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What makes our Learning Support foundation degree special?

For many young people, learning support assistants are an essential part of their educational journey. The role requires patience and integrity, and brings with it considerable responsibilities and substantial rewards.

This foundation degree in Learning Support has been designed to draw upon your existing knowledge and experience, and to develop new skills. With an emphasis on work-based assignments, your learning is orientated around your practical experience.

For those working or seeking work in a learning support role, this course will further your personal and professional development as a competent and confident practitioner, enhancing your career prospects and opening the door on to possible additional study and routes into teaching for example our Teaching in Primary Education (with QTS) BA (Hons) Top up.



Key features

  • Flexible locations: study at Halesowen College on a full or part-time basis.
  • This foundation degree is a first step to becoming a qualified teacher. Once you have completed the foundation degree you may be eligible to study our Teaching in Primary Education (with QTS) BA (Hons) Top up route into teaching
  • A sound basis for further study at Bachelors degree level, including our, Education Studies, Special Educational Needs, Inclusion and Disability and Integrated Working with Children and Families programmes delivered in Worcester
  • Support your professional development whilst exploring topics as diverse as the creative curriculum, managing challenging behaviour, inclusive education and exploring social care

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.

"Obtaining the FDLS has enabled me to grow both personally and as an educator. It has given me confidence to support the wellbeing and enrich the learning of pupils in my care."

Kim McCoig-Lees

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

32 UCAS Tariff points, plus current/recent experience of working with learners, a minimum of two years experience employed or working in a voluntary capacity within an appropriate educational setting. All students must be in a suitable placement and working for a minimum of ten hours per week (either paid or voluntary) at the start of the course.

The normal minimum entry requirement for Foundation Degree courses is the possession of 4 GCSEs (Grade C/4 or above) and 1 A Level (or equivalent Level 3 qualification).

For mature students (i.e. 21 or over), without formal qualifications, a non-standard entry route is available. Candidates are encouraged to apply if they feel they can benefit from the programme; such applicants will be considered on the basis of relevant work experience and attainment of skills, which demonstrate an ability to study at this level.

A Disclosure and Barring Service Check is required for this course.

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 the UCAS website.

T Levels may be used to meet the entry tariff requirements for this course. T Level subjects considered for this course include:

  • Education and Childcare

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Course content

Course content

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

  • Preparing for Study
  • The Creative Curriculum (1) Supporting Literacy and Numeracy
  • The Creative Curriculum (2) Creativity and Learning
  • Child Development
  • Understanding Learning Support
  • Managing Challenging Behaviour
  • Partnerships in Education
  • Wider Aspects of Disability

Level 5

  • Introduction to Research Methods
  • Inclusion in Theory and Practice
  • Supporting Additional Needs
  • School Based Study (double module)
  • Talking and Listening with others
  • An Introduction to Social Care Strategies: Meeting the National Agenda
  • Evaluation and Change
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Amy Allen

Amy is studying the Foundation Degree in Learning Support after finishing the Level 2 Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools.

“I attend the course once a week alongside work-based learning. I decided to study at Herefordshire and Ludlow College as I live locally and I was interested in studying a University course qualification. I was on maternity leave before starting and have found that the structure of the course fits in really well with my young family and busy lifestyle. I also find the work-based learning great as I have been able to gain experience alongside studying, and I am now employed at Lord Scudamore Academy.

I plan to do a Top-up BA (hons) next year and hope to go into social work in the future. I would definitely recommend this course as it opens so many doors to different careers, as some of my course friends are also going into teaching or working in hospitals.”

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Sasha Vaughan - Herefordshire and Ludlow College

“I wanted to study the FdA in Learning Support as I enjoy being in a learning environment and developing my knowledge. Studying this course, I feel it will open up a variety of options for me, including teaching or working in social care.

Having previously studied Childcare here at the College, I knew how the College worked and the learning environment I could expect. The College is local to me, which is ideal as it means I don’t have to travel far to get here, and if like me you’ve already studied here on another course, you know your way around, and what the tutors are like.

What I like about this course is the freedom it offers me, with only 1 day a week study, I can use the other days for work or self-study. The best part I find is the different group activities that we do within lessons. We’re able to learn from each other, which is great given the mixture of learners on the course. I’d definitely recommend the College and this course, it can open may different routes for further study or employment.”

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Sarah-Jane Russell - Herefordshire and Ludlow College

“I previously studied the Level 2 and then the Level 3 Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools, followed by the Foundation Degree in Learning Support.

I wanted to take on the challenge of achieving these qualifications to support my family and to further my career, and have found that the course fits in really well with my family life. I also have extra needs and have found that the library staff are empathetic and brilliant in relation to this.

I have been studying a diverse range of subjects at the College and can now bring so much knowledge to the workplace because of this. Presentations, group work and lone working have all contributed to my new-found confidence and I have acquired a range of different skills throughout the course.

I am looking forward to furthering my career with the knowledge I have gained from the course and want to continue learning and developing myself. I believe the College is an excellent place to do this.”

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Emily Morris - Herefordshire and Ludlow College

“The Foundation Degree in Learning Support has offered a different route into teaching for me, as after completing my course I will hopefully to go on to study a PGCE, with a view to teaching in a primary school.

