consider why area’s or subjects are included and examine how progress and quality is monitored. The significance of government influence, education policy, curriculum reform, responses to local agendas/needs, and regional or national events will be debated. It will additionally provide an insight in to major issues, concepts or theories surrounding curriculum implementation and development.

What’s the assignment?

A presentation of 25 minutes on a curriculum sector of your choice with a focus on an anonymised setting or school to frame your findings.

  • The presentation should conclude with a reflection of your own philosophical stance you adopt when you consider what care and education should offer.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Two (Level 5)

Module title: Global Pedagogies (20 credits)

What’s it about?

Increased policy intervention in the role of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) has contributed to more information, research, and data on approaches used globally to support children’s learning and development being more widely available. This module draws on ideas about childhood from around the world, analysing examples of practice, teaching, learning, curriculum and pedagogy.

What do I learn?

The module will provide an opportunity for students to develop and articulate critical insights into the organisation, policies and outcomes of educational systems across diverse global contexts. Drawing upon research, data and policy texts; students will consider why specific curriculum practices have developed in different countries and regions of the world at particular times. Students will be encouraged to consider what topical barriers there have been for education systems considering political and economic uncertainties, accounts of war, extremism and global health pandemics.

What’s the assignment?

Students will research two other countries education systems and present their comparison in relation to Britain today with a justification for an improved education system to meet Learning Outcomes 1, 2 and 3.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Childhood in Society (20 credits)

What’s it about?

This module explores the concept of childhood and how it has evolved over time according to the moral, ethical and political choices that we have made within society. Consideration of these issues will allow practitioners to engage in critical thinking about our concepts of children and childhood and how they influence our thinking and practice.

What do I learn?

Students will be encouraged to explore how certain constructs of childhood have emerged which shape our knowledge and understanding of children’s lives. In addition students will be expected to examine and challenge, where appropriate, their own pre- conceived ideas, attitudes and values about childhood.

What’s the assignment?

A 3000 word essay covering all learning outcomes. Your essay is expected to link three elements of understanding childhood in society: factors that may impact on childhood, UK legislation that covers childhood itself, and the notion of childhood in contemporary society.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Health in Children (20 credits)

What’s it about?

This module considers the provision and promotion of children’s health and wellbeing within local and national guidelines. Students will explore contemporary issues, considering the influence they have within their daily practice to support healthy lifestyles, physical activity, mental health and nutrition.

What do I learn?

Topics such as family environment, life courses, poverty, access and services will all be debated, exploring differences in geographical location. Health inequalities, media coverage and change in policy are actively encouraged as subjects of class discussion to develop students analytical and evaluation skills progressing from level 4 modules.

What’s the assignment?

The community profile will draw on research, data and statistics (LO1) that influence; services and access (LO2), the impact of physical and mental health (LO3) as well as curriculum frameworks and how this contributes to the role the practitioner has in supporting children and families.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Introduction to Research (20 credits)

What’s it about?

The content of this module builds on knowledge and understanding developed in Academic Practice at Level 4.

Students are expected to use the rules of the academic world and their relevance to degree-level work. All sessions contain a mixture of activities, from reading and analysing excerpts of text, to reflecting on spoken commentaries, and learning how to engage critically with writings and any juxtaposing findings.

What do I learn?

The content of the taught sessions of this module establish a structured framework for applying a range of academic research skills within the subject area. Students will learn how to differentiate between texts produced for a variety of purposes, including academic articles, book chapters, reports, newspaper articles and filmed material. In considering the limitations and/or validity of a text, students will learn how to critique a resource effectively and thus demonstrate the understanding needed to assess information in the public domain, thereby applying the skills gained.

What’s the assignment?

Students must choose research papers that are relevant to their subject, which may include a focus on communities, community groups, education, human development or Teaching & Learning, leading to the submission of a 3000-word report, which contrasts and evaluates the summaries of two research papers.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Enabling Environments (20 credits)

What’s it about?

The impact of children’s surroundings on their development is a well documented topic of discussion within the sector. The EYFS guidance actively promotes creating environments that enable children’s opportunities to explore, observe, take part in and recreate experiences. Although the government provides guidelines for mainstream school building design and construction, there is less emphasis on the play and learning environment to be included. The layout, decoration, resources and use of school space will often be the responsibility of staff and should continue to promote active learning.

What do I learn?

This module will explore a range of play and learning environments used within settings, schools and provisions, both indoors and outdoors. Content will evaluate the impact of the environmental space, considering aspects of planning, organisation, risk, inclusivity, and health and safety. The aim of the module is to prepare students with the knowledge and understanding of how to create and plan for a safe, nurturing and responsive space to support play and learning, whilst considering behaviour management, social interactions, emotional wellbeing, motivation and stimulation.

What’s the assignment?

The poster title will be: “Enabling Play and Learning Environments”

  • Students are expected to evaluate the factors that impact this, whilst comparing and contrasting 2 settings on their effectiveness.
  • Based on students’ research and experience throughout the module, they will present a

plan for a play space with justified reasons on their poster. The purpose of the academic poster is to attract the attention of the audience and to inspire interest in their chosen area of research. It can use text, graphics, web links and references to convey the central message(s).

