Foundation Degree (FdA) Early Years (full-time)
List of Courses
Start Date
Course Type
Course Code
Sep 2020
Franchised HE
About this course

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Delivered at Wiltshire College & University Centre's 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 work

Employers 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.

Wiltshire 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, leadershp 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?

After completing these two years, you will gain a Foundation Degree (FdA) in Early Years and you may choose to continue onto a third year to give you the opportunity to achieve a full Honours degree in Early Childhood Studies which is planned for delivery at the college from September 2020.

The course includes modules in the following subjects:

Year One:

  • Studying Policy and Practice
  • Communication and Language in the Foundation Stage
  • Physical Development
  • Introduction to Reflective Practice
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Mathematics in the Early Years

Year Two:

  • Inclusive Practice
  • Well Being in the Early Years
  • Research, Policy and Practice
  • Leadership and Management in the Early Years
  • Issues in Child Development
  • Independent Study: Curriculum Study

Please note:

Modules and course content are subject to change.

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 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

Students may be required to attend an interview and are welcome to apply for this programme via UCAS.

The cost of this programme is £7,570 per year (£9,270 per year for international students).

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?

Some Foundation Degree students, on completion of a second year, apply for the full honours degree in Early Childhood Studies.  Some students apply for teacher training programmes that include teaching at all phases of education including post 16 years.

Opportunities for further study then exist at postgraduate level for those who wish to progress further including the MA Education (Childhood and Youth Studies).

Students can also become Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCo), childminders, managers of nurseries, counselling with children and work in child contact centre for social work, work for child safeguarding services and child centre outreach worker. 

Some of these jobs may require a full honours degree prior to being undertaken.  For other jobs to be undertaken, a Masters qualification may be required.