Foundation Degree (with SEN) at West Kent College, Tonbridge Campus Childhood Studies 2019/20

Year of entry

This innovative, work-based course offers you the opportunity to gain a qualification while continuing to work. 

We have designed this course specifically for those working on a paid or voluntary basis with children and young people in settings such as schools, nurseries, childcare, fostercare, child minding, youth groups, cadets, or library services. You will explore the relationship between theories of child development and practical application in the workplace where you will gain a valuable understanding of how children and young people learn.

  • learning theory
  • developing positive behaviours
  • curriculum subject areas
  • different aspects of special educational needs and inclusion.

This engaging and innovative work-based course offers the opportunity to gain a qualification while continuing in employment. 

The course is specifically designed for those working with children and young people with Special Educational Needs. You may already be an unqualified teacher, a learning support assistant or an adult, other than a teacher, in a school or similar educational setting. 

You can gain valuable experience in your educational setting while developing knowledge and an understanding of how children and young people learn in different contexts through the study of theories related to child development.  

The Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies (SEN specialism) gives you the opportunity to take an innovative work-based course. You can gain a qualification while continuing to work. Your professional role, combined with this undergraduate ‘work-based ‘qualification can boost your future employment opportunities and may allow you access to study for further qualifications.

The Foundation Degree draws from psychology, sociology, philosophy and the history of education in order to examine child development from a range of perspectives.

You will reflect on a range of issues that affect the development of children and young people.  The course emphasises the role of research and how it impacts on different aspects of children and young people's lives. You will explore the relationship between child development and practices in the workplace through doing practical research tasks.

The Special Needs Education (SEN) pathway will enable you to also explore issues related to disability; autism; speech, language and social communication needs and sensory impairments and physical conditions.


Our Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies (SEN specialism) has a 96% overall student satisfaction rating (National Student Survey, 2017)

Year 1

SEN Specialist Pathway Modules

  • Introduction to Childhood Studies
    You will develop an understanding of the concept of childhood and its complexities and learn skills and techniques that will help you in your study of child development. This module will build on your existing skills and enable you to make the transition into Higher Education (HE) and enable you to be more independent and self-managed in your approach to studying, learning and time management. 
  • Growth and Development
    This module will introduce you to human development and give you a framework for understanding growth, development and developmental stages. You will explore the effects of nature and nurture on development and will gain insight into the ways in which theories of development explain and account for processes in development and the difficulties experienced.
  • Language Development and its Place in Learning
    You will explore how human language develops, its principal features and the implications for providing a supportive environment when working with children and young people in a range of settings.
  • Sensory Impairments and Physical Conditions 
    This module will give you a broad overview of the specific difficulties and needs of children and young people with physical impairments (including visual and hearing impairments). An understanding of how key research, theories and legislation related to disability, Special Educational Needs and Inclusion feed into inclusive classroom practice will be explored.
  • Social, Mental and Emotional Health
    You will be equipped with a theoretical understanding and knowledge of the important elements that underpin all aspects of behaviour. You will be guided to develop approaches in the classroom to aid motivation and concentration, and help set achievable learning targets, promoting improved attainment, understanding and participation.
  • Atypical Child Development
    This module is designed to support you in understanding children's growth, development and developmental stages. You will explore the factors that can contribute to non-normative developmental patterns and how these impact on children's learning.

Year 2

SEN Specialist Pathway Modules:

  • Theories of Learning
    This module will provide you with opportunities for interrogation and critical analysis of the nature of educational theory. Through this process, you will engage with fundamental questions concerning the aims, values and techniques of education as well as its relationship to society.
  • Language and Literacy
    This module will increase your understanding of the fundamental importance of language and literacy in learning, drawing on a wide range of intellectual resources, theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines.
  • Independent Study
    You will be able pursue a sustained line of enquiry in an area of interest. Assessment will be through a clear, structured and relevant academic report That relates theory to practice.
  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs
    You will increase your understanding and awareness of the barriers to learning for pupils with speech, language and social communication difficulties. You will learn about the theoretical background of normal language development and explore how differences, disorders and difficulties affect learning and social participation.

