FdA Early Childhood Studies

The Conservation and Education Centre at the former Bristol Zoo Gardens site remains open to students.

You will have private access to the zoo grounds during lectures, to carry out your observations and data collection, but as more animals are moved, this will gradually be carried out at the Bristol Zoo Project. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Course Description

Earn as you learn, work in an educational setting for 2.5 days
Study at campus one afternoon/evening per week

This programme concentrates on the areas of young children’s (0–8 years) learning and development in society. This course will encourage you to develop a vision for future care and education. This program supports early years practitioners who wish to progress within the sector or into teacher training programmes after completing the full degree.

Study Areas

This foundation degree offers a blend of academic and vocational study that will provide you with the skills to become an effective practitioner working with young children. Study areas:

  • Creativity and confidence
  • Speech and language
  • Sociology of childhood
  • Diversity and children’s safety
  • Contemporary issues in childcare and education
  • Reflective practice: leadership
  • Children’s well-being and behaviour
  • Contrasting curriculums
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Study Modules
Promoting the Characteristics of Effective Learning: communication, language and literacy

The module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the importance of speech and language development in children and young people in the context of the characteristics of effective learning. The importance of literacy development across the curriculum will be a focus, providing opportunities to enhance your practical application of literacy strategies in a working environment. The cyclical relationship between creativity, confidence and speech and language will be a focal point, ensuring that you will have a well-rounded knowledge of the issues and challenges children can face and how these can be reduced or overcome

Coursework: individual, portfolio 50%

Coursework: individual presentation 50%

The Developing Child

This module will give you an overview of child development, articulating critical periods and related theory to ensure you become confident in planning material according to a child's age and stage of development. The importance of attachment and attachment relationships will form a central part of this module, alongside the impact that enabling environments can have on a child's development.

Coursework: 70%

Presentation: 30%

Partnership Working: diversity, inclusion and children's safety

This module will provide you with a holistic working knowledge of the key debates relating to diversity, inclusion and children's safety, including the importance of partnership working with parents. The importance of developing a multi-disciplinary approach to children's care will also be a central feature of this module. These concepts will be bound together with underpinning theory and the analysis of how Serious Case Reviews (SCR) inform practice.

Coursework: 70%

Coursework: group, discussion: 30%

Reflective Practice 1

This module aims to develop your awareness of reflective practice and provide an introduction to academic study. You will engage with personal development planning to create your own personal development plan (PDP) to enhance your study and transferable skills, and resilience towards long term goals. Concepts of continuing professional development will also underpin study, encouraging you to evaluate how your learning has impacted on practice. Throughout the module you will identify your personal strengths and areas for development and begin to understand the components of effective reflective practice. Target setting and review will be used to link and promote your academic and professional development.

50% Coursework: Assignment 1,000 Words (or equivalent)

50% Coursework: Portfolio 1,000 Words (or equivalent)

Perspectives on Education

This is an exciting module which aims to explore psycho-social perspectives on education across the life span. The social construction of childhood and adolescence will be analysed in relation to expectations of children in society and education. Contemporary issues surrounding the purpose and structure of childcare and education will be considered which will encourage you to explore different notions of society and the role of education.

100% Assignment: 2,000 words (or equivalent)

Researching Practice

The aim of this module is for you to undertake a literature review linked to your topic of interest and, following on from this, you will demonstrate your ability to undertake a small-scale work-based research project. In order to develop the necessary skills to be a practitioner-researcher, you will be introduced to critical aspects of the research process including ethical considerations, methodologies and methods, and appropriate ways to present and analyse data. You will be supported to understand the research process from developing a research question, collecting and analysing your data, to reflecting upon its implications for practice.

40% Coursework: Assignment: 2,000 words

60% Coursework: Assignment: 3,000 words

Contemporary Issues in Childcare and Education

This module aims to provide a platform for you to engage in current debates relating to children, their families and the education sector. You will be encouraged to identify issues that are having an impact on the children in your care or the education setting you are in. These may be related to the political climate (e.g. funding) or, alternatively, you may wish to focus on the impact that lifestyle choices may have on children and their families e.g. obesity or tooth decay.<

Coursework: individual, standard written 100% (3,000 words or equivalent)

Contrasting Curriculums

This module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of a variety of approaches to early education and the value of each one. You will explore international approaches to curriculum design so you can begin to develop a critical appreciation of the influence of curriculum design on children's experience of education. Comparing alternative approaches will help strengthen your understanding of what education is for and how different methods can support or affect young minds, children's confidence and their future aspirations.

Coursework, individual written 70%

Coursework, individual presentation 30%

Children's Well-Being and Behaviour

The module aims to develop your understanding of the range of behavioural issues you may be presented with in an Early Years setting or Primary School. The link between behaviour and children's experiences/well-being will be considered in order to help determine why children behave in particular ways. The related strategies to combat these underlying issues will be introduced and contextualised.

Coursework: individual, presentation 100%

Reflective Practice: leadership in the Primary Curriculum

The module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the ways in which practitioners develop children's confidence in all areas of learning in preparation for their progression to the next level of education. As this is a vocational programme with a requirement to be in voluntary or paid work reflection and leadership will underpin the module allowing you to develop an understanding of the impact that planning, clear expectations and guidelines can have on influencing successful transitions.

Coursework: individual, written 50 %

Coursework: individual, portfolio 50%

Course Video
Chloe Tomkins
Programme Lead and lecturer BA (Hons) Education and Learning, FdA Education and Learning and FdA Early Childhood Studies
*This programme is subject to validation and delivery approval by the University of Gloucestershire.
University Centre WISE
Foundation Degree
Full-time Duration:
2 Years
Full-time Fee (Per Year):
Part-time Duration:
4 Years
Part-time Fee (Per Year):
UCAS Application Code:
UCAS Entry Tariff:
Entry Requirements

The minimum UCAS tariff entry points from a level 3 qualification, GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4. Once your application has been reviewed, you may be invited for an interview. Mature students over 24 without the relevant qualifications will be required to demonstrate previous experience and evidence of academic ability.

Course info last updated:
December 6, 2023
Delivery Format

The delivery format for your degree-level programs is primarily face-to-face and in-person sessions. However, there may be some hybrid sessions offered occasionally, mainly for flexibility purposes, such as tutorials or for larger events like visiting lecturers. Additionally, it's mentioned that all degree programs are well-supported by Virtual Learning Environments, which include Teams or Google Classroom.

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