FD Primary Education

Develop your understanding of the theoretical and practical elements of working with young children on this two-year foundation degree course. It offers the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of a broad spectrum of modules related to the care and education of young children, with specific reference to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum.

The course is a great option for existing early years and primary education practitioners or those who are looking at joining the sector whilst working with children. Working in the education sector is valuable to society and the local community with staff being key workers.

The lectures and assessment tasks will enhance your knowledge and experience of the Early Years, through teaching and discussion on a wide range of topics; from child development and learning to international perspectives and professional practice.

Alongside lectures, you will learn on the job through participating in placement activities. Therefore, you are required to have a position (paid or voluntary) in an Early Years or Primary School setting.

By the end of the course you will have the knowledge to work within and support a variety of Early Years and Primary School settings. You will have an increased understanding of relevant legislations and curricula, the importance of providing high-quality care and education to young children, and an awareness of how you can enhance young children’s experiences to support them in reaching their potential.

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 30 students.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: We acknowledge that the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the availability of placement opportunities and for some applicants this may affect their ability to fulfil the entry requirement of completing 400 hours of pre-entry experience prior to commencing the course. We would like to reassure applicants that we will take this into consideration when reviewing applications and strongly encourage anyone with concerns that they are currently unable to fulfil the placement entry requirements to still apply for the course, where we can consider your experience on an individual basis.

If you are applying to start in September 2021, you must meet the following entry requirements:

Applicants are required to have gained a minimum of 400 hours work experience (e.g. one year for two days a week) within a early years or primary education setting before starting the course. During the course you must participate in a minimum of 12 hours paid or voluntary placement every week during your studies.

48 UCAS points in any subjects:

  • CACHE Level 3 Diploma (Pass)
  • A-levels (DD)
  • BTEC (PPP)
  • Cambridge Technicals (PPP)
  • Access to HE (45 credits)

Mature students or students who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or admissions@ucp.ac.uk to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.

You must have GCSE English language and mathematics at a minimum of grade C or grade 4.

If English is not your first language you will require a recognised Level 2 English language qualification or an IELTS score of 6.0 (with 5.5 minimum in each skill) or an equivalent English Language qualification.

An enhanced DBS check is required.

An interview may be required before an offer can be made.


We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email admissions@ucp.ac.uk.


To find out more about UCAS tariff points and how they work, visit ucas.com/tariff-calculator.

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as A-levels (you must have grades for at least two A-levels), BTEC, Cambridge Technicals, International Baccalaureate (IB), NVQ Level 3, Access to Higher Education and Scottish Advanced Highers.

The tariff points for qualifications can be added and combined together (e.g. A-levels plus BTECs).

The UCAS points for A-level General Studies, AS-levels and the EQP (Extended Project Qualification) are accepted when combined with other full qualifications.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
  • Introduction to EYFS & National Curriculum (15 credits)
  • Planning & Assessment in Primary Education (15 credits)
  • Child Development and Learning (30 credits)
  • Children's Mental Health & Wellbeing (15 credits)
  • Academic & Professional Practice 1: Primary Education (15 credits)
Final year for full-time students (Level 5)
  • Safeguarding Children and Young People (30 credits)
  • English in Primary Education (30 credits)
  • Mathematics in Primary Education (15 credits)
  • Science in Primary Education (15 credits)
  • Academic & Professional Practice 2: Primary Education (30 credits)

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.  A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study.  A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

When studying this course at University Centre Peterborough, we will timetable your lectures as one full day a week over two semesters per year.

We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.

Over the duration of your course, teaching will be delivered by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
  • 50%     Lectures
  • 25%     Seminars
  • 25%     Workshops
Final year for full-time students (Level 5)
  • 50%     Lectures
  • 25%     Seminars
  • 25%     Workshops

There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 7 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 30 hours per week for additional study.

The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the year and you will also have 24/7 access to a virtual learning environment (VLE) with e-books, journals and abstracts plus teaching resources and interactive tools.

