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Entry Requirements

You’ll need 48 UCAS points to join this programme and GCSE English at Grade 4 or above (or equivalent). People with work experience or life experience will also be considered - there are alternative routes to this course. 

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Study Mode

Full time

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Full time:

2 years

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Key Features & Benefits

  • Validated by UK Top 15 Lancaster University
  • Study in our dedicated University Centre

In all sectors of work, you will come into contact with people who are disabled. Whether you're a support assistant within a school, care assistant within a workplace, a parent with a child or family member with an additional need; our Foundation Degree in Disability Studies with Inclusive Practice will help you understand disability issues and the context in which different professionals work with people who are disabled.

  • Overview

    In all sectors of work, you will come into contact with people who are disabled. Whether you're a support assistant within a school, care assistant within a workplace, a parent with a child or family member with an additional need; our Foundation Degree in Disability Studies with Inclusive Practice will help you understand disability issues and the context in which different professionals work with people who are disabled. Throughout the course our dedicated teaching team will challenge your perception of what you believe it means to be disabled, engage you in debates surrounding inclusivity, equality and diversity and broaden your knowledge of this growing subject area. The Foundation Degree addresses these training needs by raising your awareness of the importance of providing seamless transitions between child and adulthood through study of those individuals with additional needs from birth to old age. You won't just look at children with disabilities but impairment throughout the lifespan.

    This Foundation Degree programme has been designed in response to major changes in the government policies, work-place needs and formostly for disabled people. The course is designed to develop the workforce in order to provide well trained professionals to help deliver an inclusive model for disabled peoples' services.

  • What will I study?

    You will study 16 modules to complete the course. These modules will examine the theories and principles relating to professional practice within the field of additional needs. You'll study a diverse programme that will challenge you to reflect upon the concepts of disablement; you will examine the theories and principles relating to practice. Modules are run by experienced practitioners who have a wealth of knowledge in working in the field of disability studies. Guest lecturers are invited in to speak about their experiences, working practices, roles and the expectations of working in particular environment. To date we have welcomed James Hadleigh from Care Network, Head Teachers from Primary Schools, the Course Consultant Dr Bob Sapey, Educational Psychologists and a Social Workers. 

    Each module interlinks so that you build a sound knowledge of the discipline, whilst applying your developing understanding to practice, this can either be within a paid or voluntary work placement. Communication is fundamental to practice and this is one of the first modules to be taken. In it we examine different theories relating to communication and the current models of good practice. We also debate contemporary issues. The Disability and the Environment module develops your understanding of the environment in which you operate and how values and attitudes are formed. It involves an examination of personal and professional values, attitudes and beliefs and how they impact on service users. 

    All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

    Level 4 Modules include:

    • Models of Disability
    • Developmental Psychology
    • Personal and Professional Development*
    • Communication, Technology and Disability
    • Social Policy and Disability
    • Preparation for Research

    Level 5 Modules include:

    • Safeguarding Service Users
    • Leading and Managing Quality Provision
    • Workplace Learning*
    • Impairment, Technology and Disability
    • Equality and Professionalism
    • Research Project

    *These modules are non-condonable.

  • Entry Requirements

    You’ll need 48 UCAS points to join this programme and GCSE English at Grade 4 or above (or equivalent).

    All applicants must show that they have a good level of spoken or written English, and if English is not your first language you’ll need to demonstrate the ability to study in English.

    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.

    We welcome applications from mature students without formal qualifications for these courses or from mature students whose Level 3 qualifications were gained more than 5 years ago. If this applies to you, you will be interviewed before your course and offered a place on the basis of your previously gained skills and experience. The interview will consider your prior formal qualifications, and your evidence of experience gained through employment or other verifiable source. Students will be admitted when the interviewers are confident that the student has demonstrated sufficient prior knowledge, skill, aptitude and interest to be equally able to succeed as a candidate offering the standard entry criteria.

    You may additionally be expected to show evidence that you are able to use Word and emails at a basic level; however, ICT support will be provided throughout the year in the form of tutorials. You may be asked to write and email to the team, a short piece of writing, to demonstrate sufficient literacy and ICT skills.

    For non-native speakers of English you must demonstrate proficiency of English equivalent to B2 of the Common European Framework, specifically IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with no more than 2 sub scores below IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent). Non-standard Applicants are considered on their individual merits and offers can vary.

    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?

    One of the major strengths of the programme is out inclusive approach to assessment. Within all modules a choice of assessment is available and you will be able to choose which method of assessment you prefer depending on the module or subject matter being covered. Across the whole programme you will still experience a range of assessment methods including both verbal and written elements to ensure full exposure to a range of assessment techniques and to encourage a thorough understanding of the subject. 

    Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, 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 exam paper 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?

    Once you have successfully completed your Foundation Degree, graduates will usually go on to top up their foundation degree to honours level. This can be done at University Centre at Blackburn College. Progression on to Disability Services with Inclusive Practice BA (Hons) (Top Up) is the obvious choice but other options are available. You may also choose to move into employment in the social care sector or the children's workforce.

  • Supplementary Information

    For more information

    Download the Programme Specification. The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

    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.

Group of graduates and staff throwing graduate hats into the air