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Foundation Degree Children's and Young People's Services


The demand for highly-qualified practitioners to work with children, young people and their families is rapidly increasing. The need to utilise and develop the skills of current practitioners is vital to the growth and improvement of this rewarding and demanding sector.

The Foundation Degree in Children’s and Young People’s Services has two pathways: Early Years or Teaching Assistant. You will study modules that relate to both areas alongside pathway specific modules.

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This programme is run in partnership with the University of Derby.

As a University of Derby partner student, you will have access to the university’s virtual learning environment, including UDo and on-line journals and texts, as well as to their library facilities.


Find out what our students get up to as part of their studies. From industry visitors to trips out and activities; there’s plenty to get involved in alongside gaining a qualification.

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Entry requirements

Full-time applicants will have secured two days per week in an appropriate placement linked to their chosen pathway. Part-time applicants must be employed within the sector i.e. early years/teaching assistants/children and young people related careers.

To start this course you will be expected to have at least one of the following:

  • At least 80 UCAS points (200 as per 2016 tariff) points at A Level in appropriate subjects.
  • CACHE Diploma in a related subject at grade C or above.
  • Appropriate BTEC National Extended Diploma with MMM profile or above.
  • Other relevant Level 3 qualification (normally at merit grade).

For the full-time programme we also require five GCSEs, including English language and maths at grade C/grade 4 or above. For part-time applicants who are currently employed within the sector, equivalences will be considered.

Employment or work placement within the sector is a mandatory requirement and candidates are required to source their own work placement if they are not currently employed. Support to source a placement will be available if necessary.

You will also be required to undertake a self-funded Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prior to undertaking this course.

Start dates and fees

Course fees are payable for each year of all university-level courses. To identify your course fees and the financial support that may be available to you, please visit the finance and funding page, or contact a member of the HE team at the college.

Provisional timetables will be discussed at interview, and confirmed in the final joining instructions which will be sent out to you by our HE team.

Additional costs:  Every student is different, but as a rough guide you should allow for the following costs of study, on top of basic stationery and IT costs, per year:

Essential: Between £100-£300 on books. Up to £100 on visits, events, etc. £44 on DBS check. You may also wish to consider registering your details with the DBS update service.

The full-time programme starting in September will run on Monday and Tuesday in the Vision University Centre. Wednesday and Thursday are placement days and Friday a study day.

Early Years Pathway

Start DateDay/TimeWksDurationCodeAnnual FeeActions
09:00 - 15:00
302 yr(s)1011D1071£7000.00Apply

Teaching Assistant Pathway

Start DateDay/TimeWksDurationCodeAnnual FeeActions
09:00 - 15:00
302 yr(s)1011D1072£7000.00Apply
16:30 - 20:30
303 yr(s)1011D1118£3610.00Apply

How long is the course?

This programme lasts for two years full-time and three years part-time. You will also need to dedicate a substantial amount of time to research and work outside of the classroom.

Full-time students will have two days in college, a study day and two work placement days per week. Part-time students will attend one twilight session per week and be employed for at least two full days within the sector or equivalent.


How will I be assessed?

Assessment methods are varied and may include written reports, presentations, case studies, essays and reflective statements. Where modules are work-related, assessment will relate to your own organisation (where appropriate) and/or vocational setting.

What does the course lead to?

If you are seeking employment, the children and young people's workforce includes a wide range of workers, jobs and professional occupations, including:

  • Early years and childcare - early years/nursery teachers, nursery nurses/workers, portage workers, nannies, childminders.
  • Teaching assistants - in primary, secondary and alternative provision schools.

What will I study?

The foundation degree consists of 12 modules which include:

  • Starting to Study
  • Work-Based Reflective Practice 1 and 2
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Children and Young People Communicating
  • Integrated Services
  • Research Methods and Practice
  • Understanding Behaviour
  • Children's, Young People's and Family Rights
  • Children and Young People's Health and Well-Being
  • Secondary Research

Pathway modules include:

  • Early Years Provision and Practice or
  • Supporting Teaching and Learning

Module titles subject to change.

What can I go on to study?

On successful completion of the foundation degree, possible routes to further study include the following:

  • BA (Hons) Education Studies (top-up) (available at Vision University Centre)
  • BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies at the University of Derby
  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies at the University of Derby
  • BA (Hons) Special Educational Needs and Disability at the University of Derby 
  • A relevant programme at another institution.

All progression routes will be subject to entry requirements.

How do I apply?

Please complete our online application form, paying particular attention to previous qualifications and the personal statement. If you experience any difficulty, please contact the Vision University Centre on 01623 627191 ext: 8996, or email the HE team at

Apply online


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Why choose West Notts?

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100% A Level pass rate in 2018

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An extensive bus service across Mansfield and the surrounding area

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*Value added is a measure of a student’s progress against their starting point
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