Timetables are available at least 6 weeks before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.

The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

Throughout the duration of your course you will be assessed by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
  • 60%     Coursework
  • 40%     Group Activities
Final year for full-time students (Level 5)
  • 60%     Coursework
  • 40%     Group Activities

We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

Formative assessment opportunities are written into all module plans to provide students with on-going feedback.  End of semester assessments will have formative opportunities in weeks 9 or 10 of the semester.  In addition revision sessions will be held in week 12.

When a student has achieved 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5 they become eligible for a foundation. The award classification is determined by calculating the credit weighted arithmetic mean of the module results for all modules at level 5. The following classifications are determined by the above calculation:

70%+         Distinction
60-69%     Merit
40-59%     Pass
0-39%       Fail

A student who has achieved FdA Early Years and Education may choose to apply for the level 6 BA (Hons) Education Studies Top-up course as a new student in order to achieve a second qualification. On achievement of 120 credits at level 6, their final BA (Hons) degree classification will be by calculating the credit weighted arithmetic mean of the module results for all modules at level 6 only.

Applicants must be working in or have access to a suitable children’s environment (paid or voluntary) and commit to working a minimum of 12 hours paid or voluntary placement every week during your studies (for 24 weeks per academic year). In both years you will undertake Work Based Research modules based on your work placement.

The CACHE Licence to Practice is incorporated into the FdA Early Years and Childcare course to enhance your employment opportunities and support you in obtaining a wide variety of roles within the Early Years sector.

Upon completion of the programme you will receive an additional accredited qualification which will enable you to be counted in Early Years Foundation Stage ratios at level 3.

After successful completion of the FdA Early Years and Education, you have the opportunity to progress to the BA (Hons) Education Studies (Top-up) course at University Centre Peterborough to obtain a full honours degree with a further year of study. Following this, many of our graduates proceed to Initial Teacher Training in order to pursue a career as a qualified teacher.

The course can lead to a broad range of future careers with a focus upon children and families.

Just some of the future careers for graduates after completing the course include:

  • HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant)
  • Play Therapist
  • Early Years / Primary School Teacher
  • Education / Nursery Management
  • Special Needs Coordinator
  • Family Support Worker
  • Children’s Centre Management
  • Education Welfare Officer
  • Social Worker
  • Learning Mentor

Note that some careers may require further study or experience beyond the Foundation Degree.

Sarah Collins

I am the Course Leader for the FdA Early Years and Education and have been involved with teaching on the course at University Centre Peterborough since 2017.

In my role I am fortunate to have the opportunity to oversee the course delivery, as well as teach on the course to my subject specialisms. Having previously worked in two other education institutions, I am passionate about embracing the benefits that our smaller community campus and classes provide for students, including the ability to forge close working relationships between lecturers and students. As a department, we promote the interrelationship of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum and the broad range of students that join the programme allow us to draw on a comprehensive range of practitioner experiences from both staff and students.

Underpinning my practice knowledge, I am a registered Social Worker with a background in statutory children’s social work and experience in the areas of child protection, court proceedings, youth offending and children in care. I utilise this experience as the Module Leader for our Level 5 Safeguarding and Risk Management module and have a significant interest in partnership working and the role of education practitioners in safeguarding.

From my social work practice I have a number of years of experience working directly with young children. Within my academic practice I have developed my areas of specialism further whilst undertaking my Masters degree, within which I studied how theoretical and methodological frameworks contribute to understanding children’s developmental changes, in the context of cultural, social and educational differences.

I am passionate about the importance of continuous professional development and consequently I am presently pursuing further postgraduate study in the field of Education, focusing upon the area of inequality in education practice. I am also a school governor of a local primary school, which allows me to practice educational leadership, support the strategic direction of the school and to remain up-to-date with developments in the education sector.


