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Entry Requirements and Fees

2020 UK fee: TBC

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 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

The course aims to give you an understanding of the diverse contexts in which children develop and learn. It is designed for those working in a variety of early childhood settings, for example, reception classes, pre-schools, nurseries, children's health services and in social services family centres.

Over the two years of the Foundation Degree the focus of your learning will be on developing your skills, knowledge and experience as an early years practitioner.

This course is delivered one day a week on Friday making sure it’s flexible to your other commitments.

Our facilities

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

At the Bishop Otter campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support.  We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.  We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

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

The Bishop Otter LRC also offers:

  • 130 open access PC workstations
  • 45 Apple iMacs
  • Ample printing facilities
  • Netbooks available on loan
  • Professional editing suites
  • Media loans counter
  • Wi-Fi and plug points throughout

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 1:

  • Developing Academic Skills
  • Child Development
  • Reflective Practice and Decision Making
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Working in Partnership with Families
  • Learning through Play

Year 2:

  • Working with Babies
  • Understanding Children’s Behaviour
  • Researching Early Years
  • Health and Wellbeing of Young Children
  • Independent Project (Option)
  • International Perspectives of Childhood (Option)                
  • Inspiring Curriculum (Option)

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. There are no options on this work-based programme


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 relevant and meaningful activities with specific outcomes. Many of your assessment will expect you to draw on your experience and work-based activity. Examples of assessment 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
  • An interrogation 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 additional guidance on your assessment. This is a great opportunity for you to discuss any uncertain matters which may rise during the teaching session with your subject tutors. 

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs