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Early Years Foundation Degree (Flexible and Distributed Learning Pathway)

What makes Early Years at Worcester special?

This flexible degree option allows you to study online and meet face to face at the University eight times per year.       

The programme has been designed to meet the needs of students wishing to enter the profession, as well as those already working in the sector who would like to enhance their skills or progress their careers. You may be looking to develop a leadership role within early years or to progress to a teaching career. If so, this is the ideal vocational route.

Key features

  • 96% of students in work or undertaking further study upon completion of their degree  
  • Enhancement of your academic and professional development. The Foundation Degree provides opportunities to progress to higher level qualifications and early years teacher training, as well as providing theoretical insights that can make an immediate impact on your professional practice and develop your leadership potential
  • Opportunity to progress to a BA Top-up degree and to Early Years Teaching
  • A non-standard entry route for experienced practitioners
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Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?


UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

32 UCAS Tariff points

  • Acceptable qualifications include a minimum of 1 A Level and maximum of 3 1/2 A Levels or an equivalent Level 3 qualification, for example the CACHE Diploma or EdExcel BTEC  National Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development.      
  • Evidence of level 2 Literacy is required, for example key skills or functional skills at level 2 or GCSE English language at Grade C/4 or above.  If you do not have evidence of Literacy at level 2, it will be necessary to complete a non-standard entry essay to demonstrate competence in written English.
  • Current police clearance to work with young children (DBS check). Relevant forms will be sent by admissions on receipt of a firm acceptance of an offer of a place on the course.
  • A testimony / reference that supports the your suitability for the course.

Practitioners who do not hold the qualifications outlined above will be considered on the basis of prior professional experience and related learning.

Other information

The University of Worcester is committed to offering education to a diverse range of applicants. If you have prior learning (APL) which includes accreditation of certificated learning (APCL) and experiential learning (APEL) you may be able to use these to gain credits towards the Foundation Degree.

For information on eligibility for accreditation of prior learning for the purposes of entry or advanced standing place contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111.       

The following are required for both standard and non-standard entry:

  • A statement of support from your current employer to provide the time, opportunity and support for work-based requirements and release to attend university-based study
  • A testimony from an appropriately qualified referee
  • Evidence of current police check (DBS) clearance to work with young children

Practice learning can be supported within a range of early years settings, including children’s centres and childminders and schools.

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Course content

What will you study?

Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ.

Year 1

  • Understanding Children's Learning & Development
  • Supporting Learning & Development in Practice
  • Protecting & Safeguarding: Working Together for the Child
  • Working Together to Develop Positive Environments
  • Quality Enhancement in Early Childhood & Care
  • Supporting Children's Learning & Development
  • Reflecting, Learning & Responding: Practice & Self

In the final year, you have the opportunity to engage in a small scale enquiry focused upon enhancing quality within your workplace

More course information

The course adopts a child-centred approach to Early Years and a holistic view of the child. It provides a framework for academic and professional skills development. Your learning is embedded within your developing knowledge, understanding and experience in practice. The programme, which sits within a culture of inter-agency and multi-professional team working, seeks to develop you as a reflective practitioner capable of making a positive impact upon the children, families and communities with whom you work. A range of learning, teaching and assessment methods are used to support your professional and academic development through the course, with a strong emphasis upon e-learning.

The course interweaves the three strands of personal and professional development, theory and practice, and practice/work-based enquiry, underpinned by the study skills necessary to succeed at University. This interconnected approach is reflected in a range of assignments that depend upon self-study, encouraging the consideration of a variety of perspectives and the development of critical skills in relation to theory applied to practice. Individual modules address childhood and the child as learner, curriculum planning, collaboration with parents, positive learning environments, and safeguarding children. In the final year students are required to engage in a small-scale enquiry focused upon enhancing quality within your own workplace.

The course is designed to be work-based, enabling you to work alongside professionals in the field. It is ideally suited for those who are already working in Early Years settings as either employed, voluntary or placement experience as it can be achieved on a part-time basis.

All of the tutors are very supportive and you are also supported by other students on the course; you never feel that you are on your own.

Early Years FdA student

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

Flexible and Distributed Learning

Early Years Foundation Degree (Flexible and Distributed Programme) is a flexible option. Which allows students the opportunity to study online and meet face to face at the University eight times per year. High level of support is available through the Virtual Learning Environment.

This mode of delivery involves a blended learning approach i.e. a combination of some face to face learning opportunities with a significant amount of study time online, in the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Blackboard. Students choosing to study in this mode require a basic level of ICT competence and computer and software which enables access to information via the VLE and the web.

Students will be study a maximum of three modules part-time, and four modules full-time, across the academic year.

For the Flexible and Distributed Programme an audit of IT skills will be conducted at the interview. Details of this audit will be sent to you on confirmation of your interview.


A variety of assessment methods both practical and theoretical.

There are no formal examinations: assessment is made by submission of assignments that link directly to practice and lead to improving quality for children and families.



Where could it take you?


Those graduating from the degree programme may apply to study for an Honours degree in Integrated Working with Children & Families BA (Hons) Top-up degree or other related subjects from which it is possible to apply for a PGCE (Qualified Teacher Status) course and Early Years Teacher Status, providing you also have English, Mathematics and Science at GCSE Grade C or above (for PGCE). It is also a suitable basis for a range of careers in social work, children’s charities, nurseries, day-care, schools and the Health Service.

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How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2018/19 is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for part-time UK and EU students registering on this foundation degree in the academic year 2018/19 is £2,313 per 30 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, stationery, printing and photocopying.

Travel costs for placements vary depending on the location of school or setting and your mode of transport.


All eligible students should be entitled to a student loan to cover the cost of their fees. Find out more about student finance.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £98 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £159 per week.

For full details visit our accommodation page.


How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

The Flexible and Distributed Pathway can be studied part-time or full-time.  How you apply depends upon which option you choose.

Apply via UCAS using the UCAS code X312



Apply now via UCAS

Part-time applications

If you would like to apply to study this course part time, please complete our online application form.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111  

Course Leader

Janet Harvell
01905 542626