Early Years Foundation Degree FdA

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award

Our commitment to high quality teaching has been recognised with a TEF Gold rating. The University has received an overall rating of Gold, as well as securing a Gold award in the framework's two new student experience and student outcomes categories.

Why choose this course?

This Sector-Endorsed Foundation Degree in Early Years (SEFDEY) approved course enables you to combine academic study with learning at your place of work. It's run in collaboration with partner colleges and institutions across London and Surrey, which means you can study at a location that suits you.

The course covers a wide range of critical and contemporary issues in the field of Early Years education. It explores the voice of the child, international perspectives, child protection, pedagogical approaches, communication theories and multi-professional practice.

You'll reflect on theoretical and practice-based knowledge to support approaches to working with children from birth to five, with an appreciation of ages up to eight years.

If you do not already hold Early Years Educator Status from your Level 3 qualification, we offer the Early Years (with Early Years Educator) pathway which is classified as a 'full and relevant' qualification by the Department for Education (UCAS code: X120).

Once you complete this course, you can top-up your qualification to a full BA (Hons) degree, through one year's study at Kingston.

Click on the link below to apply for this course.

Course Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
Early Years FdA 2 years full time (employment-based with part-time attendance at partner college) X110 2024
Early Years (with Early Years Educator) FdA 2 years full time (employment-based with part-time attendance at partner college) X120 2024

Locations and contact details for the colleges that teach this course >

Location Brooklands College (Weybridge campus) (L); Morley College (formerly known as Kensington and Chelsea College) North Kensington Campus (N); Kingston College (K); Reach Academy Feltham (9); Letta Trust (East London) (8); Richmond upon Thames College (R); West Thames College (Isleworth Campus) (W); Flourish Learning Trust (formerly Whitefield Academy Trust, Walthamstow) (X)

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course is recognised as a 'full and relevant' qualification by the Department for Education, valued by employers.
  • You can earn while you learn. This course combines workplace learning (a minimum of 16 hours per week) with part-time study at a local partner institute (1 session a week). Once you complete the course, you'll have 240 academic credits.
  • You will be assessed through a variety of assignments. There are no written exams.

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

Professional Development through Reflective Practice

30 credits

The content will explore the knowledge and skills required of higher education and will examine the meaning of academic terminology. Students will explore 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.

Reflective Professional Practice Record (Non-credit bearing module)

0 credits

This module promotes reflection on your existing and developing knowledge, attitude, skills and behaviours (KASB) that are required to successfully work within an Early Years provision with children up to the age of 8. It enables you to record your growth, achievement and professional attributes developed over time and in collaboration with others. Your Reflective Professional Practice Record (RPPR) should be regularly reviewed and discussed with your workplace's Critical Professional Associate (CPA) and your tutor(s). The RPPR is required for you to meet the Early Years Educator (EYE) criteria.

Level 4.

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.

Reflective Professional Practice Record (Non-credit bearing module)

credits

This module promotes reflection on your existing and developing knowledge, attitude, skills and behaviours (KASB) that are required to successfully work within an Early Years provision with children up to the age of 8. It enables you to record your growth, achievement and professional attributes developed over time and in collaboration with others. Your Reflective Professional Practice Record (RPPR) should be regularly reviewed and discussed with your workplace's Critical Professional Associate (CPA) and your tutor(s).

Level 5.

Future Skills

Knowledge to give you the edge

Embedded within every course curriculum and throughout the whole Kingston experience, Future Skills will play a role in shaping you to become a future-proof graduate, providing you with the skills most valued by employers such as problem-solving, digital competency, and adaptability.

As you progress through your degree, you'll learn to navigate, explore and apply these graduate skills, learning to demonstrate and articulate to employers how future skills give you the edge.

At Kingston University, we're not just keeping up with change, we're creating it.

A female engineering student, in the engineering lab.

Entry requirements

Typical offer 2024 Early Years FdA

  • Level 3 early years qualification with Early Years Educator Status.
  • Employment in an appropriate setting (either paid or voluntary) for at least 16 hours per week for the duration of the course.
  • Enhanced DBS check and selection exercises.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview.

Typical offer 2024 Early Years (with Early Years Educator) Pathway

If you do not hold Early Years Educator Status, please apply for this pathway.

UCAS tariff points: 72

A-levels:

  • DDD

T-level: 

  • Technical qualification in Education and Childcare or related subject and/or equivalent.

BTEC National Diploma

  • MPP in Level 3 National Diploma in Children's Play, Learning and Development and/or equivalent

Other qualifications

  • CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years, Level 3 Early Years Educator, Playwork, Children and Young People
  • NVQ Level 3 in an early years, health and social care or related subject and/or equivalent, working with children aged 0-8 years.
  • Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2 equating to a minimum of 72 UCAS points. Typical level requirements indicated. Health & Social Care, Education and Early Years subjects are desirable, however, we will consider other subjects at this level provided you have recent experience in an Early Years setting (either paid or voluntary).

Other requirements

  • English and Maths qualification: It is desirable, but not required for you to have a minimum of Level 2 Maths and English qualifications as defined by the Department for Education on the published Early Years Qualifications List. To count in the ratios at level 3, staff holding an Early Years Educator qualification must also have achieved a suitable level 2 qualification in English and Maths as defined by the Department for Education on the published Early Years Qualifications List. For further information, see both links below:
    Early years qualification finder
    What qualification levels mean
  • A minimum IELTS score of 6.5, TOEFL scores of 79 to 93 or equivalent is required for those for whom English is not their first language.
  • Employment in an appropriate setting (either paid or voluntary) for at least 16 hours per week for the duration of the course.*
  • Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview.
  • You will have to identify a Critical Professional Associate (Mentor) in the workplace who is qualified to Level 6 in a related field and who is willing to carry out workplace assessments. A mandatory training for the Critical Professional Associate will be provided by the University.

*It is normally expected that applicants should have prior experience in an appropriate setting prior to undertaking the Foundation Degree. However, Kingston University is committed to widening participation and encourages potential applicants who may not have 'typical' qualifications and/or experience to contact the Kingston Education Admissions Department for advice.

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

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 Student Route visa. If you are unsure of the current immigration rules, please contact our CAS and Visa Compliance team at UKVI@kingston.ac.uk.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Typical offer and UCAS points explained

Like most universities, we use the UCAS Tariff point system for our course entry requirements.

Find out more about UCAS Tariff points and see how A-level, AS level, BTEC Diploma and T-level qualifications translate to the points system.

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 (self-managed time)

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
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 344 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 344 hours
  • Field work: 512 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 344 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 344 hours
  • Field work: 512 hours

 

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

How you will be assessed

Assessment is coursework based, including presentations, essays, reports, child studies, self-assessment and a special project. You will also complete a portfolio of assessed practice (RPPR).

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.

Course fees and funding

2024/25 fees for this course

In 2024/25 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £7,000*

* 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 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.

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) 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 2024/25 academic year.

Eligible UK 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.

2023/24 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a ‘Home' (UK) or ‘International' student. In 2023/24 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £6,300*

* 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 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) 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 2022/23 academic year.

Eligible UK 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.

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 from the 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting after 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

Need to know more?

Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that 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, access to shared 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 (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

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 buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

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. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees; this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

After you graduate

Once you complete this course, you can top-up your qualification to a full BA (Hons) degree, through one year's study at Kingston. There are then various postgraduate and continuing professional development opportunities to further enhance your career.

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 worker
  • Unqualified teacher
  • Training and development adviser within day care settings/local authorities

Employers

 

  • 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).

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.