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Child & Family Studies Foundation Degree (Central Bedfordshire College)

Childcare students at Central Bedfordshire College (CBC)


Child & Family Studies Foundation Degree (Central Bedfordshire College)

Are you looking to continue your studies and take the leap into Higher Education? This course is perfect for those already working in child care settings looking to develop their skills in a rewarding and lifelong career.

Course information

Need to know

A Foundation Degree will be of particular interest if you have completed a Modern Apprenticeship, vocational A levels, BTEC National or equivalent. Foundation Degrees are also particularly suitable if you want to qualify while working.

Entry requirements 

As a guideline, a typical offer would require you to obtain a UCAS tariff score of between 32-48 points, based on your level 3 studies. Many students studying for foundation degrees come to us through work-based routes so you can apply for a foundation degree even if you don’t have traditional academic qualifications. We welcome applicants with relevant work experience.

Course content

Run in association with the University of Bedfordshire, this degree-level course gives you a comprehensive understanding of child and family situations and drawing on knowledge and theory from the fields of psychology, childhood development, working with families and professional skills and practice. The course allows you to continue your employment in a relevant childcare setting and develop your practice on a theoretical and practical level.

This course will help you gain an in-depth understanding of the essential aspects of child development and welfare and equip you with the skills required to provide high-quality services for children, young people and families. Their rights, and the belief that they have equal access to services and life opportunities regardless of social difference, feature strongly throughout the course. You will apply knowledge to current practice Your studies will have a strong vocational orientation, with ‘real’ practice issues informing the curriculum and your work. You will be expected to be employed or volunteering with children or young people for a minimum of 14 hours per week. You will have a work based mentor to support you with your studies over the next two years. The course is set within the context of current events, research legislation and policy. You will also be given opportunities for undertaking research in preparation for your independent project, as well as enjoying the practical experience of working with children, young people and families. Underpinning the course is the belief that children, young people and their families have rights and should have equal access to services and opportunities, regardless of social difference. Valuing the potential and the qualities of children and young people are also guiding principles. We are working alongside the Sector Skills Council to provide this Foundation degree, which has been designed to equip you with the up-to-date knowledge and skills you will need to be an effective and successful practitioner in the field of Child and Family studies.

You will learn through a variety of different methods including practical work during your course to develop your skills and gain the necessary knowledge to assess occupational competence in the work environment. Your course is linked to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and includes units from this standard. Your areas of study will include:

  • Law, society and controversy
  • Understanding the Human Services
  • Perceptions and discourses of childhood
  • Multi-agency working and child welfare
  • Management and applied experienced within a work-based setting

The objectives of the Foundation degree in Child and Family Studies are to:

  • Develop extensive knowledge and skills in all areas of child development and child care service provision.
  • Understand various related theoretical perspectives and how these are linked to and inform policy and practice in the area of childcare.
  • Draw out, develop reflective skills and extend learning from the work place experiences and activities.
  • Develop a sound working knowledge of childcare legislation and current government policy and initiatives.
  • Initiate and carry out independent child care research activities.
  • Develop skills in critically analysing theories, policy, planning and practice in the child care arena.
  • Relate theory to practice and reflect on practice through utilisation of the students own experiences gained from existing practice in the field of childcare.
  • Become reflective practitioners with good self-awareness and ability to transfer knowledge and skills to different specialist areas of child service provision.

Your assessments throughout this course will keep you on track to achieve; these could include observations, examinations, assignment tasks and a portfolio of evidence to support your learning.

Your Tutor will be on hand to support you throughout your course to develop your skills, prepare you for your next steps and help you to achieve your goals.

Your Study Programme includes valuable additions to help you succeed!

  • You will have a regular 1:1 appointment with highly qualified and experienced Childcare professionals who will help you to manage your workload, give you valuable feedback and ensure that you meet College expectations.
  • Careers Advice & Guidance is available throughout your time at CBC from our friendly, dedicated Advisors. They can provide you with a wide range of support including CV writing, UCAS applications, interview skills and much more.

Next steps

Upon completing your course, you have a great range of options available to help you continue your adventure.

If you would like to continue with your studies, completion of the Foundation degree allows you to enter the final year of the University of Bedfordshire’s BA (Hons) in Childhood and Youth Studies
There are a range of employment options available to you following this course including roles within Social and Human Services, Education, Community Services and many more.

Additional information

Coming to College is a full time commitment and you will need to ensure that you have factored in the cost of travelling to College and potentially to a local work placement. If you are concerned about this, please click here to see what financial support is available through our Student Services team. We do recommend a few good resources that you can choose to purchase which we discuss at interview. We may request contributions are made to trips and outings.

Being in employment (or voluntary work) is integral and essential to this Foundation degree. A letter of support is required from employers. Each learner must have a work-based mentor. We have an excellent relationship with local Employers, and regularly hold meetings and visit to their organisations. The course allows you to remain in your childcare employment whilst you continue to study allowing you to relate theory to practice and reflect on your learning throughout the course. The time table runs over 1 afternoon and 1 evening allowing for a minimum time taken from work. The course seeks to develop your’ personal, professional and study skills in areas such as multi-agency working and working in social or child care. Employability is also core to the Foundation Degree and is part of the teaching programme at every level in units such as the Level 4 unit Reflective Learning, the Level 5 unit Managing People and Career Development in the Human Services. As part of the Managing People and Career Development in the Human Services unit we have a student residential which consists of two days away including an overnight stay on a Friday and Saturday. We work in groups to prepare a presentation for formative assessment. This also provides an excellent opportunity for team building and group work ready for the second year.

Apply through UCAS

To apply for our University level courses, please visit UCAS using the link below.

Apply now
Available Courses
Cbc Dunstable Main Campus
Starts: 23/09/2024
Type: HE
Fees: £6,165.00

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information on the Website is correct, some details may be subject to change. The Bedford College Group reserves the right to make amendments to the courses, dates, fees or other details, and to make cancellations or changes if numbers are insufficient. In the unfortunate situation that we have to cancel a course we will refund your fees in full, but we regret we are not able to offer any refund if you withdraw from your course or fail to start, and you will be liable to pay any outstanding fees that may be due.

Additional Learning Support

If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.

Any questions?

If you would like to find out more about this or other courses, please use our Livechat below, email or call us on 0345 658 8990.


We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 or 01536 413123 for more information.

Additional formats

Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on 01234 291000 or 01536 413123 to order your copy.