  • MA Education (currently studying)
  • MA Social Sciences
  • BA (Hons) Social Work
  • BA (Hons) African Studies and Development Studies
  • Level 5 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector

Professional Membership

  • Registered Social Worker with Social Work England

When you have chosen a course to study at University Centre Peterborough, your next step is to make an application.

All FULL-TIME APPLICATIONS must be made to UCAS via a web-based tracker system – www.ucas.com (the institution code for University Centre Peterborough is P56).

All PART-TIME APPLICATIONS can be submitted directly to University Centre Peterborough. You can download and complete the following form then email to admissions@ucp.ac.uk, or send it through the post, or visit us in person.

Before you apply, please check that you meet the entry requirement which is listed on the course information pages.

If you have any questions about making an application contact the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email admissions@ucp.ac.uk.

If you are currently studying

University Centre Peterborough are committed to supporting all of our applicants who are currently studying A-level, BTEC, Access to HE or other qualifications. We want everyone achieve the best possible outcomes and we will support applicants in the coming months so they are not disadvantaged in any way due to recent changes in exams and grading. All applicants should continue to work hard as this will help teachers assess your ability and help prepare you before starting your higher education or degree course.

When to apply

We advise you to make an application for your chosen course as soon as possible to secure your place. We will process your application within 1 to 5 working days so you know if you have been successful and received an offer.

The following timeline is for applications to start a course in September 2022.


  • Applications for the majority of courses will be made by 6pm on 26th January 2022 
  • If you have not made your application by this date you can still apply to University Centre Peterborough at any time afterwards.


  • If you missed the first UCAS deadline, you can still apply through UCAS Extra from Friday 25th February to Monday 4th July 2022.
  • This also gives you the opportunity to add University Centre Peterborough as an additional choice if you have used all five choices and are not holding any offers.


  • From Tuesday 5th July 2022 you can apply via UCAS through Clearing.
  • Clearing is for those who have not yet applied or students who have waited until they have received their grades. However, you do not need to wait until you receive your grades before applying through Clearing.
  • If you have applied and been accepted at another university, you still have the opportunity to change to study at University Centre Peterborough.
  • If you don’t get the grades you expected, don’t panic. Just contact us during Clearing and we can usually confirm your place very quickly. We are used to helping students at this time of year.

Types of offer

When you make an application, you will receive one of the following offers:

  • CONDITIONAL OFFER: You will have to meet certain conditions before the start of the course (such as achieving your exams with a certain grade). We will specify these conditions when making you an offer. When you achieve these grades your place will then be confirmed.
  • UNCONDITIONAL OFFER: You already meet the entry requirements for the course (i.e. you have achieved the grades already) and we are happy to offer you a place without conditions.
  • DECLINE: Unfortunately, we are not able to offer you a place at this time. We will advise you why you were unsuccessful on this occasion and we can give you advice on alternative courses for progression.

Applicant days

  • We will be holding an Applicant Day for new students on Saturday 20th March 2021.
  • This invitation only event is available to students who are holding a Conditional Offer or Unconditional Offer. It will give you the opportunity to meet other students, academic staff and participate in subject sessions to help prepare you before starting in September 2021.
  • If you are still deciding on where to study then this day can be a great chance to see if studying with us is right for you.

Advice Sessions and Open Days

  • If you would like help with your application, more information about student finances or have any questions, then you are welcome to book onto one of our regular Advice Sessions where you can speak to a member of staff for help and advice.
  • During our Open Days we run a series of talks on a variety of topics including applications and student finance.
  • For dates and times of the latest Advice Sessions and Open Days visit www.ucp.ac.uk/events.

Key Facts

Institution code
Tariff points
Validated by:
The Open University

Peterborough Campus

Duration and Delivery

Full-time 2 years (1 full day a week over two semesters per year)

Start Date
September 2022

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 will be £8,000 per year, which is lower compared with many other universities.

There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

Additional Notes

Click here for terms and conditions 2022/23 including our complaints policy.

Course enquiry

FD Primary Education

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