Why study this course

Earn while you learn on this work-based programme

National Student Survey for 2020 showed 91% overall satisfaction with the Professional Studies programme

Study with the support from a research active academic team who have relevant practice experience

Progressing into Teaching? FREE pre-teaching course and guaranteed interview for PGCE

Course summary

Have you ever thought about working towards a degree, but decided against it as you are already in employment or volunteering and don’t want to give that up? Our FdA Professional Studies (Childhood & Youth) course is designed for those working or volunteering with children, young people, families and communities, for example in the youth sector, in residential care, in pastoral roles in schools with children and young people aged 9-24 years.

Key facts



UCAS code



2 years

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Course details

About this course

This course will help you expand on the already valuable knowledge and experience you have gained so far in your career. We want to help you to enhance the support you provide for children and young people.

This work-focused qualification is a combination of practice-based learning and campus-based taught sessions which run once a week so that you are able to continue in employment or volunteering throughout the course. The foundation degree is designed to improve and develop your personal and professional communication skills, allowing you to professionalise your approach and further your personal growth. The programme increases knowledge and understanding of how children and young people learn and mature. You will explore new ways of working and challenge existing assumptions. You will work with a range of experienced academic staff who have worked in many different settings with children. You will be supported in your studies in a variety of ways, such as through group work and interactive web-based resources. The foundation degree award is organised into two levels, each comprising four modules, to be completed within two years.

This course is suitable for staff in local authorities, schools, the NHS, voluntary and third sector who use group work, informal learning and activity, outreach and community work as part of their role; particularly those working with children, young people and adults often identified as hard to reach. If you want to make a difference in the lives of children, young people and their families this is the degree for you.

JNC Pathway

The Childhood and Youth with JNC* pathway is newly validated for 2018. This pathway allows you to work towards an academic qualification and a professional qualification recognised by the National Youth Agency. The taught content of the course is the same as the standard Professional Studies (Childhood and Youth) pathway but the professional practice element differs.

Students opting for the Childhood and Youth with JNC pathway are supported by a fieldwork supervisor and lecturers to collate evidence from their professional practice to create a portfolio of work mapped against the national occupational standards for Youth Work.

Students on this pathway must complete the Foundation Degree and Progression Route in Childhood and Youth with JNC* to obtain the professional JNC qualification.

*Please note that the title of the course if taken with the JNC pathway changes slightly, from ‘Childhood and Youth’ to ‘Childhood and Youth (Youth Work pathway)’

What you will study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules:

This module provides an induction to higher education set within the context of your own learning and supports the development of academic literacies. The underpinning foundations for professional learning are the focus of ‘Tools for Learning’ including ethical principles and reflection. The module also introduces well-established traditional and contemporary learning theories, and children and young people’s development.

Although developmental theories of education and learning are used throughout the programme, this module ensures that you have a secure grounding in a range of perspectives to enable exploration of theories, concepts and principles relating to the holistic development of the individual in society. The module explores the influencing factors on development and how children and young people may be supported.

This module will encourage you to think critically about the underpinning philosophies and policies of provision for children and young people, and introduces a range of concepts that will continue to benefit your learning throughout the programme of study. It encourages the development of critical analysis skills, and offers an opportunity to develop lines of argument and make judgements, through the application of theoretical learning to everyday practice.

This module provides an introduction to collaborative approaches needed to support the learning, development, health, welfare and safeguarding needs of children and young people. It builds on legislative contexts from previous learning and explores the strengths and limitations of working collaboratively with a range of individuals.

Although matters relating to inclusion are embedded in all modules, this module offers you the opportunity to study the topic in depth and to critically analyse and apply a range of theories. It will build on the values, beliefs and philosophies explored in Level 4 modules and extend your appreciation of inclusion.

This module extends on the research skills introduced throughout previous modules, particularly in relation to inquiry-based learning. It enables you to build and demonstrate these research skills through a formal research project. You will be introduced to research paradigms and methods adopted in a formal study and will carry out a small-scale research project within your workplace.

You will explore a range of skills, knowledge and understanding required to plan, prepare, facilitate and evaluate initiatives targeted at children, young people and families in informal contexts. The module explores the complexities and processes of inclusive informal education and learning in a range of settings.

During the course of this module, you will explore the children and young people’s rights agenda and, in particular, the theme of participation both locally and globally. You will study the application of legislation and will build previous module content and on your understandings of safeguarding, human rights, confidentiality and the promotion of equality.

Entry requirements

Typically, a minimum of one year’s experience in practice with a minimum of two days a week (minimum of 12 hours per week accumulating to 360 hours per year of study in a relevant role, either as an employee or a volunteer). In exceptional cases, it might be appropriate to recruit students directly from a Level 3 apprenticeship or another course in which it can be demonstrated that there is a significant element of professional practice.

In such a case, this decision will be based on and the suitability of the applicant:

  • Typically a Level 3 Diploma, NVQs, access to HE programmes, subject/vocational qualifications;
  • Written support from the head teacher/workplace manager in which the applicant works or volunteers.

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

In accordance with University conditions, students are entitled to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning, RP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit Awarded for Experiential Learning, (RP(E)L).

How you will be taught

Please note that due to COVID-19 our delivery methods may be subject to change in 2021. You will be informed of any changes at the earliest opportunity.

This work-focused 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 course. The degree is designed to improve and develop your personal and professional communication skills, allows you to professionalise your approach and further your personal growth.

You will work with a range of experienced academic staff and be supported through peer-led groups, directed tasks and interactive web-based resources.


A variety of assessment methods are used including group and individual presentations, debate, written assignments such as essays and reports and portfolios of work focused learning. All assessments allow you to reflect on your practice and theory as you evidence your learning.

Careers & Further study

Many of our Foundation degree graduates take on higher level roles specialising in areas such as family liaison, special education needs, managing settings in youth work, mentoring or roles in the wider community and with local authorities. The degree has evolved to respond to the demand for graduate professionals set by the government through the professionalisation of the children’s and youth workforce.

The majority of students advance onto our Progression Routes to take their qualifications to honours degree level. Like the Foundation degree, these Progression Routes allow you to study and continue to work.

What Our Students Say

Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.


Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

Fees & Finance

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. For 2022 entry, the application fee is £22 for a single choice, or £26.50 for more than one choice. For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.

Ethical considerations of doctoral methodologies Podcast

Dr Nyree Nicholson is a Programme Leader on the Professional Studies work-based programmes in Education, Early Childhood and Childhood and Youth pathways. The title of her doctoral research was “Supporting children with identified speech, language and communication needs at two-years-old: voices of early years practitioners”. Nyree utilised a narrative hermeneutic methodology with conversational interviews to explore the lived experiences of fifteen early years practitioners.

Samantha Hoyes is a senior lecturer in Early Childhood Studies and is currently part way through her PhD. Her focus is on working motherhood in the 21st Century and how working mothers make sense of their identities. Applying a post-structuralist feminist approach, Sam has utilised photo elicitation interviews to explore working mothers lived experiences. Sam's sample will consist of 10-15 working mothers living in Lincolnshire with a child/ children aged 0-5 years at the time of data collection. She is currently around halfway through her initial data collection.

In this podcast, Nyree and Sam discuss the methodological approaches taken in the research process and share the ethical considerations they encountered throughout the research process.

For any more question or queries please contact Samantha.hoyes@bishopg.ac.uk and nyree-anne.nicholson@bishopg.ac.uk