The Foundation Degree in Children's Development and Learning is a work-based programme which will provide students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to progress in their chosen career, without having to give up employment in order to study. It is validated as a Level 5 award and requires you to attend for half a day each week during term time, for two years. This course is delivered through a blended learning approach, meaning teaching and learning will be occur both on site in the classroom and remotely via a virtual learning platform.

There is plenty of support available to help you get the most out of your course. You will be allocated a personal tutor who will have regular one-to-one meetings with you. You'll also nominate someone from within your own workplace, such as a manager or colleague, to become your mentor. Additionally, you'll benefit from small learning groups and access to facilities at both Newbury and the University of Reading. Teaching is through lectures, seminars and workshops and makes full use of the University of Reading virtual learning platform (Blackboard) for extending discussions and sharing resources. Enrichment activities include visits to other settings, trips and outside speakers

Meet our students Elizabeth Lefever

Elizabeth Lefever

“I’ve always wanted to work in the childcare industry and chose this course as the best option to further my career. I like the fact that I have work placements in nurseries and schools to get more experience and become more confident. The support staff and teachers are happy to help and full of encouragement.”

Meet our students Luca Chareun

Luca Chareun

“I enjoyed the practical work experience within my course.”

  • Description

    Year 1 (Level 4) Modules include:

    • Theories of learning and development
    • Child in society 1
    • Partnership with parents
    • Learning spaces & Professional Skills in the Children's Workforce

    Year 2 (Level 5) Modules include:

    • Practitioner research
    • Child in society 2
    • Creativity and critical thinking
    • Supporting learning and development 0 - 11 years
    • International perspectives (optional)
    • Leadership in the children's workforce (optional).

    Enrichment activities include visits to other settings, trips and outside speakers.

    This course operates using a blended learning approach where part of some units may be delivered online via Microsoft Teams. To participate in this programme you will need a suitable computer and/or device with sufficient internet access. Specific requirements and information on the support available to borrow or purchase equipment can be discussed at interview.

  • Entry Requirements

    All applicants must be 18 years or above, working at least 2.5 days in a relevant setting within the workforce.

    English Language and Maths GCSE at grade C (or 4) or Level 2 equivalent.

    All candidates will be invited for interview as part of the application process. Any candidate who does not fully meet the entry criteria (e.g. who does not have maths GCSE, a Level 3 vocational qualification, or the specified amount of full-time work experience, but may have significant part-time work placement and/or volunteering experience and be able to demonstrate their ability to produce written work that meets the required level) is invited to submit their application, which will be considered on a case by case basis.

    A Level 3 qualification in a work-related area.

    Working at least 2.5 days a week with children in a relevant setting.

    2 years' experience (which may include voluntary work and/or a placement completed as part of a vocational qualification) of working directly with children within the Children's Workforce, for example, in a registered early years setting or in a school as a teaching assistant

    This course will support you in developing your academic as well as your professional skills. Independent study skills and good time management skills are needed. Students are University of Reading students who are given a full campus card and are able to access Readings library and Study Advice support services.

    You should be familiar with basic computer functions and applications including Microsoft Windows and Office. Parts of your programme will be delivered using Microsoft Teams. Training for this application will be provided.

  • Qualification

    Foundation Degree (FdEd) in Children's Development and Learning Level 5

  • Progression

    There is guaranteed progression to the BA in Children's Development and Learning at the University of Reading on successful completion of the Foundation Degree. Progression to Early Years Professional Status (EYPS), Higher Level Teaching Assistant, or Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is possible through further work-based study at the University of Reading.

  • Assessment

    Students attend College for one afternoon into early-evening session a week. Teaching is through lectures, seminars and workshops, and makes full use of the University of Reading virtual learning platform (Blackboard) for extending discussions and sharing resources. A range of course work is used for assessment - essays, presentations, reports and Wikis. Each module also has an element of work-based assessment through guided professional discussion. The optional modules are taught using blended learning methods of teaching and assessment.

  • Home Study

    Independent study and research to support the sessions delivered at College by your tutors.

  • Fees and Additional Costs

    The tuition fee for this programme is £4,625 per year. There is an annual student association fee of £15. At times, students are offered the opportunity to participate in external visits, which may require additional entrance fees and coach costs. Further details will be discussed during induction.

Code Start Fees*
FDEGREECDL 232501 September 2023 Fee Information

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* Terms and conditions apply. The fees stated on this website are for guidance purposes only and should be checked before enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, fees shown are for tuition only, over one term (Community Learning courses) or one academic year. Where a course is longer than one academic year, the fees stated are for the first year, and the cost of the second or subsequent years will be discussed at interview. For details of fee remission for students over 19 click here. If you think you may be entitled to a concession or fee remission, or you would like more information on the additional costs associated with your chosen course, please contact us on 01635 845000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fee information

16 - 18 year olds

In most cases, students aged 16-18 on a full-time study programme (including T Levels) will not be required to pay fees, and the College will fund most course-specific equipment and materials. This excludes stationary, non-curriculum trips and a £15 College Subscription.

19 years and over

Students aged 19 years and over may be required to pay fees. Our Fees, Funding and Financial Support page has details on financial support, fee remissions and loans. Please note that some courses may have additional registration, examination and/or materials fees. Where we have been unable to provide these additional costs in this information, they will be discussed with you before enrolment.

Funded programmes

Where course fees are fully funded (for example Maths, English and Essential Digital Skills), the course is free of charge to students, subject to eligibility.

Skills Bootcamps

Skills Bootcamps are fully funded and free of charge to learners. Employers who want to use Skills Bootcamps to train their existing employees contribute to the cost of training. See the Fees and Additional Costs for more information.