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What makes Early Years at Worcester special?

A child’s early years are a time of rapid development and discovery that can shape the rest of their life. As an early years professional, you have the chance to make a positive difference to the lives of the children, families and communities.

This sector-endorsed Foundation Degree has been designed to meet the needs of students wishing to enter the profession, as well as those already working in the sector who would like to enhance their skills or progress their careers. You may be looking to develop a leadership role within early years or to progress to a teaching career. If so, this is the ideal vocational route.

At Worcester, we take a child-centred, holistic approach to equipping you with the skills to take your place in a world of professionals working to achieve success. The course is structured to allow you to work whilst you study, giving you the opportunity to put your learning in to practice. Offering a flexible range of options for where and how you study means you can tailor the course to meet your needs.

Key features

  • 96% of students in work or undertaking further study upon completion of their degree  
  • Enhancement of your academic and professional development. The Foundation Degree provides opportunities to progress to higher level qualifications and early years teacher training, as well as providing theoretical insights that can make an immediate impact on your professional practice and develop your leadership potential.    
  • Flexibility to choose to study full or part-time at one of our partner colleges at a range of locations throughout the region, or via our online learning pathway  Opportunity to progress to a BA Top-up degree and to Early Years Teaching.  
  • A non- standard entry route for experienced practitioners.

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.

Clearing 2017 - call us on 01905 855111

We have places available on a range of courses starting this September.Find out more

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

  • 32 UCAS Tariff points for 2018 entry. 56 UCAS points for 2017 entry.
  • Acceptable qualifications include a minimum of 1 A Level and maximum of 3 1/2 A Levels or an equivalent Level 3 qualification, for example the CACHE Diploma or EdExcel BTEC  National Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development.      
  • Evidence of level 2 Literacy is required, for example key skills or functional skills at level 2 or GCSE English language at Grade C or above.  If you do not have evidence of Literacy at level 2, it will be necessary to complete a non-standard entry essay to demonstrate competence in written English.
  • Current police clearance to work with young children (DBS check). Relevant forms will be sent by admissions on receipt of a firm acceptance of an offer of a place on the course.
  • A testimony / reference that supports the your suitability for the course.

Practitioners who do not hold the qualifications outlined above will be considered on the basis of prior professional experience and related learning.

Other information

The University of Worcester is committed to offering education to a diverse range of applicants. If you have prior learning (APL) which includes accreditation of certificated learning (APCL) and experiential learning (APEL) you may be able to use these to gain credits towards the Foundation Degree.

For information on eligibility for accreditation of prior learning for the purposes of entry or advanced standing place contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111.       

The following are required for both standard and non-standard entry:

  • A statement of support from your current employer to provide the time, opportunity and support for work-based requirements and release to attend university-based study
  • A testimony from an appropriately qualified referee
  • Evidence of current police check (DBS) clearance to work with young children

Practice learning can be supported within a range of early years settings, including children’s centres and childminders and schools.

Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our open days are the perfect way to find out.

Book your place

Visit Halesowen College at one of their Open Days

Visit Herefordshire and Ludlow College at one of their Open Days

Course content

What will you study?

Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ.

Year 1

  • Understanding Children's Learning & Development
  • Supporting Learning & Development in Practice
  • Protecting & Safeguarding: Working Together for the Child
  • Working Together to Develop Positive Environments
  • Quality Enhancement in Early Childhood & Care
  • Supporting Children's Learning & Development
  • Reflecting, Learning & Responding: Practice & Self

In the final year, you have the opportunity to engage in a small scale enquiry focused upon enhancing quality within your workplace

All of the tutors are very supportive and you are also supported by other students on the course; you never feel that you are on your own.

Early Years FdA student

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

The programme aims to:

  1. Provide the appropriate knowledge and understanding required for the care and education of children within wider Early Years settings;
  2. Develop students as independent reflective practitioners, with a sound understanding of the wider issues relating to young children and their development;
  3. Develop students as effective advocates for the rights of young children;
  4. Develop an understanding of the regulatory and legislative framework of Early Years, and the effect that it has on children and their families;
  5. Enable students to develop appropriate pedagogical approaches to working inclusively with children and families, exploring theory in practice within their settings;
  6. Develop students’ personal and transferable skills, including communication, IT, team working and leadership, study skills, safeguarding and problem solving;
  7. Provide a suitable basis for progression to further academic study or professional qualifications.


A variety of assessment methods both practical and theoretical. There are no formal examinations: assessment is made by submission of assignments that link directly to practice and lead to improving quality for children and families.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) can be given for those students who have evidence of appropriate academic qualifications or work based experience.

