About the FdEd Early Childhood Studies programme
This Foundation Degree will provide those already working or wishing to work with young children in different fields with an opportunity to develop their career and knowledge within a network of local provision. The students will recognise and champion the uniqueness of every child by exploring the key factors that affect them and their families. This course will enable students to gain a whole-child perspective, draw on several different disciplines and use the latest research to explore how children grow and develop, learn through play and how government legislation and policy affects children rights, welfare, education. Students will be able to understand and analyse the processes that shape childhood and children’s lives.
All applicants irrespective of entry qualifications will be formally interviewed by an appropriate member of academic staff.
Applicants will require 80 UCAS points in a related early years subject, or 60 Access to HE Credits (of which a minimum of 45 must be at Level 3). Applicants are required to hold English GCSE (or Functional Skills equivalent) at Grade C/4.
The Institute encourages applications from learners who lack formal academic qualifications. All such applicants will be set an appropriate piece of work, in the form of an essay question (1500-word essay) that will take into account their academic potential and relevant experience in the sector.
All students are required to have in place an enhanced DBS check. Students can attend the programme whilst waiting for this to be completed, however students cannot go out onto their work-based learning until the satisfactory DBS has been provided. Students are required to provide existing DBS where their placement is their employment at enrolment, or apply through the Institute, which will incur a cost. All students will be expected to declare any criminal convictions at interview as part of their application. Any student not having a satisfactory DBS certificate will not be able to complete the programme and failure to make an application could result in the student being withdrawn from the programme and will still be liable for the fees.
What you will learn
Level 4 (Certificate stage) modules may include:
- Study and Research Skills
- Safeguarding Children
- Personal and Professional Development
- Young Children’s Learning and Development
- Planning for Effective Learning
- Enabling Environment
Level 5 (Diploma stage) modules may include:
- Personal Development, Transformation and Empowerment
- International Perspectives of Early Years Curriculum
- Collaborative Working
- Inclusive Practice
- Practical Approach to Research
- Mental Health and Well Being
Learning & Teaching Methods
A key element of the programme is the practice learning experience in which students undertake 240 hours work-based learning within a relevant setting. In collaboration with employers, students will undertake some research elements across the course, reflecting on the knowledge and application of this in their practice. The flexibility of this programme allows students to continue in employment and the ability to study in the evenings, whilst also working across sectors and is tailored around working lives. Through previous student feedback this has always been a real positive for the programme and one which students have found enables them to manage working life, alongside their studies. This will be assessed during the interview process and the programme team will ensure that students are able to manage the demands of studying full-time whilst maintaining employment.
Whilst students are attending their sessions in classes in the form lecturers, 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.
Transferable skills will be developed through a variety of methods and strategies aimed to challenge students in order to address the needs of different people within society. These methods will introduce students to managing research, time management, presentation skills and also the ability to work with a wide range of materials. Team building and working independently are also key elements of transferable skills for students and are embedded in a number of seminar activities and module assessments.
The programme aims to facilitate critical thinking and reflection by questioning and critically discussing beliefs, discourses and attitudes. As this is a Foundation Degree, the use of self-directed learning will be prevalent as the mode of learning will be based on traditional methods of lecturers, workshops, seminars and work-based learning at their professional practices. Core elements and understanding of the sector will be embedded across all modules taught. There will be opportunities for self-directed group work and projects allowing for peer discussion and learning, as well as individual and collective problem solving and action learning.
Students must achieve and evidence a total of 240 hours (over the duration of the programme) in an appropriate work based learning setting. Students are expected to select the provision for their placement with the support of the placement team if required. Failing to achieve 100 hours at the end of Level 4 and 140 hours at the end of Level 5 will result in failing the module. Students must be in placement by the beginning of the second trimester. Within the work placement a designated mentor will be allocated to the student. Students and mentors will be visited once per academic year by the placement team and support will be given to both to meet the expectations and requirements of the programme.
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, how government legislation and policy affects children rights, welfare, 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 Top Up course.
As a graduate of this programme, you will have the necessary knowledge and skills to gain employment as an early years 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 at grade C/4 or above and Early Years teachers require GCSE English, Maths and Science at grade C/4 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 early years sector as well as completing postgraduate qualifications, in order to work in education, health, legal and social work fields.