About the course

This course is suitable for you if you are working in schools and colleges with children and young people, and those undertaking an educational role within a care setting. You will need to be in an educational role (paid or voluntary) for a minimum of 15 hours per week and will attend college for one day per week. It will also be suitable for you if you have an interest in working with learners with Special Educational Needs (SEN), either in a mainstream setting or in a special school or college.

How to apply

  • UCAS Code X325 campus B
  • You must apply for this course via www.ucas.com
  • The Institution code for Canterbury Christ Church University is C10

For further information please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Entry requirements

  • You should have national level 2 qualifications in English and maths (GCSE grades A*-C) and a level 3 qualification (A Level or BTEC). There may be an opportunity to sit an English equivalency examination.
  • In addition to the above qualifications, you will need to be working in a school or relevant educational setting for 15 hours per week or more and have the support of your head teacher or manager.

If you do not have the above UCAS/GCSE requirements but you are a mature student, have appropriate experience, specific knowledge or industry-based qualifications, your application will be welcomed and still considered on case to case basis.

Additional entry requirements

  • Enhanced DBS clearance
  • If you do not have the relevant qualifications, you can attend an orientation course at Canterbury Christ Church University before beginning your foundation degree
  • You may need to have GCSE Maths at A*-C or a level 2 equivalent for further study or employment and so we recommend you take one of this alongside the course if you cannot evidence it already

What you will study

The Foundation Degree draws from psychology, sociology, philosophy and the history of education in order to examine child development from a range of perspectives.

You will reflect on a range of issues that affect the development of children and young people. The course emphasises the role of research and how it impacts on different aspects of children and young people's lives. You will explore the relationship between child development and practices in the workplace through doing practical research tasks.

You will study 120 credits in each year, making a total of 240 credits; 120 credits at Level 4 in Year 1 and 120 credits at Level 5 in Year 2


    Year 1 modules Level 4 (120 credits)

    Introduction to childhood studies (20 Credits)

    You will develop an understanding of the concept of childhood and its complexities and learn skills and techniques that will help you in your study of child development. This module will build on your existing skills and enable you to make the transition into Higher Education (HE) and enable you to be more independent and self-managed in your approach to studying, learning and time management. 

    Growth and development (20 Credits)

    This module will introduce you to human development and give you a framework for understanding growth, development and developmental stages. You will explore the effects of nature and nurture on development and will gain insight into the ways in which theories of development explain and account for processes in development and the difficulties experienced.

    Language development and its place in learning (20 Credits)

    You will explore how human language develops, its principal features and the implications for providing a supportive environment when working with children and young people in a range of settings.

    Atypical child development (20 Credits)

    This module is designed to support you in understanding children's growth, development and developmental stages. You will explore the factors that can contribute to non-normative developmental patterns and how these impact on children's learning.

    Sensory impairment and physical conditions (20 Credits)

    This module will give you a broad overview of the specific difficulties and needs of children and young people with physical impairments (including visual and hearing impairments). An understanding of how key research, theories and legislation related to disability, Special Educational Needs and Inclusion feed into inclusive classroom practice will be explored.

    Social, Mental and Emotional Health (20 Credits)

    You will be equipped with a theoretical understanding and knowledge of the important elements that underpin all aspects of behaviour. You will be guided to develop approaches in the classroom to aid motivation and concentration, and help set achievable learning targets, promoting improved attainment, understanding and participation.

    Year 2 modules Level 5(120 credits)

    Theories of learning (20 Credits)

    This module will provide you with opportunities for interrogation and critical analysis of the nature of educational theory. Through this process, you will engage with fundamental questions concerning the aims, values and techniques of education as well as its relationship to society.

    Language and literacy (20 Credits)

    This module will increase your understanding of the fundamental importance of language and literacy in learning, drawing on a wide range of intellectual resources, theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines.

    Independent study (20 Credits)

    You will be able pursue a sustained line of enquiry in an area of interest. Assessment will be through a clear, structured and relevant academic report that relates theory to practice.

    Understanding children and young people with autism (20 Credits)

    This module will provide you with a working knowledge of the theoretical and clinical constructs of Autism including current policy and legislation. You will identify, implement and evaluate a range of strategies that are considered good practice.

    Speech, language and social communication difficulties (20 Credits)

    You will increase your understanding and awareness of the barriers to learning for pupils with speech, language and social communication difficulties. You will learn about the theoretical background of normal language development and explore how differences, disorders and difficulties affect learning and social participation.

    Cognition and Learning (20 Credits)

    You will learn about the complexities of identifying and working with pupils who have a range of learning difficulties. The module is focussed on understanding the theoretical background and practical implementation of the inclusion of pupils with learning difficulties. You will consider the perspective of pupils, explore different interventions, planning and pedagogy.



    Assessment methods are varied and include practical work, assignments, essays, presentations, short tests.

    You will need to be able to write at level 3 (A Level) standard; most essays and reports have a word count of around 2,000 words



    You can apply for a student loan for this course

    Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet. 

    You will be required to cover the cost of:

    - Text books 

    - Travel to other sites - Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student 

    - Library Fees and Fines - Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable 

    - Printing and photocopying - The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student  

    - Graduation ceremonies - It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student 

    - Equivalency test - There is a charge to sit the University Equivalency test which you may need to take if you cannot evidence English and Maths qualifications



    The programme is delivered across 1 day per week at the London South East Colleges Bromley Campus.  You will be taught by members of the LSEC and Canterbury team


    The days are made up of taught lectures, independent study time and tutorials

    You will be introduced to key topics and concepts during the modules but are required to engage with additional wider reading and research to enhance your chance of success



    You will study 6 modules in each year and the typical course structure involves studying one module at a time over a 5 week period.  Each module is usually followed by a study week and the assignment is submitted at the start of the next module.

    When you are not attending taught sessions you are expected to engage with independent reading and research.  This could be academic research further exploring the topics introduced during lecturers or engaging with work based tasks.

    Each module requires you to engage with Work Based Research Tasks that are carried to enable you to link theory and practice to the module.  These are a compulsory part of the module assignment and are submitted as part of the final module submission.

    The course has the equivalent of 35 taught hours and 75 hours of work-based learning. You are expected to carry out around 90 hours of independent research and study for each module.

    You are expected to work in child-based setting (this can be a paid or voluntary role) for a minimum of 15 hours per week.  If you are not able to find work in a child-based setting, you may not be able to complete your studies.  As part of the SEN specialism, you will need to have access to working with children and young people with SEN.



    This is a work-based course so your placement means you are continuously linking theory to industry –based practice throughout.  Most assignments require you to specifically draw upon, and use, your experience in your work-setting.

    The programme is designed and reviewed as part of the quality assurance process with the involvement of industry representatives such as headteachers.



    You will be taught by both LSEC and Canterbury staff from a teaching team that consists of highly qualified academics with a range of expertise and experience.   All our team members hold teaching qualifications and some hold Masters qualifications.  All have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. 


    - Upon successful completion of the foundation degree, you will be awarded the foundation degree childhood studies with special educational needs

    - After the foundation degree you can apply for a number of programmes that lead to a full honours degree, which then allows you to apply for a range of QTS programmes

    - The programme is designed with progression onto the BA (Hons) Childhood Studies (SEN Specialism) in mind

    - Employment in education sectors

    - Please note that this foundation degree does not qualify you as a teacher; you would need to undertake further study


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