FdA Early Years, Playwork and Education

Develop your understanding of working with primary-aged children on this two-year foundation degree course. It’s a great option if you’re already working in an early years setting or primary school.

Develop your understanding of the theoretical and practical elements of working with primary-aged children. Many of the lectures and assignments will build on your current knowledge and experience. Modules span a wide range of topics, from childhood learning and development  to safeguarding; research methods to professional practice.

Alongside lectures, you’ll learn on the job, so you’ll need to have or get a support role (paid or voluntary) in an early years or primary setting.

By the time you complete the course you’ll be able to work confidently in a variety of early years and primary settings, understand the relevant regulations and above all, be able to provide high-quality care and education to young children.

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

  • All students receive one to one and group tutorials throughout the semester to support individuals needs and aspirations.
  • All lecturers are industry specialists with vast knowledge and experience.
  • You will attend one full day a week so you can work part-time while you study locally.
  • After successful completion of the FdA Levels 4 and 5, you have the opportunity to complete the BA (Hons) Education Top-up to obtain a full honours degree.

2017 National Student Survey (NSS) results

FdA Early Years, Playwork and Education

78.57%    Overall satisfaction
94.64%    The teaching on my course
78.57%    Assessment and Feedback
83.33%    Academic support

Applicants must be working in or have access to a suitable children’s environment and commit to working a minimum of 400 hours each year during your studies.

48 UCAS points with at least one qualification in a related subject:

  • CACHE Level 3 Diploma
  • A-levels
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
  • Cambridge Technical Level 3
  • IB Diploma
  • Access to HE

Students who do not qualify by any of these qualifications should call 01733 214466 or email admissions@ucp.ac.uk to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.

You must have GCSEs English and Mathematics at grade C or above.

We accept A-level General Studies and AS-levels when combined with other full qualifications.

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

Current DBS required.

A face to face interview is required before an offer can be made.


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.


UCP offers students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning processes ensure that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you should 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, in which their claim is justified in detail and is supported by relevant evidence. 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.

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

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)
  • Learning and Development (30 credits)
  • Researching Childhood (30 credits)
  • Play, Health and Wellbeing (30 credits)
  • Work Base Learning 1 (30 credits)
Final year for full-time students (Level 5)
  • Safeguarding Children (30 credits)
  • Supporting Children’s Learning (30 credits)
  • Embracing Diversity (30 credits)
  • Work Base Learning 2 (30 credits)

Click here for more information about each of the core modules.

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.  A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study.  A full-time student should expect to undertake 38 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.

Each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks. If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities.

We recommend that full-time students allow up to an additional 40 hours per week for additional study. The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the whole year and open late until 9.00pm from Monday to Thursday during term time. You also have 24/7 access to online resources from Anglia Ruskin University.

Timetables are available at least one month before enrolment and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods. Note that 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:

  • Coursework
  • Reflective log book
  • Presentation/oral assessment
  • Written assessment
  • Multiple choice examination
  • Artefact

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.

A formative assessment workshop is written into all module plans and usually take place in weeks 9 or 10 of the semester.  Each course includes a summative feedback session where marked work is returned.

When a student has achieved 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5 they become eligible for a foundation degree. 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: Distinction

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

A student who has achieved FdA Early Years Playwork and Education may choose to apply for the level 6 BA (Hons) Education 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.

After successful completion of the FdA Levels 4 and 5, you have the opportunity to complete the BA (Hons) Education Top-up to obtain a full honours degree with a further year of study.

The course will also develop your learning skills – and provides an excellent preparation for any number of early years and primary roles, as well as further study, teacher training or academic research in the early years sector.

I am the Course Leader for the FdA Early Years, Playwork and Education and BA (Hons) Education Top-up courses at University Centre Peterborough.  I have been teaching at University Centre Peterborough since September 2015 on a number of modules including Embracing Diversity, Researching Childhood, Supporting Children’s Learning and Learning and Development.

I have always had a fascination and passion in working with early years and have had experience in working in various settings. This has given me invaluable industry expertise and a realistic understanding of the sector.

I previously worked for a local primary school within foundation stage as a trainee primary school teacher. During my time there I had a particular focus in phonics in Early Years and developed a variety of programs to support children and parents in reading and writing.
Prior to this I managed a local preschool developing planning, managing funding, supporting families and liaising with external agencies to facilitate a wide range of needs.

During my career I pursued higher education starting from a foundation degree in childhood services and worked towards a BA in learning and teaching. This led me to develop my practice further and qualify as an Early Years Teacher and achieve teaching status.  

  • FdA Childhood Services (Early Years Pathway), Bishop Grosseteste University
  • BA (Hons) Learning and Teaching, University of Northampton
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYTS), University of Bedfordshire

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

All full-time applications for UK and EU students 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 and postgraduate applications can be directly to University Centre Peterborough. Contact the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email admissions@ucp.ac.uk to start your application.

If you only wish to apply to University Centre Peterborough and already have the entry requirements, you can also apply directly to us by downloading and completing the following form.

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


For full-time undergraduate and HNC/D applications, 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 a successfully received an unconditional or conditional offer. We are available to help you through every step of the way.

Applying through Clearing

Clearing officially begins on the 5th July 2018. However, we are also accepting applications prior to this date. You don’t need to wait until your results come out before applying to University Centre Peterborough through Clearing, you can APPLY NOW.

For more information about how to apply through clearing click Clearing 2018.


Don’t panic. If you have done better or worse than you expected, contact University Centre Peterborough during Clearing and we will let you know very quickly. During this time of year we have additional staff so you can speak to admissions and academic staff who can advise if you can be accepted on a degree. We are used to helping hundreds of students at this time of year so you can feel assured that you receive the best advice and support.

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

Key Facts

Institution code
Accredited by:
Anglia Ruskin University

University Centre Peterborough

Duration and Delivery

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

Start Date
w/c 17th September 2018

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate UK and EU students starting in 2018/19 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 2018/19 including our complaints policy.


FdA Early Years, Playwork and Education

By accepting above I agree to allow University Centre Peterborough to contact me on the details provided. To unsubscribe at any time please email hello@ucp.ac.uk. Further information can be found here

Copyright © University Centre Peterborough. All rights reserved. Site by i3MEDIA