Foundation Degree Early Childhood

Early Childhood - Foundation

98% of UWTSD students at the School of Early Years were satisfied with their course – NSS 2017.

This is a part-time Foundation degree delivered in several local areas with tutors travelling to the community to teach a group of students. The course is designed for those working (or possibly volunteering) in early years based organisations who want to gain a higher education qualification related to early childhood.

The course is currently being run in Cardiff and Bridgend with a new group starting in Aberystwyth.

Key Facts

Institution Code: T80
Course Length:
3 years

Scholarships and Bursaries

School of Early Childhood
Contact Name:
Alison Rees Edwards
Contact Email:
Language Choice:
English   Welsh

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  • A real eye opener and door opener to the various careers that are there for guiding children’s futures, not just being a teacher.... and stressing the importance.

  • ‘Start wide, expand further and never look back’. A great course for workers who have experience, too. They stress the importance of the role of the child, and provide a wonderful experience studying and working. It offers an opportunity to develop a career and even for individual professional development. The course is an eye opener and really great. I’m enjoying and learning all the time.

  • I’ve really enjoyed the course. The content has opened my eyes to the field, with the history and developments to date. I’ve been inspired by all the experiences today to improve the experiences of the children I am working with. I want to thank our lecturers this year for offering us the course and the experiences.

  • Was feeling that my career was limited to being an assistant, but the course has opened a lot of new doors and I’m looking forward to the future.

  • I’ve learned so much in the first year. Time is short when you’re working and have a family but I have enjoyed a lot.

  • I’ve found the course to be most interesting, have learned a lot about how important are our jobs with the children in the school and our influence on child development. Enjoying the experiences of going to the various locations.

  • I have enjoyed and the course has inspired me to improve my Welsh and use the information in my job from day to day. Some modules have been challenging; I need to manage my time better! Thank you!

  • Now I understand after working with children for 12 years there is room to learn a lot more.

This part time Programme is taught one evening a week during twilight hours, enabling students to continue working while studying at the same time. We aim for students to be taught in community venues, allowing ease of access for local students. During their Foundation Degree study, students are required to undertake a minimum of 200 hours of work-based learning annually.

The course is delivered in a supportive and engaging environment and explores all aspects of a child’s wellbeing and holistic development. The degree explores the links between theory and practice with a strong emphasis on children’s wellbeing and development where students have an opportunity to link their own practical experience with developments in fields such as sociology, psychology, health and education.

The degree has a strong emphasis on practical, hands on learning and therefore is delivered with several opportunities for students to undertake practical activities which support the content of lectures. Outdoor learning and creative development are also strong themes within the degree and throughout your study there are opportunities for students to learn outdoors and to use their own ideas and initiative to undertake learning tasks.

During the 3 years of the Foundation degree you will study modules including:

  • The Healthy Child: wellbeing and attachment
  • Child Development
  • Young writers, young readers: introduction to early literacy        
  • Sums and Stuff:  early numeracy through play
  • Working together:  leadership skills for effective practice
  • Working effectively with young children: work based practice
  • Promoting Bilingualism and the use of Welsh in Early Childhood
  • Come rain or shine: young children learning outdoors

This is an ideal course for those already working / volunteering with young children who would like to be able to study at a higher level. It is delivered in your local community and therefore students can access quality higher education without having to travel long distances. The degree is designed to develop students’ research, evaluation and self-reflection skills so that they are well equipped to question and develop their own professional development. 

The hands on focus of the course and the opportunities for outdoor learning ensure that the academic content of the course is closely linked to practice. Students can therefore use their own experience and expertise to support lecture activities.

The course also provides opportunities to access workshops and visits by guest speakers.

The programme uses a range of assessment methods and tools so that all students are given opportunities to demonstrate their strengths and in order to promote their key skills and their employability.

Each module usually includes two pieces of course work that allow a student to demonstrate all their skills from their academic written skills through to oral presentation and debating skills. There are opportunities for group and paired course work tasks as well as individual assignments.

Generally, students will have attained or will be working towards a relevant level 3 childcare / education qualification such as NNEB, CACHE, BTEC, NVQ. They will also be working or volunteering regularly in an early years setting or a workplace that provides services for young children and families.

The programme ethos requires students to have and to develop good language skills.  This reflects the importance the programme puts on providing young children with positive language models.  All prospective students will therefore be interviewed and emphasis will be put on good oral skills.

All applicants will be required to provide a satisfactory enhanced disclosure document from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

For entry onto the Welsh medium FdA students will, in the main, be expected to be working in Welsh medium or bilingual early childhood provision.

This course offers the potential to progress to the final year of the BA Early Childhood.

The FdA would be a useful source of underpinning knowledge for the QCF Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Children's Care Learning and Development Services (Advanced Practice) CCLD Diploma.

The FdA degree could also allow students to develop their careers and use the qualification to access promotions or new job opportunities.

early ears info

The School of Early Years has a successful reputation for delivering high quality higher education. The School’s lecturers have a diverse range of expertise from previous careers including those who have worked as nursery and primary school personnel, , nursery owners and managers, police child protection officers, early childhood development officers and researchers. Lecturers also maintain close links with the early childhood sector in order to ensure students have the opportunity to link what they learn in University with the real issues in the workplace.

The School also has close ties with the local community and a strong focus on widening access so that non-traditional students are able to return to education.

Students who study the Foundation degree are provided with an innovative and exciting course, which is tailored to allow student to be involved and participate fully in their own learning so that they become confident gradates in the future.



“Brilliant to see how they (Sure Start) plan ‘A learning journey’. Useful craft and creative ideas to share back at school.”

“Very useful, excellent and inspiring environment/setting. Bookstart Cymru opened our eyes (statistics) to how important it is to read with very young children and babies. Sure Start – an energetic and inspirational speaker on the importance of a good start in life.”

“Fantastic! Gave/offered a lot of information on what we’re studying, the information can be helpful for assignments now and those to come. Very valuable and has inspired me on how important our job is.”

“A very useful afternoon. Wonderful to meet the people who are involved in the various programmes.”

“Have really enjoyed today. The setting is brilliant!”

“A wonderful setting with inspirational areas. I looked how they include natural material they have created e.g. toys from animals and real animals. The children seem to be happy and comfortable here.”

“A brilliant Centre, I have had a brilliant time and the staff have given us a wonderful welcome. Thanks a lot!”