I previously studied A Levels (English, Geography and Psychology), which were full-time courses, whereas this course is only one day a week. The flexibility frees me up for four days a week to work in a school and build up my experience. My favourite aspect of the course is the fact that there is such a great variety of people on the course and they’re not all just 18-year olds fresh from A Levels. Some have years of experience from different roles which allows us to learn from each other, as well as the tutors.

The College is nice and local for me, living in Ledbury, and is a convenient place to get to. I would recommend studying this course here, as I found that having been to a small school and sixth-form, I felt that a large university campus would have been overwhelming. The College is small and friendly enough that you can build your confidence slowly.”

Natasha Harris

Natasha Harris

I would recommend the Foundation Degree in Learning Support to anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in the education sector. It allows you to develop your classroom practice whilst simultaneously developing a secure academic foundation. I look forward to building on my passion for working with children next year when I complete my Top-Up BA Hons Integrated Working with Children, Young People and Families at Worcester with a view to pursuing teaching in the long-term.

One of the main advantages of the FDLS was the flexible method of study. The course is offered at several institutions, on both a full-time and part-time basis. For me, this flexible approach to studying meant that I could attend evening lectures whilst continuing to work full-time as a HLTA. 

The FDLS tends to have much smaller groups. This was a real advantage of the course as I made some very meaningful friendships. I also learnt a lot from my peers as the lecturers created lots of opportunities for discussion and debate.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

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 modules, which work towards student independence. Within the practical-based modules, this is achieved through work related assignments and a programme that gradually transfers responsibility for learning to the students. Learning occurs in a context that enables students to relate what they are learning to what they already know and to guide them through subsequent general reading. The source material in these modules is not confined to lectures, but includes a range of appropriate strategies such as structured and general reading, video material, observation, experiential learning.

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 engage with learning through a comprehensive range of learning and teaching strategies which include:

  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Group work
  • Student presentations
  • Practical activities
  • Problem-based learning

Work-based activities and assignments will enable you to engage with your own practice and to share your knowledge and expertise with others. You will also undertake a work-based study in your second year, which allows you, with tutorial support, to focus on a particular area of interest within your professional practice.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 4 - 20 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the modules you are studying. In the final year, you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study. Contact sessions included interactive lectures, group seminars, small group discussions and practical work.

Typically, class contact time will be structured around:

  • Synthesising academic and practical knowledge.
  • Applying your knowledge to your professional work in areas of learning support.
  • Supported learning and teaching through Virtual Learning Environments and the use of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL).

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 16 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve directed study tasks, academic reading, reflection on module ideas, and applying knowledge to your professional role.

Work-based learning is an embedded element of the course. Modules are assessed through work related learning and it is a requirement that students are employed or volunteer in a learning support or similar role for the duration of the course. You are expected to undertake this work-based learning for a minimum of two days a week. This enables students to relate their studies to their own setting and context.

A range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources, supports independent learning.

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 senior academics and professional practitioners with education experience. Teaching is based on research and consultancy; over seventy per cent of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows or Senior Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.


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:

  • Written assignments
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Case studies
  • Reflective portfolio entries
  • Problem based learning
  • Learning journals / reflective journals
  • Seminars
  • Independent Studies
  • Workplace investigations
  • Self-evaluation / needs analysis
  • Evaluations of processes and resources
  • Poster/leaflet presentations /Production of workplace resources
  • Literature critiques


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal coursework assessments. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback supports 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.

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.




The course provides a sound basis for further study at Bachelors degree level including progression to the BA (Hons) Education Studies Top-up or BA (Hons) Integrated Working with Children and Families Top-up at Worcester. Students may also be eligible to apply for entry on to the BA (Hons) Primary Initial Teacher Education (with QTS) or BA (Hons) Applied Health and Social Sciences Top-up degree dependent on experience.

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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
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Opportunity to study our Teaching In Primary Education (With QTS) BA (Hons) Top up degree

On successful completion of your Foundation Degree you are eligible to apply for our our Teaching In Primary Education (With QTS) BA (Hons) Top up degree

This course offers an exciting opportunity for you to train to become a primary school teacher over a 16 month period. 

Find out more about our Teaching In Primary Education (With QTS) BA (HONS) Top up degree

Fees and funding

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 2024/25 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 2024/25 academic year is £16,200 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 enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the academic year 2024/25 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.

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 an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

You are required to be volunteering or employed in a learning support, or similar, role for the duration of the course. The expectation is that you make arrangements to attend your employment or voluntary work, and meet any travel costs.

How to apply

How to apply

Applying through UCAS

Learning Support FdA X300

This course is run in partnership with Halesowen College (full-time or part-time). 

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.



Full-time applications

Please make your application via UCAS using the relevant button below. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

Apply to Study Full-Time at Halesowen College

Part-time applications

Please make part-time applications to study at Halesowen College via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

Apply to Study Part-Time at Halesowen College

Contact us

Simon Taylor

Course Leader Foundation Degree in Learning Support

Carole Barber

Enquiries for Halesowen College