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Education in Context is a work-based teaching 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).

  • 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 either BA Hons in Primary Education QTS (Work-Based Route) (Two Years) or BA Hons in Primary Education (Work-Based Route) (One Year)

Why study Education in Context?

This foundation degree provides opportunities for people working directly with children to build on their knowledge and experience through study at higher education level (one day a week).

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

The programme allows you to build your knowledge and experience through study at higher education level. The programme will help enhance your understanding of your current professional role. It can be completed within two years studying one day a week during term times.

Students completing the programme have found that they have become more confident in their ability at work and at home, 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.

Our partnership office will help you to find a placement. Though we will try and place you near to where you live, you may be required to travel up to one hour each way.

Why St Mary's?

This foundation course is suitable for anyone working with young children, such as teaching assistants, learning support assistants, higher level teaching assistants, or early years or special educational needs practitioners.

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 study (one day a week during term time). It also provides a stepping stone on to our undergraduate programmes:

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

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Entry requirements

N/A UCAS points required

View alternative requirements

An A Level, NVQ Level 3 or equivalent is required. GCSE level 4 (grade C if taken before 2017) or equivalent in English Language is also required.

You will need to be employed in work with children and young people for at least half of the week (in either a paid or voluntary capacity). At least one year's experience working in a school (either paid or voluntary) is also required prior to the start of the programme.

Please note: your head teacher will need to complete the Supporting Statement Form in order for us to confirm your place on the course. We will notify them of your application, but feel free to send them the link. 

For more information please email apply@stmarys.ac.uk.

Course content

Year one

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

Year two

  • Professional Development Two Core
  • Managing Behaviour for Learning Core
  • Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning Core
  • Changing Landscapes in Education Core
  • Introduction to the Expressive Arts Core
  • Introduction to Using and Applying ICT in Teaching and Learning Core

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

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

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

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.

Class sizes range from 25 to 35 students.

Teaching breakdown

Learning on the course is made up through a combination of:

  • Contact time: 10%
  • Guided learning: 74%
  • Independent study: 16%

Independent study is a key feature of your degree and is crucial to furthering your knowledge.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

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.

Feedback

We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

See how your final degree mark is calculated...

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

Fees and funding

2021/22 fees

  • Home: £6,620
  • 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 starting in 2020 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.

You can claim help with travel expenses during your school placement, but there will be no costs around coursework or additional materials.

Scholarships

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

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.

Facilities

View all facilities

Further information


Teaching staff

Catherine Balfour-Roberts Catherine Balfour-Roberts
Senior Lecturer - Primary

catherine.balfour-roberts@stmarys.ac.uk

Liz Berry profile photo Liz Berry
Primary Education Lecturer

liz.berry@stmarys.ac.uk

Mandy Byrne Mandy Byrne
Lecturer - Primary Education

mandy.byrne@stmarys.ac.uk

Sarah  Green profile photo Sarah Green
Senior Lecturer in Primary Education (RE)

sarah.green@stmarys.ac.uk

Carolyn Porter Carolyn Porter
Programme Director - Work-Based Route Programmes

carolyn.porter@stmarys.ac.uk

Susannah Robert profile photo Susannah Robert
Senior Lecturer - Creativity (Primary Curriculum)

susannah.robert@stmarys.ac.uk

Natasa Rutherford Natasa Rutherford
Senior Lecturer - Primary and Early Years Education

natasa.rutherford@stmarys.ac.uk

Christine  Sellwood profile photo Christine Sellwood
Lecturer - Primary Education (English)

christine.sellwood@stmarys.ac.uk

Viki  Veale profile photo Viki Veale
Senior lecturer: Early Years and Primary Education

viki.veale@stmarys.ac.uk

Joanna Woodbridge profile photo Joanna Woodbridge
Coordinator - Education Foundation Year

joanna.woodbridge@stmarys.ac.uk

Visit the campus

Open days

Attending an open day is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what life is like as a St Mary's student. During the day you'll have the chance to:

  • Speak to current students to hear about their experiences so far
  • Meet your future academics to put a name and a face to who you'll be learning from
  • Take a tour of the University and the on-campus accommodation options
  • Get involved with activities going on across campus as you explore new surroundings

Book your place now

Campus tours

There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore the campus, even if you can't make it to an Open Day.

We run campus tours every Wednesday at 12pm. If you'd like to join us for one of these tours please register your place for your preferred day.

Virtual tour

We know that for it's important to you to see where you'll be living and studying before you make your decision. However, we also know that for many people it's not always easy to make it to the campus.

That's why we've developed a virtual tour of campus, allowing you to explore that facilities and the beautiful views that we have to offer.

Launch the virtual tour

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