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  • Early Years: Leadership & Management Foundation Degree FdA

Early Years: Leadership & Management Foundation Degree FdA

Why choose this course?

This Sector-Endorsed Foundation Degree in Early Years (SEFDEY) approved course is ideal if you work in an early years setting and currently hold a leadership or management role, or aspire to do so in the future.

You will build leadership skills through a combination of academic study and work-based learning.

You will study a broad range of knowledge, skills and strategies in relevant aspects of education, health and social care, and have the opportunity to draw on your practical experience whilst engaging in a diverse range of theoretical and philosophical debates.

Where taught Attendance UCAS code Campus code Year of entry
Kingston College 2 years full time (employment based) XN12 K 2019
NEWTEC 2 years full time (employment based) XN12 U 2019

This course is taught through a choice of two of our partner institutions: Kingston College and NEWTEC. Please apply for this course via the UCAS website using the relevant code. You must also contact your chosen college directly.

Location Kingston College and NEWTEC

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • You can learn as you earn. The course combines a minimum of 16 hours workplace learning with part-time study at a local college and selected sessions at Kingston University.
  • Rather than written exams, you'll be assessed by a variety of assignments.
  • On successful completion, you'll have gained 240 credits, enabling you to progress to a work-based learning BA (Hons) top-up programme within the same sector.

What you will study

This course covers a wide range of theoretical perspectives in the field of leadership and management. It includes aspects of education, health and social care which are relevant and necessary for leading and managing in the early years sector. It provides a route into higher education for experienced and committed early years practitioners wanting to progress from level 3 to a foundation degree.

Year 1

Year 2

In Year 1, you will explore reflexive practice, child development and assessment and child protection.

Core modules

Personal and Professional Development Through Reflective Practice

30 credits

The content will examine the knowledge and skills required of 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 seven 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 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, their families and other professionals to ensure that the child's needs are met.

Leadership and Management of Identity

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for students taking the Foundation Degree in Early Years Leadership and Management. This module offers students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of leadership and management theory and how this applies to their personal perspectives and experiences in the work place. Students will examine issues relating to personal influences with particular emphasis on the development of their professional identity. The students will evaluate the methods, strategies and approaches that they use to manage themselves.

In Year 2, you will learn about leadership and management in the Early Years Setting and organisations, early years pedagogy and practice and conduct a special 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.

Leadership and Management of the Early Years Setting

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for students taking the Foundation Degree in Early Years Management and Leadership. It explores leadership and management issues in order to enhance quality assurance and to support change that may improve the educational experiences of children in the early years setting. The module content encourages students to identify their settings' needs and to work collaboratively with the staff, other professionals, children and their families in order to devise and implement an action plan for creating improvement and change.

Leadership and Management of the Organisation

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for students taking the Foundation Degree in Early Years Management and Leadership. Students will be introduced to theory and research that explores the leadership and management of early years and other educational organisations in order to support professional and business development. The module content will examine issues such as marketing, service user requirements, finance relating to budgeting, cash flow and profit as well as how to design and create a business plan.

Special Project

30 credits

The module enables students to utilise their Personal Development Plan in order to extend their professional development in a chosen area of practice within the early years field. 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 young children.

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

Typical Offer

  • 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 setting

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 actively welcome applications from mature students from a variety of backgrounds. 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

Teaching and assessment

Teaching includes lectures, work-based learning activities, tutorials, online learning, workshops and seminars. You will also be supported by a work-based professional advocate.

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

Year 1
% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity: 87%
Scheduled teaching and learning: 1040 hours
Guided independent study: 160 hours

How you will be assessed

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.

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows:

Year 1    
100% coursework

Year 2    
100% coursework    

Feedback summary

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

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Who teaches this course?

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £5,300*
International Year 1 (2019/20): £14,200
Year 2 (2020/21): £14,600
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year.

You should be aware that if you progress to the BA(Hons) top-up, the fee for the top-up year for home (UK and EU) students is the standard undergraduate fee, currently £9,250  for the 2019/20 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

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

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.

Many graduates return to Kingston University for postgraduate and continuing professional development studies including 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 MA studies.

Types of jobs

  • Creche manager
  • Extended school co-ordinator
  • Nursery supervisor
  • Room supervisor
  • Nursery manager
  • Sub-committee manager


  • Little Butterfly Nursery
  • Royal Marsden Hospital
  • Oasis Pre-School
  • St Clement Nursery School
  • Lyne and Longcross Nursery
  • Pre-School Learning Alliance

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).

Undergraduate study
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