Early Years

Foundation Degree (University of Chichester)

children playing with building blocks

Availability & Details

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

South Downs Campus

Type of study
Full-Time, Higher Education, UCAS

Academic Year 2021-22 (2 years)

Examination board
Awarded by University of Chichester

How to apply

Contact us



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 is aimed at those working in a variety of early years settings. These include children’s centres, pre-schools, nurseries, infant schools, 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. You will 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. 


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 your 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 your 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 1:

  • 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 2:

  • 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. You will be 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.

“HSDC provided me with the opportunity for autonomous study and the choice of subjects that I wanted to study, which helped me develop relevant knowledge as well as relevant skills for the workplace.”

Lucas Ratcliffe, A Level and CTEC student

There are great teachers here. This college has felt more like a university than a school, and it’s definitely lived up to that more grown-up feel.

Vicky Lipscombe, A Level student

I’m very, very happy, I didn’t expect to do so well. The College has been helpful and supportive. I loved my courses, and the teachers were really good – every single one of them. The facilities are great, but it’s the staff that really make this place.

Matthew Randell, A Level student