FdA Early Years

Welcome to Early Years

Early Years programmes at University Centre Colchester are designed to be fun and rewarding whilst being tailored to your individual requirements with a variety of optional modules and routes to success that suit your interests and needs.

The course team consists of experienced lecturers and practitioners who guide you through your journey from enrolment to graduation.  The course offers assistance to find placements and supported visits to ensure you can graduate with a high level of both practical and theoretical experience in readiness for the job market.

We welcome all budding Early Years practitioners on board the programme and look forward to creating a positive and educated workforce within the sector. We care for our students in the same way you care for children which is why we feel passionately about developing and supporting you in your studies and career paths. Our dedicated and experienced tutors will enable you to really grow with the next generation!

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Course IntroductionModulesEntry RequirementsGraduate CareersAdditional

The FdA Early Years course covers a wide range of subjects within the childcare and education vocational area, including the psychology, sociology and philosophy of early childhood.

The first few years of children’s lives are crucial to their development and opportunities in later life – and the adults who work with them are ideally placed to make a difference.

The Foundation Degree in Early Years builds upon on your knowledge of children’s development and learning, as well as developing an understanding of policies and practice in early years settings.

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Each module is worth a specified number of credits, with most modules counting for 30 or 15 academic credits, with each credit taken equating to a total amount of study time which includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity.

Most full-time students will take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. A total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits are needed for an honours degree as a whole. Overall grades for the course and degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.

Compulsory modules enable you to cover key subject knowledge whilst and optional allow you to develop your own interests. The number of optional modules you can take depends on the number of core modules at a given level. Our teaching is informed by research, professional practice and industry engagement and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.

Year One Year Two Year Three Year Four - Blended Year

An existing level 3 qualification which includes assessed practical competence. Mature students without formal qualifications, but with evidence of practical experience and relevant employment will also be considered for this course. All applicants will be interviewed and required to demonstrate that they have relevant experience in working with children, and have good communication skills.
They will also need to undertake a written piece as part of the interview. . Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)* enhanced check.
*Please note there is a charge of £44 for a DBS check

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0, with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Additional requirements:

  • You must provide evidence of having been in general education for at least 10 years and of having studied within the last five years
  • a face-to-face interview is required before an offer is made.

Many students choose to continue their studies and complete the BA(Hons) in Early Years here at Colchester Institute; this can be done either through the part-time or full-time route. Some graduates enter social work, play therapy, health and civil services or support within schools and the community. There are other opportunities to apply for more senior positions within their current work setting and in Sure Start Children’s centres. After graduating with an Honours Degree and having undertaken teacher training, some students enter primary school teaching.

Timetables: Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week.

Teaching and Learning: You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical’s. Seminars enable smaller group discussions to develop understanding of topics covered in lectures. You will use and have access to industry-standard software and facilities throughout your course.

When not attending lectures, seminars and laboratory or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, learning zone or technical learning resources, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations

Assessment: The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally contains at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

 Feedback: You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Apply Part-time
FdA Early Years - Part-time
LevelLevel 5
LocationColchester
Duration3 Years
Course CodeZH2FDEYP01
Academic Year2019-2020
Study ModePart-Time
CampusUniversity Centre Colchester
Start DateSeptember 2019
AttendanceOne Day Per Week
Fee(s)2019-20: £5,500 per year
Early Years BA Top-up Blended Year
LevelLevel 6
LocationColchester
Duration1 Year
Course CodeZH2BAEYP01
Academic Year2019-2020
Study ModePart-Time
CampusUniversity Centre Colchester
Start DateSeptember 2019
Fee(s)2019-20: £8,250 per year
Year One

Module title: Research and Study Skills (15 credits)

What’s it about?

This module will help you to build research and study skills that you can use within your own studies or professional practice.

What do I learn?

You will learn how to retrieve information from a variety of sources as well as exploring major social research methods and processes. The module will give you an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research, data collection, methodological approaches and ethical considerations.

What’s the assignment?

This module has a written assignment of 3,000 words in patchwork text.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Safeguarding Children (15 credits)

What’s it about? 

This module aims to deepen your understanding of the issues around children’s welfare and how you can support children to safeguard themselves.

What do I learn?

You will engage in delicate discussions around child abuse whilst exploring the relationship between safeguarding children, current legislation, the family and the state. There will be an analysis of policies and procedures in children’s services and we will equip you with the listening skills to prepare for challenging circumstances.

What’s the assignment?

This module has a written assignment of 3,000 words in a report format.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Childhood in Society (15 credits)

What’s it about? 

