Early Years, Playwork and Education FdA

Foundation Degree (3 years)


January & September

Do you want to work with young children? Or maybe you already are? This exciting foundation degree can help you start or advance a rewarding career. It could also help you into further qualifications and even a teaching degree.

Application Deadline:
Fri, Jul 1st, 2016

£3,750 per year

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This course offers a higher-level qualification for anyone working as a teaching assistant, early years nursery worker or playworker. It’s also ideal if you want to study before starting your career.

Full Description

You’ll learn about the education sector as well as child development, play, safeguarding and equality. There’s a strong focus on issues that are currently affecting early years, playwork and education services – as well as on your ability to carry out research.

With the support of a mentor, you’ll do work placements and record your progress in a professional development portfolio. You’ll develop a wide range of practical and analytical skills which are valued by employers, including the ability to think critically about your work and the setting you’re in.

Our friendly tutors all have experience of working in the education sector. They’re keen to see you succeed, and will give you regular, helpful support and feedback.

When you graduate, you’ll have a foundation degree. You could then apply for a one-year top-up course to get a full honours degree.

Course Details

Level 4 modules

  • Learning and Development
  • Play, Health and Well-being
  • Researching Childhood
  • Work-based Learning 1

Level 5 modules

  • Supporting Children's Learning
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Embracing Diversity
  • Work-based Learning 2


As you move through the course, we’ll check your progress regularly to make sure you’re achieving milestones, and getting any extra support you may need. There are no exams, but you’ll be assessed on written work. This will include essays, a reflective diary, reports, presentations, web discussions and a professional development portfolio.


Experienced early years professionals will teach you and you’ll have a personal tutor and learner mentor to guide you. We’ll also provide regular feedback and help you reach your maximum potential on the course.

You will have access to Anglia Ruskin University's extensive digital library. This means that you can download all the learning materials you need, enabling you to study whenever and wherever suits you. You will also be able to visit our on-site libraries in Cambridge and Chelmsford.


Associated careers

This award will equip you for a career in childcare and education as a senior practitioner. It is a nationally recognised award for Early Years practitioners offering progression routes onto an Honours degree.

Career Advice

Our Employability Service is here to help give you the best chance of landing the job you want. We’ll help you improve your skills and bulk up your CV to improve your career prospects.

As a distance learning student, you’ll still benefit from help and advice on CV writing, interview techniques, job hunting, and general careers advice. 

To find out more please visit our careers advice page.

Entry Requirements


  • Level 3 Childcare Qualification
  • GCSE grade C or above in English Language
  • As a distance learner, you’ll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of word processing, internet and email.
  • If English is not your first language, you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.0 or equivalent.


To receive an offer of a place on this course you must be successful at interview.


  • UCAS Tariff points acquired from BTEC Level 3 Diplomas are accepted
  • Access to HE Diplomas at overall Pass grade are accepted
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 24 points is accepted
  • UCAS Tariff points from the Irish Leaving Certificate are accepted
  • UCAS Tariff points from Scottish Highers are accepted
  • UCAS Tariff points from Scottish Advanced Highers are accepted
  • 120 UCAS Tariff Points from A level (or equivalent)

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

You'll need Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance in order to study this course.

Fees & Funding

This course costs £3,750 per year.

Student loans are now available to cover the cost of studying this course. Subject to eligibility, terms and conditions. Also, ask us about payment by instalments.

Apply now

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