FdEd Children’s Development & Learning

“The Foundation Degree gave me a sense of personal achievement; improved confidence when watching and responding to children’s play and improved confidence when working in partnership with others (children, families and colleagues). All of these things shot my self-esteem and sense of wellbeing through the roof!”

Former student, Foundation Degree in Children’s Development and Learning

Why study at BCA?

It is our aim to help every student gain the sense of achievement described above by a former Children’s Development and Learning student.

Aimed at education practitioners who are working with children up to the age of 11, the University of Reading has partnered with BCA to offer a course that will allow you to continue to work whilst developing the skills you need to progress in your chosen career.

As a vocational programme, the course is work-based and your assignments and lessons are all designed to benefit your professional development. You’ll build upon your experience through modules in areas such as child development, safeguarding, creativity and critical thinking, and working in partnership with parents.

College sessions include tutorials and seminars as well as lectures, the aim being to support learners through a range of theory and hands-on practical sessions.

In group work, you will also have the opportunity to share experiences with fellow professionals working in a range of settings.

Graduates are well-placed to take on increased responsibility within the workplace, including management roles, and to study for further professional qualifications. For example, you could take a year-long top-up course (based on 1 day’s attendance each week at the University of Reading) to turn your Foundation Degree into a BA. In turn, this will give you further opportunities for professional development, gaining Early Years Teacher Status or Qualified Teacher Status for example.

Awarding body: The University of Reading





Available Courses

  • Foundation Degree in Children's Development and Learning

    About the course

    The FdEd Children’s Development and Learning is a work-based programme which will provide students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to progress in their chosen career, without having to give up employment in order to study. It is validated as a Level 5 award and requires you to attend for half a day each week during term time, for two years.

    There is plenty of support available to help you get the most out of your course. You will be allocated a personal tutor who will have regular one-to-one meetings with you. You’ll also nominate someone from within your own workplace, such as a manager or colleague, to become your mentor. Additionally, you’ll benefit from small learning groups and access to facilities at both BCA and the University of Reading.

    UCAS Course code


    Teaching and Assessment

    Students attend College for one afternoon into early-evening session a week. Teaching is through lectures, seminars and workshops, and makes full use of the University of Reading virtual learning platform (Blackboard) for extending discussions and sharing resources. Trips and visits are organised throughout the course to enhance learning.

    A range of course work is used for assessment – essays, presentations, reports and articles. Each module also has an element of work-based assessment through guided professional discussion. The optional modules are taught using blended learning methods of teaching and assessment.

    Course Content

    Year 1 (Level 4)

    Core modules

    • Theories of Development and Learning
    • Professionalism in the Children’s Workforce
    • The Child in Society (1)
    • Working in Partnerships with Parents
    • Learning Spaces
    • Effective Communication

    Year 2 (Level 5)               

    Core modules

    • Action Research
    • The Child in Society (2)
    • Creativity and Critical Thinking
    • Supporting Development and Learning for 0-11 years

    Optional modules

    • International Perspectives
    • Leadership in the Children’s Workforce

    Academic Progression Opportunities

    There is guaranteed progression to the BA in Children’s Development and Learning at the University of Reading on successful completion of the Foundation Degree. Progression to Early Years Professional Status (EYPS), Higher Level Teaching Assistant, or Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is possible through further work-based study at the University of Reading.

    Course fees and costs

    Fees due for payment on enrolment are:

    • Course fee: £4,625 per year of study
    • Facilities fee: currently £45 per year of study

    Loans are available through the Student Loans Company. Students will only be required to start repayments once they are earning over £21,000 per annum. Bursaries and funding may be available through local authorities and some employers offer financial support.

    A recommended reading list will be provided to successful applicants; purchase of key texts is advised.

    Is an interview required?


    Is fee remission available?


    How do I apply?

    Apply online here.

    Entry Requirements

    All applicants must be 18 years or above working at least 2.5 days a week in a relevant setting within the sector.

    Applicants are normally expected to have obtained:

    • English Language GCSE Grade C (or 4) or Level 2 equivalent
    • Maths GCSE Grade C (or 4) or Level 2 equivalent
    • NQF Level 3 qualification in a work-related area
    • At least two years’ experience of working directly with children within the Children’s Workforce, for example, in a registered early years setting or in a school as a teaching assistant (this may include voluntary work and/or a placement completed as part of a vocational qualification)

    Please note:

    Any candidate who does not fully meet the entry criteria (for example, who does not have maths GCSE, a vocational qualification, or the specified amount of full-time work experience but has significant part-time work placement and/or volunteering experience and is able to demonstrate their ability to produce written work to the required level) is invited to submit their application.

    All candidates will be invited for interview as part of the application process.

    Course Duration

    Two Years (full time)