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Access to Higher Education- Diploma in Understanding Child Development - Level 3 - Full-time (Nor...

Level 3
Course Code:
North Devon Campus
One year - three days a week

Want to go to university? Want a change of career? Or want a new challenge? No A levels? No problem! It is never too late to study for a degree even if you have no qualifications at all. Or you may already have some qualifications at GCSE, NVQ or BTEC but not enough to get into university. Many adults return to education to improve their career opportunities and achieve their personal goals.

This course provides you with excellent opportunities to progress towards your goal of a degree in Early Years Practice, Teaching & Learning or Early Childhood Studies - get degree ready at Petroc!


This full time course is perfect for giving you the skills you need to progress onto a degree related to Early Years Practice, Teaching & Practice or Early Childhood Studies. You will study a wide range of Childcare related subjects including children's development, safeguarding children and becoming a reflective practitioner, which will offer you a route onto a variety of Early Years related degree programmes. Modules are delivered by experienced staff with detailed curriculum knowledge.

The units that you will study for this course include:

- Practical Childcare Skills
- Observing Children
- Research Project
- Children's Holistic Development (aged 0-12 yrs)
- Safeguarding Children
- Curriculum Frameworks
- Literature: Working in Partnership
- HE Study Skills
- Personal Development, Careers in Childcare
- Becoming a Reflective Practitioner

All our Access to Higher Education Diplomas also include:
- Study Skills where you will gain valuable skills for university study, such as academic writing, Harvard referencing, and effectively locating and using a range of academic sources.
- Tutorial sessions. In Tutorials we will provide guidance and support for your UCAS application for university, as well as supporting you throughout your year of study.

To succeed, you will need to be aged 19 or over, motivated, enthusiastic, able to manage your time effectively and be ready to study. You will be part of a group of adult students who are excited about learning, are willing to work hard with other members of the group and participate.
The Access Diploma is predominantly based upon continuous assessment (coursework). There will be a variety of teaching methods used throughout the course including discussion, debates, small group exercises, on-line research, group presentations, whole class teaching and peer assessment.

You will be supported and encouraged to develop and practice the skills that will enable you to become an independent learner and fully prepare you for Higher Education.

Students compile a portfolio of assessed work throughout the year, which is externally moderated at the end of the course.

Examination practice is a mandatory requirement of all Access courses.

Our Diploma includes two study skills exams during the course to meet this requirement.

Students taking GCSE English or Maths will also have an external examinations in May/June.
Four GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above

For learners aged 19 and above.

Most universities require at least 5 GCSE grades at C/4 or above, including English and Maths, as part of the entry requirements for degree courses. GCSE English and Maths are separate qualifications from the Access Diploma so, if required, we offer additional lessons for these subjects. If you don't already have a C/4 grade or above in Maths or English at GCSE, these are currently free for students over 18. Please contact our Guidance Centre for further details.

Please note that due to the amount of work involved, we strongly recommend that you only take one GCSE at the same time as the Access Diploma.
If you already have GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent), you should bring copies of your certificates with your to your interview.
Basic IT skills would be helpful.

There is no required set reading before the course starts, although you may find it useful to read newspaper articles regarding current developments in Early Years Practice.

It will also be useful to research courses and universities prior to starting the course to help with your university application, which takes place in the first term.
The Early Years sector is a hugely rewarding and exciting field to work in - it is a diverse area and holds multiple career pathways for your future. Students develop skills and knowledge which are applicable to a range of occupations.

This course is a Level 3 programme which enables you to progress on to a Foundation Degree or full Honours Degree at Petroc, awarded by Plymouth University, or to a BA or BSc programme at any UK university in subjects including Early Years Practice, Teaching & Learning and Early Childhood Studies.
There is an excellent Moodle (VLE) for the Diploma courses where you will have access to resources and additional reading, as well as extensive Learning Resources support:

- Individual computers can be booked for use in study periods.
- Our classrooms have undergone modernisation in recent years and are well-equipped with up-to-date technologies.
- The tutors are well qualified, experienced, enthusiastic and understand the needs of Access learners and provide appropriate support and guidance.
- There is also support on applying to university from specialists in our Guidance Centre.
- Separate facilities are available especially for mature students (19+), for example a designated common room.
Paper, pen and a memory stick.
Please contact the Advice & Guidance Centre on 01271 852422 for more information.
Q: Do universities recognise the Access to HE Diploma?
A: The Access to HE Diploma is a national qualification and is recognised and accepted by UK universities. Many universities have policies to encourage applications from Access to HE students, who are valued for their maturity and willingness to contribute to discussions.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: You are entitled to full fee remission if the following applies to you:
- Aged 19 to 23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification.
- Aged 23+ - find out more about the Advanced Learner Loan - our Advice & Guidance Centre will be able to help you with this & any questions you may have.
- Applicants who take the 19+ Advanced Learner Loan do not need to pay anything upfront. If you complete your Access Diploma and then go on to complete a course in Higher Education, the remaining balance of your 19+ Advanced Learner Loan, including any interest, will be written off. You can get full information from Student Finance England. You can contact our Advice & Guidance Centre for advice and information on fees.

Q: Can I get any help with childcare or other costs?
A: Some additional help is available, dependent upon individual circumstances - please contact our Advice & Guidance Centre for advice and information.

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