All of the tutors are very supportive and you are also supported by other students on the course; you never feel that you are on your own.

Study options

There are two options of study for this degree:

  • Attendance at one of our partner colleges either as a full time or part time student or  
  • Enrolling on our Flexible and Distributed Learning Pathway. This is a combination of mostly online learning with some face to face meetings during the academic year at the University.

Full-time and part-time routes

The course can be studied either full time over 2 years or part time over 3 years. Placements are available for applicants who are not employed in an early years setting.


Where could it take you?

Those graduating from the degree programme may apply to study for an Honours degree in Integrated Working with Children & Families BA (Hons) Top-up degree or other related subjects. From this, it is possible to apply for a PGCE (Qualified Teacher Status) course and Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) providing you also have English, Mathematics and Science at GCSE Grade C or above.  It is also a suitable basis for a range of careers in social work, children’s charities, nurseries, day-care, schools and the Health Service.

  • A profile photograph of Danielle Alcock, a current Early Years Foundation Degree student.

    Case study

    Danielle Alcock, current FdA Early Years Student

    The Early Years Foundation Degree is a perfect choice for people who love working with children, young people and families as this is an excellent opportunity for you to extend your knowledge on working with children and for you to share your experience amongst other students who share your care and passion for children and providing care for them. For me personally this has been the right stepping stone from my level 3 in childcare as I wanted to gain further knowledge on children and all aspects of working in education. Since taking on this course I have learnt new ideas and concepts from my tutors at Halesowen, Worcester and my peers as well as the staff in my placement. This course is ideal for everyone as you can do it full or part time, at local colleges or the university, and you have access to all the same facilities. This includes all the online materials to support you with your education, workshops held by excellent tutors, trips, meetings and many more.

    Through this course you can top up to the full degree in Early Years which will take you up to a level 6 in childcare, from there you can continue and top up to a PGCE in education, and many other childcare degrees including Early Years Initial Teacher Training. This also enables you to work as a professional in schools, nursery's, day centres and many more. I chose this course as I wanted to extend my learning in an environment which is supportive and full of opportunities. Since then I have become the StAR which provides many opportunities to extend my learning and my personal development. This course is rewarding in many ways as you will embark on a new chapter of your life which can help you to build and provide better opportunities not only for yourself but for the children, staff and peers you shall work with along the way.


Request or download a prospectus

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How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in 2017 is £6,890 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for part-time UK and EU students registering on this foundation degree in 2017 is £1,806 per 30 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, stationery, printing and photocopying.

Travel costs for placements vary depending on the location of school or setting and your mode of transport.


Information on student loans can be found at the following site. . All eligible students should be entitled to a student loan to cover the cost of their fees.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls, 358 of which were new in 2009. We offer halls of residence to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £94 per week to the £153 per week 'En-suite Extra'.

For full details visit our accommodation page.


How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Early Years X312 E, J, Q, V FdA/EY


UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.


Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.



Apply now via UCAS

Part-time applications

Please make part-time applications to study at the University of Worcester or one of our partner colleges via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

Apply for September 2017 enrolment at the University of Worcester - part-time

Apply for this course

Apply for September 2017 enrolment at Birmingham Metropolitan College, Sutton Campus

Apply for this course

Apply for September 2017 enrolment at Halesowen - part-time

Apply for this course

Apply for September 2017 enrolment at Birmingham Metropolitan College, Stourbridge Campus - part-time

Apply for this course

Apply for September 2017 enrolment at Birmingham Metropolitan College, Matthew Boulton - part-time

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Apply for September 2017 enrolment at Herefordshire and Ludlow College - part-time

Apply for this course

Get in touch

To find out more about the course, contact the University of Worcester or one of our partner colleges.

University of Worcester
Admissions Office
01905 855111

Simone Acton
Partnership Administrator
01905 855036

Birmingham Metropolitan College (Sutton and Matthew Boulton - Full and Part Time)
Dawn Rutherford
0121 355 5671

Faye Perryman
0121 355 5671       

Stourbridge College (part of Birmingham Met - Full and Part Time)
Dawn Rutherford
0121 355 5671

Heart of Worcestershire College (Worcester - Part Time)
Amanda McCully
01905 725617

Heart of Worcestershire College, (Redditch, Part Time)
Sarah Phillips
01527 572713

Halesowen College (Full and Part Time)

Sandra Derham
0121 602 7777      

Herefordshire & Ludlow College (Full and Part Time)
Julie Haynes
01432 365494     

University of Worcester Flexible and Distributed Course
Janet Harvell
01905 542626