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Institution C58


2 years, 1 day per week Full Time

Entry Requirements and Fees

2020/21 UK fee: £5,500

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

Typical entry requirements:

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

Student view

Elaine, an Early Years Foundation Degree alumni student
Elaine Ford

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. Read More.

Susan Pettett

This course allowed me to continue to top-up my foundation degree to a full BA degree and worked perfectly with my working and family life. I only needed to go into the University one day a week for much needed lectures and to check-in with the very supportive lecturers but could structure my study around my life. Read More.

Course content

1st for overall satisfaction, teaching on my course, assessment and feedback and organisation and management for the subject of Childhood and Youth Studies (NSS 2020)

Course Content

Are you an enthusiastic and committed Early Years professional? Are you looking to enhance your professional practice? This two-year full-time degree is structured so that you attend University one day per week, enabling you to study without giving up work. It is therefore an ideal way to continue your career development in the rewarding field of Early Years.

Our course combines theoretical study with practical work, to help you explore how children learn and develop in the early stages of their lives. 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. 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.

Take a look at our Childhood brochure.

Our facilities

We’ve developed both of our campuses to have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

The Learning Resource Centre is the hub of the learning environment.  It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Careers Centre, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

The Bishop Otter LRC offers:

  • Books and journals
  • E-resources, including multimedia streaming
  • Mac and PC suites
  • Printing and scanning facilities
  • PrintShop services
  • General meeting areas
  • Group and individual study spaces
  • Equipment Loans​
  • Wi-Fi and plug points throughout

Learning Resource Centre facilities

Where this can take you

The programme is designed to support the development of the role of the early childhood worker through an intermediate level of study.

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.

Other careers include:

  • A range of work with Early Years (0 to 8 years) management and policy-making
  • Nursery day-care manager
  • Hospital support worker
  • Health and social care
  • Special needs (for example, Portage)
  • Good preparation for teaching and social work with young children
  • Study a PGCE leading to Qualified Teaching Status

Work placements

The programme of study is delivered partly through taught sessions and partly through employer supported work-based learning.

Indicative modules

Year One:

Introduction to Early Years

(Module information to come)

Child Development in the Early Years

This module will consider developmental psychology relevant to those working with young children and families, aged 0-8 years by introducing students to some of the main theorists. You will be encouraged to examine differences between a number of different approaches to developmental psychology and begin to critically evaluate these contributions to the field of child development. The module will also look at ways in which new techniques in developmental psychology and ideas from cognitive developmental neuroscience are changing our understanding of the developmental process. You will have the opportunity to work in small self-directed groups to explore link between theory and practice.

Children’s Rights

(Module information to come)

Play and Creativity & Expressive Arts

There will be an introduction to the different ways play has been perceived by play protagonists and how play has become an essential and contemporary subject in its own right. There will be critical links made to child development, inclusion and age and stage play for all. It is expected that you will become reflective in their thinking about how their role as playful practitioners is crucial to the developmental potential of young children in their future work.

Reflective Practitioner: Babies, Toddlers and Pre-school

(Module information to come)

Safeguarding and Integrated Working in the Early Years

The module content will place the notion of safeguarding the child within the context of need and risk, and will explore key concepts that impact on this. These will be explored with particular reference to the concepts of 'significant harm’ and ‘good enough parenting’. This understanding will be located within a relevant legislative, policy and procedural framework such as the Children Act 1989 & 2004. You will be supported to explore signs and symptoms of abuse, issues of disclosure and confidentiality, and the appropriate referral process if child protection issues are involved. The notion of Safeguarding will be placed within the context of children’s rights, and debates surrounding the UNCRC (1989) will be explored.


Year Two:

Understanding Children’s Behaviour

Students will have the opportunity to explore a range of factors relating to children’s behaviour, including individual needs, triggers and patterns of behaviour. Other influences including transitions, our own values and belief systems and the impact of these will be analysed. Students will explore through case studies how to provide for and support children with social and emotional needs within early years’ settings working with and in partnership with parents and other professionals.

Curriculums Around the World in Early Years

(Module information to come)

Working with Parents and Carers in the Early Years

(Module information to come)

Importance of Research in Early Years

The module will scrutinise the process of designing, reporting and evaluating research, using real life examples of research projects. The “qualitative versus quantitative” debate will be examined and you will experience a range of qualitative and quantitative methods for gathering and analysing data. These include the design and use of questionnaires, interview techniques and controversies around observation as a research tool. Ethical issues in research will be examined, especially those related to power relationships. Innovative methods for research with young children will be explored, including discussion of the special ethical issues which arise when researching babies and young children.

Childhood in Crisis: Global Perspectives

(Module information to come)

Health and Wellbeing of Young Children

(Module information to come)

SEND in Early Years

(Module information to come)


International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

Teaching strategies

The learning and teaching strategies employed by the programme are designed primarily to help you to gain knowledge and understanding of a broad base of concepts, skills, and practice which will 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.


The close link between teaching, learning and assessments will be emphasised throughout the course. The development of a variety of assessment tasks integrated with the learning and teaching programme will ensure that you are given meaningful activities that are relevant to professional practice. Consequently, 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
  • Critical review of literature on a specific topic
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Analysis of theoretical and research-based evidence
  • Pod-casting, emails and discussion boards.

In addition you will be given an opportunity to attend a tutorial after each teaching day if you require any further guidance.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs