Foundation Degree Early Years Education & Leadership Course

University: This course is delivered and validated by Edge Hill University.

Start Date: January 2021

Duration: Two years part time.

Attendance: One evening per week, 4.15 - 8.15pm

Day of delivery: To be confirmed.

Mode of application: Paper application via University Centre

Course Information

This programme has been created for both new-to-role and experienced early years leaders and practitioners. If you work with children aged between birth and five years and are seeking a higher education qualification, then this course is for you. You will develop your knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of working and leading in the early years sector, enhancing your employability and boosting your professional confidence. Equipped with a firm grounding in the theoretical knowledge of being an effective early years practitioner, together with an increased understanding of current practice, you will have additional opportunities to develop as an early years professional following graduation. This includes the option to progress to further study on conversion degrees in either Early Years Education or Early Years Leadership, depending on your preferred career path.
  • Experience a curriculum developed in line with current research and the latest Government polic
  • Immerse yourself in the learning and development of children from birth to five
  • Gain a solid academic grounding that will enhance your employability and enable you to become an effective early years practitioner and leader


 What will I study?

Modules at Level 4 address various professional, academic and vocational issues common to all early years workers. As well as gaining a greater understanding of holistic child development in social and cultural contexts, you will be taught specific best practice techniques and principles, and learn how to plan and manage different roles and responsibilities in a modern, multi-professional workplace.

Depending on status and experience, you will progress onto a choice of Level 5 modules to boost your individual development and your personal and professional development as a trained early years professional in the workplace. Topics currently available include:

  • How to best meet the diverse needs of young children
  • Working with interdisciplinary teams and managing other practitioners
  • Delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and assessment

Supported learning using the internet and Edge Hill University's online resources is a major feature of the programme. No prior IT experience is necessary as full support will be provided.

How will I study?

Following an initial induction, you will attend face-to-face sessions one afternoon per week.  Along with face-to-face sessions, you will be asked to complete directed tasks and carry out independent research.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through course work which involves written assessment and portfolios, written essays, presentations, self-evaluations and the completion of a small-scale research project.

There are no formal written examinations as part of the current assessment methods on this programme.

Who will be teaching me?

You will be taught by highly experienced team of early years lecturers and associate tutors who have extensive expertise and experience and a passion for early years.  All of the team are involved in current research and have actively contributed to projects including the development of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Professional Qualification in Integrated Leadership (NPQICL).  Each member of the team brings a particular expertise and are all highly respected practitioners.

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Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirement is at least one year's experience  of working within an Early Years setting either as a volunteer or through full-time or part-time employment.  It is desirable that you should also have 40 UCAS Tariff points or relevant Level 3 qualifications for 2019/20 entry.

Accreditation of prior learning through relevant NVQ Level 4 or 5 qualifications may be possible.  GCSE English and GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or above (or equivalent) is desirable.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual's professional and employment experience (also referred to as 'experiential learning').

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or exemption from part of a programme.  It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning.  For guidance, please consult the University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

What are my career prospects?

New and exciting roles are in Children's Centres, Local Authorities, Nurseries and pre-schools, including multi-agency work and Early Years Teacher Status.

The foundation degree may also lead you to progress onto the BA (Hons) Early Years Practice.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees TBC for students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2020/21.


Financial Support

Subject to eligibility, UK and EU students can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees.

For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining this programme in academic year 2020/21, together with details of how to apply for funding, please view our Money Matters 2020/21 guide at

Entry Criteria

  • Please note that there is a requirement to be employed or volunteering in an early years setting in addition to meeting academic entry qualifications.
  • For more details on entry criteria please follow the link to Edge Hill University’s website. You will also be able to discuss this at your initial advice appointment with one of our Support Tutors.

How to apply

Apply directly to Holy Cross University Centre.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to Edge Hill students. Please refer to the link below.


Meet Laura, one of Edge Hill’s tutors who teaches at Holy Cross University Centre.

Our partner, University Edge Hill, has a strong team of academic staff, practising professionals and leading experts in their sector. We are very proud to introduce Laura, one of Edge Hill’s tutors who teaches at Holy Cross University Centre, giving you an insight of into the course and career prospects.

Student working in our Foundation Degree Early Years Education & Leadership Course


Holy Cross University Centre
Manchester Road
Greater Manchester
0161 762 4513 or 0161 762 4529