The course provides an ideal opportunity to study for a degree alongside working in childcare, whether that is in an early-years setting, or at a school. The course is work-based and lessons and assessments are all designed to benefit your professional development. You will build strong and relevant experience in areas such as working in partnership with parents, how children develop and learn, and inclusive and diverse practice.
If you are interested in this course and would like an informal, no-obligation chat about the details of the course, how to sign up, or anything else, please get in touch and we’d be happy to help!
Students studying the course come from a range of settings working with children from birth to eleven-years-old. Reflection on practice and peer discussion is a valuable aspect of the course. In addition to lectures, students are supported through seminar and tutorial sessions. Each student is allocated an academic tutor who will have one-to-one meetings with you. You also nominate someone from the workplace to become your mentor.
The course is delivered one day a week (13.30–20.00, Thursday for 2022 entry) over two years, with the option to progress to the BA (Hons) in Children’s Development and Learning at the University of Reading.
Students who successfully complete the Foundation Degree in Children’s Development and Learning have a priority place when they apply to top up to a full BA (Hons) degree in Children’s Development and Learning at the University of Reading. Students who have completed the one-year BA in Children’s Development and Learning often go on to undertake a teaching qualification, including an Early Years Teacher qualification and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Home/International* Fee for September 2022 entry: £4,625 per year
Please note: Tuition fees are published for the first year of entry only and may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by the Office for Students.
*Fee information for European Union (EU) students: If your course starts on or after the 1st August 2021, you will no longer be eligible for financial support from Student Finance England unless you meet one of the following criteria:
- you are able to benefit from the citizens’ rights agreements.
- you are an Irish national living in the UK or Republic of Ireland – benefits of Irish nationals under Common Travel Area guidance arrangement will continue.
What you'll learn
Year 1 (Level 4)
- Theories of Development and Learning
- Professional Skills
- The Child in Society (1)
- Working in Partnerships with Parents
- Learning Spaces
Year 2 (Level 5)
- Practitioner Research
- The Child in Society (2)
- Creativity and Critical Thinking
- Supporting Development and Learning for 0–11 years
- International Perspectives
- Leadership in the Children’s Workforce
Modules are subject to change but will be confirmed at the point of enrolment.
This is a full-time course delivered over two years.
How you'll learn and be assessed
The course is assessed through on-going assessment including essays, reports, presentations, and an electronic portfolio. There are no exams on the Foundation Degree. As this is a work-based degree you will be assessed by your mentor in your workplace through Guided Professional Discussions. You and your mentor will be fully supported by your college Link Tutor.
This full-time programme requires significant independent study to support learning and so students should expect to spend approximately 10-15 hrs per week on independent study.
- GCSE: English Language at grade C (or 4) or Level 2 equivalent.
- Additionally, students will normally have achieved: an NQF Level 3 qualification in a work-related area or equivalent, GCSE Mathematics at grade C (or 4) or Level 2 equivalent.
- Students must be in relevant employment, working or volunteering with children between the ages of 0-11 for a minimum of two and a half days per week, a reference from the setting that supports your application is requested prior to interview. Students usually work in early years, primary or SEN settings.
- At least two years’ experience (which may include voluntary work and/or a placement completed as part of a vocational qualification) of working directly with children within the Children’s Workforce, for example, in a registered early years setting or in a school as a teaching assistant.
All applicants will be invited for interview as part of the application process. Any applicant who does not fully meet the entry criteria (e.g. who does not have maths GCSE, a Level 3 vocational qualification, or the specified amount of full-time work experience, but may have significant part-time work placement and/or volunteering experience and be able to demonstrate their ability to produce written work that meets the required level) is encouraged to submit their application, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
You will need to be working in a registered early years setting or school and have access to a mentor from your place of work.
There are no additional costs associated with studying on this programme.
How to apply
Applicants should apply online through the Activate Learning website.