FdA Childhood Studies & Professional Practice (part-time)


This course combines practical and theoretical learning to help you develop expert skills and knowledge for working with children, and is perfect for those who would like to work as an early years practitioner, childminder, pre-school leader, or in another similar role in the early years and education sector (0-11 years). 

The early years sector is diversifying and there is an increasing demand for highly-trained staff who are knowledgeable, flexible and adaptable. Your mandatory work placement will help you put your theoretical knowledge into practice.



This programme aims to challenge you, and facilitate critical reflection and the development of contemporary academic understanding. You will establish a firm understanding of the early years sector. 
The vocational aspect aims to produce higher level engaged professionals that value a child-centred approach to care, learning and development. 

The programme provides a curriculum relevant to the requirements of early years students, to allow them to secure employment. 


Level 4: 

  • Personal and Professional Development - this module will cover a range of skills necessary for higher education, with an emphasis on academic development and the importance of becoming a reflective practitioner.
  • Work Related Learning - this module will provide you with an understanding of organisational practice and the wider community.
  • Developmental Influences on Children's Learning - this module aims to provide you with a balanced and critical overview of how children develop underpinned by theoretical perspectives.
  • Sociological Perspectives on Children - sociological theory is introduced to consider the contemporary influences and challenges which affect children in today's society.
  • Living and Working in a Diverse World - this module explores the concept of discrimination and all the facets.
  • The Curriculum 0-11 Years - the curriculum is explored using philosophical and theoretical perspectives combined with an exploration of alternative curricula.
  • You will be observed in the workplace.

Level 5: 

  • Personal and Professional Development - this module aims to enable you to understand research methods, processes and critical thinking skills.
  • Work Related Learning - skills of organisational appraisal will facilitate a deeper understanding of professional practice which will broaden career development.
  • Safeguarding Children - an in depth understanding will be explored of professional roles and responsibilities.
  • Additional Needs and Challenging Behaviour - a case study reflection will facilitate your understanding of special educational needs.
  • Child Health and Well-being - this module explores contemporary views of child health and well-being.
  • A Study of a Contemporary Workplace Issues - you will choose a contemporary issue which impacts upon your practice appraised by a literature review.


Monday: 1-8pm

*Days and times of study are subject to change. Timetables are confirmed at the start of term.

Entry Criteria

UCAS tariff points: 32

Standard entry criteria: 

  • At least four GCSEs at grade C or above (or Level 2 equivalent), including maths and English – a GCSE grade C or above in Science is essential for those wanting to progress to a teaching degree.
  • Appropriate Level 3 qualification or A-Levels relevant to the sector.
  • If you are a non-native English speaking student, you will be required to hold an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent.
  • Minimum of 32 UCAS credits.

If you are looking to study on the part-time programme, you must be employed within the sector and have the support of your employer to commit to their required study leave. This is obtained through written confirmation either letter or email. 

Non-standard entry criteria: 

  • Evidence of relevant work experience
  • Evidence of the attainment of skills which demonstrate ability to study at this level and concordant with UK Quality Assurance Agency code.
  • A current satisfactory Enhanced Certificate DBS will need to be provided.
  • Two satisfactory references will be required from appropriate professionals which includes an academic reference.
  • Interview on a one-to-one basis to identify preparedness, career aspirations and demonstration of qualities and attributes necessary within the early years and childcare sector.

What  next after FdA Childhood Studies & Professional Practice (part-time)?

You could progress to a top-up degree in a related area of study, such as teaching or health care, at New College Durham or university. New College Durham offers a top-up degree in Early Childhood Studies.  
Alternatively, you could secure employment in the industry, such as a learning mentor or family support worker.

 Alternative Courses/degrees
 Published on 2023-08-26
 Deadline NA