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UCAS requirement


UCAS requirement

2 Years



UCAS code


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Natasa Rutherford

Programme Director - Education in Context and Work-Based Routes
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).

Please note: this course is not available to international students.

Why study Education in Context?

This Foundation Degree provides opportunities for people working directly with children to build on their knowledge and experience through part-time study at higher education level.

We offer an established vocationally-based degree that prepares you for working in schools and other educational settings.

It allows you to validate your experience with a higher education qualification by equipping you with the necessary academic underpinning to develop your practice and gain relevant skills, knowledge and understanding.

Graduates of the programme have found that they've become more confident in their ability at work and have been offered opportunities to develop their role in a variety of ways. The current emphasis on the development of the school workforce as a whole has been one of the driving forces behind this degree.

Why St Mary's?

Our students come from a variety of backgrounds, with differing experiences. They tend already be working as teaching assistants, support workers or ancillary staff, but need to gain relevant qualifications.

Education in Context is an extremely popular and flourishing course. It gives you the unique opportunity to continue to work within the education sector whilst studying for a foundation degree.

This pathway into teaching can be completed in a minimum of two years part-time study (one day a week during term time). It also provides a stepping stone on to our undergraduate programmes the sister programmes:

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 Primary 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

  • Inclusion and Diversity 
  • Introduction to Early Childhood Studies 
  • Learning Through Play 
  • People at Work 
  • Professional Development One 
  • Working with Support Sectors 

Year two

  • Changing Landscapes in Education 
  • Introduction to the Expressive Arts 
  • Managing Behaviour for Learning 
  • Professional Development Two 
  • Social and Emotional Aspects for Learning 
  • Using and Applying ICT in Teaching and Learning 
Please note: information published on this webpage is subject to change before the programme commences. Please refer to the programme specification document (PDF) for an authoritative summary of the programme.

Career opportunities

This foundation degree is suitable for anyone working with young children i.e. teaching assistants, SLA’s, HLTA’s, Early Years or Special Educational Practitioners.

We support people who wish to progress further with their own studies and future employment within education.

More information about career opportunities can be found on the following websites:

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

How the degree is taught

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 relate them to the academic theories that are 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 theory with 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.


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Fees and funding

2018/19 fees

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

2019/20 fees

  • Home/EU: £6,240
  • International: not available to international students

Information about tuition fees, student loans and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants for 2018 and 2019 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees 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


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new foundation students. This includes:

Further information

UCAS Application Timeline