Early Years and Education FdA

Full-time undergraduate (2 years)

University Centre West Anglia (King's Lynn)



Develop your understanding of working with primary-aged children, on our two-year foundation degree course. It's a great option if you're already working in an early years setting or primary school.

Full description


This course is excellent preparation for any number of early years and primary roles, as well as further study and teacher training.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Learning and Development
    This module introduces you to your own learning as well as children’s and links to existing theory. It explores the difference between learning and development and considers the influence of adults on children’s learning. The key topics will be: human development, understanding learning, study skills and the roles of parents and key persons.
  • Researching Childhood
    You’ll be introduced to essential research skills relating to children and learn about the importance of linking theory to your practice. The aim is for you to develop skills in child observation and apply general research methods to childhood studies. You'll be expected to work in small groups and share your experience and ideas with your class. The key topics will be: research methods, ethics involved in working with children, types of observation and studying children.
  • Play, Health and Well-being
    Nowadays the link between lifestyle factors such as activity levels, diet and health is becoming increasingly clear, and greater importance is being placed on the need for children to access outdoor environments. It is crucial to get children making choices and enjoying a healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle from as young an age as possible. Play is recognised as being crucial to children's physical, mental, social and emotional well-being, yet opportunities and encouragement for free play are becoming increasingly limited. You’ll consider children’s well-being and how it relates to their rights. You’ll learn how well-being can be supported through healthy eating, regular physical activity and a play based environment. The key topics will be: well-being, healthy eating and exercise, outdoor play and forest schools.
  • Work-based Learning 1
    You will identify a specific aspect of practice to develop. Using an 'Action Inquiry' model, you will then plan a change strategy, implement the change and evaluate its effectiveness. This model of personal professional development will enable you to understand your workplace by observing, developing and carrying out an action plan to effect change and improvement in practice. You will develop valuable workplace skills in IT, communication, presentation, reflection and analysis.

Year two, core modules

  • Safeguarding the Young
    Safeguarding the Young
  • Supporting Children's Learning
    This module is about the ways in which children play and learn and the means by which adults can mediate and support their experience. You’ll discuss pedagogic strategies and learn about the importance of creative practices and children learning through play. Different early years’ curricula (Steiner Waldorf, Montessori method, Experiential Education, High Scope, Reggio Emilia and Te Whariki) will be compared and contrasted with England’s curriculum. The key topics will be: early years’ curricula, learning through play, creative learning and pedagogy as well as documenting care and learning.
  • Embracing Diversity
    In this module, you'll discuss disability, differences and special educational needs in relation to debates on inclusion and exclusion, needs and rights, and the importance of seeing every child as an individual. You’ll explore different cultural practices to enable an empathetic understanding of how to help all children feel welcome in a setting. Theories for this module are drawn from different backgrounds such as psychology, sociology and education. The key topics will be: history and language of inclusion, cultural differences and EAL, family structures and lifestyles, policy and legislation as well as special educational needs.
  • Work-Based Learning 2 - Professional Practice
    Building on the experience of Work Based Learning 1, students will be encouraged to continue explorating their professional/occupational practice, along the strands developed previously, as a source of learning. In this module, students will be expected to demonstrate greater degree of autonomy in management of their learning and along with a more detailed knowledge of relevant theoretical underpinning and ability to analyse and evaluate both information and argument. Students will be required to apply theory to practice. As part of the module, students will devise a suitable programme of work-based activities intended to develop both practical competence and understanding of the principles that underpin such practice. Students will be required to propose an Intended Learning Contract and rationale showing they have made informed decisions about their intended learning and taken into consideration a range of situational variables and related their intended learning to their developmental agenda. This will be the subject of one of the 'patches' of the patchwork text/media assessment within this module. Students will be responsible for maintaining effective communication with both their identified Mentor/Key Worker in the work-place and their Supervising Tutor. Additionally, students will keep in contact with their peers through web-based discourse. Finally, having completed the project report, students will appraise the learning gained against appropriate professional and academic standards and construct a self-managed developmental action plan based on the outcome of this self-appraisal. Throughout the module students will develop both the specific skills relating to their role within their organisation and the transferable skills of planning, negotiation, record-keeping and self-evaluation. This module can be delivered in a variety of modes: Blended or fully online. Students need access to the internet for online learning resources, to participate in the online learning community and submit the electronic portfolio for assessment. All key resources will be available online. In addition many key resources will be work context specific and defined during the planning of the learning activities, with the support of the tutor to take account of the researcher's work context. Assessment will use a Patchwork Text approach, which is similar to a portfolio. At regular intervals in the module, students will produce draft 'patches', which are task orientated and focus on specific topics of the module content. There will be opportunities for peer and tutor formative feedback for each patch. The patches are 'stitched' together with a final reflective section that looks back at the earlier patches and module learning. The finalised patches and stitching piece are submitted together as a portfolio for assessment. Assessment will use a Patchwork Text approach, which is similar to a portfolio. At regular intervals in the module, you will produce draft 'patches', which are task orientated and focus on specific topics of the module content. There will be opportunities for peer and tutor formative feedback for each patch. The patches are 'stitched' together with a final reflective section that looks back at the earlier patches and module learning. The finalised patches and stitching piece are submitted together as a portfolio for assessment.


We’ll assess your progress using a mixture of coursework and essays, module assignments and activity-based work. The professional practice modules are assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.

Where can I study?

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2019/20 (full-time, per year)


How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

UK students (and EU students in the 2020/21 academic year) can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes EU students starting a course in September 2020 or January 2021.

Government funding includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a range of ARU scholarships, which can provide extra financial support while you’re at university.

Entry requirements

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A minimum age of 18. 48 UCAS tariff points. GCSE(s) required: GCSE at grade 4 (C) or above in English (or any other Level 2 English qualification), appropriate Level 3 Integrated Qualifications Framework (IQF) Qualification (CWDC) with current or recent experience in childcare.

Access to a suitable children's and young people's working environment. Commitment to study and work in the sector. A minimum of 400 hours working in a suitable children's workforce environment; this is flexible and the breadth of students' expertise/experience will be considered. Commitment to the work experience component. ICT competence sufficient to make effective use of word-processing and email facilities. Access to ICT facilities at home and/or in the workplace. Qualifications can also be evaluated for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). Current DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service check) required.

Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning in September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in September 2020.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

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Early Childhood Studies (Top-Up) BA (Hons)

Full-time, part-time undergraduate (1 year, 2 years)

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