Early Years - FdA *

  • UCAS Code: X311
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (2 years), Part Time (3 years)
  • Location: South and City College Birmingham

Please note

This course and the information on this page is indicative based on the 2019/20 academic year. The final details for this course starting in 2020/21 may be subject to change and will be confirmed in June 2020.

Available full-time or part-time at our partner, South and City College Birmingham, this foundation degree is an excellent source of professional development if you are already working in a childcare setting, and is a highly respected starting point for your studies. Equivalent to two years of degree-level study, it offers direct entry to the final year of the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies providing a commendation/merit profile is achieved.

What's covered in the course?

The course is carefully designed to offer appropriate skills and knowledge relating to professional practice, and the application of work-based experience. It also focuses on your self-development and independent learning, as well as team work and your ability to manage others.

Skills and knowledge acquired from your modules combine to give you a thorough appreciation of a child’s social and emotional development, covering issues of language, literacy and numeracy, knowledge and understanding of the world, and physical and creative development.

Applying your knowledge in real Early Years settings is a vital part of your learning, and you need to complete 720 hours of work placement during the course. As a working, part-time student, you normally achieve this through your professional commitments; if you study full-time, you get all the support you need to find a suitable work placement.

“The library has outstanding facilities including private study rooms, computers and even a cafe. It also has extended opening hours during busy periods of the year and the staff are always friendly and willing to help you find what you are looking for.” Roberta Goddard

Why Choose Us?

  • Studying in small groups, trainee Early Years practitioners get the chance to enhance skills and professional standing, while aspiring entrants to the profession enjoy a practical, hands-on introduction to key issues
  • The part-time route offers flexibility to fit studies around your weekly commitments
  • Although based at South and City College Birmingham (Digbeth campus), you have full use of facilities at any of the University sites and will feel part of our supportive student community
  • This course supports the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), ensuring you can deliver provision that complies with EYFS learning and development requirements
  • Ofsted rates South and City College Birmingham as a 'Beacon Status' college, making it one of only a few UK training providers to achieve the government's Training Quality Standard in three or more sectors
  • The College also has Customer Service Excellence status, showing the importance placed on student satisfaction

This course is open to International students

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

A minimum of 2 GCSEs in English Language and Mathematics at Grade 4 or above (formerly Grade C), at the point of enrolment.

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2020/21
GCE A Level/ AS Level 48 UCAS Tariff points from A Levels, not including Business and IT.
Access to Higher Education Diploma A Pass. 60 credits including 45 at Level 3. We will not accept Access to Business or ICT. If you do not have GCSE English and Maths at grade C or above, then credits must also include English and Maths at Level 2.
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) / Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma MP
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) / Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma PPP
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma / Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate Grade: Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma 24 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers) Combinations equalling 48 UCAS tariff points including 3 Higher Level passes.
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Minimum 48 UCAS tariff points (Advanced Higher DD; Higher CDD)
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) Only when combined with other Level 3 qualifications.
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
 Extra Information EU/International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2020/21
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 24 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.


International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Successful candidates will be required to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance via the Faculty.

Places will be offered on the programme after applicants have attended an introductory workshop and successfully completed a full disclosure via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

We welcome applications from mature students and from all members of the community under-represented in education.

International Students

Entry requirements here

Don’t meet our entry requirements?

You could apply for a foundation course or a course at our International College. These routes have lower entry requirements and act as the bridge to a full degree. To find out more, please select your status:

Home student International student

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: FdA

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 3 years
  • TBC

Award: FdA

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 2 years
  • £6,400 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Part-time applications 

Applications for the part-time option should be made direct to South and City College Birmingham:

Phone: +44 (0)121 694 5000
Email: admissions@sccb.ac.uk
Web: www.sccb.ac.uk

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Fees for part-time students

Several undergraduate degrees are available on a part-time study basis. These are usually studied over five or six years with fees due based on credit requirements each year.

If you study over six years, then you will pay 50 per cent of the full-time annual fee each year.

If you study over five years, you will pay 50 per cent of the full-time annual fee for years one and two, and 66 per cent of the full-time annual fee for years three to five.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Course structure

The emphasis of this Foundation Degree programme is on developing skills and academic knowledge as vehicles for learning. The course focuses on the following key areas:

  • Self-development and independent learning
  • Team working and managing others
  • Critical application of professional practice
  • Application of work-based experience/evidence

All modules are compulsory and are generic to early years practice.

Full-time students are expected to attend college during the day, while the part-time course and teaching is organised to enable students to fulfil work commitments. Typically, teaching takes place in the evenings and at weekends.

Further study

If you successfully complete this course you can apply to top up to a BA Honours in Early Childhood Studies. The entry requirements for the Top Up programme include a Commendation/Merit profile in FdA Early Years. This route takes no longer than the BA pathway. 

Provided you meet the The National College for Teaching and Leadership requirements for Initial Teacher Training you may also be eligible to apply for a PGCE, or other ITE programme, to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or Early Years Teacher Status.

Employment opportunities

This course enables you to enhance your career in the early years sector. This could be into child care management positions in a variety of settings, such as day nurseries, primary schools, children's centres and health centres.


Students need to evidence they have completed 720 hours of work placement during the course. Generally, part-time students will already be working in an early years setting while studying for their FdA. Full-time students will be supported on work placement.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate jobs

Education courses are one of the top 12 degree subjects for getting a job according to a recent article in the Telegraph, with 92.6 per cent of graduates nationwide going into work or further study within six months of finishing their degree.

100%...of students are in work or full time study six months after graduating2016/17 DLHE Response

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC


This course runs at South & City College Birmingham's Digbeth Campus.

Find out more about Digbeth Campus

Rosemarie Lowe

Programme Director Early Childhood Studies

Having spent 10 years teaching in a variety of primary and infant schools in Birmingham, Rosemarie had the opportunity to develop a service within the local authority of a team of early years specialist whose role was to support and develop early years practice and provision across the maintained and non-maintained sector.

Read Rosemarie's full profile