Foundation Degree Early Years

Foundation Degree Early Years

Pursue your passion for early years education

Pursue your passion for early years education

2 years full-time, 3 years part-time
Bishop Otter Campus

Overview

Explore how children learn and develop in the early stages of their lives

Are you an enthusiastic and committed Early Years professional? Are you looking to enhance your professional practice? Then our Foundation Degree Early Years course is the option for you.

Study as you work

Our Foundation Degree Early Years programme allows those already working or volunteering in an Early Years setting (for a minimum of 12 hours a week) to continue their career development in a rewarding field.

This two-year, full-time or three-year part-time degree is structured so that you attend University one day per week, enabling you to study without giving up work. It also allows early years professionals to work towards a full degree with the support to develop their academic confidence and skills.

Learn to support Early Years children

Our course combines theoretical study with practical work. You will explore how children learn and develop in the early stages of their lives.

In addition, you will enhance your skills in reflection, independent thinking and critical analysis on your journey to becoming a more confident and skilled Early Years practitioner.

Recognised qualification

This course is a recognised qualification by the Department for Education. It also meets the governments ‘full and relevant’ criteria as it includes practical working experience.

This means you can be counted in an employer’s staff-child ratios.

Start your journey

This course provides the opportunity to progress to the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Top-up and is an excellent pathway to enable busy practitioners to gain a degree.

Why choose this course?

  • Pursue your passion for Early Years with this foundation degree option.
  • Develop your confidence in your academic skills and knowledge.
  • Learn from a dedicated and highly-skilled team.
  • Have the opportunity to progress to Level 6 with the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Top-Up.

The Course

Develop skills in the study of early childhood

This two-year full-time or three-year part-time degree is structured so that you can attend university one day per week. This enables you to study without giving up work.

You’ll hone your skills and gain an understanding of the diverse contexts in which children develop and learn.

This course is a recognised qualification by the Department for Education and meets the governments ‘full and relevant’ criteria as it includes practical working experience.

Experience

Discover facilities that help support your learning

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of our staff as you gain confidence in your abilities

Teaching

Our teaching methods help enable you to become an effective Early Years worker.

They include individual tutorials, lectures, group exercises, directed reading, role play, observations, discussion and presentations.

A large amount of the learning and teaching on this course takes place away from the University, at your place of work.

Your learning will be monitored for taught elements and work-based learning through your Personal Development Plan.

Assessment

The close link between teaching, learning and assessments will be emphasised throughout the course.

You will be given meaningful assessments activities that are relevant to professional practice.

On successful completion, students can continue their studies to a full degree by taking the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies Level 6 Top-up programme.

Your assignments will enable you to draw on your experience and work-based activity.

Examples include:

  • Observations and interpretation of children’s activity
  • Evaluation of given case studies
  • A critical review of literature on a specific topic
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Analysis of theoretical and research-based evidence
  • Podcasting, emails and discussion boards.

You will also have the opportunity to attend a tutorial after each teaching day if you require any further guidance.

Careers

Develop your career opportunities within early years professions

Our Foundation Degree Early Years course allows you to develop as a early childhood worker through an intermediate level of study.

In addition, the course prepares you to transfer onto our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies Level 6 Top-Up programme to complete a full-degree in this area.

These options will allow you to develop your career working with young children and opens a multitude of potential avenues for your future.

Career paths include:

  • Early Years management
  • Teaching
  • Health and social care
  • Policy-making
  • Nursery management
  • Hospital support
  • SEND

Student View

"I feel that I am becoming a better-quality practitioner"

Elaine

Early Years practitioner
"I am an Early Years practitioner in the baby room 0 – 3 years and I work full-time alongside my degree. This course is giving me an understanding of the theory and giving me the opportunity to put this into practice the knowledge that I gain at University. I feel that I am becoming a better-quality practitioner in the process."

Jemima

Nursery worker
"I work in the toddler room of a small nursery alongside my studies – I get the best of both! The Foundation Degree is definitely more suited to me than the traditional route to gain the full honours degree because I can study and work at the same time. The lecturers have been really supportive and amazing to fit the whole course into one day a week."

Gemma

Nursery Practitioner
"I am a qualified Level 3 Nursery Practitioner and currently working within a primary school in a reception class. I'm a mum of two young children so attending university one day a week supports my working and family life. The lectures each week are really enjoyable and informative and the lecturers are so supportive and friendly. This degree is really boosting my knowledge and confidence. On completion of my full degree, I hope to follow my passion of becoming an Early Years Teacher. I would recommend this course to anyone looking to further their childcare knowledge and education."

Course Costs

Course fees 2022/23

UK fee
£5,500

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

Course specific costs

·         You will be required to have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check costing £40 which needs to be paid for before the start of the course.

 

Entry Requirements

Typical offer (individual offers vary)

  • All students must be employed or carrying out voluntary work in a relevant early years setting (minimum of 12 hours per week).
  • Two years’ experience in the sector.
  • At least one Level 3 qualification (A level / BTEC / Cambridge Technical / NVQ3 / Advanced Apprenticeship).

You will be required to have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check.

Interview

The interview is designed to assess the applicant’s suitability for early years.

It is expected that most, but not all, applicants will have significant experience of working in an early years setting, most often gained through placement experience.

We will discuss how the course is delivered and what it involves so that it is a two-way process through which you can ask as many questions as we do!

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