Foundation Degree - Frequently Asked Questions

Are you thinking about applying for the Foundation Degree at Pen Green?  Our FAQs might help to answer some of your queries.

This Foundation Degree is designed for those already working with children and families to develop their skills and further their understanding.  Being practice based means that you will have the opportunity to tailor the course to your experience and practice.  You will write assignments based on your own practice.

This Foundation Degree is based on a practitioner researcher approach, which means you will carry out considerable elements of study in your own workplace. Each module starts with a study block, following which students complete their research and assignments back in their own settings.

No.  The programme has been structured to meet the needs of students who are working full time. Offered over two years, teaching is delivered across study blocks making it accessible to students in full time employment.

The entry requirements for the programme are;

  • A relevant level 3 qualification in Child Care, Health and Social Care, or other related subject area (equivalent to 120 UCAS points or above)
  • At least 2 years experience working with children and on-going work experience in either a paid or voluntary role
  • A letter of support from an employer or organisation providing work experience (provided as a reference on the application form)
  • All applicants will be interviewed to ensure work experience is relevant
  • Maths GCSE at grade 3 or above and English Language GCSE at grade 4 or above or equivalent.

We offer an online portal known as Virtual College which gives you an opportunity to work through tests for Maths and English (at your own pace) in preparation for you eventually sitting the Functional Skills exams. The scores will give an indication as to any particular areas you have to concentrate on. The Functional Skills material offered through Virtual College is designed to cover the underpinning knowledge behind the Functional Skills courses, however it is not designed as a prepare for test course; it is holistic, rather than ‘teach to test’. You can also pull off past papers from the OCR website http://www.ocr.org.uk/i-want-to/e-assessment/e-testing/functional-skills/(you select Level 2).

Once you have completed this you can then sit the Functional Skills exam. Maths is an hour and a half paper.

English is made up of three components. A reading paper which is 55 minutes, a writing paper which is also 55 minutes and a speaking, listening and communication assessment.

Exams have to be sat at the Pen Green Research Base as we are the accredited centre for OCR.

The course fee is £6,165 per year.  You may be eligible for Student Finance and a Maintenance Loan. (Please see below)

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a Maintenance Grant and/or Student Loan.

If you are a first time student, you may be eligible for Student Loan Company funding who will make payments directly to the teaching body of your behalf. You should apply for funding in advance of commencing your course.

Further details are available on the Student Loan Company website.

 
Applying for student finance for 2018/19
  • Please ensure that you complete a 2018/19 application.
  • Please ensure that you complete a new student application form (PN1) even if you have attended a different institution previously.

 

If you have any queries regarding Student Loans applications, please contact us

The maintenance loan for students is a means tested loan given to students to help them pay their living costs while studying. Living costs include accommodation, bills, books etc. This loan is repayable after you leave university and are earning over £15,000.

You can find the application form online.  This will need to be completed and returned to us for us to process your details.

We will process your application here at Pen Green.  If you meet the entry requirements we will invite you for an informal interview.  Following this we will confirm your place on the course.  Your details will be sent to the University of Hertfordshire for their records.  Our courses are accredited by the University of Hertfordshire so they will need your details for online library access and to process your certification on completion of the course.

Once we have received your application and are satisfied that you meet the entry requirements we will invite you to interview. The interview is an informal professional discussion and we will send you the questions beforehand so that you are fully prepared.  It is an opportunity for us to let you know what you can expect from us and what we expect from you.

The programme has been structured to meet the needs of students who are working full time. Offered over one year, teaching is delivered across six study blocks amounting to 30 days in total.

We believe this mode of study enables students to focus fully on their learning during the study blocks, enhancing the overall teaching experience. It reduces regular travel and offers students more flexibility managing their learning than is usually available.

See each individual programme for course attendance dates

Our courses offer a unique, community learning experience. We offer small, intimate cohorts and personalised support. On study weeks, students are encouraged to work in pairs and small groups, and to share experiences with their peers.

We now run our courses in various locations; Northamptonshire, Liverpool and Bradford.  Once you are registered on a course the location will remain consistent for the duration of the course.

We can supply you with a list of local hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses should you wish to stay in accommodation during your study blocks. We will also supply you with any discount codes that we have to make your stay more affordable.

After each study block you will be expected to undertake self-directed independent study in order to complete the assignment.  You will be given the assignment brief during the study block and will receive tutor support throughout the writing process. You will be encouraged to take an aspect of your practice, reflect on it, consider implications for future practice and draw on relevant theory and literature to support your ideas.  The university recommendations state that 150 – 200 hours self directed learning is given to each module.

The course is run over a two year period in study blocks.

Learning Outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills and attributes in the following areas:

  • Self as Learner
  • Children as Learner
  • Pedagogy
  • Parents’ Involvement in their Children’s Learning
  • Working with Parents as Partners
  • You in Relation to your Team – Leading Learning
  • Leaderful Learning – Exploring Leadership
  • Supporting Families
  • Critical Incidents: Legal and Professional Responsibilities
  • Practitioner Action Research
Programme Aims

The educational aims of the Foundation Degree (Arts) in Integrated Working with Children and Families in the Early Years are for students to be able to:

Have an awareness of their own strengths and development needs through reflecting on themselves as learners and pedagogues

Recognise children as independent learners and be able to identify underlying principles and theoretical concepts in early childhood education

Work effectively with families and practitioners, sharing information and ideas and modifying their own responses to situations in the light of reflection

Undertake practice based research, collect and synthesise information using appropriate techniques to raise questions and inform practice development

Use interpersonal and communication skills to support effective team working and to respond with professional responsibility to a range of situations

You will be expected to complete six written assignments throughout the duration of the course.  You will be taught the module information during the study blocks and given the tools you will need to complete each assignment.  Assignment word lengths are 1500 – 2500 words depending on the assignment.