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Professional Practice: The Curriculum (20 credits)

What’s it about?

The purpose of this module is support students to expand the knowledge and skills gained through successful completion of the Level 4, “Professional Practice: The Practitioner” and Level 4 “Curriculum Studies” modules.

What do I learn?

The module aims to explore different approaches to curricula and compares those studied with alternative educational settings. Students will develop a deeper understanding of how policy has influenced educational provision for children 0-11 and assess how this impacts practice. An evaluation of the historical and current attitudes to children’s play and creativity will also be undertaken to strengthen students’ understanding of the sector. Students will then examine and apply how these approaches can be used when planning and delivering a STEM activity.

What’s the assignment?

Students will plan and conduct a 20-minute assessed practical activity including a rationale for their proposed activity.

  • Within the rationale students should address LO1 and LO2 and within the activity plan should address LO3. Students will include a reflection on how play and creativity has been incorporated into a STEM activity.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Three (Level 6)

Module title: Children’s Rights (20 credits)

What’s it about?

The legal position of children has been enhanced by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to encompass principles of protection, provision of services and participation. This module explores the different dimensions of children’s rights and their influence on the care and welfare of children and their families.

What do I learn?

While human rights have been accepted since the end of the Second World War, it took longer for children’s rights to be adopted. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (UNCRC) has endeavoured to enhance the lives of all children across the world. It encompasses, amongst other things, principles and concepts of protection, the provision of services, and, as well, participation by the child. This international document requires governments to ensure children obtain certain rights – in the United Kingdom, this was achieved through the Children Act 1989 and subsequent legislation.

What’s the assignment?

A 3500 word essay covering all learning outcomes

Your essay will address three key elements in relation to children’s rights: general principles associated with children’s rights, the role of the practitioner, and a critical understanding of the different implementation of children’s rights internationally

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Research Methodologies (20 credits)

What’s it about?

The content of this module builds on knowledge and understanding developed in Academic Practice at Level 4 and Introduction to Research at Level 5. Students are expected to deepen their understanding of the rules of the academic world, and to apply these to group activities and individual written work

What do I learn?

All sessions contain a mixture of activities, from reading and critically appraising excerpts of text, to reflecting on spoken commentaries, learning how to engage critically with writings and evaluating effectively juxtaposing information. The content of the taught sessions of this module establish a structured framework for understanding and applying a range of research methodologies.

What’s the assignment?

The critical evaluation of the research methodology chosen for the subsequent writing of the undergraduate dissertation, enables students to review and critique a methodological approach, thereby enhancing their understanding of a research tool prior to applying it

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Undergraduate Dissertation (40 credits)

What’s it about?

Building on the skills, knowledge and understanding developed in the Level 6 Research Methodologies module, the writing of an undergraduate dissertation enables students to conduct a detailed study of a topic relevant to their discipline. The undergraduate dissertation is a document that is a substantial piece of critical writing which evidences its author’s ability to apply the analytical research skills learnt to date.

What do I learn?

The Undergraduate Dissertation is an opportunity for students to explore a topic by using a methodological approach relevant to the dissertation title. The delivery structure of the module enables students to move gradually from structured group sessions towards individual supervision.

What’s the assignment?

The dissertation will be assessed according to the marking criteria applicable to the module.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Leading and Managing In Education (20 credits)

What’s it about?

Leaders in education are striving to meet the demands of the education sector whilst continuously being challenged by external macro factors such as funding, regulatory requirements and staffing. This module is designed to introduce learners to the complexities of leading and managing in educational settings today, whilst exploring the transferable skills required of a leader which can be applied at all levels.

What do I learn?

This will enable learners to understand the strategic aims of a setting that they wish to embark a career within; and develop an appreciation of the contextual challenges that senior leadership teams face. In doing so, learners will be able to demonstrate a strong grasp of educational issues and how they can be resolved from a leadership perspective. This will prove enabling and assist career development.

What’s the assignment?

Select an educational setting of your choice and prepare a report to address the following:

Critically analyse a range of macro challenges that the senior leadership team will face that will influence the setting meeting its strategic aims.

Evaluate a range of leadership and management principles, competencies and skills which can be implemented or demonstrated to address the challenges that you have identified. Explain the potential impact of these on the setting’s strategic aims.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Professional Practice: In Context (20 credits)

What’s it about?

This module follows on from the knowledge and experiential learning gained in Professional Practice: The Curriculum (Level 5) and Professional Practice: The Practitioner (Level 4). This final Professional Practice module will prepare students to synthesise theory and application as they prepare to graduate and enter professions.

What do I learn?

During this module, the students will analyse and reflect upon a change to be made in practice drawing from current key issues and debates. Students will then plan and deliver a practical activity that demonstrates the change made to practice. This will support the justification of how the Early Years Foundation Stage and The National Curriculum meet the needs of children (0 -11).

What’s the assignment?

Students will plan and conduct a 20-minute assessed practical activity, including a rationale for their proposed activity.

  • Within the rationale students should address LO1 and LO2. The activity plan should address LO3 – 5 and students will include a reflection on how a change made to practice impacted the children’s learning during the activity.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Disclaimer

All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2023-24 academic year and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.