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The Learning Institute

The Learning Institute

Early Years Professional

Please note, following a decision made by Westcountry Schools Trust (WeST), The Learning Institute is closing at the end of academic year 2023-24. We are no longer accepting applications for our degree courses.

If you have any queries relating to a degree with the University of Worcester then please contact them using the details below:

UW primary phone and email - 01905 855000, reception@worc.ac.uk

firstpoint (student services) - 01905 542551, firstpoint@worc.ac.uk

As an early years professional, you can make a significant difference to children’s lives, working with them at this time of key developmental milestones.

This degree provided learners with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of key concepts and practices that supported their own development as a practitioner. It was designed to meet the approved ‘full and relevant’ Early Childhood benchmark statements as well as the criteria identified for the Early Years Educator.

Learners studied with like-minded people across a range of other related professional roles based in their own community. There was the opportunity to progress to a BA or BSc top-up degree on completion. As work-based practice was a key part of this course, learners had the potential to earn while they learnt.

Course delivery
 

This foundation degree (FdA) was accredited by the University of Worcester. It was delivered using a blended learning approach, which combined face-to-face learning, live online learning, tutorials, work-based learning and independent study. Students required a basic level of ICT competence and access to a computer with a secure Internet connection.

Sessions were delivered via a weekly learning session (one day per week, 1.00 p.m. - 7.30 p.m.). This was delivered either face-to-face in a local venue or live online, enabling learners to balance study, work and home demands. 

Students on each course also met and worked together at a twice-yearly student conference that ran Friday evening and Saturday daytime in one central location. Specialist modules specific to individual degrees were delivered online and during these student conferences. These conferences took place in November and February.

What will you study?
 

Level 4
- Supporting academic skills
- Human growth and development
- Foundations of understanding
- Practitioner enquiry
- Promoting the enabling environment

Level 5
- Understanding our personal and professional selves
- Creative pedagogies
- Assessment, evaluation and planning of learning
- Working in partnership
- Practitioner enquiry in action
- Supporting learning in the early years curriculum

These modules are an example of material taught during academic year 2023-24.

Assessment
 

The course provided opportunities to assess understanding and learning informally through the completion of formative tasks.

Each module had one or more summative assessments, which were graded and counted towards the overall module grade. Assessment methods included essays, reports, critical reflections, portfolios and presentations.

Employability

The course could provide learners with the self-confidence, skills and knowledge to develop their career in the early years sector. For example, the Early Years Professional FdA provided learners with the required qualification to take a leadership role within an early years setting. The course covered all necessary criteria to support learners in this role.

Additionally, other progression routes from this degree included roles in children’s centres, school settings or provision in statutory, voluntary and private organisations.

The majority of students on similar courses complete a top-up year to gain a full honours degree, with some moving on further into masters level study. This course also provided an excellent route to progress to qualified teacher status.

Entry requirements* 

We consider applications from individuals from a wide range of prior educational and employment experiences. For all applicants, current or recent experience of working with learners, such as employment or work in a voluntary capacity within a work setting, is desirable.

Standard entry: The normal minimum entry requirement for Foundation Degree courses is the possession of 4 GCSEs (Grade C/4 or above) and 1 A Level or equivalent Level 3 qualification.

Non-standard entry: The University of Worcester and The Learning Institute are committed to providing education to all those who can demonstrate the potential to benefit and succeed. We welcome applicants who hold qualifications or experiences that are different to those shown above, and who can demonstrate the ability to benefit from the course and show their potential to complete the course successfully. Please contact us for more details.

Evidence of level 2 literacy is required, for example key skills or functional skills at level 2 or GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above. As an alternative, students whose first language is not English may present evidence of a minimum standard of English at IELTS level 6 (with no less than 5.5 in each element). If you do not have evidence of literacy at level 2 or above then you will be expected to complete a written task to demonstrate competence in written English.

*Please note, these entry requirements relate to academic year 2023-24. Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting applications for this course due to our upcoming closure.

Course requirements* 

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check was required for this course, and students were required to register for the DBS Update Service. Students were unable to commence practice until clearance was confirmed. 

The course required students to be working or volunteering in an appropriate work placement, accruing hours each and every study week across both years of study.

*Please note, these course requirements relate to academic year 2023-24. Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting applications for this course due to our upcoming closure.

Fees
 

Annual tuition fee for 2 year foundation degrees that commenced in September 2023 was £9,250.

Student loans were available to fund tuition fees and contribute towards the cost of living. Full details of loans and grants available can be found at www.gov.uk/student-finance.

Other course-related costs (not included in fees)

  • Access to a computer with a secure Internet connection
  • Purchase of key text books and other resources such as stationery
  • Travel costs (e.g. to your placement for work-based learning and/or your venue for taught sessions)
  • Accommodation, travel and some meals when attending student conferences
  • Payment for an Enhanced DBS Check and to register for the DBS Update Service