Select your course options:

Where Are You Applying From?

How Would You Like To Study?

When Do You Want To Start Your Studies?

Which Options Would You Like With Your Course?

Why choose the School of Applied Social Sciences

Over 95% of our Health and Social Care graduates are in employment or further study 15 months after graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes, 2023)

Our Health and Social Care courses rank 1st in their subject table for graduation prospects – outcomes (CUG, 2024)

With our Change Maker programme we ask you to take an active role in bringing about change and working towards social justice

About the course

This Foundation degree equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to work effectively and successfully in the field of child and family services opening doors to a range of careers.

Built around the most current legislation policy and events and offering a wide area of study this course gives you an in-depth understanding of the essential aspects of child development and welfare. Underpinning the course is the belief that children young people and their families have rights and should have equal access to services and opportunities regardless of social difference.

Your studies have a strong vocational element with real-life practice informing the curriculum and your work. You are expected to be employed or volunteering with children or young people for a minimum of 14 hours per week and need a work-based mentor to support you with your studies.

You will also research and complete a work-based project supported by the academic team all of whom are actively involved in research themselves.

Why choose this course?

  • Benefit from the University of Bedfordshire’s new Health & Social Care Academy run in partnership with local councils and NHS Trusts to recruit and train the next generation of health and social care workers
  • Learning while working in childcare (with the support of your employer and a mentor) allows you to relate theory to practice
  • Completing the course allows you to enter the final year of an Honours degree such as our BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies
  • It opens doors to careers in outreach and community work; educational welfare; family support; youth remand centres; residential social work; special or statutory schools; or children’s rights

with Professional Practice Year

This course has the option to be taken over four years which includes a year placement in industry. Undertaking a year in industry has many benefits. You gain practical experience and build your CV, as well as being a great opportunity to sample a profession and network with potential future employers.

There is no tuition fee for the placement year enabling you to gain an extra year of experience for free.

*Only available to UK/EU students.

with Foundation Year

A Degree with a Foundation Year gives you guaranteed entry to an Undergraduate course.

Whether you’re returning to learning and require additional help and support to up-skill, or if you didn’t quite meet the grades to pursue an Undergraduate course, our Degrees with Foundation Year provide a fantastic entry route for you to work towards a degree level qualification.

With our guidance and support you’ll get up to speed within one year, and will be ready to seamlessly progress on to undergraduate study at Bedfordshire.

The Foundation Year provides an opportunity to build up your academic writing skills and numeracy, and will also cover a range of subject specific content to fully prepare you for entry to an Undergraduate degree.

This is an integrated four-year degree, with the foundation year as a key part of the course. You will need to successfully complete the Foundation Year to progress on to the first year of your bachelor’s degree.

Why study a degree with a Foundation Year?

  • Broad-based yet enough depth to give you credible vocational skills
  • Coverage of a variety of areas typically delivered by an expert in this area
  • Gain an understanding of a subject before choosing which route you wish to specialise in
  • Great introduction to further study, and guaranteed progression on to one of our Undergraduate degrees

The degrees offering a Foundation Year provide excellent preparation for your future studies.

During your Foundation Year you will get the opportunity to talk to tutors about your degree study and future career aspirations, and receive guidance on the most appropriate Undergraduate course to help you achieve this; providing you meet the entry requirements and pass the Foundation Year.


Course Leader - Dr Sandra Roper

I have been teaching in higher education in the social sciences for many years including several years as an Associate Lecturer within Applied Social Studies at the University of Bedfordshire. I joined the department on a permanent basis in July 2017.

My doctoral research, undertaken at the Open University, was a feminist informed narrative-discursive exploration of step-mothering and identity.

Course Leader - Dr Sandra Roper

I have been teaching in higher education in the social sciences for many years including several years as an Associate Lecturer within Applied Social Studies at the University of Bedfordshire. I joined the department on a permanent basis in July 2017.

My doctoral research, undertaken at the Open University, was a feminist informed narrative-discursive exploration of step-mothering and identity.

Course Leader - Dr Sandra Roper

I have been teaching in higher education in the social sciences for many years including several years as an Associate Lecturer within Applied Social Studies at the University of Bedfordshire. I joined the department on a permanent basis in July 2017.

My doctoral research, undertaken at the Open University, was a feminist informed narrative-discursive exploration of step-mothering and identity.

