Course information

Study type Study Tier Start Date Duration Course Contact

Full Time

  • Higher
7 September 20202 yearsVictoria Egerton


Applicants for the Foundation Degree in Early Years Care and Education need to meet the following criteria:

Qualifications or experience

A minimum of one Level 3 qualification, for example a relevant Early Years NVQ. Applicants are to be working in either a voluntary or paid relevant educational setting for a minimum equivalence of one day a week.

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

GCSEs in maths and English at level 4 or higher (or Functional Skills in maths and English at level 2).

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Selection process

  • All applicants will need to attend an interview.
  • Obtain a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring System (DBS) check


If you want to take your career as an early years practitioner to the next level, we’ve got the perfect course to get you there.

This Foundation degree (FdA) in Early Years Care and Education is for current and aspiring early years practitioners who want to get professional recognition with a university-level qualification. You’ll work with professionals to learn skills and knowledge that’ll serve you in a rewarding career helping children to realise their potential.

The 2-year course is full time and has around 6 hours a week of teaching in term time plus up to 10 hours per week in an early years setting, in either a paid or voluntary capacity.  So, you can complete your studies alongside your job.

After the course, you’ll be more effective in your current role as an early years practitioner. You could also go on to do a Bachelor’s degree such as our BA (Hons) Education Studies which can  lead to further training, such as Early Years Initial Teacher Training

The programme of study is delivered partly through taught sessions and partly through employer supported work-based learning. It is designed to support the development of the role of the early years practitioner through an intermediate level of study and can also provide progression towards gaining a full degree in Education, progress to gain the Early Years Teacher Status or Qualified Teaching Status.

The College is, in collaboration with a University partner, offering a Foundation Degree (FdA) in Early Years Care and Education. This has the following features:

  • A two-year programme (240 credits) based around four semesters.
  • The two main emphases of a Foundation Degree are: theoretical understanding and Work Based Learning.
  • The qualification consists of eleven modules. Each of these will be assessed through a variety of means that include: assignments, portfolio work, essays, case studies, class and work-based activities.
  • The FdA allows progression onto different routes such as the BA (Hons) Education Studies at The Isle of Wight College that leads to PGCE and ITT(EY) status.


Over the two years you will study a total of 11 modules which are designed to enable you to extend your skills in the field of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Year 1 Year 2
  • Practice and Pedagogy (40 credits)
  • Curriculum Planning and Legislation (20 credits)
  • Inclusive Practice in the Early Years (20 credits)
  • Safeguarding Children (20 credits)
  • Working with Families (20 credits)
  • Practitioner Based Enquiry 1 (20 credits)
  • Practitioner Based Enquiry 2 (20 credits)
  • ICT – Early Years and Development (20 credits)
  • Cognitive Language and Development (20 credits
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health Development (20 credits)
  • Use of information for decision making (20 credits)

The course content is subject to change to reflect the needs of employers and learners


The FdA aims to encourage early years practitioners to adopt a critical view of their own workplace practice and that of others. It covers a wide range of aspects of early years; from curriculum issues to observations, child development to social policy and how this supports  children’s learning.

Teaching typically takes place in small groups and a wide variety of teaching methods are used from lectures to group work, seminars and presentations. Most of the assessed work is linked directly to workplace practice.

The FdA is designed to provide theoretical underpinning knowledge to early years practice in order to meet the demands of government initiatives to raise standards and increase the professionalization of early years.

Learning will be supported by a Work Based Mentor and College Tutor.


Although a recognised qualification in itself, the FdA in Early Years Care and Education forms the first two years of the BA (Hons) Education. Students wishing to complete this degree have the option to do this over one year (full time).

Students wishing to achieve Early Years Teacher qualifications (EYT) after they have completed and undergraduate degree. Students may wish to complete the degree and take the Post-Graduate Certificate in Education to attain Qualified Teacher Status to teach in schools.

Provides a basis for progression through a top up route to:

  • ITT(EY) (Early Years Teacher)
  • BA (Hons) Degree in Education or Childhood Studies
  • PGCE qualification leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) – this is subject to entry conditions of receiving institution.

NB: to undertake EYT and QTS you must have GCSE at C or above in English, Maths and Science (some students take this while doing the FdA).


The course is run over 24 weeks, it is one day at week at college for 6 hours and then 12 hours (minimum) a week in a placement, employed or voluntary.

You will have normal school holidays during this time.


Fees for 2020 are currently £6,165 (per annum).

For information regarding assistance with fees and accessing loans; please refer to the government student finance website.

Advice is also available via The University of Portsmouth website.

Last updated 51 mins ago.

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