Early Years Professional FdA
What makes our FdA Early Years Professional course special?
As an early years professional you can make a significant difference to children’s lives, working with them at this time of key developmental milestones. As work based practice is a key part of this course you have the potential to earn whilst you learn. You will study with likeminded people across a range of other related professional roles based in your own community.
This University of Worcester award is delivered by the partner institution The Learning Institute. Delivery venues range across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, London and Somerset, (though not on the University of Worcester campus). The running of the degree and of individual groups will be subject to minimum numbers.
The partnership between the University of Worcester and the Learning Institute is well established and has been recently reviewed in 2017 resulting in the latest suite of new awards on offer.
- The use of weekly learning sessions, either face-to-face learning in local venues or online, enabling you to balance study, work and home demands.
- Local delivery in a study group supports you to be successful in your study.
- A requirement of attendance at two weekend (Friday evening and Saturday daytime) study sessions each year is structured to support you engage with students on your course from across the country.
- Work based learning provides you with a key opportunity to connect your academic and professional learning with the expectation that students have access to 10 hours per week across the study year.
- You will share your study with students across a small number of interrelated programmes.
- There is the opportunity to progress to a BA top-up on completion.
- Subject to approval FdA Early Years Professional will be recognised as a sector endorsed programme.
- The course can be used to support you on your route into teacher training.
What qualifications will you need?
UCAS tariff points
We consider applications from individuals from a wide range of prior educational and employment experiences. For all applicants, current or recent experience of working with learners, such as employment or work in a voluntary capacity within a work setting, is desirable.
For those holding level 3 qualifications, such as A levels, BTEC National Diplomas, Access to HE Diplomas or equivalent qualifications, we are looking for 32 UCAS tariff points.
The University and the Learning Institute are committed to providing education to all those who can demonstrate the potential to benefit and succeed. Applicants who do not hold level 3 qualifications such as those outlined above will be considered on the evidence of relevant experience and related learning.
Evidence of level 2 literacy is required, for example key skills or functional skills at level 2 or GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have evidence of literacy at level 2 or above then you will expected to complete an essay to demonstrate competence in written English.
A Disclosure and Barring Service Check is required for this course. Relevant forms will be sent by Admissions on receipt of a firm acceptance of a place on the course.
Applicants should note that the course requires students to be working or volunteering in a relevant setting for a minimum of ten hours per week, throughout the course.
What will you study?
Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and by 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.
Supporting academic skills
Understanding our personal and professional selves
Teaching and Assessment
How will you be taught?
This mode of delivery involves a blended learning approach. You are taught through a combination of face-to-face learning and tutorials with additional interactive online learning alongside independent study time. Online learning is mostly in a virtual learning environment (VLE) called Blackboard. . You will require a basic level of ICT competence and computer and software including access to broadband and an up-to-date web browser. Face to face learning takes place in small study groups providing opportunities to interact with other students across a small number of interrelated programmes. These study groups provide you with a supportive peer learning environment where you can develop your skills and share your learning. In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least four occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.
Both face-to-face and online learning take a variety of formats and are intended to enable the application of learning through discussion, small group activities and individual learning. Group and individual tutorials enable the discussion and development of knowledge, key concepts and skills as well as providing supporting as you approach key assessments.
In addition to the weekly learning sessions, there will be twice yearly Friday evening and Saturday daytime set study sessions provide the opportunity to work with other students on this Foundation Degree from across the county giving you an additional layer of peer support and networking opportunities.
Work based learning is a major component of the course. You are expected to have access to 10 hours per week either working or in a voluntary capacity across the study year in an appropriate environment working with children and young people. This time gives you an opportunity to explore the concepts, practices and policies studied in a professional context.
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 from Student Services and Library Services, and also the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help you to flourish and be successful.
In a typical week you will have around 6 hours of planned learning sessions either face-to-face or online. In the first year around half of these sessions will take place in your study venue with slightly less in the second year. Additionally there will be 10 hours in a work placement. The planned learning sessions will comprise a range of learning activities which will change week to week depending on whether they are face-face or online and from module to module.
Independent self study
In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 20 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research using the online library, as well as preparing coursework assignments and presentations.
2 years full time
Scheduled teaching will take place on the same single day each week and you will be aware of the day and timing of these sessions at least two months before registration. Detailed timetables are normally available one month before registration. There is the expectation that all students attend both weekend (Friday evening and Saturday daytime) study sessions as these are an integrated part of the study programme.
Additionally there is the expectation that all students attend the twice yearly Friday evening and Saturday daytime set study sessions as these are an integrated part of the study programme.
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 professional practitioners from across the fields of study covered by the degree programme. Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy and is based on considerable experience of practices in the field.
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 coursework assessments such as essays, reports, critical reflections, portfolios and presentations. A typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:
1 x patchwork
1 x literature review with a case study
1 x essay
1 x project
1 x presentation with a critical reflection
1 x critical reflection
2 x essays
1 x case study
1 x project
1 x portfolio with a presentation
You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support 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.
Subject to approval the FdA Early Years Professional will be recognised as providing evidence of meeting the Early Years Educator criteria as defined by the Department for Education.
Where could it take you?
The course can provide you with the self-confidence, skills and knowledge to develop your career in the early years sector. For example, FdA Early Years Professional provides you with the required qualification to take a leadership role within early years settings. The course covers all necessary criteria to support you in this role. Additionally other routes out of this degree involve roles in children’s centre working, school settings or provision in statutory, voluntary and private organisations. The majority of students complete a top-up year to gain a full honours degree with some moving on further into masters level study. This course provides an excellent route to progress to qualified teacher status.
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 2019/20 is £9,250 per year.
For more details, please visit our course fees page.
You will be expected to purchase key texts for each module; the list of key texts will be available 4 weeks before registration and will be set out in the reading lists. It is likely that you will choose to purchase other texts as you become familiar with your specialist research areas.
You will need to pay for a new DBS before the start the course.
You will need to access 10 hours per week in an appropriate work based setting, if this is not your current employer then you will need to make arrangements for this which may include travel costs.
It is expected that you will have access to your own computer and printer. As some of the learning is online it will be necessary for you to have a secure internet to enable you to access materials and engage with the virtual learning environment.
It will be necessary to provide your own personal stationary throughout the course however, printed handouts will be provided for each taught session when necessary.
You will need to source and pay for 1 Friday night's accommodation and meals for each of the 4 weekend conferences across the 2 years of the course.
Given that the course is delivered within multiple localities it is expected that you will be able to travel to the study venues and remain living at home.
Sources of financial support
Most financial support is available from Student Finance England www.gov.uk/studentfinance. The University’s Money Advice Service can provide information about student money; this can be accessed through firstpoint.
How do you apply?
Applying through UCAS
UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.