What will you study?

Law, Society And Controversy

The unit has a principle aim to provide a broad introduction and foundational knowledge to the legal system, its institutions and practices, in the UK and internationally. The learning on the unit will consider the relevance of the law and how it impacts on society and orders social life. These frameworks will enable a range of current controversies to be examined and integrate controversy with regards to key issues and legal cases into the syllabus of the unit.

The syllabus is based on research addressing many of the key issues and debates at the centre of the law and society both within the UK and internationally. These lie at the heart of all the undergraduate courses taking this unit. The relevance of the unit is also evident in the many links between the law and the human services; the unit explores these links in terms of the practical application of knowledge and research by different
practitioners in the human services with regards to children and families, the police, health care professionals and social workers.

Introduction To Academic Study And Work-Based Learning (Work Based Learning Activity)

 Constructive oral and written communication, and the effective and ethical management and presentation of knowledge and information, are essential for both academic work at degree level and your professional practice. This unit will enable you to develop your understanding of the skills and conventions of academic study in higher education and recognise their transferability to and relevance for your work with children and families and with professional colleagues.


You will be encouraged to identify your own academic and professional strengths, areas for development, and strategies to support your academic and professional growth enabling you to plan for your future employability.  Your Personal Development Planning (PDP) is embedded within this unit.

This unit will prepare you for the Work based project unit at Level 5; and provide you with an understanding of the skills and areas for personal and professional growth in a child and family-related area of employment.


Introduction To Working With Children, Young People And Families In Practice

This Unit aims to introduce you to the skills, concepts and theories needed to work with children, young people and families within a multi-agency context. It explores the social factors that impact on the status of these groups and their priorities within an international and national context.  


The unit will enable you to identify, analyse and apply the skills required to work with children, young people and families within the human services. This will be explored within the framework of human services and current government policy. This unit should be considered as an important starting point to your study of working with children and young people. You will be able to revisit the main themes and issues discussed within this unit in more depth at level 5 within Perceptions and Discourses of Childhood and Working Together: Inter-agency approaches to Child Welfare assessment and intervention and at Level 6 within Child Protection: critically analysing policy and practice, Childhoods in Global Context and The lived experiences of children and young people in diverse family and social circumstances: developing participatory responses.

Narratives Of Childhood And Youth

This unit examines children and young people’s lives through historical, sociological and philosophical perspectives. It explores the ways in which children and young people’s social and learning worlds are experienced by them and constructed, surveyed and regulated by adults. It draws on different theoretical perspectives to investigate notions of childhood through to adulthood, interrogating the subjective realities of their lives and learning across different spaces, places of family, community and school. It explores how social, economic, technological and cultural change, alongside difference, diversity and inclusion shape various narratives around contemporary childhood and adolescent experiences and raises critical questions for policy and practice about their care, equality, welfare and education. 

The unit is relevant to students who intend to work with children, young people and families, both in formal and informal education settings. It provides a broad understanding of the theories underpinning the studies of childhood, youth and education that is relevant to professional practice across family, school and community contexts. Completion of this unit will provide foundational knowledge that leads into Level 5 unit ASS032-2 Perceptions and Discourses of Childhood.

Perceptions And Discourses Of Childhood

Children and young people’s development will be highlighted, exploring current and continued theory and perceptions with regards to physical, cognitive and identity formation and how children and young people perceive themselves and others.

Children’s lived realities are explored and critically analysed to create a worldview that is child focussed. International, national and domestic conventions, policy and practice are identified and used to make sense of children and young people’s lives.


Managing And Applied Experience Within A Work Based Learning Environment

The aims of this unit are:

To provide opportunity for you to utilise your current work experience to make theoretical links and place your practice in a wider contextual legal and policy framework. This will afford you scope to enhance your overall skills and understanding in working with users of education, health and social care.

To enable you to reflect on and enhance your insight into the field of health and social care provision for children and adults, remit, policies and procedures and how these impact on service delivery and working with other agencies.

The recruitment of personnel will be covered and related to your current employment setting and will be followed by the theoretical context of career development learning and career management skills. In class discussions and activities will include communication, conflict, team work, and through exploring management styles.  

