Child and Family Studies FD

About the course

If you are already working (employed or volunteering) with children, young people and families for at least 14 hours per week, this course has been designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to provide a high-quality service as well as enhancing your employment opportunities.

Core to this is the belief that we all have rights, should have equal access to services and life opportunities, and that everybody’s qualities and potential are important and valuable.

Study the essential aspects of child development and welfare, legislation and policy as you develop your own capacity for independent thinking and creative approaches to working with children, young people and families.

Choose Child and Family Studies Foundation Degree and:

  • Learn whilst working in childcare, with the support of your employer and a mentor, allowing you to relate your learning and theory to your practice
  • Study with a diverse range of people, with a wealth of experience to share with each other
  • Develop extensive knowledge and skills in all areas of child development and childcare service provision
  • Explore areas of study including: child observation; beliefs, expectations and language of youth; social policy and families multi-agency working; applied psychology; management and organisational theory
  • Gain understanding of theory, policy and practice as you develop a sound working knowledge of current legislation, Government policy and initiatives
  • Benefit from a course that allows you to enter the final year of an Honours degree (e.g the BA (Hons) Early Years Studies or Child and Adolescent Studies) and opens doors to careers in outreach and community work; educational welfare; family support; youth remand centres; residential social work; special or statutory schools or in children’s rights

Child and Family Studies - FD - Central Bedfordshire College

  • Apply Via - UCAS
  • Course level - Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code - L520
  • Campus Location - Central Bedfordshire College
  • Start dates - Oct
  • Duration - 2 Years
  • Attendance - Full time | Part-time day
  • Download Course Specifications

Why choose this course?

College level

Students registering on the Foundation Degree Child and Family Studies consist of both mature students and school leavers from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds. Educational backgrounds consequently range from the traditional `A level route through to Access to Higher Education and NVQ courses. With this diversity in mind, the course team puts strong emphasis on student support in order that all students are given the opportunity to achieve their maximum academic potential and gain the most from their undergraduate experience at the College and University. This awareness of the differing needs of the student body is reflected in the degree of support offered, with particular emphasis on the accessibility and availability of the course team.

New and continuing students meet staff during induction week both at the College and the University and are presented with a range of written material and advice. The induction programme is tailored to run with the colleges programme and is intended to provide a range of activities that kick-start the academic programme and foster a sense of membership of both the College and the University and the award programme. Short talks will also be given during induction by various services available to you in the University, for example, the Mitigation and the Retention Team, Professional and Academic Development (PAD) Team, Learning Resources Centre (LRC) and the Careers and Employment Service, amongst others.

New students meet the core teaching team at the college in an induction meeting to discuss their learning needs and academic support. Thereafter all members of the teaching team are contactable by telephone, or by email. Thus issues relating directly to the study of an individual unit can be discussed first hand with the unit coordinators and teaching team; and in practice most issues are resolved at this level.

The Course Manager is responsible for monitoring students progress and supporting their academic progress throughout the course and acts as the students personal tutor at Levels 4 and 5. In the first year, Level 4 students have weekly 1 hour study skills sessions with their Course Manager. This gives Course Managers the chance to understand what additional academic support students might require and advise students accordingly. It also gives students the chance to get to know his/her Course Manager. An appointment is made with every student identified as at risk at the board in February by the Course Manager to provide guidance and support and to encourage retention. The Assistant Director is also available to discuss issues concerned with academic progression.

University level

At the University, the Engagement Team in Student Services is available to all students and can give you independent and confidential advice if you are having difficulties, for example if you are unwell during an assignment hand-in or exam period. When you have extenuating circumstances, perhaps an untimely illness then the Mitigation Team in Student Services can provide you with extra time to complete your work or postpone an exam without penalty when the work is marked. You can contact them via the Student Information Desk (SiD) email or telephone 0300 300 0042 for an appointment. The Professional and Academic Development (PAD) team are able to help you through study skills workshops or with one-to-one sessions to help you improve the quality of your written assignments, understanding statistical concepts, organisations skills to help you manage your study programme, language skills and much more. PAD can be contacted via the PAD online BREO site that you will be automatically enrolled on or via SiD (contact details above). The PAD online BREO site also offers additional resources for students to improve his/her study related skills English language development support, for example in the area of academic writing skills, offers further support at the Language Centre on the top floor of the Vicarage Street building on the Luton campus telephone 01234-400400 for an appointment.

