Foundation Degree in Early Years Care and Education

Qualification: Foundation Degree (FdA)
Level 5

This course is currently unavailable. Please register your interest below and we will let you know when it next becomes available.

About this course

If you are an enthusiastic and committed early year’s professional with a desire to continue to develop, this course will be right for you. A key component of this degree is the application of the ideas and information you learn in taught sessions in your workplace.

Endorsed by the Early Years sector and can lead to a top-up honours degree in Education and Training. Completion of which will support you in pursuing a career in teaching, although further study and qualifications are needed. You will already be working within early years, on a paid or voluntary basis, when you begin this course. Your work-based learning will be developed and formalised in your studies with us. As you review your own practice and knowledge, you will enhance your prospects in this field; you may also wish to consider progression to an honours degree.

Please note to study this Foundation degree at City College, you must apply for the course through the University of Portsmouth. On applying you will be asked to select your location of study on the form, where you can choose City College Southampton.


The Foundation Degree in Early Years has been awarded 100% satisfaction in a 2017 student survey conducted by National Student Surveys (NSS).


Do you need help to pay for this course? Did you know you can take out a Higher Education Loan to help with this? The Student Loans Company provides loans and grants to learners at college studying Higher Education. For more information click here

What you will learn

On this course you can apply the ideas and information gained in the course to your workplace, and vice versa.

The course will cover a range of units including:

  • Working with children
  • Play-based learning
  • Curriculum planning and legislation
  • Managing individuals and groups
  • Professional collaboration and safeguarding children
  • Working with parents
  • Cognitive and psycho-social development
Learning style

College sessions include presentations, lectures and group work. Some topics 


This course is part time and students attend for the equivalent of a four-hour session per week during term time. These sessions are arranged so that students can benefit from working in groups as well as attending presentations and lectures.

Lectures provide a basic grounding in a particular topic, regular group seminars and discussions allow for opportunities to explore ideas and share good practice. One-to-one tutorials will help develop learning and key skills and will be instrumental in monitoring your progress. Additionally, some topics will be taught through distance learning via the online learning environment.

Students are encouraged to find a workplace mentor who will also support you in your practice by acting as a critical friend in your reflection and thinking about personal and professional development.

Coursework assessment takes a variety of different forms including case studies, reflective reports, essays, presentations and group work. You will be provided with clear assessment criteria for all your assignments and tutorial support to help you understand academic requirements.

Entry requirements
  • A level 3 qualification in childcare such as the CACHE Diploma or EdExcel BTEC National Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development
  • Other level 3 qualifications will be considered
  • If you have a level 4 Diploma in Early Years you may be able to progress straight into the second year of this course
  • Applicants are to be working in either a voluntary or paid early years setting for a minimum of 12 hours per week
  • Those with no formal qualifications may be considered but will need to have extensive experience in Early Years.
  • You will be required to attend an interview at the College prior to enrolling onto the course
What next?
  • Top up to a BA (Hons) degree in education and training
  • Teacher training through PGCE or SCITT programmes
  • Early Years teacher (EYT) status
Additional information

You will need to apply directly to the University of Portsmouth.

Once your application has been received and approved by the University of Portsmouth, you will be invited for an interview at City College Southampton. For any further questions concerning enrolment for this course, please contact 

If you are studying for your first higher education course, you can benefit from a range of financial support. Visit for more information.

This qualification is validated and awarded by the University of Portsmouth, University House, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth PO1 2UP. Telephone 023 9284 8484

Need help with funding your studies?
Click here for more information