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Early Years Foundation Degree (Flexible and Distributed Learning Pathway)

This degree is delivered from the University of Worcester as a Flexible and Distributed Learning Pathway. The mode of delivery is a combination of online and face-to-face meetings arranged throughout the academic year. Please see the Study Options section below for more details.

What our students say...

"The FdA in early Years has inspired and motivated me to learn both personally and professionally. I now have more confidence with my academic work and in my practice. All of the tutors are very supportive and you are also supported by other students on the course; you never feel that you are on your own."

Early Years Sector-Endorsed FdA student
and Nursery Supervisor/Acting Manager of a nursery located within a children's centre

If you are working with children in an Early Years setting, this qualification will not only add to your knowledge and understanding, it will also enable you to progress to Honours level study.

The course adopts a child-centred approach to Early Years and a holistic view of the child. It provides a framework for academic and professional skills development. Your learning is embedded within your developing knowledge, understanding and experience in practice. The programme, which sits within a culture of inter-agency and multi-professional team working, seeks to develop you as a reflective practitioner capable of making a positive impact upon the children, families and communities with whom you work. A range of learning, teaching and assessment methods are used to support your professional and academic development through the course, with a strong emphasis upon e-learning.

The course interweaves the three strands of personal and professional development, theory and practice, and practice/work-based enquiry, underpinned by the study skills necessary to succeed at University. This interconnected approach is reflected in a range of assignments that depend upon self-study, encouraging the consideration of a variety of perspectives and the development of critical skills in relation to theory applied to practice. Individual modules address childhood and the child as learner, curriculum planning, collaboration with parents, positive learning environments, and safeguarding children. In the final year students are required to engage in a small-scale enquiry focused upon enhancing quality within your own workplace.

The course is designed to be work-based, enabling you to work alongside professionals in the field. It is ideally suited for those who are already working in Early Years settings as either employed, voluntary or placement experience as it can be achieved on a part-time basis.

Please note the Flexible and Distributed pathway is only available from the University of Worcester.

Where can I find out about finance and funding?

Information on student loans can be found at the following site. . All eligible students should be entitled to a student loan to cover the cost of their fees.

Funding can be a complex issue. If you have questions the University has a designated Student Support Service who will be able to guide you through this process. 


How to apply

The Flexible and Distributed Pathway can be studied part-time or full-time.  How you apply depends upon which option you choose.

Apply via UCAS using the UCAS code X312 and the campus code main site.


Apply part-time

Entry requirements

• 4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above. GCSE English Language at C/4 or above (or recognized equivalency). Evidence of level 2 Literacy is required, for example Key Skills level 2 or GCSE English Language at C/4 or above or equivalent.  If you do not have evidence of Literacy at level 2, it will be necessary to complete a non-standard entry essay to demonstrate competence in written English. Maths GCSE at Grade C/4 or above (or recognized equivalency) is desirable.


•  a minimum of 1 A Level and maximum of 3 1/2 A Levels or an equivalent Level 3 qualification, for example the CACHE Diploma or EdExcel BTEC
•  National Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development. The current UCAS Tariff requirements for entry to the course are published in the prospectus.

In addition to this, practitioners who do not hold the qualifications outlined above will be considered on the basis of prior professional experience and related learning.

For details of acceptable level 3 qualifications please see the entry requirements page or check the prospectus.

The University of Worcester is committed to offering education to a diverse range of applicants. There is a policy in relation to mature students or applicants with few or no formal qualifications which can also be found in the prospectus or in our Admissions Policy. In addition to this, practitioners who do not hold the qualifications outlined above will be considered on the basis of prior professional experience and related learning.

If you have prior learning (APL) which includes accreditation of certificated learning (APCL) and experiential learning (APEL) you may be able to use these to gain credits towards the Foundation Degree. For information on eligibility for accreditation of prior learning for the purposes of entry or advanced standing place contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111.

Course fees

The standard annual fee for full-time UK/EU students enrolling in 2017 is £6,890 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

If you have a question about tuition fees and how to pay them, please contact our finance office on 01905 85 5113.

Study options

Flexible and Distributed Learning

Early Years Foundation Degree (Flexible and Distributed Programme) is a flexible option. Which allows students the opportunity to study online and meet face to face at the University eight times per year. High level of support is available through the Virtual Learning Environment.

This mode of delivery involves a blended learning approach i.e. a combination of some face to face learning opportunities with a significant amount of study time online, in the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Blackboard. Students choosing to study in this mode require a basic level of ICT competence and computer and software which enables access to information via the VLE and the web.

Students will be study a maximum of three modules part-time, and four modules full-time, across the academic year.

For the Flexible and Distributed Programme an audit of IT skills will be conducted at the interview. Details of this audit will be sent to you on confirmation of your interview at the University of Worcester.

The following are required for both the standard and non-standard entry:

  • A statement of support from your current employer to provide the time, opportunity and support for work-based requirements and release to attend university-based study
  • A testimony from an appropriately qualified referee
  • Evidence of current DBS police check (at enhanced level)_ clearance to work with young children
  • Practice learning can be supported within a range of early years settings, including children’s centres and childminders

For further details, please contact Janet Harvell (Course Leader for the Flexible and Distributed Learning Early Years Foundation Degree at or telephone 01905 542626.

    Get in touch

    Admissions Office
    01905 855111

    Simone Acton
    Partnership Administrator
    01905 855036



    Those graduating from the degree programme may apply to study for an Honours degree in Integrated Working with Children & Families BA (Hons) Top-up degree or other related subjects from which it is possible to apply for a PGCE (Qualified Teacher Status) course and Early Years Teacher Status, providing you also have English, Mathematics and Science at GCSE Grade C or above (for PGCE). It is also a suitable basis for a range of careers in social work, children’s charities, nurseries, day-care, schools and the Health Service.

    Course content


    Introduction to Professional and academic reflective practice  
    Childhood, children and learning: theory to practice  
    Developing a professional, practical and responsive play-based curriculum (Practice/ work-based learning) 
    Developing academic reflective practice  
    Safeguarding children in the early years   
    Assessment, observation and planning to support children’s learning (Practice/ work-based learning) 
    Collaborative working with parents and others 
    Developing positive learning environments 

    A range of modules relevant to early years practitioners embrace current initiatives for workforce development. Sector endorsement demonstrates that the content of the course has been developed following established guiding principles and the shaping of good practice. 


    A variety of assessment methods both practical and theoretical.

    There are no formal examinations: assessment is made by submission of assignments that link directly to practice and lead to improving quality for children and families.


    Student views

    Early Years FdA student view

    Academic department

    Institute of Education

    “Our high quality programmes and innovative teaching methods prepare and train the very best professionals. Worcester graduates have made a huge difference in the field of education.”
    Ann Jordan, Head of Institute

    Get in touch

    Get in touch

    To find out more about the course, contact the University of Worcester directly (details below) or or telephone 01905 542626.       

    University of Worcester
    Admissions Office
    01905 855111

    Simone Acton
    FdA Partnership Administrator
    01905 855036