Course Directory > Foundation Degrees > Foundation Degree in Early Years, Care and Education

Foundation Degree in Early Years, Care and Education

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Qualification type: 
Foundation Degree
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Foundation Degrees
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What is the Foundation Degree in Early Years, Care & Education course?

This is a three year course, leading to a degree awarded by the University of Portsmouth and intended for those who already have a level 3 qualification in child care. For those with no prior academic knowledge, you will need to have extensive experience in early years. Some students are able to apply to start in year 2, with advanced standing if they have a level 4 qualification in childcare or equivalent or can demonstrate they meet the outcomes from extensive experience.

You will also need to have grade C or above in GCSE English or recognised equivalent before you start the course.  A C or above in GCSE maths or recognised equivalent is desirable.  You should have some computer skills, but you will have IT training and full access to computer facilities both during taught sessions and for private study at college.  You will also be given support to develop study skills from many other sources.

Read about Tiffany Lee a former student of the Foundation Degree in Early Years, Care and Education course and her success in winning a national award for the nursery she manages

Teaching and learning

The course is part time and students attend Alton College for the equivalent of a 4 hour session per week during term time. There are occasional Saturday schools to explore more complex topics. These sessions are arranged so that students can benefit from working in groups.

Lectures provide a basic grounding in a particular topic with regular group seminars and discussions to allow for opportunities to explore ideas and share good practice.  You should expect to spend about ten hours per week on your own private study including background reading, preparation for seminars and completion of course work.  There will be one-to-one tutorials to help develop learning and study skills which will be instrumental in monitoring your progress. Additionally, some topics will be taught via the online learning environment.

An interview is required before you can enrol on this course.

Assessment details

Continuous assessment is used and there are no exams.  You will need to complete four units each year equivalent to 80 credits.  The coursework assessement takes a variety of different forms including case studies, reflective reports, essays, presentations and group work.


Students who complete this Foundation Degree can move on to gain an Early Years Professional (EYP) status or to complete a top up course at one of the local universities to achieve a BA (Hons) Degree.

Course topics

  • Working with parents
  • Professional development
  • Curriculum planning and legislation
  • Professional collaboration and safeguarding children
  • Use of Information for decision making
  • Cognitive and psychosocial development

Costs included

Fees are £2,250 per year. Apply to University of Portsmouth for any payment options.

Follow this link to: How to Apply on the Portsmouth University website.

On application you will need to let the university know that you wish to study at Alton College.


Extra costs

Books approximately £50 per year, writing materials, paper, A4 file and calculator.


For more information about the course, please visit the unistats website.

Unless your tutor informs you otherwise, classes will not be held on college closure days. Details regarding these dates can be found in the Adult Student Handbook or on the General Information page.

This leaflet is available in other formats on request