  • Understanding Children with Autism 
    This module will provide you with a working knowledge of the theoretical and clinical constructs of Autism including current policy and legislation. You will identify, implement and evaluate a range of strategies that are considered good practice.

  • Cognition and Learning 
    You will learn about the complexities of identifying and working with pupils who have a range of learning difficulties. The module is focussed on understanding the theoretical background and practical implementation of the inclusion of pupils with learning difficulties. You will consider the perspective of pupils, explore different interventions, planning and pedagogy.

We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. We will inform applicants of any changes to the course structure before enrolment.

You could continue your studies in childhood studies by progressing onto to the BA(Hons) in Childhood Studies (with SEN specialism), a one-year top up to the Foundation degree.

Students who have successfully completed the Foundation Degree wishing to gain Qualified Teacher Status may also progress on to the BA (Hons) Primary Education Progression Route (PEPR), offered by the School of Teacher Education.

You may also choose study to progress onto a variety of social work programmes, or into a specialist field such as speech and language or art and play therapy.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time £5,900 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2019/20 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2019/20 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Equivalency Test There will be a charge for any University Equivalency test taken to ender the course. Details are available in the section on General Information for Applicants.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

You will be taught face-to-face at our partner West Kent College (Tonbridge campus) and will also be required to engage with online learning during each module.

It is intended that the teaching would take place one day per week per module. 

The course has the equivalent of 35 taught hours and 75 hours of work-based learning. You are expected to carry out around 90 hours of independent research and study for each 20 credit module.

Surprising Terms
You are expected to work in child-based setting (this can be a paid or voluntary role) for a minimum of 15 hours per week.  If you are not able to find work in a child-based setting, you may not be able to complete your studies.

This course is subject to special regulations.

You will be assessed through a range of methods, including individual presentations, poster presentations, resource design, case studies and essays. There is no formal examination assessment.

Accordingly, assessment procedures will take account of not only your acquired knowledge and skills, but also the process of developing skills and the ability to apply such knowledge and skills in the world of work.

“For me, embarking on this course as a middle-aged career changer, conjured a multitude of concerns. Would I be accepted? I’ve been out of education for so long; can I meet the academic requirements of the course? 

These sentiments were short lived.  From the word ‘go’ I was made to feel welcome by both the staff and my peers – some of a similar age and at a similar stage in life and others who were quite a bit younger than me!

It will stretch you and make you think about things in ways you will have never considered.  At times, it will frustrate you but it will also change you.  You will use and sharpen your skills in so many areas; no two assignments will be the same.  One module may require you to ‘present’ to the rest of your peers whereas another will see you creating a new resource for teaching maths in your setting.  Only with the benefit of hindsight can I now see how broadly I have developed in my ‘summing up’ which has come about because of diverse assessment methods.”  

 Matt, Childhood Studies, Foundation Degree



Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Need some help?

For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000

Please note

For the programme you are applying for, the University needs there to be a minimum of eighteen students to be able to run the cohort. If the University is unable to attract enough students then the cohort will not run. Where we are unable to run a cohort the University will contact those affected via the email address given on the application form, the University would also normally expect to offer those affected the opportunity to join the next cohort of the course they have applied for either at the original location that the programme was to run or at an alternative venue (once again subject to the minimum number of students being recruited.


Fact file

UCAS course code

  • X325 FD Childhood Studies (SEN) at West Kent College (Tonbridge)
    Campus Code K

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 2 years


  • September 2019

Entry requirements

  • GCSE English Grade C (or equivalent)
    A Level (or equivalent)

    If you do not have English at GCSE grade C or above you will be required to take and pass the University Equivalency tests for entry onto this course. There is a charge for this test.

    Employed (paid or voluntary) working with children or young people in an educational setting for at least 15 hours per week This course is not open to you if you do not meet this requirement. There is no professional placement option within the course.
    Experience of working 6 months in a paid or a voluntary capacity, prior to entry, with children or young people in an educational setting
    Active support of an employer, who must sign your application form and learning agreement

    It is a requirement that all applicants have a current satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.



Last edited 14/08/2019 14:51:00

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Last edited: 14/08/2019 14:51:00