Foundation degrees and courses for school support staff

foundation degree students

If you are working or volunteering with children and young people you can use your knowledge and experience to study your subject by gaining a foundation degree. These courses are directly relevant to your role as they combine work-based learning with academic study. 

Students on foundation courses work in many settings including nurseries, schools, FE colleges, community and voluntary groups, prisons, housing services and the NHS. For many without traditional qualifications it can be a route into gaining a degree.

"The strengths of a foundation degree are that we can work and study. If we couldn’t carry on working we wouldn’t have been able to do this degree”  Caroline, FdA student

“The flexibility of the course has enabled me to gain a qualification I never thought I’d be able to get” Amanda, FdA student

Key strengths

  • Accredited Learning: UWE Bristol gives you accreditation for your professional work practice.  Students may present evidence of their experience by video and are asked to reflect and provide evidence on what they’ve learned. 
  • Co-working with colleagues: students learn from each others’ experience. Our wide range of students bring richness and diversity into the classroom.

Find out more about our undergraduate courses in Education and Childhood.

Next steps and career routes 

The foundation degrees take two years which are the equivalent of years one and two of a three year undergraduate degree. By taking a further year's study on the BA in Professional Practice you can “top up” the qualification to gain a full degree with honours.  During their studies many students gain recognition in the workplace and achieve promotion. Students have gone on to further study and become teachers, learning mentors, counsellors and inclusion workers; they have also taken pastoral roles or joined social services. 


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