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Foundation Degree in Primary Teaching and Learning

If you’re an experienced classroom or teaching assistant (or in an equivalent school support role), this foundation degree will extend your skills in the classroom, develop your professional knowledge and expertise and boost your career opportunities. It combines work-based learning with academic study to develop the knowledge and skills needed to support primary-aged children in their school learning.

Key features of the course

  • Helps increase your effectiveness in your current role and prepare for new challenges
  • Designed for experienced classroom or teaching assistants, experienced volunteers or equivalent 
  • Focuses on supporting primary age children (4 to 11 years, or up to 12 years in Scotland)
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study. 

We offer the same programme of study as the Diploma of Higher Education in Primary Teaching and Learning (W02), which will be of particular interest to students living and working in Scotland.

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Foundation Degree

Course code
X02
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
240
How long it takes
Part time – 4 years
Full time – 2 years
Time limit – 7 years
Study method
Distance learning
Course cost
See Fees & funding
Entry requirements
For details see Am I ready?

Register for this course

Start dates

Credit transfer: apply by 04/12/2014

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Course details

This qualification has two stages, each comprising 120 credits. Stage 1 provides the underpinning knowledge and skills needed for more advanced study at Stage 2.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

You’ll begin by exploring themes such as: inclusive education; play and creativity; learning in English, maths and science; the role of ICT; home-school collaboration; working collaboratively with colleagues. Then through a series of mini research projects, you'll investigate child protection; creative practices; technology; school inclusion; community involvement; cross-curricular learning; and the ethical dimensions of small-scale research. 


Compulsory modules (120 credits)

Experienced practitioners will start in February with Supporting learning in primary schools: APEL route (EZL111), an APEL version (accreditation of prior experiential learning) of the first module. This enables you to demonstrate core subject and practice knowledge gained through your role and responsibilities, and appropriate study skills. Please note that studying this APEL module cannot be funded with a student loan or any financial support.  

Stage 2 (120 credits)

You’ll develop your understanding and encourage reflective practice in four key areas of the primary curriculum: English, maths, science and ICT – studying online, working collaboratively with other students and tutors, and developing your ICT skills in a supportive environment. Finally, you’ll choose from options exploring issues like the diversity and complexity of children’s lives; children’s development; and working with children and families.  

On successfully completing this course, and having passed the module Childhood (E212), you will be able to progress to studying for the BA (Honours) Childhood and Youth Studies (Q81)



The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study. It’s not just study completed at a university that can be considered, you can transfer study from a wide range of professional qualifications as well. A full list of the qualifications and institutions we can consider for credit transfer can be found on our credit transfer website.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide original evidence of your previous study. We will compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen qualification and inform you of any award.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


On completion

On completion of this undergraduate course, you will be awarded the Foundation Degree in Primary Teaching and Learning.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.


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Entry requirements

To study this qualification you need to be working directly with children in a primary school for a minimum of five hours a week from the outset. This is essential in order to be able to complete the assignments. You may be in paid employment or working as a volunteer.

For the work-based learning modules, your school will be required to provide confirmation of the number of hours you work; verify your role in the school; and agree to provide appropriate support for your studies.

Note: anyone working in a school will need to organise a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS, formerly CRB check) or equivalent depending on the country in which you work. It’s your responsibility and that of your employer to ensure you meet these requirements.

If you’re working in a primary school in Western Europe, you’re eligible to study this foundation degree providing you meet the entry requirements outlined, and that you’re working in a school that follows the National Curriculum and uses English as the language of tuition.

In order to assist you in determining whether the APEL route is appropriate for you, it is essential that you accurately complete the EZL111 self-assessment questionnaire. Please download and save to your computer for completion.

General study skills

Anyone can study with The Open University, but if it's a while since you did any academic work it's worth checking that your time management, computing and English skills are up to speed. Visit Can I do it? to find out more.

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Study for free

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! You can get started with an Access module – fascinating courses designed to introduce subject areas, build your confidence and prepare you for further study.

For this qualification, we recommend:

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This is a multidisciplinary module that allows you to develop your subject knowledge and your general study skills. It provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of subject areas, including children and young people, health, law, management, psychology and social sciences.

The module is divided into four blocks:

Block 1: Individuals

In this block, each discipline discusses individuals from a subject-specific perspective or point of view. In Social sciences the individual is presented in relation to cultural and group identities. In Childhood, identity formation is demonstrated through relationships and maturation processes. Lifestyle choices are discussed in relation to individual biological and psychological factors in Health. Psychology takes you on a journey through ways of understanding how individuals think and perceive their world, while Law takes a life course approach to individual rights and responsibilities. Finally, Management takes a very practical view of how you as an individual can begin to organise and develop yourself and others.

Block 2: Families and relationships

Here you’ll encounter a range of perspectives from each of the subject areas on the theme of families and relationships. In Childhood, family and relationships are presented from the point of view of an adult who wants to understand more about the lives of children and young people. The Health perspective explores how family life affects health and considers the care demands on families during illness. Psychology reveals how interaction is key to understanding how families are built and sometimes fall apart. You’ll explore division of labour in families from a Social sciences perspective, and how the nature of family life shapes life chances. In considering parental rights and responsibilities, Law discusses serious cases such as child neglect and abuse. Finally, Management looks at relationships at work and how to manage them effectively.

