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FdA Early Years Practice

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RS2725 Open Day (5) (2)
UCAS code: 
Institution code: 


Two years full-time or four years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

80 UCAS tariff points (or above)
CDD (A-Level), MMP (BTEC). 

  • This course is ideal for both experienced childcare practitioners, and students embarking on a new career.
  • This course enables you to develop both your theoretical knowledge and your practice based skills.
  • Teaching is delivered one day per week: 10.00-16.30 full-time or 13.30-16.30 part-time.
  • Personal tutors provide plenty of support throughout your studies.
  • Graduates not only leave with enhanced employability in the childcare sector, but choose from a diversity of progression routes.


The underlying theme of the Early Years Practice course is based on an informed approach to the academic study of early childhood, and focuses on facilitating professional development through the process of reflection.

Each module will develop student’s ability to explore, discuss, analyse, evaluate and develop their practice with regard to theory, research, policy and recognised good practice.

Upon completion of the Early Years Practice degree, students have the opportunity to progress on to the BA (Hons) Early Learning (progression route) course.

The course team and the University have a number of ways in which to support and enhance your study skills including face to face with our study support team, electronically through our study skills portal and also through extended reading the library has a study skills section and some texts specifically focus on study skills for mature students.  All students are allocated a personal tutor who will offer pastoral support and guidance with regards to your studies.

As a practice-based learning course, students will require the support of their employer (paid or voluntary) to successfully complete the qualification. Learners will also need to identify a workplace mentor who will provide professional support, guidance and advice and be a critical friend where appropriate.

This course is also offered online.

Course modules

The areas of study 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. At all campuses 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, Childhoods and 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.

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.

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. 

Early Years Research

This module builds on the Level 4 Introduction to Early Years Research module and 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.

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.

Career opportunities

There are many and varied pathways for progression for graduates of the Foundation degree and all successful students will have enhanced employability in the childcare sector. Future employment opportunities exist in schools, children's centres, playgroups, nurseries, social care and voluntary organisations. 

Graduates may also go on to management opportunities 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. 

What our students say

"When I first began my FdA EYP experience I didn't know what to expect, but from the very first lecture I knew I had made the right choice coming to university. The modules leaders were passionate and dedicated to the subject which injected the students with the same passion and need to learn more. Lectures were exciting, motivating and above all interesting, engrossing you and making you want to ask questions and know more. The support from tutors was fantastic and no question was deemed silly or unnecessary which made students feel at ease. The two years flew by and I graduated with a merit." Julie Lawrence.

Fees and finance


  • UK full-time tuition fee: £8,220 p.a
  • UK part-time tuition fee: £1,370 per 20 credits (please contact the Student Centre for further information)
  • International full-time tuition fee:  £13,992 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 you 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


Darryn Thompson is the course leader for the FdA in Early Years Practice and for the BA Hons in Early Learning course at the University of Suffolk. Darryn has worked at the university for sixteen years and has successfully supported hundreds of early years practitioners in achieving...

Facilities and Resources

Your teaching will take place across one of our modern buildings. The Waterfront Building, situated on Ipswich Waterfront, is a contemporary space for lectures, workshops and seminars.

Our Waterfront Building is home to a large auditorium seating 200 people, over 30 lecture rooms and open, flexible study spaces which are home to approximately 50 computers for students to use.

Our Atrium Building has recently been refurbished and offers modern seminar rooms, PC labs, our Innovation Centre (IWIC) and an open, airy café for refreshments.