FdA Early Childhood Studies

Petroc is one of the largest colleges in Devon and is committed to driving forward educational success in further and higher education. 

We are passionate about raising the aspirations, knowledge and skills of individuals, and year after year our students produce exceptional results, enabling them to progress further in training or employment. 

Petroc has been delivering a range of degree-level courses for over 30 years and is proud to be able to provide a wide variety of programmes (from HNCs and Foundation Degrees to Higher Apprenticeships and Honours Degrees) in subject areas including education, computing, science, engineering, and health and care. 

Petroc has three campuses situated across North and Mid Devon with modern and stimulating learning environments. We also offer small classes, extensive student support and exceptional links to local industry. 

Visit the Petroc website to find out how we can help you go further in life.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • Core modules

    • Professional Skills and Development (NORD1112)

      This module is designed to enable students to demonstrate that they have all the qualities and transferable skills necessary for appropriate academic work and in employment requiring the exercise of responsibility and decision making, including the ability to relate their professional practice to underlying theory and principles.

    • Interpersonal Skills: leadership and team work (NORD1116)

      This module introduces theoretical approaches to understanding interpersonal skills and explores the difficulties of membership of a team in the contemporary Early Years Sector. Leadership and decision-making within a professional context will be explored. There will be experiential opportunities to practice in small groups and analyse group processes through the development of analytic and reflective skills.

    • Policy and Provision for the Early Years (NORD1118)

      This module provides an overview of legislation relating to children's welfare, wellbeing and protection. A focus on the rights of children and evaluating policy, provision, and practice in light of a rights-based perspective is key.

    • International Educational Perspectives (NORD1119)

      The module introduces patterns of educational provision for young children in the UK, and compares this with educational provision from around the world.

  • Year 2

  • Core modules

    • Young Children's Welfare and Wellbeing (NORD1117)

      Examining the influencing factors on the experience of contemporary childhood in the UK, this module offers an insight into the welfare and wellbeing of children today.

    • Theories of Learning and Development (NORD1120)

      Introducing theories of children's cognitive development, this module will investigate key concepts in terms of relevance to practice with young children. Contemporary inclusive early years practice will be explored through application of relevant psychological theories.

    • Children's Spaces (NORD2126)

      This module presents a critical approach to children's spaces in the Early Years: in Education, Outdoors, and in wider society. Drawing on theories of learning outside, and evaluating existing spaces where children live and learn, students will consider the influences on provision, practice, and outcomes for children's health, safety, and wellbeing.

    • Social and Emotional Development (NORD2128)

      This module builds on Child Development studied in Year One. The child's self-esteem is key to their future; heredity, experiences, the environment and those around the child all contribute and influence their emotional development.

  • Final year

  • Core modules

    • Perspectives on Childhood (NORD2123)

      This module allows students to make an in-depth study of a particular area of interest relevant to Education, Children, or the Early Years. Using their research skills, students will compile a literature review in a chosen topic, negotiated with the module leader, preparing themselves for future academic progression.

    • Researching Childhood (NORD2124)

      Students will become aware of some of the ethical issues in research with children and families, whilst critically evaluating methodology and existing research. Participative research methods and the wider subject of children's rights in, and contribution to, research will be explored.

    • Multi Agency Working (NORD2125)

      Building on previous study of interpersonal skills and group processes, this module looks at the influence of multi-professional teams in meeting the needs of children. The legislation and codes of practice that guide teams will be examined, along with a critical examination of the barriers to successful multi-agency working in the UK.

    • Health and Physical Wellbeing (NORD2127)

      Students will critically consider factors affecting children's health and wellbeing in this module, from a range of perspectives. They will evaluate concepts such as stranger danger, attitudes to risk, healthy eating, and obesity by drawing from contemporary research and reflecting on their practice in light of this learning

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Fees, costs and funding

As this course is delivered by one of our partner colleges, please contact the college directly for information on fees and funding.

How to apply

For further information and to apply for this course, please contact the college's admissions team directly using the contact details below. 

Progression routes

Completing this course enables you to progress onto these related courses and programmes with the University of Plymouth at level 5 or level 6, as specifically defined by this programme’s progression agreement.

For further information, including the progression from foundation degree form, please visit

Our partnership with Petroc

The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

Please contact Petroc to apply for this course:

Old Sticklepath Hill
EX31 2BQ

Tel: +441271345291

Open days

Partner college open days

This course is run at one of our partner colleges. Open days are held at the college and more details of these can be found on the college website. You'll find contact details below, on this page.

University of Plymouth open days

You are also very welcome to attend a University of Plymouth open day, to get a flavour of the courses you can progress to from a partner college. There will however be limited information on this specific course and college.

Studying with Petroc

With main campuses in Barnstaple, Tiverton and Brannams, if you decide to study at the combined college, you’ll be able to take advantage of increased resources and the plethora of learning opportunities associated with them.
Plymouth students working on a group project