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What makes Education and Development FdA with Specialist Pathways with the Somerset Centre for Integrated Learning. special?

Knowledgeable and effective practitioners are vital in supporting children to develop their learning and achieve their potential. This new and innovative degree is designed for people who are working in, or who aspire to work with children as a teaching assistant, special needs assistant, cover supervisor, HLTA or outdoor learning practitioner.

The Foundation Degree in Education and Development offer pathways of specialisation in Teaching and Learning, SEND or Outdoors Learning.

Whilst studying this foundation degree you will explore factors from the perspectives of both young people and practitioners that can influence learning and development as well as how the environment and curriculum supports development. As a result, you will have the knowledge and skills needed to make a significant difference to learners’ outcomes.

This programme has been developed to draw and build upon prior experience and skills to support you in discovering fresh insights.

Based in the South-West, this programme is run by the Somerset Centre for Integrated Learning.



Key features

  • Opportunities to develop key skills and knowledge to prepare for further study and/or employment to improve practice and gain promotion e.g. HLTA, cover supervisor, social work assistant, children’s home support worker, outdoor learning lead (in EY/primary setting), outdoor learning practitioner (in an outdoor learning setting).
  • Opportunity to combine studying and learning on the job. Students are expected to spend at least 10 hours a week in a setting, either as a member of staff or on a voluntary basis.
  • Further optional vocational training opportunities, which may incur an additional fee, are available that would support continuing professional development depending on the chosen pathway.
  • Diverse and rich range of settings in Somerset Authority incorporating visits, as appropriate within the delivery schedule relative to the specific pathway, such as a visit to a Special School or Kilve Court Outdoor Learning Centre.
  • Step towards acquiring a full honours degree in the future, with top-up options available in Worcester and the Southwest. Completion of the Foundation Degree will enable students to progress to the BA Hons in Professional Practice which takes one year to complete.
  • The full honours degree opens up the possibility of a route in to teaching, social work, applying for a full master’s degree. Applicants will need to check their existing GCSEs to ensure that they meet those that are required for potential career progression.
a group of students are sitting and chatting

It’s not too late to apply!

You can still apply to study with us after the January UCAS deadline. Don’t be tempted to rush an application together as fast as you can, you still want to make sure your application and personal statement are as good as possible.

Your teachers can still write you a reference after the January deadline so make sure to let them know you’re applying to university

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

32 UCAS Points

Mature students (over 21 years): If you do not have formal qualifications a non-standard entry route is available

Under 21 years: Passes A-C in four GCSE subjects plus one A level at grade C or equivalent point (at least 32 UCAS tariff points)

Other information

All successful applicants will be invited to attend a selection day prior to the start of the course. This gives you an opportunity to meet tutors, others students and find out more information about the course. Applicants will be asked to prepare a short piece of writing prior to the session and will be required to participate in a short group discussion to assess articulation of ideas and the ability to consider and respond to the views of others.

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

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. 

Year 1

Mandatory modules:

  • 1001: understanding our academic, professional and personal selves
  • 1003: keeping children safe in education
  • 1005: learning and development
  • 1006: identification of special educational needs, the graduated response
  • 1010: research project

In addition individual pathways will study one of the following optional modules:

  • 1008 Teaching and Learning Pathway: the creative curriculum
  • 1007 SEND Pathway: curriculum inclusion
  • 1009 Outdoor Learning Pathway: the benefits of outdoor learning

Year 2

Mandatory modules:

  • 2001: reflective journal
  • 2012: research2007: behaviour for Learning
  • 2002: partnership working

In addition individual pathways will study one of the following optional modules:

  • 2010 Teaching and Learning Pathway: Teaching and learning in the primary phase – the core curriculum
  • 2009: SEND pathway: barriers to learning – lived experience.
  • 2010 Outdoors Learning pathway: applying the principles of environmental science – biodiversity and interdependence of all living things
  • 2008 Teaching and Learning Pathway: planning, assessing and evaluating learning
  • 2006 SEND pathway: assess plan review do in practice
  • 2005 Outdoors Learning Pathway: honed approaches to the study of outdoor education – forest school, beach school
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Location of teaching

There is an agreement between UW and SCIL to deliver the course leading to a foundation degree. The partnership between SCIL and the University of Worcester is reviewed on a scheduled basis. The partnership review was last reviewed in the academic year 2020 to 2021, with an agreed six year partnership.

The delivery sessions Take place at Dillington House, near Ilminster. As a training venue, Dillington is hard to beat. Set in glorious parkland, it combines first-rate training facilities with beautiful surroundings. Training rooms are housed in the historic stable courtyard, or in the award-winning contemporary Hyde building. For students on the Outdoor Learning route, some sessions will take place at the local authority’s outdoor learning centre at Kilve.

Teaching and Learning

You are taught through a combination of interactive workshops, lectures, seminars and practical activities etc. Interactive lectures take a variety of formats and are intended to enable the application of learning through discussion and small group activities. In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least four occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

SCIL in partnership with 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 from Student Services and Library Services, and also the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help you to flourish and be successful.

Contact time and duration

In a typical week you will have around 6 contact hours of teaching. The duration of this course is 2 years full-time.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 30 hours of personal self study per week. Typically, this will involve completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations.


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings and some Saturdays.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of ‘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 a range of coursework assessments such as essays, portfolios, blogs, presentations, reflective diaries and independent research studies and projects in year 1. There is an increased word count in year 2 and an increased expectation in relation to depth of analysis, assessments include: essays, case studies, reports, portfolios, blogs, presentations, reflective journals and independent research study projects.

You will receive feedback on assessments and undertaken by coursework. 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.

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 academics and professional practitioners with industry and occupational experience


Where could it take you?


Completion of the Foundation Degree will enable you to progress to our BA Hons in Professional Practice (BAPP) which takes one year to complete leading to the award of an honours degree. Typically 95% of FD students at SCIL carry on to undertake a BAPP after completing their Foundation Degree.

Once they have completed FDED and BAPP, students are able to apply for routes to gain qualified teacher status. Our graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in variety of roles within the children and young people’s workforce such as social care.

For those students who do not wish to top-up their foundation degree, we have consulted with Somerset Country Council, schools, multi-academy trusts and private, voluntary and independent settings, who have acknowledged that this foundation degree would be accepted and recognised as a continuous professional development opportunity counting it towards their sector professional qualifications.

Two students are walking next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential.

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2023/24 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2023/24 academic year is £14,700 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in the academic year 2023/24 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Course-related costs not included in the fees

In addition to course-related fees, students will be responsible for the costs of printing, stationery and books etc.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Jude White

Administration Assistant