Early Years, Playwork and Education FdA

Part-time, distance learning undergraduate (3 years)

Chelmsford, University Centre Harlow, College of West Anglia (Kings Lynn)

September 2017

Part-time teaching times (Chelmsford): Semester 1: Wednesday 12pm-4pm;
Semester 2: Wednesday 10am-1pm


Do you want to work with young children? Or maybe you already are? This exciting foundation degree can help you start or advance a rewarding career. It could also help you into further qualifications and even a teaching degree.

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Full description


This course will open up a number of career options. You’ll be able to apply for roles in nursery work, school support and playwork. It will also be an advantage if you want to do further study, such as topping up to a full honours degree in just one year.

The course has professional recognition. It takes into account the Children's Workforce Development Council and the Early Years Professional Framework.

Modules & assessment

Level 4 modules

  • Learning and Development
    This module introduces you to your own learning as well as children’s and links to existing theory. It explores the difference between learning and development and considers the influence of adults on children’s learning. The key topics will be: human development, understanding learning, study skills and the roles of parents and key persons.
  • Play, Health and Well-being
    Nowadays the link between lifestyle factors such as activity levels, diet and health is becoming increasingly clear, and greater importance is being placed on the need for children to access outdoor environments. It is crucial to get children making choices and enjoying a healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle from as young an age as possible. Play is recognised as being crucial to children's physical, mental, social and emotional well-being, yet opportunities and encouragement for free play are becoming increasingly limited. You’ll consider children’s well-being and how it relates to their rights. You’ll learn how well-being can be supported through healthy eating, regular physical activity and a play based environment. The key topics will be: well-being, healthy eating and exercise, outdoor play and forest schools.
  • Researching Childhood
    You’ll be introduced to essential research skills relating to children and learn about the importance of linking theory to your practice. The aim is for you to develop skills in child observation and apply general research methods to childhood studies. You'll be expected to work in small groups and share your experience and ideas with your class. The key topics will be: research methods, ethics involved in working with children, types of observation and studying children.
  • Work-based Learning 1
    You will identify a specific aspect of practice to develop. Using an 'Action Inquiry' model, you will then plan a change strategy, implement the change and evaluate its effectiveness. This model of personal professional development will enable you to understand your workplace by observing, developing and carrying out an action plan to effect change and improvement in practice. You will develop valuable workplace skills in IT, communication, presentation, reflection and analysis.

Level 5 modules

  • Supporting Children's Learning
    This module is about the ways in which children play and learn and the means by which adults can mediate and support their experience. You’ll discuss pedagogic strategies and learn about the importance of creative practices and children learning through play. Different early years’ curricula (Steiner Waldorf, Montessori method, Experiential Education, High Scope, Reggio Emilia and Te Whariki) will be compared and contrasted with England’s curriculum. The key topics will be: early years’ curricula, learning through play, creative learning and pedagogy as well as documenting care and learning.
  • Safeguarding Children
    In this module you’ll explore children’s welfare and well-being. You’ll learn about the complexities attached to the notion of risk, child abuse, protection and safeguarding. This module will offer a comprehensive cover of English legislation, policy and procedures for keeping children safe from abuse. You will gain an understanding of the range of provision available to support children’s needs. The key topics will be: child protection, support and intervention, policy and legislation, multi-disciplinary working and welfare and well-being.
  • Embracing Diversity
    In this module, you'll discuss disability, differences and special educational needs in relation to debates on inclusion and exclusion, needs and rights, and the importance of seeing every child as an individual. You’ll explore different cultural practices to enable an empathetic understanding of how to help all children feel welcome in a setting. Theories for this module are drawn from different backgrounds such as psychology, sociology and education. The key topics will be: history and language of inclusion, cultural differences and EAL, family structures and lifestyles, policy and legislation as well as special educational needs.
  • Work-based Learning 2
    You’ll be encouraged to explore your professional practice, along the strands developed previously as a source of learning. You’ll be expected to demonstrate a greater degree of autonomy in the management of your learning and demonstrate a more detailed knowledge of relevant theories.


As you move through the course, we’ll check your progress regularly to make sure you’re achieving milestones, and getting any extra support you may need. There are no exams, but you’ll be assessed on written work. This will include essays, a reflective diary, reports, presentations, web discussions and a professional development portfolio.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education is the largest provider of health, social care and education courses in the East of England, with over 6,000 students from more than 20 countries.

With 95% of our students finding full-time employment within six months of graduating, you can be sure that our courses have been designed with your career in mind. We’ve been educating nurses, midwives and social workers for over 25 years.

At the cutting edge of research, we offer a range of internationally recognised undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses taught by friendly, supportive and experienced staff.With over 150 research students across our three doctoral programmes (PhD; DProf and EdD), we provide the multi-disciplinary perspective and potential for academic debate that reflects our position as a leader in practitioner-focused and practice-led research studies.

Designed to enhance your learning experience, our facilities include state-of-the-art simulated skills laboratories that mirror real-life clinical situations and UK hospital wards. Our students also benefit from our Early Childhood Research and Resource Centre; a space in which they can experiment with equipment and play activities.

You’ll study in an exciting, modern faculty which has strong links with regional, national and international organisations, including healthcare trusts, social services, local and regional authorities, schools and academic institutions.

Your enthusiasm. Our passion. Your best foot forward.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

University Centre Harlow

University Centre Harlow (UCH) is a bright, modern campus with a range of top-class facilities.

Explore UCH

College of West Anglia
College of West Anglia

Study in the bustling market towns of King’s Lynn or Wisbech, or the historic city of Cambridge.

Explore College of West Anglia

Additional study information

Experienced early years professionals will teach you and you’ll have a personal tutor and learner mentor to guide you. We’ll also provide regular feedback and help you reach your maximum potential on the course.

Class sizes here are small and the practical exercises and seminars not only keep step with your academic studies but also focus on the very latest developments. We encourage our students to form study groups to discuss these issues and also to practise learning independently.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year part time)


Distance Learning, 2016/17 (per year part time)


Important fee notes

The course fee assumes that you’re studying at half the rate of a full time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

Entry requirements

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The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

You'll need Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance in order to study this course.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

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