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).

Applicants must: 

  • Be employed or doing voluntary work in an educational setting (early years, primary, secondary or FE college) setting for a minimum of 6 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  
  • 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 Learning Support. 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 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 ways in which you can support learners through various perspectives from psychological, pedagogical, cultural, sociological, social policy and philosophical viewpoints. It aims to give students an understanding of the diverse contexts in which learning can be supported. Modules of study include supporting numeracy and literacy, how learning develops, theory and practice of assessment and supporting learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. 

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: 

  • The Role of The Professional (Double Module) 
  • Educational Contexts 
  • How Learning Develops 
  • Learning in Groups 
  • Supporting Literacy 
  • Supporting Numeracy 
  • Theory and Practice of Assessment 
  • Supporting SEND 
  • Supporting SEMH 
  • Practitioner Based Enquiry – Proposal and Report 
How you will learn
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
6 hours professional industry experience essential.

Ideas of academic or workplace progression 

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

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

  • ITT(EY) (Early Years Teacher) 
  • BA (Hons) Degree in Childhood studies 
  • BA (Hones) Degree in Education 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). 

Course fees for September 2022 starts are set at £6,165 – a student loan from Student Finance > See University finance help for more information
Qualifications you will get
Upon completion, you will achieve a Foundation Degree in Learning Support (FdA)
Additional information

The course is designed for those currently working in a variety of educational settings for example, pre-schools, primary schools, secondary school and further education colleges. 

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 learning support through an intermediate level of study and can also provide progression towards gaining a full degree in Education Studies, progress to gain the Qualified Teaching Status. 

The course is run over 24 weeks, with one day at college for 6 hours taught content, a minimum of 12 hours of work/volunteering in an early years setting. It is expected that undergraduate students will be studying for an extended period of time outside of taught hours.  

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