Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies

FdA Childhood Studies at Winchester is a work-based degree designed for those working with children aged 0-11 and their families, as early years practitioners, teaching assistants or in other roles in the Children's Workforce.

Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies at University of Winchester

UCAS code: X301

Entry Requirements

It is expected that students will be working with children and families, and qualified to Level 3 or equivalent in a related area. Ideally they will have at least one year's experience working in the sector.

Additional entry requirements:

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check required when applicants accept their offer for a place on the course (applicants cover the cost of this which is currently £44)

Degree duration:

Full-time: 2 years (maximum one day a week attendance). The full-time FdA includes a significant proportion of work-based learning, and so is not 'full-time' in the traditional, classroom-based sense - much of the learning is done whilst at work rather than at University. Many students are employed full-time whilst studying this programme.

Part-time: 4 years (blocks of one day a week attendance followed by blocks where attendance is not required)

If English is not your first language:

IELTS 6.0 (including 6.0 in writing) or equivalent

Selection process:

Suitable applicants are normally invited to attend an interview.

Start date:


Course Tuition Fees and Additional Costs

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

September 2017 Entry Full-time: £4,000 p/a

Total Cost | £8,000

Additional Costs

To find out what general costs are included or excluded in the course fees, such as text books and travel expenses, please click here

Other Information 


FdA Childhood Studies at the University of Winchester has been certified by SEFDEY (Sector Endorsed Foundation Degrees for Early Years) as meeting the needs of employers. For students working in Early Years settings and completing their assessed work-based portfolios in these settings, the FdA in Childhood Studies constitutes a 'full and relevant' qualification (National College of Teaching and Learning, Feb 2015). The degree is designed to be consistent with the Early Childhood Studies Benchmark (QAA).

Work experience:

Students organise some fieldwork visits to other settings to extend their experience.


Taught elements of the FdA Childhood Studies course take place on the King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man 

How to apply

Full-time application process: UCAS

Student Satisfaction:

 As rated by final year undergraduate students in the 2017 National Student Survey, Childhood Studies achieved 100 per cent overall satisfaction.

Comments made by students in module evaluations include:

  • "The tutor support has been fantastic. I particularly appreciate the fast response to emails and the chance to discuss our work."
  • "The tutor's skills within this module were immense and helped everyone to understand in simple terms."
  • "Enjoyed this module, found it interesting and insightful and has benefitted my practice."

Pre-approved for a Masters:

University of Winchester students studying Bachelor Honours degrees are pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible students must apply by the end of March in their final year and meet the entry requirements of their chosen Masters degree.

Terms and Conditions 

For more information about the University of Winchester's terms and conditions click here.

This course offer a flexible programme of study for those in employment, so students may 'earn while they learn'.

The overall aim is to foster a reflective approach to the knowledge, understanding and skills which underpin work with young children. The view taken of the child is holistic and there is an emphasis on children's social and emotional development. Study requires students to engage with a wide range of relevant academic knowledge combined with its application in practical settings. The programme takes an inclusive, positive and individualised approach to fostering children's development.

Students on the FdA Childhood Studies course benefit from regular seminar style sessions at the University where interaction with lecturers and other students provides a supportive and dynamic learning environment. Sessions are generally not scheduled during school holidays to help students balance work, study and family commitments.

Students study six modules in Year 1 (Level 4) and six in Year 2 (Level 5). Each year two modules are work-based, with links to practice featured throughout the programme, and the other four modules are University-based.

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • Introduction to Higher Education
  • Perspectives on Childhood
  • Introduction to Social and Emotional Development
  • Developing Practice (work-based)
  • Core Practice Skills (work-based)
  • Understanding Children's Learning
  • Work-based Learning - The Developing Practitioner

Year 2 (Level 5)

  • Team Working
  • Working with Families
  • Meeting the Challenges of Social and Emotional Development
  • Advanced Practice Skills (work-based)
  • Policy into Practice
  • Advanced Work-based Learning - Analysing Impact

For further information about modules, please view the course leaflet (see right-hand side).

