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FdA Learning and Teaching

Study while you work and take your career in education to the next level.

Developed to fit around your work commitments

Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades DDE-DDD or above.

Or BTEC triple grades MPP-MMP or above.

Or Access 9-15 D/M with minimum 3D.

And GCSE English Language at grade C or above.

  • Commitment to equality and to developing anti-discriminatory approaches in practice.
  • Circumstances enabling the demands of the programme to be met (including 10 hours/week paid or voluntary employment, and the support and involvement of the employer in undertaking the programme).
  • Access to the internet.
  • All applicants must have an informal conversation (either in person or on the phone) with a course tutor.

UCAS code L590

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

How to apply for this course

Places still available to start in September

Register your interest and we'll call you to chat about clearing and your options at Marjon.

Course Summary

Study for a two-year foundation degree while working with children and young people in educational settings. Flexible study means you attend University just 23 days in the year.  After achieving your foundation gegree you’ll have the opportunity to join the final year of an Honours degree which opens doors to professional and postgraduate courses such as PGCE, School Direct or Masters courses.

You’ll be working for at least 10 hours per week on a paid or voluntary basis and will have support from a mentor in your workplace. Combining skills and understanding gained through experience with higher level academic study, the course offers personal and professional development alongside the opportunity to join a learning community of like-minded people.

The first year begins with a two-day induction. You’ll then attend university each fortnight (currently on Fridays) for a full day of teaching.  This amounts to around 23 teaching days in the academic year from September through to May. You will also need to study at home, using the internet to access course materials.

In addition to the taught part of the course, you will be involved in work-based learning modules throughout the two years; these enable you to make ‘practice’ links with the ideas explored in taught modules. You’ll attend work-based learning workshops which take place at university (typically three days per year) and produce written assignments showing how theory gives you insights into practice. Your workplace will need to support you in terms of allowing you to attend the course and by providing a mentor (usually someone with a degree or professional qualification) who will meet with you for an hour every two to three weeks - during which time you’ll explore how your learning relates to practice at work.

Why this course at Marjon?

Designed for working people.

Competitive fees.

Small campus and a personalised approach.

Full university library resources on site and online.

Support to advance your career.

Earn while you learn.

This course is perfect if you're curious about

Do children benefit from experiencing risk?

How can children with English as an Additional Language be an asset to learning?

How can I get my views heard in the workplace?

Do pupils with Special Educational Needs benefit from mainstream or specialised settings?

What works in bullying prevention?

Is childhood really a time of innocence?

What might you become?

The course offers the first step of a route into teaching if you have relevant experience, but do not yet have qualifications needed to join a teacher training course. You could also become a Special Educational Needs Coordinator or Family Support Worker, with a range of opportunities open to you including further study at Honours and Masters Level.


Kerry Grout

“My time at Marjon increased my confidence and self-belief greatly. Having the encouragement to reflect on my practice allowed me to improve the way I work, and I am confident the children have benefited from that. There is great job satisfaction in sharing in their lightbulb moments and watching their independence develop. As a higher-level teaching assistant, I lead classes and have a level of autonomy I did not have previously; I feel I am making best use of my skills and experience.”

Kerry is a Higher Level Teaching Assistant.

Sarah Gray

“As a mature student I was nervous about studying again. My time at Marjon however, has been enthralling and challenging. I was able to use practical skills and experience I had gained through employment to support my learning. The quality of the teaching and overwhelming support I received helped me to attaining a first at honours level. My time at Marjon has led to me advancing my career and led directly to my securing my current job. I am so glad I made the decision to learn at Marjon.”

Sarah is an Assistant Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.

Melissa Allen

"Deciding to return to education felt like a massive challenge. My degree helped me to develop both academically and personally. Marjon has been an extended family providing me with support and the passion from the staff for students to achieve is outstanding. My journey has not been easy with some unforeseen personal difficulties however, I have achieved above my expectations. Marjon taught me to believe in myself as they believe in me and my dream is to become a teacher."

Melissa is studying a top up year on the BA (Hons) Primary Education at Marjon.

Modules for this course


1st Year

Reflective and Professional Practice 1
Choose a challenging aspect of your current role, such as communicating with children on the autistic spectrum. Your workplace mentor will support you to develop your skills and understanding.
Engaging with Learning
Get up to speed with the academic skills you need in order to succeed in university studies. How do your fellow students cope with the pressures of a busy life? Have fun, share ideas and support each other.
Safeguarding Children and Young People
Explore how safeguarding has developed through the years and how high-profile scandals can influence policy. What can you do to ensure that your safeguarding practice is as good as it can be?
Child and adolescent development
Learn how the brain develops rapidly in early childhood and adolescence; deepen your understanding of the nature/nurture debate and how society views and shapes us as we grow.
Learning and Teaching
Develop your understanding of how children learn and examine the effectiveness of different learning environments. Evaluate the impact of educational policies on the children you work with.
Policy and Practice
Investigate how children’s life chances are shaped by the circumstances they are born into. Develop an informed view on government policies and how these impact the families you work with.

2nd Year

Reflective and Professional Practice 2
Identify methods of reflecting on practice that work for you. Combine theory with practice to make informed judgements in your workplace.
Global childhoods
Focusing on children growing up in a globalising world, we explore the impact of migration; cultural changes to eating habits, parenting and play; and ask how best to prepare children for the world we don’t yet know.
Creative Pedagogies
Focus on creativity and innovation in the learning experience and devise interventions for use in your own setting.
Diversity in Learning
Does society disable some children? Can you hone your skills in order to help more children and young people to achieve their potential?
Research in Practice
Learn how research is carried out and design your own research project: this can form the basis of your dissertation should you progress to an Honours year.
Reflective and Professional Practice 3
Examine the use of power within your setting; consider the voice of the child and the culture of the organisation.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £6,000 per annum

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Teaching includes lectures, discussion groups, tutorials and workplace activities and  mentoring.  Students share ideas from a wide range of settings and we examine these in the light of research and theory.


How will you be assessed?

There are no exams involved.  Assessment tasks include reports and essays, on-line portfolios, presentations, posters and designing new interventions for your own workplace. Most assignments are submitted online.

Course leader

Chris Simpson

Chris is a Senior Lecturer with many years’ experience in a wide range of educational settings, formal and informal, in the UK and overseas. She has a PGCE in Education and a Masters in Professional Development, and has been working in Higher Education since 2007. Chris loves working with practitioners, and believes that when students engage in higher education while working this has the potential to transform their practice. She’s inspired by seeing students bringing their professional curiosity to university, and by their commitment to making a difference for children and families.

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Jayne Garcia

Associate Lecturer

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Jayne is an experienced Early Years Teacher and Pre-School Manager with additional insight into primary education, including school governance. She teaches Child Development and Early Years Initial Teacher Training with a focus on Attachment, Transitions and Children's Emotional Development, as well as Leadership in Early Years.

Hannah Holdgate

Lecturer in Education

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Hannah is a former SureStart Children's Centre Manager, Nursery Manager and Early Years Professional, assessor and mentor. She is particularly interested in Early Years, Play, Inclusion and Leadership.

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