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Foundation Degree Teaching & Learning

Our foundation degrees, in partnership with the University of Plymouth, are equivalent to studying the first two years of an honours degree, but unlike traditional degrees there are no formal entry requirements. Created in collaboration with employers, they combine academic study with developing the skills and attributes needed in the workplace. It makes them ideal preparation for a specific profession or industry or for making progress in your existing career. You can always convert to a full honours degree by taking a top-up course on completion.

If you long to teach at primary level or be influential in children’s early development, there could be no better place to start. This SSTAR award-winning course is focused on early childhood and primary education, curriculum, assessment, and related issues. Contemporary, and with professional relevance, the course combines in-depth academic study with meaningful practical references. You will collaborate with others, follow independent lines of enquiry, and draw on professionals’ and lecturers’ experience to develop your knowledge and your skills.

In the first year, you will begin by learning essential professional skills, how to develop inclusive practice in education, and young children’s welfare and wellbeing. You will look academically at theories of learning and development (including child psychology), considering international education perspectives, and other concepts in the education of young children.

The second year introduces deeper study comparing perspectives on childhood, researching childhood, understanding multi-agency working, children’s spaces (including outdoor play, play design and forest school), supporting wellbeing in educational settings, and curriculum and assessment for young children.

During the course, you will gain a strong core of knowledge in psychology, sociology, and the holistic development of children. You will also be able to specialise in areas that might form the subject of further study or a career. It is a highly engaging course taught through lectures, collaborative and independent study, trips and events with the university, and offers a uniquely supportive and challenging learning environment.

Teaching & Learning Handbook

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Select from the start date/s below…

Sep 2024 : North Devon : Full-time
Course Code : HEB028F / 15K5 (2024)
Level : Level 5
Duration : 2 Years

Cost : * Annual Fee £9000

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Course details


There are no exams on this foundation degree. Your performance will be tracked using a variety of methods such as written essays or accounts, responses to case studies, presentations, academic papers and posters, research projects.

Entry Requirements

Entry is welcomed from mature learners, those with sector experience, and those who have taken non-traditional paths through education. A Levels or vocational qualifications (48 UCAS tariff points), or substantial and relevant work experience in an appropriate sector are also considered.

Appropriate subject areas will normally be in the discipline of children’s care and development, education, psychology, sociology, health and social care, and related subjects; however, qualifications in other subjects may be considered and discussed at interview. Learners without the relevant GCSE grades may be considered if they plan to undertake further study towards those qualifications.

Learners without contemporary classroom experience and voluntary or paid work in a primary or education setting may be directed towards the FdA Early Childhood Studies.


When you complete the foundation degree, you can top-up your studies to the BA (Hons) Professional Development (Childhood Studies) at Petroc, or either the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, or BA (Hons) Education at the University of Plymouth. Flexible distance learning is also available under the FLECS system via the University of Plymouth. Subsequent study opportunities include post-graduate study for a masters degree or a post-graduate certificate in education (PGCE). Many of our students find successful teacher training places through the local teaching alliances in North Devon.


Q: How much will this course cost?

A: For more information about course fees, please visit www.petroc.ac.uk/hefees

Q: Do I need to be working with children?

A: Not necessarily – but you will need to be eligible to work with children (provide a DBS certificate) and undertake work experience in a relevant field during the Foundation Degree. This could include your current job role, and can be discussed at interview. For this FdA we expect recent and relevant classroom experience – paid or unpaid. If your experience is broader, we may direct you towards the FdA Early Childhood Studies.

Q: Will this course qualify me to be a Nursery Nurse instead of the Level 3 qualification?

A: No, this is an academic degree and in order to be recognised in the ratios for your setting, you will probably still need the L3 qualification and potentially Maths/English GCSE results. Talk to one of the team about how you can address this if you do not already hold a childcare qualification and need one in addition to this degree.

Q: Will this qualify me to be a teacher?

A: This Foundation Degree can be extended into an Honours Degree via a number of progression routes. Successful completion of that final year may mean you are eligible for post-graduate teacher training in the Early Years or Primary via the PGCE, SCITT, or other teacher-training programmes. This is dependent on achievement and other experience and qualifications.

Q: Will this degree qualify me to do social work or midwifery?

A: The Foundation Degree and full Honours Degree can be a route into post-graduate study towards a qualification as a social worker. Other nursing or midwifery qualifications do not take the same route, but this Foundation or Honours Degree could lead to opportunities in related fields, depending on other qualifications and experience.

As this course requires you to undertake work placements with children and/or vulnerable adults, a DBS check is required. Please note: If you are only applying for a degree course at Petroc, you can do so through our website. If you are applying to more than one college or university, then you are required to apply via the UCAS application system

Apply for this course

Starting Date : 09/09/2024
Course Code : HEB028F / 15K5 (2024) North Devon Campus Apply

Why Petroc should be your first choice

Petroc offers high quality education and training across North and Mid Devon. We provide outstanding learning, excellent facilities, strong connections to employers and a supportive environment to help you fulfil your education goals and set you on your path to the career of your dreams.

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We offer a supportive and inclusive environment where you can flourish and feel a valued member of the college and wider community. 


Our teaching spaces and facilities are some of the best in the region, providing stimulating and true-to-life learning environments. 


We’ll provide you with the experiences you need to be ready for employment or the next step on your educational journey.

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