How To Apply
UCP FD Professional Studies (Education)

FD Professional Studies (Education)

Bishop Grosseteste University
course overview

If you are working and supporting children in primary, secondary and special schools, or with learners in further education colleges, the Education pathway of our Professional Studies Foundation Degree is designed for you.

Many of the students on the course are already employed as Teaching Assistants in schools, working alongside a qualified teacher. They support formal learning opportunities for children and young people, and may sometimes take whole classes for sessions or work with children who have a particular need.

This work-focused foundation degree is a combination of practice-based learning and campus-based sessions, which run once a week so that you are able to continue in employment throughout the duration of the course.

The course is designed to improve your personal and professional communication skills, and will increase your knowledge and understanding of how children and young people learn and mature, by developing new ways of working and challenging existing assumptions.

You will learn though lectures, seminars, workshops and guest speakers from the sector. These will provide opportunities for you to discuss, question and challenge.

After graduating you will be able to take a step towards becoming a teacher, progressing in your role as a Teaching Assistant or extending your opportunities within this sector.

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 30 students.

This qualification is awarded by Bishop Grosseteste University and delivered by University Centre Peterborough.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: We acknowledge that the Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the availability of placement opportunities and for some applicants this may affect their ability to fulfil the entry requirement of completing 400 hours of pre-entry experience prior to commencing the course. We would like to reassure applicants that we will take this into consideration when reviewing applications and strongly encourage anyone with concerns that they are currently unable to fulfil the placement entry requirements to still apply for the course, where we can consider your experience on an individual basis.

If you are applying to start in September 2021, you must meet the following entry requirements:

  • Applicants are required to have gained a minimum of 360 hours work experience (e.g. one year for two days a week) within a early years setting before starting the course. During the course you must participate in a minimum of 12 hours paid or voluntary placement every week during your studies.

Typically, applicants will hold a Level 3 qualification (e.g. CACHE Level 3 Diploma, A-levels, BTEC).

Mature students or students who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.

We recommend you have GCSE English language and mathematics at a minimum of grade C or grade 4.

If English is not your first language you will require a recognised Level 2 English language qualification or an IELTS score of 6.0 (with 5.5 minimum in each skill) or an equivalent English Language qualification.

An enhanced DBS check is required.


We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email


To find out more about UCAS tariff points and how they work, visit

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as A-levels (you must have grades for at least two A-levels), BTEC, Cambridge Technicals, International Baccalaureate (IB), NVQ Level 3, Access to Higher Education and Scottish Advanced Highers.

The tariff points for qualifications can be added and combined together (e.g. A-levels plus BTECs).

The UCAS points for A-level General Studies, AS-levels and the EQP (Extended Project Qualification) are accepted when combined with other full qualifications.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • Tools for Learning (30 credits)
  • The Individual in Society (30 credits)
  • Philosophies, Policy and Provision (30 credits)
  • Collaborative Practice (30 credits)

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • Supporting Learning (30 credits)
  • Inclusion (30 credits)
  • Assessment and Learning (30 credits)
  • Practitioner Research (30 credits)

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.  A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study.  A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

  • For details of classification of awards please refer to the Academic Regulations.
  • For details of progression and module scenarios please refer to the Academic Regulations.
  • For details of compensation scenarios please refer to the Academic Regulations.
  • For details of assessment offences please refer to the Academic Regulations.
  • For details of how we will inform you of changes to modules please refer to page 2 of the terms and conditions.

When studying this course we will timetable your lectures into one afternoon and one evening a week on the same day over two semesters per year (see Duration and delivery for exact details). We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.

There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 7 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 30 hours per week for additional study.

The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the year and you will also have 24/7 access to a virtual learning environment (VLE) with e-books, journals and abstracts plus teaching resources and interactive tools.

Timetables are available at least 6 weeks before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.

The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

Throughout the duration of your course you will be assessed by the following methods:

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)

  • 75%     Coursework
  • 25%     Practicals

Year two for full-time students (Level 5)

  • 75%     Coursework
  • 25%     Practicals

We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

Formative assessment opportunities are written into all module plans to provide students with on-going feedback.  End of semester assessments will have formative opportunities in weeks 9 or 10 of the semester.  In addition revision sessions will be held in week 12.

