FdEd Early Childhood Studies (Graduate Practitioner Competencies)

UCAS Code: G80 L520 Credit Level: 5 Credit Value: 240 Course Start Date: September Course Duration: 2 years full time or 4 years part time

Change young children’s lives for better

FdEd Early Childhood Studies (Graduate Practitioner Competencies) Awarding body

Your Programme

About the FdEd Early Childhood Studies (Graduate Practitioner Competencies) programme

The Early Childhood Studies Foundation Degree has been designed for those who are currently working, or want to work, with young children under the age of eight years. The programme gives students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills to work in a variety of different fields.

As a student on this programme, you will learn to recognise and champion the uniqueness of every child by exploring the key factors that affect them and their families. Students will look at and explore their understanding of children’s development, the importance of play, welfare, education and children’s rights and current government legislation and policy.

Entry Requirements

Standard offer

Applicants will require 80 UCAS points gained from an Early Years Educator qualification or equivalent level 3 or 60 Access to HE Credits (of which a minimum of 45 must be at Level 3). Applicants are required to hold English and Maths GCSE (or equivalent) at Grade C/4.

Non-standard offer

Non-standard entry is intended to support students who may not meet the standard academic entry requirements of a HE programme, normally Level 3 qualifications which attract UCAS points (for instance A-levels or BTEC Level 3 courses). An applicant must hold a Level 2 qualification in Early Years and be able to evidence, with a supporting reference, two years’ work/experience in the field of early education which would give them skills and knowledge comparable to applicants with Level 3 qualifications.

All such non-standard applicants will be interviewed, set an appropriate piece of work (1500-word essay) and a judgement made considering their academic potential and relevant work/experience.

What you will learn

Level 4 (Certificate stage) modules:

  • Study Skills
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Personal and Professional Development 1
  • Personal and Professional Development 2
  • Young Children’s Learning and Development
  • Planning for Effective Learning
  • Personal and Professional Development 3
  • Enabling Environment


Level 5 (Diploma stage) modules:

  • Personal Development, Transformation and Empowerment 1
  • Personal Development, Transformation and Empowerment 2
  • Personal Development, Transformation and Empowerment 3
  • International Perspectives of Early Years Curriculum
  • Collaborative Working
  • Inclusive Practice
  • Practical Approach to Research
  • Young Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being

Learning & Teaching Methods

This course is primarily designed for face-to-face learning, with attendance during lessons for the specified hours within the validation document. However, there may be periods of study where the government advises TEC Partnership that it is not safe to open campuses, or there is limited access due to social distancing measures. If the campus is closed, TEC Partnership will deliver your sessions online and offer you the necessary support and resources remotely. If there is limited access due to social distancing measures a blended model will be adopted, with some lessons taking place in small groups and others using online sessions and support.

The Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies are embedded throughout Level 4 and 5 study, preparing the students for progression to Level 6 and completion of the competencies.

Whilst students are attending their sessions in class in the form of lectures, seminars, workshops and group work, intellectual thinking skills are developed by encouraging them to engage in discussion, evaluation and analysis. There are also opportunities for students to work independently at their pace to complete some assignments which are related to their personal and professional development.

Study skills will also be in place across all levels, in specific modules or in tutorials that will aim to further develop these intellectual and academic skills. A wide variety of practical and professional skills will be introduced throughout the teaching and learning process at all levels. Students will be encouraged to use these skills throughout assessments and also throughout teaching sessions. The strategy to embed this into students’ practice will be to encourage their engagement in seminars to show and support students to develop these skills, and also through the use of tutorial and mentoring where students require further input.

Level 4

The knowledge, understanding and practical skills the students acquire at Level 4 becomes the foundation for future progress as an early year’s practitioner.  Students are introduced to theoretical perspectives and investigate the contemporary landscape and changing nature of the early years’ sector, including a focus on safeguarding children, planning for children’s learning and an exploration of enabling environments to support children’s learning and development. Students will spend 200 hours in a placement to develop practical knowledge and skills.

Level 5

Progression to Level 5 study places focus on the impact that current legislation, the Early Years Foundation Stage (2017) and the National Curriculum (2014) has on practice, children’s care and education.  The role and importance of research within early education is paramount, and the students will be able to investigate how published research influences policy makers and their practices.  Students will explore and critically analyse inclusive practice, factors influencing children’s physical and mental health and well-being and working in collaboration with families and professionals. Students will spend 240 hours in a placement to develop practical knowledge and skills.

Programme Benefits

The Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies will draw on a number of different disciplines to enable students to learn how children grow and develop, how they gain language, how children learn through play and how government legislation and policy affects children’s rights, welfare and education. Students will be able to understand and analyse the processes that shape childhood and children’s lives. Practice learning opportunities (personal and practice development) will be integral to the degree and will be provided by a range of placement providers which include schools, pre-schools, private nursery settings, crèches and children’s centres. This foundation degree will provide those already working, or wishing to work, in the early years sector an opportunity to demonstrate their academic ability together with their practical application skills.  Furthermore, if students wish to progress with their academic study, this degree provides a foundation for BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies course.

The programme can be studied full-time or part-time.

What next?

Due to the nature of the course, progression may vary depending on the student; however, possible progression routes would include BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies Top Up; BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies Top Up, and BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care Top Up, all of which are currently offered by TEC Partnership. There may also be scope for students who met the required criteria to consider top up degrees at other HEIs, particularly for those students wishing to progress in to teaching and would require Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

As graduate of this programme, you will have the necessary knowledge and skills to gain employment as an early year’s practitioner in the public, private or third sector. However, students need to be aware of the government policy which states that Early Years educators require GCSE English and Maths, level 4 or C or above, and Early Years teachers require GCSE English, Maths and Science, level 4 or C or above. There will be opportunity for students to further their academic studies at the University Centre Grimsby via progression to the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies Top Up.  Graduates currently go on to a range of careers in the childhood studies area, as well as completing postgraduate qualifications, in order to work in education, health, legal and social work fields.

TEC Partnership is committed to offering a related top-up degree in this subject area which will allow graduates to top up to a full bachelor’s degree. It is likely that the top-up programme will be validated under new TEC Partnership Degree Awarding Powers.