Early Years

Foundation Degree (University of Chichester)

This foundation degree provides a broad perspective of working with children through early childhood up to eight years of age.

You will gain a sound understanding of the diverse contexts in which young children develop and learn. This course is delivered one day a week and aimed at those working in a variety of early settings. These include children’s centres, pre-schools, nurseries, children’s health services (such as speech and language therapy) and in social services early childhood centres.

This course allows you to explore aspects of Early Years and reflect on and develop your own personal practice. Students have access to excellent support and resources from both the College and the University of Chichester. Working in the sector alongside studying enables reflection and adds relevance to work. 

The University of Chichester is the awarding institution for this qualification. 


Type of study
Full-Time, Higher Education
Examination board
Awarded by Chichester University

Availability & Details

Early Childhood, Foundation Degree SF-EAYEFD-D(0000)000

South Downs Campus
Academic Year 2019-20 (2 years)

Applicants will:

• Be employed or doing voluntary work in an early years childcare setting for a minimum of 12 hours per week

• Have the support of their employer or voluntary setting (unless self-employed, for example childminders)

• Obtain a satisfactory enhanced DBS check

• Have suitable GCSEs

• Have a full Level 3 early years qualification (for example NVQ 3 in Children’s Care Learning and Development, BTEC National Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development, Level 3 Diploma in Children
for the Children and Young People’s Workforce or an Advanced Apprenticeship in Early Years, CACHE DCE) or an A Level programme

• Attend an interview

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) or Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) will be considered.

This course will develop students’ skills in the study of childhood from psychological, historical, cultural, sociological, social policy and philosophical viewpoints. Delivered through a combination of taught sessions and employer-supported work-based learning, this programme is designed to support students’ development as an early years practitioner.
This intermediate level study can also provide headway towards gaining a full degree in Early Childhood Studies, becoming an early years’ teacher or Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This course feeds into the BA top-up in Early Childhood which is also offered at HSDC.

Students on this course are expected to attend one day a week at College, alongside working in the sector. You will study a range of modules each year including:

Year One:

  • Developing Academic Skills
  • Child Development
  • Reflective Practice in Early Years Provision
  • Play, Provision and Pedagogy
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Working in Partnership with the Child’s Family

Year Two:

  • Research Methods
  • Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Care
  • Understanding Children’s Behaviour
  • Health and Well-being of Young Children
  • Researching Early Years
  • International Perspectives of Childhood
  • Inspiring Curriculum

This is a two year programme which is delivered on one day per week. It has a practical, vocational focus to the study of Early Years working and provides grounding in social science perspectives to inform practice.

The course is delivered partly through taught sessions and partly through employer-supported work-based learning. Students are taught in small groups and there is individual tutorial support to assist with the planning and checking of coursework.


You will be assessed by a variety of methods, including essays, reports, observations and poster presentations. You will be supported throughout and also be encouraged to monitor your own progress, giving you the opportunity to discuss any issues with your lecturers during the course.

This course leads to the BA top-up in Early Childhood which can lead to PGCE or Schools Direct routes into Primary Teaching. However, this qualification can lead to Management in the Early Years Sector or further qualifications leading to, for example, Speech Therapy, Play Therapy or Social Work. Careers Guidance is available for you to consider your options.

This course explores theories around different patterns of working in Early Years and makes links to excellent practice. Students work in a variety of different settings including schools, childminders or schools alongside studying and different approaches are compared and analysed. The course covers all aspects of working within the sector and prepares students towards management or further qualifications in this field.

How to apply

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