When a student has achieved 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5 they become eligible for a foundation. The award classification is determined by calculating the credit weighted arithmetic mean of the module results for all modules at level 5. The following classifications are determined by the above calculation:

  • 70%+         Distinction
  • 60-69%     Merit
  • 40-59%     Pass
  • 0-39%       Fail

A student who has achieved FdA Professional Studies (Education) may choose to apply for the level 6 BA (Hons) Education Studies Top-up course as a new student in order to achieve a second qualification. On achievement of 120 credits at level 6, their final BA (Hons) degree classification will be by calculating the credit weighted arithmetic mean of the module results for all modules at level 6 only.

Visit our published documents and policies page for The Open University regulations.

Applicants must be working in or have access to a professional environment working with children (paid or voluntary) and must commit to working a minimum of 12 hours paid or voluntary placement every week during your studies.

Karen Fell is the Course Leader for the FdA Professional Studies (Early Childhood and Education pathways) and Education, Training and Skills (Certificate/Professional Graduate Diploma) at University Centre Peterborough.

She has delivered the courses at the Stamford Campus since 2011 and during that time, she also delivered and led FdA modules on the Early Childhood, Education and Children & Youthwork pathways at Bishop Grosseteste University.

The lecturing team for the FdA Professional Studies includes experts from the early years and primary education sectors, with additional experience in community-based projects; they each deliver modules which relate to our subject specialisms. The team shares a commitment to delivering memorable learning experiences, in addition to instilling curiosity and a love of learning in those who study with us. The result is a true community of learning.

Her personal passion is practitioner research, and she is delighted that the final module of the FdA enables students to experience the process of creating meaning through the application of research techniques.

Prior to teaching, she was a hands-on proprietor of childcare settings, working with children aged from birth to eight years in nurseries and primary schools. As a result, she is able to bring her experience to FdA modules covering children’s development, inclusive practice, children’s rights, and the philosophy and policy which guide contemporary practice in the education of young children.


  • MA Education
  • BA (Hons) Children and Youthwork
  • Level 5 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector
  • Publication

Factors influencing student retention in further education. (2017). Social Publishers Foundation.

After successful completion of the FdA Professional Studies (Early Childhood), you have the opportunity to progress to the BA (Hons) Education Studies (Top-up) course at University Centre Peterborough or BA (Hons) Professional Studies or BA (Hons) Primary Teaching Studies with QTS at Bishop Grosseteste University to obtain a full honours degree.

The course can lead to a broad range of future careers with a focus upon children and families.

Just some of the future careers for graduates after completing the course include:

  • HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant)
  • Teacher
  • Education Management
  • Special Needs Coordinator
  • Family Support Worker
  • Education Welfare Officer
  • Social Worker
  • Learning Mentor

Note that some careers may require further study or experience beyond the Foundation Degree.


Click here for directions

Full-time: 2 years (1 afternoon and evening a week on the same day over two
semesters per year)

The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 will be £6,935 per year, which is lower compared with many other universities.

In this prospectus we will give you clear and accurate information so you can make the best choice for a successful future

Download Prospectus

Course Modules

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year 1
Level 4
  • Tools for Learning (30 credits)
  • The Individual in Society (30 credits)
  • Philosophies, Policy and Provision (30 credits)
  • Collaborative Practice (30 credits)
Year 2
Level 5
  • Supporting Learning (30 credits)
  • Inclusion (30 credits)
  • Assessment and Learning (30 credits)
  • Practitioner Research (30 credits)
See What our Students Have to say
University Centre Peterborough Case Studies

HND Animal Management

I knew from a young age that I wanted to work in conservation and joined Stamford College to study Level 3 Animal Studies and then progressed to the HND Animal Management course at UCP.

Nathan Scott, Former student

BSc Crime Scene and Investigative Studies

I couldn’t have picked a better degree to prepare me for the role! University Centre Peterborough provided me with support during the application process, plus, the class sizes were small, so I got plenty of one-to-one support.

Bethany Reynolds, Former Student

BA (Hons) English Literature (Creative Writing)

Being Poet Laureate, for me, means a bigger platform and a louder voice to do the things I am passionate about.

Kat Beeton, Poet Laureate 2022

BA (Hons) Performing Arts

From the very beginning to the end of my degree I have learnt, experienced and gained so much knowledge, skill and passion for my subject.

Emily Stack-Humphrey, Former student

BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Systems

After I presented my final year project at the UCP Computing Conference, which is attended by employers from the IT industry, I was invited to an interview at HIVE Learning who were impressed with my work. That has now led to me getting my dream job in London working on the development of learning technologies.

Maciej Kazimierek, Former Student

University Centre Peterborough currently has around 700 students on over 30 different degree level programmes.


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