FdEd Children’s Development and Learning

The Foundation Degree in Children’s Development and Learning is awarded by the University of Reading and delivered at Bracknell and Wokingham College (part of Activate Learning).

  • Level

    Higher Level

  • Study Mode


  • Duration

    2 Years

  • Location

    Bracknell and Wokingham College

  • Pathway

    Early Years

The course provides an ideal opportunity to study for a degree alongside working in an early years or school setting. The course is work-based, lessons and assessments are all designed to benefit your professional development. You will be able to build on your experience through modules in areas such as working in partnership with parents; how children develop and learn; and inclusive and diverse practice.

Course Details

Students studying the course come from a range of settings working with children from birth to eleven-years-old. Reflection on practice and peer discussion is a valuable aspect of the course. In addition to lectures, students are supported through seminar and tutorial sessions. Each student is allocated an academic tutor who will have one-to-one meetings with you. You also nominate someone from the workplace to become your mentor.

The course is delivered one day a week (13.30–20.00, Wednesday for 2021 entry) over two years, with the option to progress to the BA (Hons) in Children’s Development and Learning at the University of Reading. 

Students who successfully complete the Foundation Degree in Children’s Development and Learning have a priority place when they apply to top up to a full BA (Hons) degree in Children’s Development and Learning at the University of Reading.  Students who have completed the one-year BA in Children’s Development and Learning often go on to undertake a teaching qualification, including an Early Years Teacher qualification and Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Tuition Fees

Home/International* Fee for September 2022 entry: £4,625 per year

Please note: Tuition fees are published for the first year of entry only and may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by the Office for Students.

*Fee information for European Union (EU) students: If your course starts on or after the 1st August 2021, you will no longer be eligible for financial support from Student Finance England unless you meet one of the following criteria:

  • you are able to benefit from the citizens’ rights agreements.
  • you are an Irish national living in the UK or Republic of Ireland – benefits of Irish nationals under Common Travel Area guidance arrangement will continue.

If you need any further information or guidance, please contact us at HE@activatelearning.ac.uk 

Year 1 (Level 4)
Core modules:

  • Theories of Development and Learning
  • Professional Skills
  • The Child in Society (1)
  • Working in Partnerships with Parents
  • Learning Spaces

Year 2 (Level 5)
Core modules:

  • Practitioner Research
  • The Child in Society (2)
  • Creativity and Critical Thinking
  • Supporting Development and Learning for 0–11 years

Optional modules:

  • International Perspectives
  • Leadership in the Children’s Workforce

Modules are subject to change but will be confirmed at the point of enrolment.

This is a full-time course delivered over two years.

The course is assessed through on-going assessment including essays, reports, presentations, and an electronic portfolio. There are no exams on the Foundation Degree. As this is a work-based degree you will be assessed by your mentor in your workplace through Guided Professional Discussions. You and your mentor will be fully supported by your college Link Tutor.

This full-time programme requires significant independent study to support learning and so students should expect to spend approximately 10-15 hrs per week on independent study.

Entry requirements

  • GCSE: English Language at grade C (or 4) or Level 2 equivalent.
  • Additionally, students will normally have achieved: an NQF Level 3 qualification in a work-related area or equivalent, GCSE Mathematics at grade C (or 4) or Level 2 equivalent.
  • Students must be in relevant employment, working or volunteering with children between the ages of 0-11 for a minimum of two and a half days per week, a reference from the setting that supports your application is requested prior to interview. Students usually work in early years, primary or SEN settings.
  • At least two years’ experience (which may include voluntary work and/or a placement completed as part of a vocational qualification) of working directly with children within the Children’s Workforce, for example, in a registered early years setting or in a school as a teaching assistant.

Please note:
All applicants will be invited for interview as part of the application process. Any applicant who does not fully meet the entry criteria (e.g. who does not have maths GCSE, a Level 3 vocational qualification, or the specified amount of full-time work experience, but may have significant part-time work placement and/or volunteering experience and be able to demonstrate their ability to produce written work that meets the required level) is encouraged to submit their application, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

You will need to be working in a registered early years setting or school and have access to a mentor from your place of work.

There are no additional costs associated with studying on this programme.

Applicants should apply online through the Activate Learning website.

Explore your career progression options

If you are considering applying for this programme, why not explore your potential career progression routes using our handy tool.

You can explore live job vacancies, next level qualifications and apprenticeship standards in your local area. Not only this but you can also watch videos of real people talking about their experiences of working in your specific industry or occupation of interest.

Why not visit us at an Open Event and find out more about this pathway.

Why Bracknell and Wokingham College?

  • Clear routes of progression with qualifications ranging from foundation level to degree level!
  • Industry experienced teaching staff give you the responsibility and independence you need to take charge of your own future.
  • 150+

    Courses available

  • 95%

    of our graduates go into work or higher education 

  • 60+

    years of teaching experience

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