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Foundation Degree Early Years

If you are currently working as a child-minder, early-years practitioner, manager or other early-years profession, this work-based course will help you develop your professional skills in line with national Department for Education objectives. You study alongside your work, allowing you to apply what you learn directly to your career and use your work experiences as the basis for learning.

Course length 2 Years
Location City Campus
UCAS U8H7 Course code

Course description

What is early years?
Early years (from 0–5years) is considered by many to be the most important phase of a child's life and the development that they go through during this time ensures a good foundation stage on which the rest of their lives depend. It is vital that all early years practitioners ensure that they know as much as possible about developmental stages and milestones as this enables them to engage with very young children and their families.

This sector endorsed foundation degree is ideal if you are a childminder, early years practitioner working in either a mainstream or special school, manager or advisor working in the early years sector, with a focus on services for children aged 0–5 years. This course is also beneficial if you are an outreach, involvement or portage worker.

You need to be employed in an early years setting during the course as emphasis is placed on work-based learning. The main aims are to
• reflect the DfE aim to develop a common set of skills and knowledge across the children and young people’s workforce
• support transitions of staff across services and professional groupings

During the course you complete modules relating to how children learn and develop, working with families, developing quality indoor and outdoor environments and ensuring that all children are able to be involved in decision making in early years settings. You get the opportunity to study inclusive practice and international perspectives of working with young children by investigating and comparing and contrasting curriculums from other countries in the world.

You also examine your own academic and professional development. This ensures that you can reflect on new learning and that it is embedded into your everyday practice.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

All applicants must have at least one year’s full time equivalent experience working in the sector and level 2 qualifications in Literacy and Numeracy, plus usually one of the following

• 104 UCAS points from at least two A levels or equivalent BTEC National or CACHE qualifications. We accept AS levels.


• 88 UCAS points from three A levels or equivalent BTEC National or CACHE qualifications.

However, where applicants can demonstrate substantial experience in the sector we may accept a lower level of achievement at level 3.

New UCAS tariff points system for courses starting from September 2017. This is significantly different to the current points system and uses an alternative method of calculation. You can find information about these changes on the UCAS website and use the UCAS tariff calculator to work out your points.

Course structure

Two years full-time

Typical modules may include

Year one modules

• child development • enabling environments • play and the practitioner role • health and well being • outdoor play • reflective practice

Year two modules

• working with families • safeguarding • partnership, collaboration and team working • child development 2 • economic well being • inclusive practice in the early years

  • presentations
  • essays
  • reports
  • portfolios
  • posters
  • reviews
  • case studiesMany tasks will focus around reflecting on practice in your workplace.


This course could be your first step to becoming an early years teacher. After completing the foundation degree you could choose one of the many routes into teaching that Sheffield Hallam offers.

You graduate with the knowledge and skills to gain roles with greater responsibility, such as supervisory, management and higher management posts.

The course may allow you to take on wider responsibilities in more complex, multi-professional organisations including local authorities and voluntary organisations.


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

For the course fee and further information on scholarships and bursaries please visit our fees and funding pages.

International student

Additional course costsThis link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.Additional costs information

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS.

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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