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What makes Birth and Beyond FdA at Worcester special?

Do you feel passionate about supporting parents during those first 1,000 days of pregnancy into parenthood? Our course trains you to work professionally with parents to achieve these aims in a range of rewarding roles. NCT Training, in partnership with the University of Worcester, brings you the best training and professional development opportunities in parenting education.

NCT is the UK’s leading charity for parents, established in 1956 they support parents from pregnancy to birth and beyond, providing parents with accurate, impartial information through their much-loved courses and classes. NCT bring parents together to make vital and lasting friendships and campaign on behalf of parents. They believe everyone can, and should, feel supported in becoming a parent.

Our unique Birth and Beyond programme has been designed to allow you to develop as an NCT Practitioner. The course will enable you to support, inspire and guide new parents in a range of areas, including antenatal teaching, breastfeeding counselling and postnatal practice. 

Applications for the current foundation degree training programme have now closed. Please visit our NCT Training page for exciting news regarding the development of a new training programme to become an NCT Practitioner.



Key features

  • The unique partnership we share with NCT offers the only university-accredited qualification in parent education in the UK.
  • Our flexible full-time courses are studied using a convenient mix of attended structured study days and self-directed learning.
  • Our modular framework is perfect for professionals who want to develop their role as a practitioner.
  • Taught at a variety of locations across the UK.
  • We welcome mature students.
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Students walking to campus smiling

Join us this September

It's not too late to apply for a September 2021 start. We have places available through clearing on a range of courses.

Find out more
Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

One A Level (or equivalent) at Grade C or 32 UCAS tariff points.

Other acceptable qualifications include an equivalent Level 3 qualification (i.e. a BTEC or CACHE Diploma) which carries 32 tariff points.

These qualifications do not have to be in a related subject.

If you do not have these qualifications, please read the information on our NCT Access to Training and contact to discuss further.

Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from

  • Book a place at an Applicant Day
    Applicant Days are the perfect way to find out more about the Birth and Beyond Foundation Degree and the NCT.
Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Level 4


  • Facilitating Learning in Groups
  • Reflective Practice and Listening Skills
  • New Baby - New Family: Part 1
  • Breastfeeding Knowledge for NCT Practitioners
  • Giving Birth


  • Antenatal skills
  • Antenatal knowledge
  • Developing skills as a breastfeeding counsellor
  • New baby – new family: part 2
  • Facilitating postnatal groups
  • NCT Yoga foundations
  • NCT Yoga for pregnancy
  • NCT Mother and baby yoga
  • NCT Baby massage
  • Dimensions of the role of the birth doula
  • Realising the role of the birth doula
  • NCT Professional attributes 

Level 5

Main specialist pathways:

  • Antenatal Pathway
  • Breastfeeding Pathway
  • Postnatal Pathway

Minor specialist pathways

  • Yoga Pathway (NCY Yoga for pregnancy and NCT Mother and Baby Yoga)
  • Doula Pathway

Individual modules

  • NCT Baby Massage

For further information, read the NCT Frequently Asked Questions page.

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of tutorials, study days, journal clubs and assessment days.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

You have an opportunity to reflect on: personal development through the course, including discussion and reflection on feedback and grades achieved; pastoral or academic issues; study skills; the development of professional attributes, including creating action plans where necessary; future plans and goals with respect to study, profession or career.

Contact time

In a typical month you will have around 14-28 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study.

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • Information giving, facilitated discussions, small group work, presentations ·
  • Practical skills - the opportunity to practise group facilitation and discussion, communication and listening skills and the development of physical skills ·
  • Study skills

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 12-14 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve: reading; completing assignments; preparing for contact days; NCT Practitioner observations and observations with parents; evaluation of observations; completing reflective journals (both personal and shared with tutors as formative assessments); online learning including use of Blackboard, quizzes and watching videos.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes, at level 4: Rebecca Wierenga, Dot Parry, Karen Morgan, Linda Doyle, Laura Jarman; at Level 5: Jane Franks, Sophie MacFadyen, Helen Roy, Charlotte Whitehead, Rebecca Wierenga.

Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy; 14 per cent of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification and are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy, while 76 per cent of course lecturers have the NCT Degree in Educational studies. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include: Practical sessions, Essay, Session plans, Information sheet, Video, Report, Examination, Role play, Evaluation of Case Study.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1

  • 3 Practical sessions
  • 2 examinations
  • 3 essays
  • 1 video
  • Session plan

Year 2

  • 3 Practical sessions
  • 4 Essays
  • Course plan
  • Handout


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.


BA (Hons) Birth and Beyond

Students will also be able to study the Level 6 Modules to 'top-up' the Foundation Degree to obtain an Honours Degree. For more information, please visit the NCT course page.

Postgraduate study

We would also like those interested in further studies and research to study with us at the University of Worcester. Areas of interest include:

  • Antenatal education and self-efficacy
  • Perinatal Mental Health

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

In person teaching from September

We intend to start the academic year as planned in September 2020.

For many years, the majority of our teaching has taken place in small group settings such as seminars, laboratory classes, tutorials, clinical simulation and other practical sessions. We are planning to continue to teach these in person, while strictly following the Government safety guidelines in place at the time.

Other sessions will be delivered through a blend of in-person and online learning. You can read more about this approach in our coronavirus FAQs.


Where could it take you?

Our training is vocational and leads to a variety of flexible and rewarding specialist roles with NCT. These roles include:

  • Leading antenatal courses as an NCT Antenatal Practitioner.
  • Leading breastfeeding sessions and providing support as an NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor.
  • Leading postnatal groups as an NCT Postnatal Practitioner.
  • Leading yoga for pregnancy and mother and baby yoga classes an NCT Yoga Practitioner.
  • Providing childbirth support for parents as an NCT Doula.
  • Leading NCT baby massage classes.

Once qualified you will hold the highly respected NCT Licence to Practise. You'll be insured by the NCT and will also receive free on-going training and assessment to help keep your knowledge and skills up to date.

If you want to continue with your studies you can move onto a BA (Hons) Degree at level 6. With further training, it's also possible to work as an NCT Assessor, Supervisor, Mentor or Tutor.

Cover of the 2020 University of Worcester prospectus

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How much will it cost?

Tuition fees

Full time

For home students registering in the 2021/22 academic year the full-time tuition fee will be £7,750.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Support with costs

If you have a question about tuition fees and how to pay for them, please contact our Finance Department on 01905 542474 or 01905 855115 or email

For more information, please visit our course fees page.

Students can request to pay in 3-6 instalments using either direct debit or credit card.

NCT will provide information and support for students wishing to explore ways of reducing the cost of their training. This will include information on:

  • Career Development and Student Loans
  • Grants
  • Bursaries.

Please see the NCT student funding and bursaries page 'for further information.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £108 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £184 per week (2021/22 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Please apply via the UCAS website for full-time study. Institution code W80, Course code is L521.

Applications for the current foundation degree training programme have now closed. Please visit our NCT Training page for exciting news regarding the development of a new training programme to become an NCT Practitioner.


Applying for Individual Modules

Current Students

Current students should apply for individual modules via their SOLE page

Apply for individual modules

NCT Practitioners

If you are an NCT practitioner, please apply for Level 5 Individual Modules using our online application form.

Online application form

Please ensure that you state clearly in your personal statement which module or pathway you are applying for.