Early Years Level 4/5 Foundation Degree

Higher Education

Date (from)

Course fees


Awarding body


Full Time - September 2021

£3,700 per academic year

University of Chichester


Course introduction

The Level 4/5 Foundation Degree in Early Years provides a progression route for you if you work in the childcare sector and want to top-up your L3 Early Years qualification.

It is a two-year full-time programme of study at our Brockenhurst campus, which is delivered one day a week.

The range of modules will enable you to explore key aspects of Early Years such as psychological and sociological elements, global and cultural dynamics, and economic and educational factors.

You will develop problem-solving, critical analysis and independent thinking skills, plus you will learn more about an area of specific interest through an independent project.

Why choose Brock for Early Years Level 4/5 Foundation Degree?

At Brock we deliver this programme in partnership with the University of Chichester, which supports us to provide a high quality learning experience.

All members of the teaching team are Early Years practitioners with a wide range of experience both in the Early Years sector and as academics.

Degree classifications and module grades for this course have been consistently good and in line with those of students studying in a university-campus environment.

The Early Years sector changes rapidly and continually, which is why we listen intently and respond promptly to government and employer demands, ensuring you are fully prepared for your career.

Teaching & learning

Your teachers will draw on the latest research and established academic theory through a variety of blended methods, including: direct teaching, seminars, problem-solving sessions, activity-based learning and adventure education.

The teaching team has also published articles and advised on various Early Years issues. They have also won an Innovation Award for teaching and learning.

Course structure

You will learn through a wide variety of teaching methods including lectures, group work, seminars and presentations.

The following modules are indicative of the course structure and content:

 Year 1

  • Introduction to early years.
  • Child development in early years.
  • Childrens rights.
  • Reflective practitioner: babies, toddlers and pre-school.
  • Play, creativity and expressive arts.
  • Safeguarding and integrated working in the early years.

Year 2

  • Understanding childrens behaviour.
  • Curricula around the world in the early years.
  • Working with families in the early years.
  • Importance of research in early years.
  • Health and wellbeing of young children.
  • SEND in early years.

Minimum entry requirements

  • You must be a Level 3 Early Years practitioner.
  • GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4 or equivalent is desirable.
  • You must be employed for a minimum of 12 hours per week or undertaking voluntary employment in an Early Years Setting/ Environment 0-8 age range.
  • You should have the support of your employer (unless you are self-employed).
  • You should be able to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written English.
  • You must hold or obtain a satisfactory enhanced DBS check.
  • If you wish to progress to EYTS / PGCE / SCITT training following the completion of your degree, GCSE Science, Maths and English at Grade C/4.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments will be designed, written and validated by the University of Chichester to meet the different learning needs of students, making certain that you can achieve your potential.

Tasks include the production of presentations, assignments and portfolios.  This diversity in assessment methods is welcomed by the student voice.

Information & support

As a higher education student, you will receive many forms of support. However, there may be additional costs for specific things like academic poster printing and binding your independent project.

We expect you to be in Early Years practice for a minimum of 12 hours a week and attended 6 hours of College, which will include lectures and individual tutorials.

We then expect you to spend a further 4-6 hours a week studying independently. 

Student transfer arrangements


You can apply directly using the online application form and by communicating with our Early Childhood and Health department.

Importantly, you may have accumulated academic credit elsewhere that may be credited to you as evidence of prior learning. The process of transferring credit will be considered in line with Brockenhurst College and the University of Chichester’s admissions policy, which you can access here.

Transfer to alternative programmes

Arrangements for transferring-out of your programme will initially require a meeting with the Head of Curriculum.

Please also refer to the University of Chichester’s transferring-out process, which can be accessed here, and scroll down to ‘Student Transfer Arrangements’.

In addition you can view the University of Chichester’s Academic Regulations  - Section 1: 4B Transfer to Alternative Programmes – here.

What can I do with this qualification?

This qualification will equip you to explore a range of careers in the Early Years sector. It will also enable you to progress onto our BA(HONS) course, leading to work in the fields of health, education and social work. 

This may lead to roles such as Learning Mentor (LM), Early Years Teacher (EYTS), Primary School Teacher (SCITT,) Special Educational Needs (SEND) Teacher, Early Years Lecturer and Early Years Outreach Worker (EYOW).

In addition, we have a progression agreement with South Coast SCITT (School Centred Initiated Teacher Training) at Bransgore Primary School, which is run through the University of Winchester.

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