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at

The programme is delivered using a range of teaching approaches including seminars, practical classes, work-based learning and guided independent study.

Work-based learning earns credit within the programme and needs to be reflected upon and related to theory in a systematic way. Students are provided with a framework for this reflection through the taught components of the programme.

This work-based learning degree supports students in developing the skills they need to excel in their studies and in applying their knowledge and understanding in the workplace. There is a strong emphasis on building confidence through fostering a 'growth mindset' that enables students to rise to the challenge of developing their knowledge, understanding and skills.

Staff and students form a community of learners who, together and independently, seek to generate and exchange knowledge.As students work in a variety of settings, sharing of practice is immensely beneficial. Over the duration of the course, students develop their independent study skills and critical thinking and take increasing responsibility for their own learning. They are encouraged to make use of the wide range of learning resources available, which includes excellent practical resources they can borrow and trial in the workplace.

Formally scheduled contact time always falls on a set day of the week. In addition to the scheduled sessions, students are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, personal tutors and the wide range of services to students within the University.

Key features of the student experience are:

  • Linking theory with practice in their workplaces
  • Making a range of visits to extend their experience and learning from fellow students who work in a range of relevant settings and roles
  • The use of guest speakers is a feature of the programme.

Programme Leader

Teaching team

The degree is situated in the Department of Interprofessional Studies and, in addition to the core programme team, has input from other members of the Department as visiting speakers, for example a member of the Social Work team. The Department benefits from being within the Faculty of Education, Health and Social Care which has a particularly strong reputation for its teacher training programmes. Students therefore have access to a high degree of professional expertise from a number of backgrounds. Many of their tutors have active involvement in relevant research. 

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures library

The assessment strategy has been carefully designed to support student confidence and achievement and assessments have been designed taking account of the Research on Transforming the Experience of Students through Assessment (TESTA, online; Jessop, Lawrence and Clarke, 2011).

The assignments relating to University-based modules use relatively few types of assessment to enable students to use feedback on one type of assessment to inform the next assignment of the same type. Formative assessment is used throughout the programme, and particularly in the early modules of each level, to scaffold students' learning. Demands for student autonomy increase as students progress through each level.

In the assessment of work-based practice modules, a much wider range of assessment is employed, including records of visits, observations, planning and evaluating activities, piloting of materials/approaches, reflective accounts and presentations/demonstrations to a variety of audiences. These celebrate, extend and enrich the often very strong creative and practical skills possessed by students. Some of the tasks that make up the work-based practice assessments are set as directed tasks throughout the taught modules, so students can be carrying out a range of practical activities that contribute to assessment throughout the year.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

The Foundation degree in Childhood Studies qualifies students to Level 5. Students may want to top-up their degree by progressing on to the BA (Hons) Childhood Studies (top-up) which is specifically designed as an Honours programme to complement the Foundation degree. Several appropriate postgraduate professional programmes are offered at the University and careers advice is available to all students.

For more information about graduate employment visit From Freshers to Future - what will yours be?


The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record collects information about what those completing university go on to do six months after graduation. The Careers Service undertakes DLHE on an annual basis through surveys and a data collection process. DLHE is designed and strictly controlled by HESA.

While DLHE provides accurate information about first destinations, this data needs to be viewed with some degree of care. Six months after leaving university is often a time of much uncertainty and change for leavers; many will be unsure of their long-term career plans and may take a temporary job or time out. The destinations of graduates only six months out of university do not necessarily reflect longer term career success and are therefore a crude measure of employability. Therefore, DLHE data should be viewed as merely a 'snapshot' of one particular year's experiences at a specific point in time.

At the University of Winchester, we are committed to ensuring all our students gain employability skills to enable you to enter graduate level jobs and pursue the profession of your choice, for more information please read the Employability Statement.

Course Enquiries and Applications

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