Early Years, Foundation degree

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.

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

Please note: All UK HE providers are required to register with the newly-created Office for Students (OfS) for the 2019/20 application cycle. All courses offered are subject to OfS confirming HSDC as a provider, expected September 2018.

Type of study
Full-Time, Higher Education, Part-Time
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)
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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 child minders)
•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)
•Be able to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written standard English
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 childhood worker. 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.

You will study a range of modules each year including:

 Year One: Semester 1 

  • Developing Academic Skills
  • Child Development
  • Working in Partnership with Families

Year One: Semester 2

  • Learning through Play
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Reflective Practice

Year Two: Semester 1

  • Inspiring curriculum
  • Understanding Children’s Behaviour
  • International Perspectives of childhood

Year Two: Semester 2

  • Working with Babies
  • Research Methods
  • Health and Wellbeing of Young Children

This is a two year programme which is delivered on one day per week (Friday from September 2019). It has a practical, vocational focus to the study of Early Years working and provides grounding in social science perspectives to inform practice.

It 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.

How to apply

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My time at the college was definitely life changing, I have learnt a lot of new skills, and obviously it’s a completely new experience. The support was great, there was always people there to help and try make it as easy as they can for you. The college is really fantastic, it has helped me on the way to get to what I want to achieve within my career goals.

Erin Morgan, BTEC student

College is definitely worth all the effort you put in, you get to meet lots of different people and it’s amazing.

Ebony Puttock, A Level student

The college is a bright and happy place, everyone is kind and friendly to each other.

Megan Hall, A Level student


The programme is designed to support the development of the role of the early childhood worker through an intermediate level of study. On successful completion, students can continue their studies to a full degree by taking the Early Childhood Studies top-up programme, progressing on to the PGCE leading to Qualified Teaching Status to become an early years teacher.