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2 Years



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Natasa Rutherford

Programme Director for Education in Context & Work Based Route Programmes

Email | 020 8240 4226

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This is a work-based course. You will attend St Mary's University one day a week whilst employed in work with children and young people for at least half of the week (in either a paid or voluntary capacity).

Why study Early Years Education?

Early Years Education gives those already working in education the opportunity to gain a vocational foundation degree (FdA) by part-time study.

The programme provides opportunities for people working directly with children, or those working in other educational support roles, to build their knowledge and experience through study at higher education level. The programme, which will help to enhance your understanding of your current professional role, can be completed in a minimum of two years part-time study.

This course aims to build self-confidence in the workplace and at home. The current emphasis on the development of the school workforce as a whole has been one of the driving forces behind this degree.

Early Years Education will open up a range of opportunities in the education sector.

Why St Mary's?

Successful completion of this programme leads to the award of a foundation degree in Early Years Education.

There is then an opportunity to progress to the BA (Hons) Degree in Early Years Education (Work-Based Route), a one year enhancement programme. This may be followed by a route into teaching to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Teaching methods

The course is taught using a range of teaching methods including presentations, discussions, small group work, observations and practical work-based activities.

You are expected to bring your own work experiences into the discussions and to relate this to the academic theories to which they will be introduced.

A virtual learning environment will support you throughout the course with an appropriate range of resources. Tutorials will be used throughout the programme to support your learning experience.

Assessment methods

All assignments are designed to develop your knowledge, understanding and use of transferrable skills in teaching children, linking the theory with the practical. 

A range of assessment methods are used, these may include both group and individual presentations, practical visual presentations (posters, leaflets, 3D display, use of green screen) essays, case studies and portfolios.

Key facts

  • You will attend St Mary's University one day a week throughout this work-based course
  • Successful completion of the course allows the opportunity to progress on to our one BA in Early Years Education (Work-Based Route) enhancement
  • This can be followed by a route into teaching to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus

Course content

Year one

  • Learning Through Play in the Early Years 
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development 
  • Professional Skills Development One 
  • Understanding the Early Years 
  • Using and Applying Technology Within the Early Years Environment 
  • Working in Partnerships 

Year two

  • Changing Policy and Practice in Early Years Education 
  • Classroom Management 
  • Communication and Language, Literacy 
  • Mathematics, Knowledge and Understanding 
  • Physical Development 
  • Professional Skills Development Two 
Please note: all information is correct at the time of publication. However, course content is regularly updated and this may result in some changes, which will be communicated to students before their programme begins. Modules listed may either be core or optional; you may not be able to study all your first choice modules.

Career opportunities

This foundation course is suitable for anyone working with young children, such as:

  • Teaching assistants
  • Student Learning Assistants (SLA's)
  • Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTA's)
  • Early Years or Special Educational Practitioners

The Foundation Degree in Early Years Education supports people who wish to progress further with their own studies and future employment within education.

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.


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Fees and funding

Home/EU: £6,000
International: not available to international students.

The tuition fees listed on this page are for the 2018/19 academic year.

For information on fees for other academic years - along with information about financing your studies - please check the Fees & Funding section.

Additional costs

Your tuition fee will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken. For further information about additional costs please contact

Further information

UCAS Application Timeline