Early Years Foundation Degree FdA

Why choose this course?

This Sector-Endorsed Foundation Degree in Early Years (SEFDEY) approved course combines academic study with work-based learning. It is run in collaboration with partner colleges across London and Surrey.

The course covers a wide range of critical and contemporary issues in the field of education and other related sectors. It explores international perspectives, child protection, communication theories and multi-professional practice. You will examine theoretical and practice-based knowledge to support approaches to working with children from birth to five years of age in a variety of settings.

The course enables you to combine academic study with work-based learning.

On successful completion of the Early Years Foundation Degree students can progress onto a work-based learning BA (Hons) Top Up programme within the same sector.

Where taught Attendance UCAS code Campus code Year of entry
Brooklands College – Weybridge campus 2 years full time (employment based) X110 L 2020 (Clearing)
Kensington and Chelsea College 2 years full time (employment based) X110 T 2020 (Clearing)
Kingston College 2 years full time (employment based) X110 K 2020 (Clearing)
NESCOT 2 years full time (employment based) X110 O 2020 (Clearing)
Richmond College 2 years full time (employment based) X110 R 2020 (Clearing)
South Thames College 2 years full time (employment based) X110 S 2020 (Clearing)
West Thames College 2 years full time (employment based) X110 W 2020 (Clearing)
Whitefield Academy Trust 2 years full time (employment based) X110 X 2020 (Clearing)

Please apply for this course via the UCAS website using the relevant code. You must also contact your chosen college directly.

Location Brooklands College (Weybridge campus); Kensington and Chelsea College; Kingston College; NESCOT; NEWTEC (East London Childcare Institute); Richmond upon Thames College; South Thames College; West Thames College; Whitefield Academy Trust

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • More than 99 per cent of students from this course are in employment or further study six months after graduating (DHLE 2016/17).
  • You can learn while you earn, combining a minimum of 16 hours' workplace learning with part-time study at a local college. Once you complete the course you'll have 240 academic credits.
  • Rather than written exams, you'll be assessed through a variety of assignments.

What you will study

This course combines work-based practice with theoretical knowledge, covering a wide range of perspectives and current issues in the field of education and other related sectors, relevant for those working in early years settings. You will also explore international perspectives and latest developments within the field of early years. It provides a route into higher education for experienced and committed early years practitioners, enabling you to progress from level 3 to a foundation degree.

Year 1

Year 2

In Year 1, you will develop your reflexive practice while learning about childhood development, child protection and inclusive practice.

Core modules

Personal and Professional Development Through Reflective Practice

30 credits

The content will examine the knowledge and skills required in higher education and will explore the meaning of academic terminology. Students will examine what constitutes reflective practice in a work based environment and will be encouraged to identify their previous knowledge and experience and to recognise intrinsic and extrinsic influences on their practice. The main features of the module include the introduction of theory and the interface with work based learning. Students will be supported in recognising their strengths and areas for enhancement enabling them to reflect on their professional development.

Child Development, Observation and Assessment

30 credits

This module offers students the opportunity to examine in detail child development theories and key influential pioneers of current practice. They will explore a range of relevant formative and summative assessment techniques in order to identify and plan for learning and developmental pathways within statutory curriculum guidance for children from birth to five years of age.

Child Protection and Ethical Practices of Working With Children

30 credits

This module introduces students to the legal and ethical requirements for ensuring that all children and young people are protected and make progress in learning and development. Students will examine challenging case studies and will explore strategies for communicating and working effectively with children and young people, their families/carers and other professionals to ensure that their needs are met.

Inclusive Education and Interprofessional Perspectives

30 credits

This module introduces students to the statutory requirements for ensuring that children who have additional needs continue to make progress through the curriculum. It explores strategies for target setting and for communicating and working effectively with children, their parents and other professionals to ensure that the child's developmental needs are met. The module also raises awareness of the impact inclusion can have on working practices and procedures.

In Year 2, you will learn about international and historical perspectives, effective communication, early years pedagogy and planning as well as carry out a small scale research project.

Core modules

Historical and International Perspectives of Early Years Education

30 credits

This module is an exciting opportunity for students to explore key influencing historical and international theories and systems that are evident in current early years practice. The programme has been designed to enhance students' skills in research and critical analysis enabling them to make informed contributions to lively debate and discussion recognising aspects of their practice that may have originated from authoritative historical and international influences.

Early Years Pedagogy and Practice

30 credits

The module critically evaluates effective pedagogy and practice with theoretical underpinning in the Early Years. Students will be encouraged to examine a range of teaching and learning approaches and consider how these can enhance their practice. Students will engage in planning and evaluating learning activities in order to maximise children's potential. In addition they will explore how professional practice may be enhanced through critical awareness and analysis of support systems such as ICT.

