FdA Early Years Leadership


Course Length:2 Years Part-Time
Start Dates:September 2018
Department:Faculty of Education
Location:Edge Hill University
  • Gain a solid academic grounding that will improve your current knowledge and understanding as an effective early years leader and manager;
  • Benefit from career progression opportunities to top-up to full honours degree and gain Early Years Teacher Status;
  • Attend your chosen study centre for only one afternoon per week or study online, minimising your time away from work and other commitments.

This is a programme created for existing leaders or managers in early years settings, and has been carefully designed to meet your early years professional development needs. Practical, work-based learning will improve both your experience and your professional confidence, providing you with invaluable skills in early years leadership.

Faculty of Education

Course in Depth

What will I study?

Modules in Year 1 address various professional, academic and vocational issues common to all early years leaders and managers. As well as gaining a greater understanding of holistic child development in social and cultural contexts, you will be taught specific leadership techniques and principles, and learn how to plan and manage different roles and responsibilities in a modern, multi-professional workplace.

You will progress onto a choice of Year 2 modules to boost your individual development, with the specific combination followed dependent on your current status and level of experience.

Topics currently available include:

  • How to best meet the diverse needs of young children;
  • Working with interdisciplinary teams and managing other practitioners;
  • An in-depth study of development from birth to three years of age;
  • Delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and assessment;
  • Building community partnerships.

Supported learning using the internet and Edge Hill University’s online resources is a major feature of the programme. No prior IT experience is necessary, as full support will be provided.

How will I study?

Following an initial induction programme, you will attend your chosen Edge Hill University centre one afternoon per week. Along with face-to-face sessions, you will be asked to complete directed tasks and carry out independent research.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through coursework which involves portfolios, written essays, presentations, self-evaluations together with the completion of a small-scale research project.

There are no formal written examinations as part of the current assessment methods on this programme.

Who will be teaching me?

You will be taught by a high quality team of early years lecturers and associate tutors who have extensive expertise and experience as well as a passion for early years. All of the team are involved in current research and have actively contributed to projects including the development of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership (NPQICL). Each member of the team brings a particular expertise and all are highly respected practitioners.

A Great Study Environment

The Faculty of Education has been at the forefront of teacher education for more than 125 years and today enjoys the enviable position of being one of the country’s leading providers of education, training and research for the children’s workforce.

Housed in a state-of-the-art £9m building, the Faculty of Education’s facilities include a 300-seat lecture theatre, five well-equipped ICT suites, and 18 teaching rooms complete with the latest technology.

The faculty has a strong commitment to practice-based learning and has developed partnerships with over 2,000 schools and colleges, local authorities and professional associations.


Expand All

Year 1

FDE1000 Personal and Professional Development in a Work Based Context (30 credits)

Personal and Professional Development in a Work Based Context is a setting-based module that runs for the whole year and is undertaken in your setting / workplace. It involves a self-review of your knowledge and skills against national standards, target setting and the creation of action plans based on the reflections on your personal professional practice.

FDE1001 Meeting the Diverse Needs of the Whole Child (30 credits)

Meeting the Diverse Needs of the Whole Child will develop your knowledge of the diverse needs of children in different historical, social and cultural contexts and the role of the practitioner in the promotion of children’s learning. The module will explore the history and aims of the provision for young children, current practice in Early Years Settings, adult/child interaction, the importance of meeting children’s individual needs and inclusive education.

FDE1002 Exploring Early Years Curriculum (30 credits)

Exploring Early Years Curriculum is designed to equip you with essential knowledge and understanding of the principles and the content of the early years curriculum with a focus on a child-centred approach. The module will help you to identify key elements of early years education and link those to their practical experiences. The module will also give you an opportunity to reflect on your own practice and formulate principles in relation to the fundamental dimensions of quality early years provision.

