Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln welcomed a new intake of Foundation Degree students in February to cope with high demand for places.

23 students enrolled on the two-year course at the beginning of February in addition to the 120 students who started in September. "The increased popularity of the foundation degree sparked our decision to introduce a second intake of students that commenced in February," said Sacha Mason, Academic Co-ordinator for the Foundation Degree in Applied Studies at BGU. "This year we have enrolled a record number of students to the course, and further interest is still being shown for the forthcoming academic year."

A former children's entertainer from Durham, Matthew St Julien, has set his sights on developing his knowledge and increasing his range of skills after enrolling onto the course. He has six years' experience dealing with young people after working as a Redcoat at two Butlins resorts and overseas in America for the kids club on the Disney Cruise Line.

"I've always enjoyed working with children from an entertainment aspect but decided to broaden my horizons," said Matthew. "The foundation course BGU offers was my best option. The combination of applying my years of experience to theory is simply the best of both worlds."

In addition to studying at BGU Matthew is also volunteering as a teaching assistant twice a week at The Meadows Primary School in Lincoln. "As a teaching assistant I am responsible for small group learning, which gives me the opportunity to practise what I am taught on the course with the children in a more controlled setting. The information I'm receiving from the course is an eye-opener and I am considering furthering my education at BGU to increase my career prospects."

Mother-of-three from Caistor Rachael Goeminne made the decision to utilise her free time and her child raising experience by enrolling on the course last month. She currently volunteers at Caistor Church of England and Methodist Primary School twice a week while learning in her spare time.

"I left education 26 years ago which made me particularly nervous when I first started the course," said Rachael. "However the tutors and advisors have been very welcoming which is encouraging. The course has exposed me to many possibilities that I will consider for my future career within teaching or social care. Juggling studying, volunteering and family responsibilities can be quite intense at times, but I'm enjoying it nevertheless and hope to continue on to do a BA Honours degree at BGU."

The Foundation Degree in Applied Studies is a work-based course appropriate for people who want to gain industry experience alongside studying for a degree. Students require a minimum of one year's experience working or volunteering with children, and continue to do so over the duration of their study.

Foundation degrees are the equivalent of two-thirds of a full honours degree (BA Hons). The courses are designed to provide students with both a qualification and relevant skills which will appeal to employers. "A large number of foundation degree students advance to do a third year at BGU to gain a full BA (Hons) degree as they understand its importance for career progression," said Sacha.

The Foundation Degree in Applied Studies at BGU offers three pathways: Early Childhood, Children and Youth Work and Learning Support.

To find out how to apply for a place, visit our course pages or call 01522 527347.

4th April 2014