Study Type
Full Time
Study Level
Level 5
Start Date:
2 years

Course Sheets

Entry requirements

View The Isle of Wight College's standard entry requirements for full-time college courses (depending on the level of the course to be studied).

All applicants will be interviewed. Applicants for The Foundation Degree in Early Years need to meet the following criteria: 

Applicants must: 

  • Be employed or doing voluntary work in an Early Years childcare setting for a minimum of 12 hours a week. This will be discussed at interview to ensure students will be able to meet the requirements of the work-based activities and research 
  • Have the support of their employer (unless they are self-employed such as child-minders) 
  • Be able to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written Standard English 
  • Obtain a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring System (DBS) check 
  • Have 2 GCSEs at level C in English and Maths (or grade 4 – 9) and one A level or equivalent or a level three qualification for example DCE/NNEB or NVQ3/CCLD in Early Years Care and education or equivalent 
  • A written task for mature students without evidence of GCSE qualifications can be undertaken 
  • Entry with Advanced Standing 
Who the course is for

The College is, in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth, offering a Foundation Degree (FdA) in Early Years. This has the following features: 

A two-year programme (240 credits) based around four semesters. 

The two main emphases of a Foundation Degree are: theoretical understanding and Work Based Learning. 

The qualification consists of twelve (equivalent) modules. Each of these will be assessed through a variety of means that include: assignments, portfolio work, essays, case studies, class and work-based activities. 

The FdA allows progression onto different routes such as the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies at the IOW College that leads to PGCE and ITT(EY) status. 

This course is for aspirational early years professionals who seek to enhance their knowledge of pedagogy and practice. Our foundation degree provides a broad perspective of work with young children, which will develop your skills by studying childhood from psychological, historical, cultural, sociological, social policy and philosophical viewpoints. It aims to give students an understanding of the diverse contexts in which children develop and learn. 

The course is designed for those currently working in a variety of early childhood settings, for example, pre-schools, nurseries, children’s health services (such as speech therapy) and in social services early childhood centres. 

The programme of study is delivered partly through taught sessions and partly through employer supported work-based learning. It is designed to support the development of the role of the early childhood worker through an intermediate level of study and can also provide progression towards gaining a full degree in Early Childhood Studies, progress to gain the Early Years Teacher or Qualified Teaching Status. 

What the interview will involve

You will be sent a career plan prior to your interview date to complete and bring along with you on the day. The interview is a two-way process which will give you the opportunity to discuss the course and suitability with the subject tutor.

What you will learn

Brief breakdown of modules/subjects:

You will study 12 modules across the two years: 

  • Practice and Pedagogy (Double Module) 
  • Curriculum Planning and Legislation 
  • Inclusive Practice in the Early Years 
  • Safeguarding Children 
  • Working with Families 
  • ICT and Early Years Development 
  • Information for Decision Making 
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health  
  • Cognition and Language Development 
  • Practitioner Based Enquiry – Proposal and Report 


How you will learn

i.e workshops, lectures, online and seminars 

You will study at college one day a week across a range of teaching methods to include lectures, workshops and seminars across your modules.  

Work placement

Is there an industry placement element to this course? 

6 hours professional industry experience essential. 


Ideas of academic or workplace progression 

Although a recognised qualification in itself, the FdA in Early Years forms the first two years of the BA (Hons) Childhood Studies. Students wishing to complete this degree have the option to do this over one year (full time). 

Students wishing to achieve Early Years Teacher qualifications (EYT) can undertake this alongside the BA (Hons) in Childhood Studies. Students may wish to complete the degree and take the Post-Graduate Certificate in Education to qualify them as National Curriculum school teachers. 

Provides a basis for progression through a top up route to: 

  • ITT(EY) (Early Years Teacher) 
  • BA (Hons) Degree in Childhood studies 
  • BA (Hons): PGCE qualification leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) – this is subject to entry conditions of receiving institution. 

NB: to undertake EYT and QTS you must have GCSE at C or above in English, Maths and Science (some students take this while doing the FdA). 


There may be a cost for purchasing equipment or uniform for this course. Find out about financial support available.

Qualifications you will get
Upon completion, you will achieve a Foundation Degree in Early Years Care and Education (FdA)

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