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  • Special Educational Needs & Inclusive Practice Foundation Degree FdA

Special Educational Needs & Inclusive Practice Foundation Degree FdA

Why choose this course?

Do you work in an early years setting, school or alternative provision for children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities? Do you wish to gain a qualification to enhance your practice? If so, this two-year sector-endorsed foundation degree is ideal. You'll study theories of child development, legislative frameworks governing practice, multi-professional perspectives, and working with families and carers.

This course enables you to combine academic study with work-based learning, and is delivered at three partner colleges so you can study close to your work place and/or home. It is suitable for those working with children and young people with additional learning needs in a range of settings including early years, primary, secondary, post-compulsory education and Pupil Referral Units.

Where taught Attendance UCAS code Campus code Year of entry
Brooklands College – Weybridge campus 2 years full time (employment based) X360 L 2019
Kingston College 2 years full time (employment based) X360 K 2019
Whitefield Academy Trust 2 years full time (employment based) X360 X 2019

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); Kingston College; Whitefield Academy Trust

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • You'll be able to learn as you earn, combining workplace learning with part-time study at a local college.
  • Once you complete this foundation degree, you can take a further year's study and top-up your qualification to a BA (Hons) degree at Kingston University.
  • 90 per cent of students from this course are in employment or further study six months after graduating (DHLE 2016/17).

What you will study

The course covers theories of child development, current legislative frameworks governing practice, multi-professional perspectives, and working with families and carers.

Year 1

Year 2

In Year 1, you will build on your existing knowledge and experience of working with children and your people with special educational needs and disabilities and develop your academic writing and research skills.

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 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.

Learning, Teaching and Development in the Field of Special and Inclusive Education

30 credits

This module introduces students to the development of children from birth to 25. The content explores factors that may affect children's learning and development and how this is effectively monitored and reported. Students will examine theories, legislation and techniques of data gathering and relate these specifically to practice.

Inclusive Practice

30 credits

This module provides an exciting opportunity for students to undertake visits to investigate how inclusion is interpreted in other educational settings. Students will be encouraged to explore and critically examine the principles of inclusion. They will examine the impact of theory and legislation on professional practice and identify strategies to meet the individual needs of children and young people in their educational settings.

In Year 2, you will further your knowledge and expertise, learning about international perspectives and conduct your own research project.

Core modules

Effective Communication Skills

30 credits

This module enables students to identify and develop effective communication skills for different audiences and different contexts. Students will explore theory underpinning the acquisition of effective communication skills through a variety of written, verbal, visual and auditory media. Students will have the opportunity to practice the development of communication skills through the use of different contexts such as role play scenarios, reports and presentations. 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 early years roles and responsibilities.

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.

International Systems to Support Learning

30 credits

This module introduces students to the international influences of systems and 'tools for learning' that have been designed to support the learning and development of children and young people who have a range of difficulties. Students will have the opportunity to research different systems and to critically evaluate their use within the English educational system through discussion and debate within organised seminars and group workshops. Students will have the opportunity to visit other settings where the use of internationally developed systems is used. Students will be able to investigate how the systems may have been adapted or amended and examine with other practitioners their effectiveness in supporting children's learning and development.

Leadership in the Field of Special and Inclusive Education

30 credits

This module offers the students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of leadership theory and how this applies to their professional role in the work place. Students will examine issues relating to personal values and beliefs that may impact upon their ability to lead and support others in the field of special educational needs and inclusive practice. Students will be encouraged to evaluate the methods, strategies and approaches that they use to manage themselves and others.

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

  • A relevant level 3 qualification in early years (or equivalent)
  • Employment in an appropriate setting (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.

Teaching and assessment

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

Type of teaching and learning Year 1 Year 2
% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity: 86.7% 50%
Scheduled teaching and learning: 1040 hours 600 hours
Guided independent study: 160 hours 344 hours
Placement: 512 hours -

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules. 

How you will be assessed

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

Progress is measured through 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, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Type of assessment Year 1 Year 2
Coursework 100% 100%

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?

This course is taught at one of our partner colleges. Benefits of studying at a partner college include access to specialist facilities and being able to study locally whilst working towards a university qualification.

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


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.


The Kingston Hill campus features an outdoor learning environment where trainee teachers lead curriculum-linked natural sciences activities with children. It includes a specially built 'cubby house', outdoor pond, beehive and nature trail. It offers early years students the opportunity to simulate teaching and learning with natural materials.

There are a number of teaching rooms set up to replicate actual classrooms. Each classroom is subject based - such as an art room, science lab, and each is equipped with all the relevant facilities you will need to practise your lessons before taking them into school.

Our library (the Nightingale Centre) has an excellent range of teaching resources to help you plan and teach your lessons, such as a range of children's topic books, music and nursery rhymes on CD, as well as artefacts and kits that can be used to illustrate historical periods, different religions, science, maths and music.


After you graduate

This qualification is valued by employers and is a mark of your professional excellence and expertise, enabling you to develop your career.

Your course will be delivered at your local college. Candidates who successfully complete the foundation degree can take a further year's study and top-up their qualification to a BA(Hons) degree at Kingston University.

Once you have completed your FdA followed by the BA(Hons) top-up, you will be well-placed to pursue postgraduate opportunities. Many students 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 masters qualifications such as the MRes at Kingston University, subject to meeting course requirements.

Please note: to progress to EYTS or QTS, you will need GCSE (A* - C or comparable numeric scores under the newly reformed GCSE gradings) in English Language, Maths and Science.

What our students say

The SENIP degree is run by very experienced lecturers that not only bring deep academic knowledge, but a significant amount of experience from a wide range of settings, all of which bring this course to life in a meaningful way. By the end of year two of the SENIP foundation degree, this course enabled me to get a fantastic job as a Learning Mentor, and I use what I have learned on the course practically every day. The combination of weekly lectures that are aligned with the work experience make this the perfect way to study, and I would recommend this course to others."

Diane, Special Educational Needs & Inclusive Practice Foundation Degree FdA

Undergraduate study
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