This unit aligns to Model 1 of the Universities Foundation Degree Framework and incorporates subject specific placement learning. It also takes into consideration the Foundation Degree Characteristics 2015.

Researching Children And Family Practice (Work Based Project)

Due to the independent and situation-specific nature of the work-based project the majority of this unit subscribes to no formal shared syllabus.  The majority of this unit will be supported by one-to-one tutorials with a project supervisor.  These may be face to face or via electronic media (e.g. email or video conferencing (e.g. FaceTime or Skype).


Working Together: Inter-Agency Approaches To Child Welfare Assessment And Intervention

Current legislation and policy prioritise joined up working and partnership practice in relation to child welfare and safeguarding. This unit considers the historical roots of approaches to both child welfare and multi-agency working alongside current and emerging initiatives. It also explores how interdisciplinary approaches operate in the context of child welfare assessment and intervention and identifies the concepts, reasoning and purpose behind these.


The unit supports students in identifying and developing professional skills required by different human services employers such as resilience and the ability to challenge decisions and advocate for the needs of children and young people.

In sum, the unit fosters students’ critical appreciation of the legislative, policy and operational environment of the range of services relating to child welfare, in order to develop their professional employability. 

How will you be assessed?

The overall strategy of the Foundation degree seeks to reflect the breadth of study possible as well as ensuring that you have the opportunity to build on areas of particular interest or relevance to themselves. A range of appropriate and effective assessments will enable you to demonstrate your acquisition of knowledge and skills. The assessment methods used across the course include: Written assignments - these will vary in style and will include essays reports reflective accounts as well as other written tasks that we will prepare you for.

Examinations: These will be a range of multiple choice computer examinations Throughout your two years (three years if you decide to take the `top up option at level 6) there will also be several in-class tests allowing you to apply and use the theory and knowledge that you have gained through your studies. Oral and Poster presentations that demonstrate verbal and presentation skills through sharing information and knowledge with others in innovative ways. Group work will allow you to demonstrate your skills of research in a group; it will develop your skills in collaborative and multiagency working and group management. Even though you will be working in a group you will be assessed on an individual basis and will receive an individual grade based on your input and performance. The assessments will develop across the course and will allow you to gain skills and acquire knowledge receive feedback on your progress that will allow you to implement knowledge and feedback into further assessments. For example at level four the learning of the skill of report/essay writing will take place before you write your first essay or report. At level five assessments will allow you to demonstrate your understanding and the application of relevant and up to date knowledge to the field of children young people and family services. Working in groups is an important attribute that underpins the ethos of multi agency and multi disciplinary working and collaborative practice and as part of the assessment process you will work in groups with peers and colleagues. However your contribution will be individually graded and you will receive a grade based on your contribution to the assessed group work. Assessment will be a part of the learning process to develop your knowledge and skills in order to become a highly effective practitioner by the end of your studies.


On completion of this course you will have developed the skills and knowledge required to support your career prospects within the sector. You are likely to progress into the following areas:

  • Educational welfare
  • Family support/family centres
  • Youth remand centres/prisons
  • Residential social work
  • Special schools
  • Statutory schools
  • Children’s rights/complaints
  • Outreach and community-based project work
  • Early years provision

If you would like to continue with your studies completion of the Foundation degree allows you to enter the final year of the University of Bedfordshire’s BA (Hons) in Childhood and Youth Studies.

Entry Requirements

48 UCAS tariff points including 32 from at least 1 A-level or equivalent

Entry Requirements

48 UCAS tariff points including 32 from at least 1 A-level or equivalent

Entry Requirements

48 UCAS tariff points including 32 from at least 1 A-level or equivalent

Virtual Tour


Bedfordshire is a small county with lots to offer.

However you enjoy spending your free time, you won’t have to look far in Bedfordshire to find somewhere to relax, socialise or explore the great outdoors. 

We are also conveniently located around 30 minutes by train from London, offering you the city experience with a homely feel.

Bedfordshire offers:

  • A range of pubs, clubs and restaurants
  • High street and independent shopping
  • Museums, galleries and theatres - and our own University Theatre
  • Entertainment centres
  • Stunning countryside
  • Professional sport and world-class facilities
  • Headquarters of a number of notable UK and international companies
  • Luton International Carnival and Bedford River Festival

Campuses in Buckinghamshire

We also have campuses in Aylesbury and Milton Keynes