Run in association with the University of Bedfordshire, this course gives you a comprehensive understanding of child and family situations and draws on knowledge and theory from the fields of psychology, childhood development, working with families and professional skills and practice. The course allows you to continue your employment in a relevant childcare setting and develop your practice on a theoretical and practical level.

About the course

This course will help you gain an in-depth understanding of the essential aspects of child development and welfare and equip you with the skills required to provide high-quality services for children, young people and families. Their rights, and the belief that they have equal access to services and life opportunities regardless of social difference, feature strongly throughout the course. You will apply knowledge to current practice Your studies will have a strong vocational orientation, with 'real' practice issues informing the curriculum and your work. You will be expected to be employed or volunteering with children or young people for a minimum of 14 hours per week. You will have a work-based mentor to support you with your studies over the next two years.

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    The course is set within the context of current events, research legislation and policy. You will also be given opportunities for undertaking research in preparation for your independent project, as well as enjoying the practical experience of working with children, young people and families. Underpinning the course is the belief that children, young people and their families have rights and should have equal access to services and opportunities, regardless of social difference. Valuing the potential and the qualities of children and young people are also guiding principles. We are working alongside the Sector Skills Council to provide this foundation degree, which has been designed to equip you with the up-to-date knowledge and skills you will need to be an effective and successful practitioner in the field of Child and Family studies.

    You will learn through a variety of different methods including practical work during your course to develop your skills and gain the necessary knowledge to assess occupational competence in the work environment. Your course is linked to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and includes units from this standard. 

    The objectives of this course are to:

    • Develop extensive knowledge and skills in all areas of child development and child care service provision
    • Understand various related theoretical perspectives and how these are linked to and inform policy and practice in the area of childcare
    • Draw out, develop reflective skills and extend learning from the work place experiences and activities
    • Develop a sound working knowledge of childcare legislation and current government policy and initiatives
    • Initiate and carry out independent child care research activities
    • Develop skills in critically analysing theories, policy, planning and practice in the child care arena
    • Relate theory to practice and reflect on practice through utilisation of the students own experiences gained from existing practice in the field of childcare
    • Become reflective practitioners with good self-awareness and ability to transfer knowledge and skills to different specialist areas of child service provision

    Your assessments throughout this course could include observations, examinations, assignment tasks and a portfolio of evidence to support your learning.

    Your tutor will be on hand to support you throughout your course to develop your skills, prepare you for your next steps and help you to achieve your goals.

    Your study programme incorporates valuable additions to help you succeed which include: regular one-to-ones with highly qualified and experienced professionals who will help you to manage your workload and give you valuable feedback ; dedicated careers advisors who will provide you with a wide range of support including CV writing, UCAS applications, interview skills and much more.

Areas of study

  • Introduction to Academic Study and Work-Based Learning (Work Based Learning Activity) Compulsory
  • Introduction to Working With Children, Young People tnd Families tn Practice (Work-Integrated Learning Activity) Compulsory
  • Law, Society and Controversy (Child and Family) Compulsory
  • Understanding the Human Services (Child and Family) Compulsory
  • Child Welfare: Perspectives on and Approaches to Risk Assessments (Child and Family) Compulsory
  • Managing Applied Experience within a Work Based Learning Environment (Work-Integrated Activity) Compulsory
  • Multi-Agency Working (Child And Family) Compulsory
  • Perceptions and Discourses of Childhood (Child and Family) Compulsory
  • Researching Children and Family Practice (Work Based Project) Compulsory

Entry requirements

A foundation degree will be of particular interest if you have completed a modern apprenticeship, vocational A levels, BTEC National or equivalent. Foundation degrees are also particularly suitable if you want to qualify while working. 

As a guideline, a typical offer would require you to obtain a UCAS tariff score of between 32-48 points, based on your level 3 studies. Many students studying for foundation degrees come to us through work-based routes so you can apply for a foundation degree even if you don't have traditional academic qualifications.

We welcome applicants with relevant work experience.

Career prospects

Upon successful completion of your course,  you may choose to continue your studies and progress onto the third available year of this course, to top-up your degree to a BA (Hons) in either Child and Adolescent Studies, Early Year Studies or Applied Social Studies. Alternatively, there is a range of employment options available to you following this course including roles within Social and Human Services, Education, Community Services and many more.

Additional information

Coming to College is a full time commitment and you will need to ensure that you have factored in the cost of travelling to to your place of study and potentially to a local work placement. If you are concerned about this, please click here to see what financial support is available through our Student Services team. We do recommend a few good resources that you can choose to purchase which we discuss at interview. We may also request contributions are made to trips and outings.

Being in employment (or voluntary work) is integral and essential to this Foundation degree. A letter of support is required from employers. Each learner must have a work-based mentor. We have an excellent relationship with local Employers, and regularly hold meetings and visit to their organisations. The course allows you to remain in your childcare employment whilst you continue to study allowing you to relate theory to practice and reflect on your learning throughout the course. The time table runs over one afternoon and one evening allowing for minimum time taken from work.

The course seeks to develop your personal, professional and study skills in areas such as multi-agency working and working in social or child care. Employability is also core to the Foundation Degree and is part of the teaching programme at every level in units such as the Level 4 unit Reflective Learning, the Level 5 unit Managing People and Career Development in the Human Services.

As part of the Managing People and Career Development in the Human Services unit we have a student residential which consists of two days away including an overnight stay on a Friday and Saturday. We work in groups to prepare a presentation for formative assessment. This also provides an excellent opportunity for team building and group work ready for tthe second year.