The Foundation degree in Children's Care Learning and Development is an exciting programme enabling those working in early years to work towards graduate status.
The course is suitable as a pathway to primary school teaching (you must also achieve GCSE maths, English and science which are offered as evening classes at UCS Bury St Edmunds). We welcome applications from those working within the childcare sector and from students who may not have child care experience but wish to enter this field.
The course is offered over two days per week and you need to have face-to-face contact with children for at least 20 hours per week. You will study professional development, safeguarding, children's development, diversity and rights and reflective practice in your first year.
As these are employment-based learning courses, students will require the support of their employer to successfully complete the qualification. Students need a mentor in the workplace to support them with their studies. These courses emphasise multi-agency working, helping to create a workforce committed to joint working and improving standards of care for children.
For those students who successfully complete the Foundation degree, and who are interested in progressing their studies within the field of children's care and learning they can progress on to the BA (Hons) Children's Care Learning and Development. We welcome applications from any student who has achieved 240 credits in higher education (120 credits at level 5) e.g. A Foundation degree related to early years practice.
Students study early intervention,child health and professional practice alongside their dissertation study and topics offered for dissertation last year included identification of gifted and talented children, the value of home visiting in transitions and whether the school starting age is too young.
Future employment opportunities exist in schools, children's centres, playgroups, nurseries, social care and voluntary organisations.
Please note, the Foundation degree in Children's Care, Learning and Development previously offered at UCS Ipswich has been revalidated and is now available as the Foundation degree in Early Years Practice.
Content and Modules
The areas of study include early years, care and education, children's services and play work.
This course is designed with the child care practitioner in mind. It has been shaped to combine studying while working in a busy childcare setting. At all campuses the course enables students to earn while they learn and maximise the amount of time spent at work.
Some modules have adopted a ‘blended learning approach’ where students can access part of the module via the virtual learning environment supported by face-to-face group tutorial sessions.
Modules studied include:
The first year of study begins with a module entitled Personal Development which encourages students to reflect on their strengths and areas for further development.
This is followed by modules such as Child Development, Safeguarding Children and Diversity and Rights which are centred very much on the child and adopt a child-centred philosophy.
Finally students are required to reflect on their learning and progression by actively participating in a module called Reflective Practice.Students need to be highly motivated and well organised to time manage the demands of this programme.
The course makes strong links between theory and practice and as such, there are work based tasks that should be completed within their setting in order to underpin the theoretical aspects of the programme. All the modules are closely linked to the Children’s Workforce Development Council and parallel Every Child Matters.
Read the full Programme Specification for this course here:
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Foundation Degree in Children’s Care, Learning and Development?
The Foundation Degree in Children’s Care, Learning and Development (FdA CCLD) is a higher education programme for experienced practitioners who work with children (teaching assistants, nursery nurses etc). The underlying theme and focus of the programme is to facilitate professional development through the process of reflection. Each module will develop student’s ability to explore, discuss, analyse, evaluate and develop their practice with regard to theory, research, policy and recognised good practice.
I understand that if I am a full-time student I need to be in an appropriate setting for 20 hours per week, or as a part-timer for 10 hours per week. Do I have to be in paid employment or can I work as a volunteer?
You may be in either as long as you have regular contact with children and fulfil the other requirements (NVQ L3 or equivalent and current CRB check). You will need to ensure that you have a mentor and that your employer fully understands the implications of you being a student and having opportunities to carry out work based tasks within the setting.
How much independent study will I need to do?
That is difficult to equate as each student is different. As a rule, we tend to suggest that for each module, you will need to allow 150 hours of self-directed study. You need to consider this carefully as busy practitioners often find it hard to find individual study time within their busy lives.
I haven’t written an essay for 15 years! Is there any student support available?
Yes, we have a number of ways in which you can enhance your study skills: face to face with our study support team, electronically through our study skills portal and also through extended reading – the library has a study skills section and some texts specifically focus on study skills for mature students.
What sort of support should I expect?
All students are allocated a personal tutor who will offer pastoral support and will visit students in their settings. In addition, academic tutorials are an integral part of each module during which students can clarify and review the teaching and learning with their tutors.
When can I start?
We have an annual intake of students and lectures start in October.
You can hear from some of our students in the following Children's Care, Learning and Development student profiles.
Find out more
What is included in your tuition fees
At UCS your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for.
Read full details of the included and additional costs for Children's Care, Learning and Development.
Please note, UCS reserves the right to change this information as and when required.