In the Campus Centre on the Luton campus you will find the Disability Advice Team and the Counselling and Mental Health Support Service. The Disability Advice Team is available to discuss any issues you may have and can provide services such as dyslexia screening. The Learning Resources Centre (LRC) offers a range of services and specialist software and equipment. You can find out more on the LRC website: The LRC provides valuable resources to enable you to develop essential information literacy skills, knowledge and understanding of the range of online databases available to you so that you are in a good position to expand your knowledge of Child and Family Studies. In addition, our subject librarian is available for one to one support outside of the teaching programme on the Luton campus. For more information go to

The Careers and Employability Service helps students to reflect on their unique capabilities, interests and circumstance which can be expanded whilst at university and to prepare them for successful employment or postgraduate study. This service offers one-to-one career coaching on job search, how to complete application forms, interviews techniques, and study and career planning. If you are interested in Community Volunteering then visit the Careers and Employment Service to help to build your personal confidence and participate in work experience. The Field of Applied Social Studies works closely with the Careers and Employment Service. We also host a Going Professional Conference every year where employers and graduates are available to discuss your current and future career options. As a student at Bedford College, Child and Family Studies, you will be invited to attend this day with other Level 5 students that attend courses in the Field of Applied Social Studies on the Luton campus. For more information on the services offered go to:

For more details on the services identified above please visit:

Students may be required, at the discretion of the Course Manager, to undergo diagnostic testing for academic English language abilities, and may further be required, at the Course Managers discretion, to participate in academic English support workshops or classes laid on by the University.

Unit Information – What Will I Learn?


  • Introduction To Academic Study And Work-Based Learning (Work Based Learning Activity) (ASS074-1) Compulsory
  • Introduction To Working With Children, Young People And Families In Practice (Work-Integrated Learning Activity) (ASS075-1) Compulsory
  • Law, Society And Controversy (Child And Family) (ASS076-1) Compulsory
  • Understanding The Human Services (Child And Family) (ASS077-1) Compulsory
  • Applied Experience With Children, Young People And Families (ASS659-2) Compulsory
  • Beliefs, Expectations & Language Of Youth In Children And Families' Services (ASS660-2) Compulsory
  • Evidence Based Practice (ASS013-2) Compulsory
  • Managing People & Career Development In Children And Families' Services (ASS662-2) Compulsory
  • Multi Agency Working (ASS052-2) Compulsory

Discover the School of Applied Social Studies

Established in 1994, the School of Applied Social Studies at the University of Bedfordshire has come to be recognised as a place where teaching and research combine to provide students with a rich and supportive learning environment.

This has been achieved by developing and delivering high quality programmes of academic and professional study.

Discover the facilities, see examples of students’ work, read about graduate successes, browse courses, view staff profiles and much more.

How will I be assessed?

The overall strategy of the Foundation Degree seeks to reflect the breadth of study possible, as well as ensuring that learners have the opportunity to build on areas of particular interest or relevance to themselves. Continuous assignment based assessment is seen as the most effective way to determine academic development and achievement. It is a suitable approach for learners returning to study who need immediate feedback for reassurance and to take remedial action if necessary at the earliest opportunity.

The assessment types will include:

Case study




Individual education plan

Curriculum plan

Continuous assignment based assessment Reflective log or integrated work based experiences




Reflective journal


These assessment methods have been chosen as they will assist learners to review their learning and capture naturally occurring situations within the setting.

This strategy informs the assessment methods in each individual unit in the course and has due regard to the level descriptors and course learning outcomes.

After Graduation

On completing 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:

Outreach and community based project work Educational welfare

Family support/family centres

Youth remand centres/prisons

Residential social work

Special schools

Statutory schools

Childrens rights/complaints

Further study: Completion of the Foundation Degree allows the learner to enter the final year of the BA (Hons) Applied Social Studies, BA (Hons) in Child and Adolescent Studies or BA (Hons) in Early Years Studies

Opportunities will also be available to undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competences that will enable you to assume responsibility within organisations. You will also have acquired new qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment and progression to other qualifications requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making. Finally you will have the ability to utilise opportunities for lifelong learning.

