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What makes Learning Support at Worcester special?

For many young people, learning support assistants are an essential part of their educational journey. The role requires patience and integrity, and brings with it considerable responsibilities and substantial rewards.

At Worcester, this foundation degree in Learning Support has been designed to draw upon your existing knowledge and experience, and to develop new skills. With an emphasis on work-based assignments, your learning is orientated around your practical experience.

For those working or seeking work in a learning support role, this course will further your personal and professional development as a competent and confident practitioner, enhancing your career prospects and opening the door on to possible additional study and routes into teaching.



Key features

  • Flexible locations: study at the University of Worcester or Herefordshire and Ludlow College full time, or at Halesowen College on a full or part-time basis
  • A sound basis for further study at Bachelors degree level, including our Education Studies and Integrated Working with Children and Families programmes delivered in Worcester
  • Support your professional development whilst exploring topics as diverse as the creative curriculum, managing challenging behaviour, inclusive education and exploring social care

Join us this September

It's not too late to apply for a September 2020 start. We have places available on a range of courses through clearing.

Find out more

"Obtaining the FDLS has enabled me to grow both personally and as an educator. It has given me confidence to support the wellbeing and enrich the learning of pupils in my care."

Kim McCoig-Lees

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

32 UCAS Tariff points, plus current/recent experience of working with learners, a minimum of two years experience employed or working in a voluntary capacity within an appropriate educational setting is desirable.

A Disclosure and Barring Service Check is required for this course.

Applicants with no formal qualifications may be considered for Mature Student Entry Routes

Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from the UCAS website.

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Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

  • Preparing for study
  • Creative curriculum
  • Child development
  • Understanding Learning support
  • Managing challenging behaviour
  • Partnerships in education
  • Wider aspects of disability
  • Introduction to research methods
  • Inclusion in theory & practice
  • Supporting people with additional needs
  • School-based study (double module)
  • Talking & Listening with Others
  • An introduction to social care strategies: Meeting the national agenda
  • Evaluation and change
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of modules, which work towards student independence. Within the practical-based modules, this is achieved through work related assignments and a programme that gradually transfers responsibility for learning to the students. Learning occurs in a context that enables students to relate what they are learning to what they already know and to guide them through subsequent general reading. The source material in these modules is not confined to lectures, but includes a range of appropriate strategies such as structured and general reading, video material, observation, experiential learning.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

You have an opportunity to engage with learning through a comprehensive range of learning and teaching strategies which include:

  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Group work
  • Student presentations
  • Practical activities
  • Problem-based learning

Work-based activities and assignments will enable you to engage with your own practice and to share your knowledge and expertise with others. You will also undertake a work-based study in your second year, which allows you, with tutorial support, to focus on a particular area of interest within your professional practice.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 4 - 20 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the modules you are studying. In the final year, you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study. Contact sessions included interactive lectures, group seminars, small group discussions and practical work.

Typically, class contact time will be structured around:

  • Synthesising academic and practical knowledge.
  • Applying your knowledge to your professional work in areas of learning support.
  • Supported learning and teaching through Virtual Learning Environments and the use of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL).

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 16 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve directed study tasks, academic reading, reflection on module ideas, and applying knowledge to your professional role.

Work-based learning is an embedded element of the course. Modules are assessed through work related learning and it is a requirement that students are employed or volunteer in a learning support or similar role for the duration of the course. You are expected to undertake this work-based learning for a minimum of two days a week. This enables students to relate their studies to their own setting and context.

A range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources, supports independent learning.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with education experience. Teaching is based on research and consultancy; over seventy per cent of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows or Senior Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include:

  • Written assignments
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Case studies
  • Reflective portfolio entries
  • Problem based learning
  • Learning journals / reflective journals
  • Seminars
  • Independent Studies
  • Workplace investigations
  • Self-evaluation / needs analysis
  • Evaluations of processes and resources
  • Poster/leaflet presentations /Production of workplace resources
  • Literature critiques

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the modules studied, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1

  • 2 Learning portfolios
  • 2 evaluation and annotation of an educational resource
  • 4 essays
  • 1 critical evaluation
  • 1 reflective commentary
  • 1 group presentation

Year 2

  • 3 essays
  • 1 ethics report
  • 1 workplace study plan
  • 1 professional enquiry
  • 1 learning journal
  • 1 group presentation
  • 2 reflective commentaries


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal coursework assessments. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback supports learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

In person teaching from September

We intend to start the academic year as planned in September 2020.

For many years, the majority of our teaching has taken place in small group settings such as seminars, laboratory classes, tutorials, clinical simulation and other practical sessions. We are planning to continue to teach these in person, while strictly following the Government safety guidelines in place at the time.

Other sessions will be delivered through a blend of in-person and online learning. You can read more about this approach in our coronavirus FAQs.


Where could it take you?


The course provides a sound basis for further study at Bachelors degree level including progression to the BA (Hons) Education Studies Top-up or BA (Hons) Integrated Working with Children and Families Top-up at Worcester. Students may also be eligible to apply for entry on to the BA (Hons) Primary Initial Teacher Education (with QTS) or BA (Hons) Applied Health and Social Sciences Top-up degree dependent on experience.

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How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2020/21 is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for part-time UK and EU students registering on this foundation degree in the academic year 2020/21 is £1,156 per 15 credit module and £2,313 per 30 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

You are required to be volunteering or employed in a learning support, or similar, role for the duration of the course. The expectation is that you make arrangements to attend your employment or voluntary work, and meet any travel costs.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £105 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £169 per week (2020/21 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Part-time applications

Please make part-time applications to study at Halesowen College via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

Apply for September 2020 enrolment at Halesowen - part-time

Apply for this course

Applying through UCAS

Learning Support FdA X300

This course is run in partnership with the Herefordshire & Ludlow College (C) and Halesowen College (B).

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.



Contact us

Contact a member of our team regarding this course:

Halesowen College
Sandra Derham

Herefordshire & Ludlow College
Anthony Digweed

Simon Taylor

Course Leader Foundation Degree in Learning Support