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Young Children’s Learning & Development FdA

Aireville Campus
Study Location
2 Years (FT)
Costs (per year)
Institution Code
Hull University
Validated by

The Foundation Degree in Young Children’s Learning and Development is a sector endorsed Level 5 course for anyone who is interested in working in the ECEC (Early Childhood Education and Care) sector. It will prepare students for careers in early years, family support, social care or education. Past students have gone on to careers in all sectors of education, Family Support work, therapeutic services, police work, Early Help, SEND and early years practice. Most students will continue to a BA top up in a related subject.

The course is designed for those wanting to gain experience in working with children as well as experienced practitioners in early years or education.  The course is a Sector Endorsed Foundation Degree in Early Years (SEFDEY) so that at the end of the two years a set of core competencies have been completed which will maximise job opportunities. Students are expected to undertake 300 hours of work experience with young children, which can be paid work or voluntary work.

The course has two themes: the development, care and education of children from 0-7 and the personal and professional development of practitioners. The course integrates academic and work-based learning through close collaboration with employers enabling you to develop the skills and knowledge relevant to your employment in early years. Subjects covered include theories of play, promotion of safe working practices, children’s wellbeing, child development, research in the sector, inclusion in education and SEND. Subjects related to professional development include reflective practice and developing presentation and leadership skills.

A Foundation Degree is a nationally recognised qualification in its own right and is equal to the first two years of a full BA (Hons) course or a Higher National Diploma. Once you have completed your FdA Young Children’s Learning & Development, you may then move on to a further year of study to achieve the BA (Hons).

Entry Requirements

  • 64 UCAS tariff points
  • English GCSE grade 9-4 (A*-C)
  • 2 references
  • Clear DBS Check
  • Interview

What you will study

  • Personal & Professional Development will develop your academic research skills, and academic writing and presentational skills, and will introduce you to self-audit, action planning and reflection. Assessed by a presentation and research inquiry (20 credits)
  • Theories of Children’s Play & Learning give you an overview of significant theories of play and learning and their place in current practice and increases knowledge of how theories of play and learning have shaped practice. Assessed by a poster presentation and essay (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Research Methods introduces you to research methods and enables you to carry out a small piece of guided research involving adults in the sector. Assessed by a research proposal presentation and research report (20 credits)
  • Promoting Safe Work Practices, Health & Wellbeing examines current practice with regard to statutory guidance for early years and enables you to discuss the importance and significance of child protection and safeguarding case studies in informing current practice. Assessed by a case study and information presentation
  • The Developing Child provides you with a thorough understanding of a range of developmental research and theory related to child development. Assessed by a guidance booklet and practical demonstration
  • Learning Journeys gives you a broad overview of the process of observing, assessing, planning and evaluating both the environment and the learning needs of the children in the workplace. Assessed by a report (20 credits)
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion focuses on anti-bias practice and equality, diversity and inclusion in light of professional and statutory responsibilities in the workplace. Assessed by a research report and presentation (20 credits)
  • Working Collaboratively with Parents, Carers & Professionals focuses on building partnerships with parents, carers and professionals. You will become familiar with the statutory and regulatory requirements in relation to working with parents and carers to fully meet the needs of parents. Assessed by an audit (20 credits)
  • Early Years Education & Beyond provides you with a broad overview of curriculum guidance for the early years and the transition to early primary education. Assessed by a report (20 credits)
  • Supporting Young Children’s Language & Communication considers the central importance of language and communication to other areas of development. Assessed by an essay and a presentation (20 credits)
  • Children’s Rights provides you with an overview of the historical and theoretical perspectives of children’s rights. Assessed by an essay and a presentation (20 credits)
  • Practitioner Research provides the opportunity for you to build on your knowledge of the research process enabling you to prepare and carry out an ethical research project in an early years setting. Assessed by a research proposal and report (20 credits)
  • Practitioner Research

You will receive feedback on your formal assessments within four working weeks of the submission date.  Your overall grade for the course and your Foundation Degree classification is based on the modules studied in the second year of the course. More information can be found here: Student Information > Regulations

How you will study...

The full-time course is usually 1.5 days per week for 2 years. You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, presentations and tutorials, which will be supported through group discussion, presentations, individual and group tasks and independent reading and writing. You will undertake work-based and independent-directed study requiring reflection on workplace practice.

Alongside time in College, you will be expected to undertake 10-12 hours each week of independent study such as reading journal articles and books, undertaking research and preparing for assessments. Your independent study is supported by the excellent Learning Hub at the Aireville Campus in addition to the College’s Study Support Centre. Average class sizes for HE courses are usually between 6 and 15 students.

What's Next?

Further Study

  • Young Children’s Learning & Development BA (Hons) Top-up
  • Early Years Teacher Qualification
  • Primary School Teaching Qualification PGCE, QTS (Primary)

Students wishing to progress to teaching qualifications should check the entry requirements including GCSE English, Maths & Science.


  • Early Years Teacher
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Nursery Room Leader and Management
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Family Outreach Support Worker
To apply for a full-time higher education programme, please apply via UCAS.
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