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Entry Requirements

48 UCAS points and a Level 2 Qualification or GCSE at Grade 4 (Grade C) or above in both English and Maths.  One year’s recent experience working in a primary school for at least one day each school week (30 days).

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Study Mode

Full time

Part time


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Full time:

2 years

Part time

4 years

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Check with your tutor

Key Features & Benefits

  • Validated by UK Top 15 Lancaster University

Our popular FdA Primary Education: Teaching and Learning is recognised by Head Teachers and Governors alike as a successful, relevant qualification that impacts positively on teaching and learning in schools. This Lancaster University validated foundation degree is designed as a professional development qualification for Primary School Teaching Assistants who want to further their understanding, knowledge and skills across the ever-changing primary curriculum.

  • Overview

    Students taking part on the course may get involved in a range of trips and activities. Past students have enjoyed trips to a Steiner School near York looking at alternative philosophies of teaching and learning. Students on the course also take part in a range of team building activities and socialise as a group at organised events - this helps you to learn from colleagues and other students in both informal as well as formal settings.

    You must have secured a signed agreement of a Head teacher to accept you for a placement in a Primary Class for at least 45 days per year (full-time) and an up-to-date DBS certificate.

    As well as your placement, you will be able to take part in a 2 day placement in a different primary school. Our students often tell us this is a valuable insight into the way that different primary schools operate. All staff teaching on the course are former or existing Primary school practitioners who are able to bring a wealth of valuable experience, real-life examples and case studies into the classroom.

  • What will I study?

    You will study a common core of introductory modules designed to familiarise you with differing approaches in supporting the teaching and learning of primary English, Mathematics, Science and Computing and primary teaching and learning technologies to help you apply key theories, concepts and skills to the primary classroom. There will be opportunities to draw upon established and current primary age educational theories throughout all modules. The Professional, personal and academic practice of the primary teaching assistant will develop students understanding of personal development planning rationale and practices.

    In the later stages of the course you will study how the challenging area of Special Education Needs and Disability and Inclusive Teaching and Learning practice impacts upon your teaching and learning support. Additionally, you will begin to research Contemporary primary educational policy and practice that affect teaching and learning and engage in your own Practice Based Research.

    You will also examine the foundation curriculum subjects and explore Professional, personal and academic practice of the primary teaching assistant. You will become familiar with the Assessment methods used in schools and complete an analysis of a case study implementing change in the primary environment.  This work based Learning will enable learners to consider, explore and examine the key attributes needed to become an effective and reflective practitioner. 

    All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

    Level 4 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

    • Supporting Teaching and Learning in English
    • Supporting Teaching and Learning in Mathematics
    • Supporting Teaching and learning in Science
    • Supporting Teaching and learning in Computing
    • SEND, Inclusion and Teaching & Learning Theories
    • Professional Practice

    Level 5 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

    • Safeguarding and Trauma Based Practice
    • Supporting Teaching and Learning in the Foundation Subjects
    • Planning, Assessing and Evaluating Teaching and Learning
    • Supporting Teaching and Learning in PE, Health and Well-Being
    • Facilitating Change in Primary Education
    • Developing Professional Practice
  • Entry Requirements

    You will need 48 UCAS points and a Level 2 Qualification or GCSE at Grade 4 (Grade C) or above in both English and Maths.  One year’s recent experience working in a primary school for at least one day each school week (30 days) to allow you to carry out a placement for one and half days a week for two years.

    Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria but have relevant work / life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview. You will need a clear, current DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) certificate. All offers are conditional and are subject to a successful interview and the signed support of the Headteacher. 

    Care Leavers or Young Carers

    We want students from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to go to University. If you have spent three months or more in local authority care OR are a young carer, you will be eligible for a contextual offer. This is a grade reduction of 1-A Level grade below our standard entry requirements. For example, a standard offer of CCC, would become CCD. MMM at Level 3 Extended Diploma would become MMP. To apply we advise that you tick the box on your UCAS application which identifies you have spent time in care and to help identify you as eligible for our contextual offer.

  • How will I be assessed?

    During the course you will be assessed by a variety of methods including coursework, written assignments, reports, poster presentations, electronic presentations and portfolio building. Additionally, there will be a series of reflective tasks to complete at your primary school placement or employment as well as a successful lesson observation in each year of your placement.

    Each module is formally assessed through, for example, assignment, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.  This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

    Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the course work in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions. 

    Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

  • Teaching and Learning

    The learning environment and facilities could include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

    You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

    You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


    We endeavour to make timetables available one month before you start your course.  Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.  Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week. 

    Overall Workload

    You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

    Academic Support

    We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

    • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
    • Written English
    • Academic Writing (including referencing)
    • Research Skills
  • What can I do next?

    Graduates of the programme traditionally do two things upon completion. The first is to join the BA (Hons) Primary Education: Teaching and Learning and, from there, progress onto a PGCE in Primary Education. 

    The Foundation Degree is recognised as a quality award in the primary school sector. It can lead both directly and via top-up qualifications to careers in:

    • Primary School Support
    • Teaching
    • Learning Mentoring
    • Educational Management/Administration
    • HLTA
    • Family Support
    • Behaviour Management
  • Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Information

    Work Placements

    Work placements are subject to availability. You are also responsible for any costs in travelling to and from your work placements, for any accommodation costs and in some instances the cost of acquiring a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report.

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