Early Childhood Studies - Foundation Degree

Course Code: SM1HE105

UCAS Code: L520


Next available course:

Start DateLocationDuration / Fees
14/09/2020University Centre2 Years / £8,335 per year Apply
14/09/2021University Centre2 Years / £8,750 per year Apply

Course Overview

This course embraces those already working in the early childhood sector and wish to advance in the field to a senior practitioner or leadership position in the industry.

Unlike many universities we embed work experience in to the programme. Our undergraduates benefit from extensive relationships with major employers and build up their own contacts from day one of their course spending around six hours per week working in either paid or voluntary positions. We have a large work placement team who organise these opportunities for our students and ensure they are as close to home as possible. We believe this sets our graduates apart from others in the sector and results in near 100% graduate employability on completion of the foundation degree and honours degrees.

Throughout the programme, you will develop a sound understanding of the principles underpinning the role of a senior practitioner and learn different approaches to solving problems at work. The wider social, political and economic issues related to the early years sector are also covered while in the top-up year, the focus is on the development of higher supervisory level skills.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 64 UCAS points or an equivalent in a level three qualification in early years. You will be required to be employed (paid/voluntary) within an early years setting whilst on course and thereafter for a minimum of 256 hours each year (average 8 hours per week over 32 weeks). You will also be required to supply a letter of support from your employer at enrolment.

Qualification Obtained

FdA Early Childhood Studies

Career Options and Progression

Assessment Methods


Most courses are assessed via a combination of coursework and exams – the percentage weighting of each of these is outlined below. Coursework might range from written tasks and assignments to the collation of a portfolio of evidence based around a work placement. Coursework differs from exams in that it is usually non-timed and carried out independently.


Exams are formal, timed written assessments, carried out in a controlled environment and overseen by one or more invigilators. They assess your grasp of the theory and underpinning knowledge related to your chosen career area. The opposite of practicals, they require you to set out your practical understanding within an academic context. Some courses have no exams – the exam/coursework ratio is outlined below.


Practical assessments identify your technical ability to apply theory to hands-on tasks in your chosen career area. They can be timed or non-timed and involve observation of your practical skills and competencies, either in a work-based environment or a dedicated College setting that closely resembles the workplace. Practical work-based assessments are supported and carried out by a trained assessor.

Assessment MethodLevel 4Level 5Level 6

Course Structure

Level 4 Modules

Children and ChildhoodsSM4MD12120Mandatory
The Early Years Outdoor EnvironmentSM4MD12220Mandatory
Reflective Practice Early Years SectorSM4MD12320Mandatory
Safeguarding Early YearsSM4MD12420Mandatory
Inclusive PracticeSM4MD12520Mandatory
Introduction to Academic Study ShacSM4MD15020Mandatory

Level 5 Modules

Work Based and Placement LearningSM5MD17220Mandatory
Communication and PartnershipsSM5MD17320Mandatory
Critical Issues Early Child DevelopmentSM5MD17420Mandatory
Professional DevelopmentSM5MD17720Mandatory
Research in Early ChildhoodSM5MD20920Mandatory
Social PolicySM5MD21020Mandatory

Teaching and Learning Methods

Scheduled Learning

Scheduled time relates to the time you spend in directed study with the guidance and support of our academic tutors. Scheduled learning can take a variety of forms and will vary from one course to the next, but may include lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervision, demonstrations, studio or workshop time, fieldwork and external visits.

Independent Study

Higher education courses rely on students undertaking work outside of formal, scheduled sessions and this is generally categorised as independent study. Independent study might include preparation for scheduled sessions, follow-up work, wider reading or practice, completion of assessment tasks and revision.


Many of the degree programmes at B&FC incorporate opportunities for work placements to provide you with the opportunity to link your studies to relevant professional practice in a real work environment. Our programme teams are able to offer support in securing an appropriate work placement where it forms part of your programme, and will work closely with you during the placement to ensure that the opportunity allows you to develop personally, professionally and academically.

Learning MethodLevel 4Level 5Level 6

Industry Placement and Field Trips

Other Costs and Equipment Needed

Expert Tutors

All staff involved in the delivery of higher education courses within the College are approved to teach the subjects and modules they deliver. The approval process ensures that staff delivering a given programme are appropriately qualified and, where appropriate, possess relevant technical and industrial experience and professional practice.

Tuition Fees

Regulation and Accreditation

Terms and Conditions

Programme Handbook

Programme Specification

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