This module will explore the concepts of childhood and how it has evolved over time across different cultures and societies. In addition, students will be expected to examine and challenge, where appropriate, their own pre- conceived ideas, attitudes and values about childhood.

What do I learn?

You will explore historical views of childhood, legislation that frames childhood in the UK, and the social construction of childhood. You will learn about current influences and factors that impact childhood such as poverty, homelessness, health, gender, class, disability and race.

What’s the assignment?

A 3,000 word essay.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Work Experience as a Resource for Learning: Integrated Practice (30 credits)

What’s it about?

This aim of this module is to enable you to understand the foundations of successful employment and consider how the work sector can be an environment for learning. A basic understanding of the inter-relationship between the world of work and education is explored.

What do I learn?

You will identify the core business of the work sector and discuss how this relates to your own workplace.  You will explore a variety of other settings and reflect on your own experiences and beliefs. There will be lectures around organisational structure, the importance of teamwork, the different roles of Early Years workers, and management or leadership styles.

What’s the assignment? As part of this module, the students will be seen and assessed in a practical observation during placement. Additionally, there will be a 3,000 word written assignment.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Two

Module title:  Research Appreciation and Critiquing: Diet, Exercise and Learning (30 Credits).

What’s it about?

This module will concentrate particularly on developing, in the students, the ability to identify researchable problems, to critically analyse research approaches and methods of data collection and to evaluate published research. Emphasis will be placed on the discussion of ethics and power in relation to research relating to diet, exercise and learning.

What do I learn?

You will develop skills in identifying researchable problems/questions in relation to diet, exercise and learning inclusive of environmental factors. There will be opportunities to analyse the impact of different types of research activity on the development of policy and practice and key legislation. Through this analysis you will then be able to critically analyse and compare published research approaches. This will enable you to debate the ethical issues arising in research.

What’s the assignment? 

A report of 3,000 words. 

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title:  Introduction to Counselling Skills (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

This is an optional module for students with a particular interest in developing the skills and knowledge associated with mentoring, counselling and active listening. Importantly, you will develop an understanding of when the parent/carer would benefit from the support of professionals in the field and how to refer them on.

What do I learn?

Through class discussions you will debate the ethical perspectives of counselling and support for children, parents/carers and colleagues. You will analyse two therapeutic models that can be applied to support individuals in crisis. This will enable you to evaluate strategies for managing situations where individuals may need their support or the support of others

What’s the assignment?

Workbook (2,500 word equivalent) and video presentation.

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title:  Creativity in Children’s Learning (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

In this optional module, we will explore theories that empower us to be confident with children’s creativity: from the philosophical, Steiner and Malaguzzi, through art inspired Csiksentmilhalyi and Nicholson, to modern education thinkers such as Robinson and Craft. Woven into this rich mix will be the impact of the groundbreaking National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education (NACCCE) report and the context of the National Curriculum as we discover the facilitators and inhibitors to children’s creativity and arrive at an evaluation of the benefits of creativity in our society.

What do I learn?

You will analyse and evaluate historical and current attitudes to children’s creativity. Through class discussion we will debate the facilitators, motivators and barriers involved in nurturing children’s creativity within the structure of age appropriate curricula. From this you will be able to present and appraise a context for supporting children’s creativity that encompasses national strategies for education.

What’s the assignment?

3,000 word written report.

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Domestic Abuse (15 credits)

What’s it about?

The nature and impact of domestic abuse and current responses by health and social care and the criminal justice system.

What do I learn?

You will learn about the different manifestations of coercive and controlling behaviour associated with domestic abuse and the impact on victims in relation to gender, age, culture and sexual orientation.  You will develop an understanding of different theories of domestic abuse with particular reference to patriarchal societies. You will appreciate the experience of survivors in the criminal justice system and evaluate current practice and services. 

What is the assignment?

3,000 word written assignment.

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Partnership working (15 credits)

What’s it about?

The module will examine roles and relationships within Early Years settings and with the wider community, considering the benefits, dilemmas and potential difficulties.

What do I learn?  

You will explore the benefits and significance of partnership working within Early Years settings and evaluate any potential barriers to this. There will be a reflection element that encourages you to consider your own role.

What’s the assignment?

There will be a 3,000 word written report.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Three

Module title: Areas of Learning: Language and Literacy and Mathematical Development: Integrated practice (15 credits)

What’s it about?

This module will support your knowledge and understanding of the characteristics of cognitive development as children acquire concepts, skills and attitudes in language, literacy, and mathematics.

What do I learn? 

You will evaluate key principles and practices in young children’s language, literacy and mathematical development. You will be using evidence-based practice to provide well-planned and structured opportunities that will support and develop young children’s communication and mathematics.

