Jump directly to main content Jump directly to menu

FdA Children’s Learning and Development

Foundation Degree students are integral to the on-going development of the early years’ workforce, nationally, regionally, and locally. Students will actively engage in research and enquiry, gaining a critical understanding of the processes within the development of services, enabling them to gain insight and understanding relating to how babies, toddlers and young children develop and how this can be supported.  The programme will support students to develop intellectual and sector skills, and importantly link theory to practice.

A central aspect of the programme is that students will gain the opportunity to examine various ways in which children and childhood may be understood and conceptualised through their understanding of the philosophies, beliefs, and attitudes that champion children’s rights. They will also consider the challenges and intricacies of multi-agency and multi-professional practices and reflect on this within their own professional context.

Graduates of the Foundation Degree Children’s Learning and Development are advocates for babies, toddlers and young children and champion their rights.

Key Information

  • Course Level

    Level 5

  • Delivery


  • Duration

    2 Years Full Time

  • UCAS Code


  • Awarding Body

    University of Hull

Apply or Enquire


I completed the Foundation Degree in Children’s Learning and Development via distance learning. This really supported my role as a Teaching Assistant due to the course content.  It linked well to working in an early years setting, covering a broad range of topics. It deepened my existing knowledge and understanding in supporting the children in my setting. Understanding child development and the theory behind it enabled me to link it to my practice. It made me more confident to support and guide the children effectively and also resulted in supporting my colleagues with long and medium term planning. The course also led me to complete a full audit within my setting which benefited the entire team and children. Following my Foundation Degree I progressed onto the BA Hons Early Childhood Studies Top Up which once completed I will be able to embark on teacher training which will lead me to complete my teaching qualification.

Amy – Foundation Degree in Children’s Learning & Development BA Hons Early Childhood Studies


I had always dreamed of becoming a qualified teacher, and the Foundation Degree was the initial steppingstone along the way.  I studied the FdA Children’s Learning and Development on-campus at Doncaster which upon completion, allowed me to enrol onto the BA Early Childhood Studies Top Up where I gained my Level 6 qualification.  This enabled me to embark on teacher training, and I am now qualified and teach year 6 in a Primary School.

Zoe – Foundation Degree in Children’s Learning & Development Foundation Degree in Children's Learning & Development

Level 4 Modules:

  • Children’s Rights and Participation (20 credits)
  • Holistic Child Development (20 credits)
  • Safeguarding Children (20 credits)
  • Playful Pedagogy (20 credits)
  • Creative Critical Thinkers (20 Credits)
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (20 credits)

Level 5 Modules:

  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (20 credits)
  • Contemporary Approaches to Leadership (20 credits)
  • Collaborative Approaches to Working (20 credits)
  • Emergent Literacy (20 credits)
  • Mathematics in Early Years Education (20 credits)
  • Research Project (20 credits)

The programme will require approximately 12 hours a week of private study to access materials and engage in wider reading and research.

Occasional changes to modules and course content may take place. Students will be notified when applicable.

Students will study full time through face to face (on-campus) with some online flexible learning via our virtual learning environment (VLE), CANVAS.

Students will be supported through:


Seminars will allow for focussed discussion in small groups which encourages participation, fosters active debate, and allows participants to learn from the different opinions and the experiences of others. Seminars develop transferrable skills in active listening, negotiation and conflict resolution, self-expression and general oral communication.

Collaborative Work

In-class activities or online discussion forums are an important feature of many seminars and workshops. This meets the requirements of working in the sector; employers stress collaborative and team-working abilities as desired graduate attributes. Collaboration also provides a valuable opportunity to engage in shared learning. Initially supported and guided study will be the approach adopted but students will be required to develop independence and self-direct their study as they progress through the programme.


Workshops take place in small groups or discussion forums but are more practically focussed than seminars. Workshops will also be arranged to support students’ developing research and IT skills.

Virtual Learning Environment

Extensive use will be made of the institutional VLE. Beyond being a repository of material, the CANVAS provides a student lead experience which supports all learning and teaching activities mentioned. Students are encouraged to construct their own community of practice with the support of the teaching staff. The VLE allows for connectively and flexible study opportunities for student engagement.

Group tutorials

Students will be offered group and individual tutorials to provide one to one student support either face to face or via the VLE. This is a useful way for students to access support for their studies and assessments and allows students to discuss the application of their knowledge to practice. The tutorials are available at flexible times of the week to support with work and other commitments.

Assessment Approach

 A range of assessment methods underpin the development of student transferable skills and make a positive contribution to the students’ learning experience. Assessment is both formative and summative. The diverse assessment strategies meet the varied needs of students and include:

  • Academic Essays
  • Presentations
  • eBooks
  • Reports linked to practice
  • Posters/leaflets

Applicants will come from a variety of different professional backgrounds which may include childminders; early years practitioners; support assistants working in either a mainstream or special school and teaching assistants working in the early years sector.  This might be in a full time or voluntary capacity.

Importantly applicants will have at least 2 years full time equivalent experience working in the sector prior to starting the course and will hold a Level 3 qualification (or equivalent) in a work-related area and are additionally required to hold a current DBS Enhanced Certificate.

Applicants are required to either be in paid employment or undertaking a voluntary placement for a minimum of 2 days per week. This will underpin practitioners’ experiences in the workplace through studying a variety of modules that will enhance and support career progression.

Grade 4/C in GCSE English and mathematics is desirable but not essential. If you do not have these qualifications, you will still be accepted onto the programme but would need to realise that future employment might require this. 

We are committed to creating educational opportunities for people from a variety of backgrounds and situations. If you have been out of formal education for some time, and/or you do not have the qualifications stated, we might still be able to consider your application and offer you a range of support. We are here to help. Please get in touch to find out more.

The Foundation Degree enables students to build on experience as an early year’s practitioner and develop new strategies for supporting children and working alongside colleagues and parents.  Career progression is varied and may include:

  • Senior/Lead Nursery Practitioner
  • Pre-School Leader
  • Play Leader
  • Room Leader/Section Leader
  • Deputy Manager
  • Setting Manager

Upon completion of the Foundation Degree in Children’s Learning and Development, there is also the opportunity to progress to the Early Childhood Studies top up programme and gain a Batchelor of Arts (BA Hons) in one year. This will give opportunities for further professional development, for example, going onto Teacher Training programmes, Local Authority based work (such as family liaison officers) and other related professions.

Financial Support

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan to cover living costs.

We also have a range of other financial support available.

Course Fees


£7940.00 per year.

Additional Costs

Your Tuition fees cover most costs associated with your course (including registration, tuition and assessment.)

There may be some extra costs that you might need to make, or choose to pay, for example:

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the HE library, but you may want to buy your own copies)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Trips and enhancement opportunities
  • Laptop or equivalent to access teaching and learning materials

As part of this programme of study you will be required to have a valid enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. You will be required to pay the cost of this. A DBS must be in place before you start your placement. You may be able to supply an existing DBS but this must be within 3 years of issue.


Apply or enquire about this course

To find out more and apply for this course, please contact us via the telephone number below.

  • Course code: X2C2
  • Institution code: N64
  • Campus name: University Campus Doncaster
  • Campus code: D

Apply on the UCAS website Apply direct to UCDon if we are your only option Make an enquiry Call 0800 358 7474