FDE1003 Working with Families, Communities and Other Practitioners (20 credits)

Working with Families, Communities and Other Practitioners examines how early years practitioners meet the needs of families and communities within the early years context. There will be a consideration of historical, social and cultural perspectives on the development of the notions of ‘childhood’, ‘family’ and ‘community’. The module includes an investigation into the range of family and community structures and the opportunities for children’s learning and development provided within these structures. Itwill also introduce you to the theoretical and practical aspects of team working within the early years settings and, in particular, the impact of working in multi-professional teams on young children and their families.

FDE1004 Researching Early Years Leadership and Practice (10 credits)

Researching Early Years Leadership and Practice provides a background knowledge and understanding of the key elements of educational research, including methodology, research methods and ethics. The purpose of this introductory module is to prepare you to conduct a small-scale research investigation.

Year 2

FDL2000 Developing Personal and Professional Effectiveness in Early Years Leadership (30 credits)

Developing Personal and Professional Effectiveness in Early Years Leadership provides structured and supported opportunities for you to investigate an issue or an initiative, centred around early years leadership policy and practice. The management of this issue or initiative will be analysed in relation to two contrasting settings, one of which will be your own. The focus of the study will be supported by information and data gathered from the relevant module work-based staged tasks.

FDL2101 Managing Children's Diverse Needs in Early Years Settings (30 credits)

Managing Children’s Diverse Needs in Early Years Settings will further your understanding of the ways in which you can develop your practice to ensure quality provision in your setting. You will consider the principles underpinning quality management and practice and look at developing effective strategies for monitoring and evaluating your work with children, families and the community.

FDL2102 Leading and Managing Quality Services for Children, Families and the Community (30 credits)

Leading and Managing Quality Services for Children, Families and the Community will develop your critical knowledge and understanding of leading and managing quality services in the context of an early years setting. You will gain an understanding of the need to do this within a context of working with children, families and the community to provide both care and education.

FDL2103 Transformational Leadership in Early Years Settings (30 credits)

Transformational Leadership in Early Years Settings will help you develop your knowledge and understanding of the current transformational nature of leadership and a continuous management of change within the early years context. Comparisons will be made with more traditional approaches to managing early years settings with a focus on the need to lead and manage the changes required to meet government targets for integrated early years services.


You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. 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 or evening of the week.


Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Entry Criteria

Entry Requirements

16 UCAS Tariff points on the new UCAS Tariff. No specific subjects are required.

You can achieve the required number of UCAS Tariff points from A Level Grade E or BTEC National Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) P.

Accreditation of prior learning through relevant NVQ Level 4 or 5 qualifications may be possible. GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent) is desirable.

You must be working (on a full-time, part-time or voluntary basis) in an early years setting with children aged 0-5 years.

If you accept a formal offer from Edge Hill University you will be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure indicating that you meet the mandatory criteria of ‘Clearance to Work with Children and/or Vulnerable Adults’. The standard cost of applying for DBS Enhanced Disclosure for this course is currently £50. Further information will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’).

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

Career Prospects

What are my career prospects?

The Early Years sector is expanding, and new and exciting roles are being created in children’s centres, nurseries and pre-schools including multi-agency work.

This foundation degree may also lead you to progress onto the BA (Hons) Early Years Leadership.


Tuition Fees

If you are a prospective UK or EU student who will be joining this foundation degree in academic year 2018/19, tuition fees are still to be announced by the Government. You are advised to check this page regularly and once the position has been confirmed we will update this information.

The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

Financial Support

Financial support arrangements for eligible UK and EU students joining this programme in academic year 2018/19 are still to be announced by the Government. You are advised to check this page regularly and once the position has been confirmed we will update this information.


How to Apply

Apply directly to Edge Hill University at www.edgehill.ac.uk/apply-early-years-part-time.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.

Visit Us

If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at www.edgehill.ac.uk/opendays.

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about all of our events for prospective students, including monthly campus tours, at www.edgehill.ac.uk/visitus.

Request a Prospectus

If you would like to explore our full range of undergraduate courses before you apply, you can order a prospectus at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradprospectus.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about this programme, please contact:

Course Changes

Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented since 1st September 2015.

No material changes have been made to the information for this course since 1st September 2015. Any future amends will be tracked here.