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FdA Early Years Practice (Online Delivery)


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Two years full-time.

Four years part-time.

The course start date is September.

Typical Offer: 

Level 4 entry: Level 3 qualification or 80 UCAS tariff points

Level 5 entry: 120 credits at Level 4

If you don’t meet the above entry requirements, we may still be able to consider you. If you’re interested in applying, call our Clearing Hotline to discuss your suitability for study.

Following your Foundation Degree, you can progress onto our BA top up programme to gain a full degree.


Many practitioners have commented upon the issue of engaging with academic studies around their employment as being somewhat challenging with regards to time management and the travelling involved whilst attending university.

In response to this demand the Early Years Practice online course will provide the opportunity for early year’s practitioners working within the sector to access higher education for simultaneous development of academic and experiential learning totally online through the universities virtual learning environment (VLE).

The VLE will be fully utilised to support all aspects of delivery and student support through a wide range of appropriate methods, for example: online webinars, online tutorials, online learning units, online workshops, etc. Any live webinars will take place between 18:00 and 20:00 and personal tutorial time is flexible around your work.

The underlying theme of the course is based on an informed approach to the academic study of early years practice and focuses on facilitating professional development through the process of reflection.

Each module will develop your ability to explore, discuss, analyse, evaluate and develop your professional practice with regard to theory, research, policy and recognised good practice.

The course makes strong links between theory and practice and as such, there are work based tasks that should be completed within their setting in order to underpin the theoretical aspects of the programme. 

This course is also offered on-campus.

Course modules

The course has been designed to fit your studies around your work. Topics covered include early years, care and education, children's services and personal and professional development. This course is designed with the child care practitioner in mind and so it has been shaped to combine studying while working in a busy childcare setting. The course enables students to earn while they learn and maximise the amount of time spent at work.

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Introduction to Professional Practice Through Research

This module provides students from the Early Years’ workforce with the opportunity to develop a range of personal, professional and academic skills in order to support their studies and enhance their future personal, professional and career development. It recognises the importance of effective study skills and communication skills in student’s continuing success throughout the programme.

Children's Development and Promoting Wellbeing

Children develop rapidly in the early years and their earliest experiences have a major impact on their future life chances. This module aims to develop students’ understanding of the holistic nature of child development and the role of play in this in order that they take responsibility for helping a child to progress.

Inclusive Practice in the Early Years

The children’s workforce has many demands and challenges not least of which is inclusivity in its broadest terms. Since 1989, the United Nations Charter for the Rights of the Child has set the tone for children’s rights at a global level. This module aims to investigate the value and beliefs systems that underpin the children’s workforce

Children, Childhood & Society

This module aims to introduce students to key ideas and debates surrounding childhood from a range of sociological, cultural and historical perspectives; emphasising the ways in which children are positioned in different historical, social, cultural and spatial contexts. Students will also be encouraged to consider how constructions of childhood are reflected within legislation and policies as well as education provision in the UK.

Supporting Children's Play and Learning

It is widely acknowledged that children learn through play. Building on students’ existing knowledge of the role of play in child development, this module will extend and explore the role of play in children’s learning. The module will provide students with the opportunity to explore the historical and cultural perspectives on play along with the different play theorists and pioneers.

Safeguarding Young Children

This module offers a multidisciplinary and inter-agency approach to child welfare and the protection of very young children. It considers the rights of the child, the roles and responsibilities of professionals, the responsibilities of parents and the safeguarding procedures of settings/agencies. The legislative framework relating to child protection in Early Years Practice will be examined in relation to children’s rights, parent’s responsibilities and child welfare/protection agencies. 

Developing Professional Practice

The work based learning is designed to be appropriate to the needs of the employer and relevant to the student’s developing professional practice. The module will support and equip students for employment in the sector whilst developing generic key graduate employability skills.

Early Years Research

This module is designed to enable students to develop a critical understanding of formal methods of enquiry and select and justify appropriate methods of investigation. It is intended to introduce students to both the theoretical and applied aspects of Early Years research. As an integral part of the module, students will select, design and apply a range of appropriate child-centred research methods.

Career opportunities

Our graduates have a range of progression opportunities, from management careers within the early years sector, progression to the level 6 course (both on-campus and on-line) leading to postgraduate initial teaching training (ITT) for those wishing to pursue a career in teaching. 

Upon completion of the Early Years Practice course, students can continue on to further study, such as the related progression routes below.



Fees and finance


  • Full-time tuition fee: £8,220 p.a.
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • International tuition fee: £11,790 p.a.


  • Full-time tuition fee: £8,220 p.a
  • Part-time tuition fee: £1,370 per 20 credits (please contact the Infozone for further information)
  • Full-time International tuition fee:  £13,000 p.a

Further Information

At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for. 

* 2022-23 tuition fees are subject to change in line with inflation, or a government change in the fee cap.

Entry requirements


Lecturer in Early Years

Facilities and Resources

We use a range of dynamic technologies to facilitate our online course and to enhance the distance-learning experience. We utilise the visual learning environment (VLE) to provide online resources and teaching, including webinars, workshops and tutorials.

The GoToTraining software used by the team is an excellent resource in supporting high levels of participatory engagement throughout all aspects of the student’s engagement with their learning materials. It is fully utilised to support individual/personal tutorials and is easily accessible.