Block 3: Organisations and communities

This block begins with a Management perspective on organisations, in which you will consider characteristics typical of organisations, including structure, culture, and management tools. Also, you’ll discover how adults support transitions for children and their families when children enter school for the first time or move between different educational settings. In Health, the school is again a focus, along with the built environment, this time for considering health influences and interventions. Having approached organisations and communities from a largely experiential perspective, the block then presents Law, and how rights and responsibilities influence and constrain practice in organisational settings. In Psychology, you consider how roles and groups develop within organisations, coming to a working understanding of certain observable behaviours. Finally, Social Sciences present how people can organise themselves to bring about social change.

Block 4: Society

This block opens with an examination of how social scientists view and consider society, including different types of cultures and how aspects of different cultures spread to different countries. The concept of multiple self is discussed in Psychology, showing how individuals can adapt and change when moving to a different culture. Next, you will consider the growth of fast food diets in Western society, their effect on children and young people, and action to foster healthy eating habits. Health is considered by debating the impact of government policy on the health and well being of society. In Law, you’ll consider the laws of negligence and duty of care within society today, drawing on real life cases that English law courts have judged.

The module includes a DVD and website which include further study materials and resources as well as online quizzes and interactive exercises to help test your understanding.

As you study this module you will build your confidence and develop your study skills, including:

  • reading and interpreting information
  • producing written communications
  • time management and organisational skills
  • problem solving.

You will also have the opportunity to gain skills such as working with audio and visual material, using online forums and searching the internet for information. This experience will provide you with a gentle introduction to using a computer to support your study, and will equip you with the basic computing skills you will need for the next step in your studies.

Please note that you will need access to the internet and a computer to study and pass this module. You will need to use a computer early on in the module but not straight away, so if you don’t currently have one you’ve got time to make arrangements. You can use your own computer or one at a library or drop-in centre.

On successful completion of this module you will receive an Open University Access Module Certificate.

Course work includes:

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
6 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or request a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you. Or come and meet us at an event near you.

How much will it cost?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

*The fee information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2015. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation. Fees information for courses starting between 1 August 2015 – 31 July 2016 will be available in March 2015.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632*.
  • Our current fee is £5,264* – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification starts from £10,528* based on our current fees.

Additional costs

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how you can pay. That’s why we offer a wide range of flexible payment and funding options to help make study more affordable than you might think. Options include Tuition Fee Loans (also known as student loans), monthly payment plans and employer sponsorship. 

We’re confident we can help you find an option that’s right for you.

Just answer these simple questions to find out more about the options available to you for courses starting before 1 August 2015. Updated information for courses starting after this will be available in March 2015.




How many credits are you planning to study per year? You will need [xxx] credits to complete this qualification

Part time study

Full time study


Do you already hold a degree?

Are you employed?

British Forces

  • Only currently serving members of the British armed forces, who are temporarily and unavoidably working abroad and using BFPO addresses, are eligible to pay UK course fees for the total time spent outside the UK. Other students who are able to use BFPO addresses need to contact the Student Registration and Enquiry Service (SRS) Pricing Area Team on +44 (0)300 303 5303 for UK fee eligibility to be assessed.
* The fee and funding information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2015. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation. Fees for courses starting from 1 August 2015 will be available in March 2015.

An OU qualification will always help you stand out from the crowd, now and in the future – whether you’re just starting out, developing your career, or changing direction entirely.

Skills for career development

This foundation degree course will enable you to develop your existing practice with children and be more aware of the theories that give rise to effective teaching and learning. Students report that their studies can make them more prepared to take part in educational discussions in their schools, and more confident in contributing as valued professionals. Some have also stated that their studies led to paid employment and promotion.

You will also develop a range of key communication, IT, numeracy, analytical, critical thinking and time management skills that are highly valued in the workplace across all sectors.

Career relevance

The Foundation Degree in Primary Teaching and Learning is relevant to teaching assistants, higher level teaching assistants and other kinds of classroom support staff. If you’re seeking higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) status – in England and Wales only – it will help you to gather the necessary practice-related evidence to apply for this status.

Other careers

The foundation degree may be helpful if you are thinking about training to be an early years or primary teacher; your choice of optional module can be used to support this goal. If you’re considering teaching as a career, you’re strongly advised to check with your training provider about their entry policy for initial teacher education (ITE) programmes, as requirements vary between different universities.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills. 

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser.  Some areas of the website are available to see at any time, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience):

  • teaching assistant
  • early years coordinator
  • special needs coordinator
  • child development officer
  • children’s centre manager
  • primary teacher
  • special educational needs teacher
  • learning mentor
  • educational psychologist
  • speech and language therapist
  • child protection officer.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.

career_explorer

Study plan - Overview
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