Education and Care FdA

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Develop your career working with children and young people. Earn an academic qualification that also delivers practical skills. Boost your earning potential.

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This highly practical two-year course allows you to develop your career in the education and care of young people, without having to give up your job.

Education and Care Foundation Degree is a part-time course which you can study at any of our five partner colleges. You'll develop knowledge and skills which you can use straight away in any workplace that involves working with children and young people.

Please contact the relevant partner college to apply for this course.

Why us?

  • 100% of FdA Education and Care graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2015/16 (based on UK students)
  • Opportunity to ‘top up’ this course to a full BA (Hons) degree with an extra year of study
  • 100% of students are satisfied with the quality of the course, according to the National Student Survey 2017

Course structure

This is a highly practical course, which combines academic study and work-based learning. The elements of the course which are taught in the college include lectures, discussions, case studies and workshops.

Your progress will be assessed with evaluations of work experience, reports and presentations. Throughout the course you'll have one-to-one support from academic staff.

Year 1 (Higher Education Certificate Level 1) (national level 4):

  • Study and Self
  • Thinking Skills, Creativity and Problem Solving
  • Human Development, Transitions and Change
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Understanding the Curriculum
  • The Social Context of Childhood


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Final year (Foundation Degree) (national level 5):

  • Social Policy and Children's Well-Being
  • Professional Practice in Safeguarding of Children and Young People
  • Working Relationships
  • Learning Technologies
  • Project Design and Development
  • Project


This course is taught at five partner colleges:

Bishop Auckland College
East Durham College
South Tyneside College – a site of Tyne Coast College
Sunderland College
Tyne Metropolitan College – a site of Tyne Coast College

Entry requirements

To apply for this course you need one of the following qualifications in a relevant subject area:

BTEC Level 3
NVQ Level 3
CACHE Diploma in Education and Childcare

We also require 2 passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

In addition to these academic qualifications, you should have at least two years’ relevant work experience, and you should be employed in a role related to the education and care of young people.

You must also have:

A satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check that has an issue date within three years of the start date of the course.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is £5,000 per 120 credits if you are from the UK or EU.

This part-time course is not available to international students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night


This course is ideal for people who are ready to step up to the next level in their career working with children and young people.

It will develop your knowledge and skills in a broad range of areas, including early years, co-located services, and Special Educational Needs.

When you have completed this Foundation Degree, you will have the opportunity to 'top up' to a BA (Hons) undergraduate degree. Taking the one-year course BA (Hons) Education and Curriculum Studies (Top-Up) will enable you to achieve a full BA (Hons) undergraduate degree.

Meet our academics

Julian Kranz

Senior Lecturer