Entry requirements

A Foundation Degree will be of particular interest if you have completed a Modern Apprenticeship, vocational A levels, BTEC National or equivalent.

Foundation Degrees are also particularly suitable if you want to qualify while working.

2017/18 entry

UCAS has introduced a new tariff for courses starting from September 2017. This means the points you will be asked for are different to previous years but the grades you receive have not changed.

As a guideline, a typical offer would require you to obtain a UCAS tariff score of between 32-48 points, based on your level 3 studies.

Many students studying for foundation degrees come to us through work-based routes so you can apply for a foundation degree even if you don't have traditional academic qualifications.

We welcome applicants with relevant work experience.

Contact the Admissions Team for additional guidance on whether the qualifications you currently hold or are taking would be suitable for entry.

T: +44 (0)1582 743500

For more clarification about your qualifications in the new tariff see the UCAS tariff calculator

Recognition of Prior and Experiential Learning (RPEL) is a process that enables people of all ages, backgrounds and attitudes to receive formal recognition for skills and knowledge they already possess. A persons learning and experience can be formally recognised and taken into account to:

  • gain entry to higher education courses
  • give exemption from certain parts of a course

RPEL takes into account:

  • organised prior-learning where the learning has been assessed and where certificates are awarded on completion
  • learning gained through unstructured experiences and short courses, arising through leisure pursuits, family experiences and work

If you think that RPEL will be of benefit to you, you should have a preliminary discussion with the course manager.


Learners must be in work, either in a paid or voluntary capacity for a minimum of 14 hours with children, young people or families and must demonstrate vocationally related practice at a supervisory level (Level 3). You will be expected to provide evidence from your line manager throughout the duration of the course.

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

Being in employment (or voluntary work) is integral and essential to this Foundation degree. A letter of support is required from employers. Each learner must have a work-based mentor for the length of the course. We have an excellent relationship with local Employers, and regularly hold meetings and visit to their organisations.

The course allows you to remain in your childcare employment whilst you continue to study allowing you to relate theory to practice and reflect on your learning throughout the course. The timetable runs over 1 afternoon and 1 evening allowing for a minimum time taken from work. The course seeks to develop your personal, professional and study skills in areas such as multi-agency working and working in social or child care. Employability is also core to the Foundation Degree and is part of the teaching programme at every level in units such as the Level 4 unit Reflective Learning, the Level 5 unit Managing People and Career Development in the Human Services. As part of the Managing People and Career Development in the Human Services unit we have a student residential which consists of two days away including an overnight stay on a Friday and Saturday. We work in groups to prepare a presentation for formative assessment. This also provides an excellent opportunity for team building and group work ready for the second year.

Students attending the course come from a diverse range of employment and have a wealth of experience to share. There are various assessment methods to meet individual needs including the standard essays and presentations to seminars, Wikis and case studies.

As per the QAA Quality Code for Higher Education, Chapter B10 this course requires you to be in either paid or voluntary work for a minimum of 2 days per week working with children, young people and families.

The Foundation Degree Qualification Benchmark 2010 states that integrate academic and work-based learning through close collaboration between employers and programme providers is a distinct feature of this course and it is designed to appeal to learners wishing to enter a profession as well as those seeking Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Fees and Funding

  • Fees are £6,200

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • Fees are £6,200

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • International students cannot apply for Foundation Degrees.

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.


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

How to Apply

  • Application for most full-time undergraduate and foundation courses is via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

    We expect to receive UCAS applications between 1 September and 15 January for courses starting in the following academic year, but may consider applications received after this date should places be available.

    Please contact for further details.

    All UK schools and colleges are registered with UCAS to manage their students' applications. Advice on how to submit your UCAS application is available from your school or college.

    If you are not at school or college (including mature students) you should apply independently via UCAS

  • EU students applying for a full-time undergraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply via UCAS or direct using our admissions form

  • International students applying for a full-time undergraduate degree at the University of Bedfordshire should apply direct using our admissions form or via our representatives in your home country

    You can also apply online

    Find out more about how to apply


Bedfordshire University

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