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Foundation Degree (FdA) Early Years (full-time)

Key course information

Health, Care and Early Years


2 years

University Level


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Course Overview

Delivered at our Trowbridge campus, this Foundation Degree has been designed in partnership with employers and is aimed at those progressing from Level 3 NVQ or BTEC qualifications, A Level students, those with an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship or current practitioners who are working in a variety of early years settings with families or playgroups and in schools, nurseries and children's centres.The course provides opportunities to:- Develop your knowledge and practice - Enhance your career prospects - Gain access to further learning - Study while you workEmployers have been directly involved in the design of the course which will build upon the practical work you will undertake or are already undertaking in the workplace/placement to provide clear links between practice and theory.The College offers a route into Higher Education for practising early years practitioners. Over a two year duration for two days a week, a substantial amount of your learning will take place in your workplace through the planned and supported tasks and projects we will set you. This course is also available as a part time study option over three years.You will undertake study in areas such as child development, communication and language, reflective practice, leadership and management issues in early years.You will take a series of modules during regular classes at the college. In this way, you gain access to the theory and debate while remaining rooted in your everyday work with young children.

What will I learn?

The programme and modules are being developed around 5 themes to provide a holistic view of children and early years.

1. Researching Early Childhood

• To understand, critique and assimilate the concepts and theoretical perspectives of early childhood studies as a field of study
• To understand the importance of ethics in the study of young children

2. Professional Knowledge

• To understand the role of the adult in promoting and supporting the development and learning of young children with particular emphasis on the role of play and the outdoors.
• To be able to lead, support and work collaboratively with others, demonstrating empathy and professionalism in interactions and to be able to act as an advocate for children.

3. Growing up in the 21st Century

• To demonstrate a critical understanding of the inter relationships between cultural, ideological, political and economic contexts in the lives of children, families and communities.

4. The Developing Child

• To understand how children grow and develop physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively
• To use skills of observation and analysis in relation to child development.

5. Culture and the Curriculum

• To recognise and challenge inequalities in society, and embrace an anti-bias approach
• To recognise the importance of literacy, the arts and the outdoors for children’s wellbeing and development.

Please note:

Modules and course content are subject to change.

This programme is currently being revised.

Entry Requirements

Typical offers:

Foundation Degrees are not typical degrees so there is no typical offer. Each application will be considered on its merits and in the light of your employer's commitment to support your learning.

Specific entry requirements:

This is a work based course and a number of assignments require you to be working in a post where your managers will allow you to undertake and evaluate small scale projects with children and your colleagues.

You should have relevant work experience either in a paid or voluntary capacity or as part of your studies. Entrants should normally have as a minimum one of the following:

- An A Level or vocational A Level
- A NVQ level 3 qualification (such as BTEC or other qualification)
- An advanced modern apprenticeship

Students with English as an additional language will need to have an academic mentor which they can organise to support their proof reading of assignments.


All applicants will be required to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Study, Assessment and Qualifications

For the duration of the programme, you will need access to a relevant work setting for a minimum of 10 hours per week.

You are expected to be employed or in placement for the duration of the programme. This will enable you to appreciate the links between theory and practice and develop your understanding of key Early Years issues within a vocational context.

Assessment methods will include written assignments, video and face-to-face presentations, online discussions and other modes relevant to Early Years practice.

On successful completion of this course, you will achieve a Foundation Degree (FdA) in Early Years, franchised by Oxford Brookes University.

Additional Costs and Information

You may be required to attend an interview.

You can apply for this programme via UCAS.

The UCAS institution code for this programme is O66.

The UCAS course code for this programme is 315X.

Click here for the programme handbook.

The Office for Students (OfS), the new independent regulator for Higher Education in England, has confirmed that Wiltshire College is successfully registered as a provider for Higher Education and that students are eligible for funding and student support from Student Finance England. Please visit for more information.

What Could I Do Next?

On completion of your course you may choose to progress onto these following courses

Health, Care and Early Years

Career Opportunities

  • Teaching Assistant
  • Youth Worker
  • Social Worker

  • Psychologist
  • Teacher
  • Children's Nurse

At any one time, there are over 80,000 social care vacancies in England

Researchers note babies may cry with the intonation of their mother tongue

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