What’s the assignment?

There will be a 3,000 word written portfolio. 

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: Independent Learning Module (30 credits)

What’s it about? The aim of this module is to enable you to explore issues of particular interest to you. You will have the opportunity to focus on a particular professional issue of relevance to your work setting, and develop your academic skills in preparation for moving to a higher level of study.

What do I learn? 

You will carry out your own independent study and manage this appropriately. You will identify and define issues or problems that you can relate to practical experience and transfer this theory into practice.

What’s the assignment?

There will be a 6,000 word report. 

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

 

Year Four - Blended Year

Module title: (30 credits) Planning and Delivering the Early Years Curriculum

What’s it about?

This module aims to consolidate students’ knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage and of the National Curriculum Key Stage 1, enabling students to use their knowledge to plan, lead and evaluate activities and learning opportunities in order to contribute to children’s development and learning.

What do I learn?

You will analyse the developmental and learning needs of children in their setting. You will critically evaluate how the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum Key Stage 1 meets the developmental and learning needs of young children. An examination of the potential impact of current policy, proposed changes to Early Years curriculum and the Early Years settings will be made.

You will plan and lead sequences of learning opportunities and activities which make a positive contribution to children’s development and learning, negotiating the implementation of these into the settings curriculum and evaluating these within the placement setting.

What’s the assignment?

6,000 word report.

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: (30 credits) Undergraduate Dissertation

What’s it about?

This module is designed to support students in the planning and implementation of an undergraduate dissertation based upon an area of Early Years practice of your choice. This will consist of either a literature review, extended essay or a research proposal.

What do I learn?

You will choose and define the scope of an appropriate area for investigation and development, acting autonomously with minimal supervision. You will produce a review of literature that demonstrates your ability to critically evaluate and analyse the selected research material. You will show a critical appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge specific to your selected research area and demonstrate a critical understanding of primary or secondary research strategies in answering your research question. Finally, you will critically evaluate evidence to justify and create recommendations in relation to these research strategies and consider implications for professional practice.

What’s the assignment?

An outline of research (500 words) and either a literature review or an extended essay or research proposal (7,500 words)

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: (15 credits) Advocacy 

What’s it about?

This module offers the opportunity for participants to explore the purpose, principles and models of advocacy. Advocacy is now embodied in legislation relating to children and people with mental health problems and is an important method of raising awareness on a variety of issues that may lead to improvements in policy, legislation and service development and delivery.

What do I learn?

You will identify and critique the purpose and principles of advocacy and critically examine and compare the various models of advocacy. You will critically reflect and review the role of advocacy in relation to children and people with mental health problems.

What’s the assignment?

3,000 word written essay.

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: (15 credits) Children’s Rights

What’s it about?

The legal position of children has been enhanced by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to encompass principles of protection, provision of services and participation. This module explores the different dimensions of children’s rights and their influence on the care and welfare of children and their families.

What do I learn?

You will analyse key concepts concerning children’s rights and critically evaluate the role of practitioners in fulfilling the rights of the child, whilst demonstrating a critical awareness of differences in the implementation of children’s rights across the world.

What’s the assignment?

3,000 word written essay.

To see the module description, please click here.

Module title: (15 credits) Pan European Childcare and Education 

What’s it about?

By researching the care and education of the under eights in other European countries, students will compare and contrast the different experiences of young children and consider the implications for our own professional practice.

What do I learn?

You will research the Early Years child care and education of two other European states and critically evaluate the systems that you have researched in contrast with that in Britain today. You will analyse the implications of moving into a different care and education system on a child and on an Early Years worker, whilst formulating and justifying your own recommendations for a pan-European system.

What’s the assignment?

3,000 word portfolio.

To see the module description, please click here

Module title: (15 credits) Management, Supervision and Organisational Behaviour

What’s it about?

This module is designed to introduce students to the importance of leadership, management and supervision principles in Early Years settings whilst considering how these principles will impact upon Early Years strategy and organisational behaviour.

What do I learn?

You will evaluate the application of the general principle of management to the Early  Years sector and understand the main factors that influence the behaviour of individuals and groups in organisations. You will think critically and analytically about change processes and the efficacy of various strategies aimed at the resolution of organisational issues and problems facing Early Years leaders. Finally, you will discuss the role of individual supervision both for the development of the individual practitioner and for the professional practice as a whole.

What’s the assignment?

3,000 word essay.

To see the module description, please click here.



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All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2018-19 academic year and correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes. Fees for courses starting in the 2019-20 academic year will be added to the website from December 2018.

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The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.