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The Learning Institute

The Learning Institute

Early Years Professional FdA

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 will provide you with the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of key concepts and practices that will support your own development as a practitioner, and it is designed to meet the approved ‘full and relevant’ Early Childhood benchmark statements as well as the criteria identified for the Early Years Educator.

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You will study with like-minded people across a range of other related professional roles based in your own community. There is the opportunity to progress to a BA or BSc top-up degree on completion.  As work-based practice is a key part of this course you have the potential to earn whilst you learn.


Course delivery

This foundation degree is accredited by the University of Worcester.  It will be delivered using a blended learning approach, which combines face-to-face learning, live online learning, tutorials, work-based learning and independent study.  Students will require a basic level of ICT competence and access to a computer with a secure Internet connection.

There will be a weekly learning session (one day per week, 1.00 p.m. - 7.30 p.m.). This will be delivered either face-to-face in a local venue or live online, enabling you to balance study, work and home demands. This day will remain the same for the duration of the foundation degree.

Students on each course will also meet and work together at a twice yearly student conference that will run Friday evening and Saturday daytime in one central location. Specialist modules specific to individual degrees will be delivered online and during these student conferences. Dates for these student conferences will be set by summer 2021.

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 indicative, and subject to change.

Where will you study?

We are currently recruiting for groups in the following venues* (for a September 2022 start):









*Please note, all venues and degrees run subject to minimum numbers


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

Each module has one or more summative assessments, which are graded and count  towards the overall module grade. Assessment methods include essays, reports, critical reflections, portfolios and presentations.


The course could provide you with the self-confidence, skills and knowledge to develop your career in the early years sector. For example, FdA Early Years Professional provides  you with the required qualification to take a leadership role within early years settings. The course covers all necessary criteria to support you in this role.

Additionally, other progression routes from this degree include 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 provides 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 expected to complete a written task to demonstrate competence in written English.

Course requirements 

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required for this course, and students will need to register for the DBS Update Service. Students will not be able to commence practice until clearance is confirmed. Students who are already signed up to the DBS Update Service may not need a new DBS, the University of Worcester will confirm on an individual basis.

Applicants should note that the course requires students to be working or volunteering in an appropriate work placement, accruing hours each and every study week across both years of study.


Annual tuition fee for 2 year foundation degrees commencing September 2022 are likely to be £9,250.

Student loans are available to fund tuition fees and contribute towards the cost of living. Full details of loans and grants available can be found at

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
  • You may need to pay for an Enhanced DBS Check and to register for the DBS Update Service

How to apply

All applications for our foundation degrees are made online at  Please note, there is a cost for making a UCAS application.

UCAS will ask for information including past qualifications, employment experience, personal details, referee contact details, and a personal statement making your case for entry.

You will receive an applicant number and password for the UCAS follow up enquiry service (ucastrack), and will receive communication confirming these
details. You can use ucastrack to find out what decisions have been made in response to your application.

To apply for one of our degrees, you will need the following codes:

Institute code: W80
Campus code: I (capital i for iguana)
Course code: X315 

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01726 891807  |  07956 056447