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Early Years Foundation Degree (Part-Time)

Explore the nature of childhood in contemporary society, linking social theory, policy and practice, while developing your academic and research skills

3 Years
Theory & Practical

Entry Requirements: GCSEs at grade C/grade 4 or above

Course Info

The development of children and young people is at the forefront of policy and debate in today’s society. This newly refocused course will provide you with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of child development and other factors that shape children’s lives from birth.

A key difference between this and other programmes of study is that we help you to develop your understanding from the perspective of children. So, if you’re looking to progress into teaching, working in early years, social care, child and youth policy work and other occupations relating to children, young people and families, then this course could be for you.

You’ll explore the nature of childhood in a contemporary society, referencing relevant social theory and research as well as drawing on current policy and practices in the field, including your own experiences. Newly developed modules across both years of study will assist you in developing your academic and research skills to support you in the transition to higher education.

Key topics include the study of childhood through the perspectives of psychology, sociology, philosophy. The voice of the child is a strong focus throughout the course, along with educational theories and development, inclusivity, and safeguarding.

We’ll help you to develop as a critical thinker; being able to understand and challenge current approaches and policy.

The  modules you’ll study are:

Level 4

  • Academic and Professional Development
  • Exploring Practice
  • Safeguarding Children and Families
  • Inclusivity
  • Approaches to Pedagogy
  • Birth to Five

Level 5

  • Academic Research and Professional Development
  • Communication and Collaboration in the Early Years
  • Leading Early Years Practice
  • Contemporary Issues
  • 21st Century Play
  • Environmental Influences on Behaviour

Important Links:

  • Click HERE for the programme specification
  • For a full list of the University Centre’s regulations and policies please click HERE
  • Click HERE for The Open University Regulations for Validated Awards


Our newly developed programme will be taught through a series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and interactive workshops. Course materials have been updated to ensure we continue to provide a programme that reflects the current priorities and challenges within the sector.

You’ll also have a personal tutor who’ll be assigned to you throughout your degree to support your on-going wellbeing and ensure that you have a positive learning experience.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Lecturer Profiles

Course Leader: Julie Jones, BA (Hons), has 25 years’ experience of working in early years including as an Early Years Ofsted Inspector, childminding, working in pre-school, managing a private day nursery, working as a Local Authority advisor, and teaching and assessing early years and early years management apprentices. She has been involved in delivering professional training and teaching for over 15 years, teaching a variety of non-accredited and accredited early years courses from entry level to level 5.

Entry Requirements & Interview Process

Functional skills Level 2, preferably GCSE at grade C or grade 4 or above.

Work placement in an early year’s environment is essential.

Candidates will be invited to a group interview or a telephone interview.