A two-year course for people who want to study while continuing to work has proved so popular that Bishop Grosseteste University is to start a January intake of students to cope with demand.
The Foundation Degree in Applied Studies is a work-based course for people who are working and want to study for a degree. All the students are working or volunteering with children or young people and most are older than the typical A-level school leaver.
“The foundation degree offers students the chance to reflect on their work with children, to improve their practice and to develop their thinking,” said Sacha Mason, Academic Co-ordinator for the Foundation Degree in Applied Studies at BGU.
“The course is very popular, and this year we’ve recruited more students for our foundation degree than ever before, so we’ve decided to introduce a second intake of students who will start the course in January.”
Foundation degrees are broadly equivalent to the first two years of a bachelors degree (BA). They focus on a particular job or profession and are designed with employers’ needs in mind.
“Many foundation degree students progress to do a third year at BGU to gain a full BA (Hons) degree,” said Sacha.
The Foundation Degree in Applied Studies at BGU offers three pathways: Early Childhood, Children and Youth Work and Learning Support.
BGU will be hosting a foundation degree open evening for anyone interested in enrolling on Wednesday 30th October 2013 between 5.45pm and 8pm. Those attending will have the opportunity to talk to academic staff as well as foundation degree students past and present.
Case study: The Childcare Entrepreneur
Boston student Vicky Wilson set up successful childcare business The Home Nursery while studying for a foundation degree at BGU.
Vicky, who has two sons aged 10 and 12, was working at her local pre-school as Deputy Manager when she enrolled on the Foundation Degree (Early Childhood) at BGU in 2010.
“I worked at the pre-school for the first year of my foundation degree but felt that I could progress further than my current position would allow me to do,” said Vicky. “I had an extension built onto the back of my home and registered as a childminder.”
After completing her foundation degree and graduating with a first, Vicky continued her studies by topping up to a BA (Hons) degree in Applied Studies (Early Childhood), from which she graduated with another first in July 2013.
Vicky now employs three members of staff and has just expanded by restoring a grade-two listed property for use as a nursery.
“If anyone is at a crossroads in their life, I would strongly recommend academic learning to find yourself,” said Vicky. “Studying while working full-time and having a family and home to look after is really hard work but it’s worthwhile in the end.
“If I had not attended Bishop Grosseteste University, and achieved well beyond my own expectations, I would never have been in the position to own and manage my own nursery. It has been life-changing for me.”
Case study: The Teaching Practitioner
A Newark mum who works with children who speak English as a second language has broadened her horizons after starting on the FdA at Bishop Grosseteste University.
Lisa Edwards (36), a peripatetic practitioner with the Nottinghamshire Achievement and Equality Team, follows the learning support pathway on the course.
“Since beginning the foundation degree my skills and knowledge have greatly improved my levels of confidence and have created new opportunities within my role,” said Lisa.
“While I used to be mainly involved with one-to-one pupil work, recently I have been involved in the developing of training for teachers in equality issues, and I have delivered racial harmony lessons to year 5 and 6 pupils.
“I give advice visits to teachers on teaching strategies for EAL (English as an Additional Language) pupils and I have also delivered training for PGCE students in strategies to use with pupils learning EAL.
“The course has really given me the self-belief that I can progress my career further.”
28th October 2013