Effective Communication Skills

30 credits

This module provides students with the opportunity to develop effective communication skills for different audiences and contexts. Students will explore theory underpinning the acquisition of effective communication skills through a variety of written, verbal, visual and auditory media. Students will learn through a range of exciting teaching and learning approaches. The module will enable students to recognise the flexibility required to address different contextual situations and to develop the communication skills necessary to meet the demands of various roles and responsibilities.


Special Project

30 credits

The module enables students to extend their professional development in a chosen area of practice within the field of special educational needs and inclusive practice. The module supports students to implement an independent, systematic enquiry in order to critically reflect upon an aspect of pedagogy and/or practice and to initiate changes that may improve the educational experiences of children and young people.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

If you would like to join us through Clearing 2020, please call our Clearing hotline on 0800 0483 334 (or +44 020 8328 1149 if you are calling from outside the UK) and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable hotliners who will be able to provide information on available courses and will guide you through your options.

Please note the entry requirements listed below are for 2021 entry only.

Typical offer 2020

  • Level 3 early years qualification (or equivalent)
  • Employment in an appropriate setting (either paid or voluntary) for at least 16 hours per week for the duration of the course
  • Normally two years' experience in an appropriate early years setting

Entry requirements 2021

Level 3 (or equivalent) qualification in Early Years or relevant subject. Work experience in a relevant setting. Employment in an appropriate early years setting (paid or voluntary) for at least 16 hours per week for duration of the course. Enhanced DBS check and selection exercises. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview.

Additional requirements

The selection process involves interview at your chosen college, selection exercises and a current DBS check.

Alternative routes

We will consider a range of alternative qualifications or experience that is equivalent to the typical offer.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is offered for those who are unsure of the current value of their qualifications. We are seeking people who wish to enthuse and motivate young children as well as developing further their own knowledge, skills and understanding in young children's care and education.


International students who have the necessary visa/permit to work in the UK are welcome to apply. Please note the course does not meet the criteria for UK Tier 4 student visa. If you are unsure of the current immigration rules, please contact our CAS and Visa Compliance team at UKVI@kingston.ac.uk.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching includes lectures, work-based learning activities, presentations, tutorials, online learning, workshops and seminars. In addition, you will be supported by a work-based professional advocate and tutors in your respective colleges, with occasional attendance at Kingston University. Progress is measured by assignments, demonstration of professional competence in work-based situations, and practical demonstrations that apply the knowledge you have gained. There are no written exams.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas. 

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University. 

Your workload

You are required to spend a minimum of 16 hours per week in an Early Years setting. The practice learning provides important opportunities to work collaboratively with children, parents, peers and other colleagues.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 1
  • Field work: 512 hours
  • Scheduled teaching: 344 hours
  • Guided independent study: 344 hours
Year 2
  • Field work: 512 hours
  • Scheduled teaching: 344 hours
  • Guided independent study: 344 hours


  • Year 1 - 29% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
  • Year 2 - 29% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

How you will be assessed

Assessment is coursework based, including presentations, essays, reports, child studies, self-assessment and a special project. 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 1
  • Coursework: 100%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 100%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Students studying at partner colleges will receive their timetable from the respective colleges. Please contact your college for further details regarding your timetable.

Who teaches this course?

Course fees and funding

2020/21 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a ‘Home' (UK or EU) or ‘International' student. In 2020/21 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £6,000*
International Year 1 (2020/21): £14,600
Year 2 (2021/22): £15,000

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home/EU tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

You should be aware that if you progress directly to the BA (Hons) top-up, the fee for the top-up year for home (UK and EU) students is a reduced fee of £7,300. This only applies to foundation degree students from our franchise partners who progress directly from the FdA to the Top-Up. If there is a break between the two courses then the full fee will apply, currently £9,250 for the 2020/21 academic year.

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials, security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses.


In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.


Travel costs are not included but we do have a free inter-site bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies for 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting in 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

After you graduate

Once you have completed this FdA, followed by the BA(Hons) top-up, you will be well-placed to pursue postgraduate opportunities and enhance your professional development in education and related fields.

Types of jobs

  • Early Years Professional
  • Early Years Room Leader
  • Outreach Worker
  • Early Years Manager
  • Early Years Adviser
  • Learning Support
  • Play Worker
  • Primary Teacher (following postgraduate training)
  • Higher Level Teaching Assistant
  • Community based Nursery Nurse
  • Family Support Workers
  • Unqualified Teachers
  • Training and development advisers within day care settings/local authorities



  • Surrey County Council
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
  • Royal Borough of Kingston
  • London Borough of Wandsworth
  • London Borough of Merton
  • London Borough of Enfield
  • State and Independent Primary Schools
  • Multi Academy Trusts
  • Early Years and Nursery Settings
  • NHS
  • Children's Centres
  • Refugee provision
  • Charities and non-government organisations

Many graduates return to Kingston University for postgraduate and continuing professional development studies. These include Early Years Initial Teacher Training leading to Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS), the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and MRes (Education).

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).