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Course Mode
Start Date
Start Time
2 Years
End Date

Childhood Studies

Childcare and education is one of the most exciting and rewarding sectors and one that needs top quality staff at all levels and offers plenty of career choice, working with children of all ages and within various settings.

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Ed Crisp | Level 3 Children’s Play Learning & Development

I am really motivated that I am working towards my goal of working with children. The work in varied including visiting schools, trips and weekly work placements. Its eye-opening how much you learn from the practical sessions.

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Course Overview

This programme is designed to qualify you to work with children from 0-8 years, e.g. as a teaching assistant in a school, learning support assistant or nursery practitioner. The course provides an excellent and well-established route to progress to professional training such as primary teaching, paediatric nursing and early years studies. You can use this qualification to progress to a wide range of degree programmes, for example, psychology, sociology, social work, criminology or educational studies.

You complete the Foundation Diploma in the first year and the Extended Diploma in the second year. The two-year course is equivalent to 3 A-Levels and is worth up to 168 UCAS points (Triple Distinction*) or 144 UCAS points (Triple Distinction).

The programme requires you to complete compulsory professional practice, covering the 0-8 age range, totalling 750 hours over 2 years. You will spend 2 days in placement and 3 days in college each week.

The course consists of a total of 11 mandatory units, many of which focus on curriculum-related subjects.

Mandatory units include:
- Development of children's communication, literacy & numeracy skills
- Child development
- Play & learning
- Observation, assessment and planning for play and development
- Enquires into current research
- The Early Years Foundation Stage

There will be a minimum of 3 placements across the 2-year programme, including:
- 11 months with 0-1 year-olds
- 11 months with 2-4 year-olds
- 11 months with 5-7 year-olds

The course is assessed through coursework, which involves essays, reports and presentations. There are also 3 externally assessed units across the programme.

Entry Requirements

You should have a minimum of five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above, including English and Maths, or Level 2 Diploma in Childrens Care Learning and Development (Merit or Distinction) plus again a Grade 4 or above in English and Maths and a satisfactory tutor reference.

As part of the entry criteria for this course you will need to have a check completed by the Disclosure and Barring service. This does not mean that if you have any previous convictions or warnings that you will not be able to join this programme, but an assessment will be completed as to your suitability to progress on to the programme. Please discuss with us in confidence if you have concerns about the content of your check.

In addition you will be given an interview with a member of the Childhood Studies team to assess your suitability and potential for successful completion of the course.

You will also need to demonstrate good communication skills and a commitment to working with children.

NB: Enrolment on this course is dependent on meeting the Entry Requirements stated above.

After Your Course

You can use this qualification to progress to a wide range of degree programmes, for example, psychology, sociology, social work, paediatric nursing, criminology or educational studies. This qualification also qualifies you to work as a practitioner in schools, nurseries and other educational establishments. Fopr example, our students have progressed onto the following job roles child care practitioner, nursery manager, teaching assistant, child minder, children's rep and au pair/nanny.



Course fees are per year for full-time & degree-level courses, and per course for part-time ones. The current full-time & degree-level fee information is related to the 2020/21 academic year and is subject to change before the start of the course. Fees for 2021/22 will be updated in the Spring Term 2021. There may also be additional costs associated with the course.

This course is funded by the government and may be free if you are:

  • Aged 16-18 on 31/08/20
  • Aged 19-23 on an Entry Level or Level 1 course with intent to progress to a Level 2 course
  • Aged 19-23 on your first full Level 2 or Level 3 course
  • Aged 19-23 on your first Level 4 course (if you haven’t already got a Level 3 qualification)
  • Aged 19+ on Functions Skills or GCSE English or Maths
  • Unemployed and in receipt of JSA/ESA(WRAG)/Universal Credit or another eligible state benefit on an Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 course
  • Member of a low income household & in financial hardship on an Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 course

Level 3-6 Courses for Adults

Advanced Learning Loans are available for students aged 19+ and studying an eligible Level 3/4/5 and 6 Course. If you are on an Access course, the loan will be written off if you complete a degree.

Please speak to Student Services for more information on course fees.