No.  The course is graded on your coursework only.

The programme is taught by an enthusiastic, experienced team of tutors from Pen Green. Tutors work as an integrated team, most have roots in early childhood education, primary education, social work, health care and research. All tutors are intent on supporting you as an independent learner and seeing you succeed and grow in confidence, knowledge and understanding as well as develop your practice working with children and their parents.

We are experienced in providing support for practitioners returning to learning through online study networks, library facilities and tutorial support which is offered in between study blocks by telephone or face-to-face. Students both nationally and internationally have successfully studied with us and we know our approach has

proved invaluable in maintaining communication and information sharing without being limited by location.

Yes of course – if you have any further questions we would be happy to talk these through with you.  We run regular Degree Open Days which are a great opportunity to come along and meet the team.  You could also give us a ring or email us and we will talk through any of your queries.

BA (Hons) Top-Up - Frequently Asked Questions

Are you thinking about applying for the BA (hons) Top-Up at Pen Green?  Our FAQs might help to answer some of your queries.

This course is designed for those already working with children and families with a Foundation Degree to develop their skills and further their understanding.  Being practice based means that you will have the opportunity to tailor the course to your experience and practice.  You will write assignments based on your own practice.

This one year BA (Hons) top-up programme, completed through three intensive study blocks, will build on your previous qualifications to further your practical and theoretical knowledge and understanding.

No.  The programme has been structured to meet the needs of students who are working full time. Offered over one year, teaching is delivered across study blocks making it accessible to students in full time employment.

The entry requirements for this programme are;

  • A Foundation Degree in Early Years or other related subject
  • A minimum of 2 years experience in working with children and families in an early years setting

An interview will be carried out which will include a series of discussion points and a written task to ascertain competency in the subject area.

To complete the BA (Hons) Top-Up you will need a relevant Foundation Degree.  We would be happy to talk this through with you on an individual basis.

The course fees are £9250.  You may be eligible for Student Finance and a Maintenance Loan. (Please see below)

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a Maintenance Grant and/or Student Loan.

If you are a first time student, you may be eligible for Student Loan Company funding who will make payments directly to the teaching body of your behalf. You should apply for funding in advance of commencing your course.

Further details are available on the Student Loan Company website.

 
Applying for student finance for 2018/19
  • Please ensure that you complete a 2018/19 application.
  • Please ensure that you complete a new student application form (PN1) even if you have attended a different institution previously.

 

If you have any queries regarding Student Loans applications, please contact us

The maintenance loan for students is a means tested loan given to students to help them pay their living costs while studying. Living costs include accommodation, bills, books etc. This loan is repayable after you leave university and are earning over £15,000.

You can find the application form online.  This will need to be completed and returned to us for us to process your details.

We will process your application here at Pen Green.  If you meet the entry requirements we will invite you for an informal interview.  Following this we will confirm your place on the course.  Your details will be sent to the University of Hertfordshire for their records.  Our courses are accredited by the University of Hertfordshire so they will need your details for online library access and to process your certification on completion of the course.

Once we have received your application and are satisfied that you meet the entry requirements we will invite you to interview. The interview is an informal professional discussion and we will send you the questions beforehand so that you are fully prepared.  It is an opportunity for us to let you know what you can expect from us and what we expect from you.

The programme has been structured to meet the needs of students who are working full time. Offered over one year, teaching is delivered across three study blocks amounting to 12 days in total.

We believe this mode of study enables students to focus fully on their learning during the study blocks, enhancing the overall teaching experience. It reduces regular travel and offers students more flexibility managing their learning than is usually available.

 

See each individual programme for course attendance dates

Our courses offer a unique, community learning experience. We offer small, intimate cohorts and personalised support. On study weeks, students are encouraged to work in pairs and small groups, and to share experiences with their peers.

We now run our courses in various locations; Northamptonshire, Norfolk and Bradford.  Once you are registered on a course the location will remain consistent for the duration of the course.

We can supply you with a list of local hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses should you wish to stay in accommodation during your study blocks. We will also supply you with any discount codes that we have to make your stay more affordable.

The University guidance on the amount of time you should expect to spend on a module is 150 hours for a 15 credit module and 300 hours for a 30 credit module.

You will be expected to spend time researching, reading, writing and undertaking other activities which support your learning and allow you to prepare for the module’s assessment activity.

The course is run over a one year period in study blocks (12 teaching days).

The learning outcomes of the course are for students to:

  • Critique their own ways of working and the practice within their setting, drawing on theoretical knowledge and practice wisdom to improve practice;
  • Work effectively within a team, demonstrating leadership skills and qualities, being aware of personal responsibilities through following professional codes of practice;
  • Undertake critical analysis of their work with children and families through adopting a continuous cycle of evaluation, reflection, planning and implementation in order to improve practice;
  • Communicate effectively with families and other professionals, incorporating an ethical approach to their practice.

Learning Outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills and attributes in the following areas:

  • Growing Together – Parent and Infant Relationships
  • Leaderful Practice

You will also be working towards a dissertation on your chosen specialism throughout the year.

Throughout the programme you will complete two assignments (3500 words each) and a dissertation of 8000 words.  You will be taught the module information during the study blocks and given the tools you will need to complete each assignment and tutorial support throughout.

No.  The course is graded on your coursework only.

The programme is taught by an enthusiastic, experienced team of tutors from Pen Green. Tutors work as an integrated team, most have roots in early childhood education, primary education, social work, health care and research. All tutors are intent on supporting you as an independent learner and seeing you succeed and grow in confidence, knowledge and understanding as well as develop your practice working with children and their parents.

We are experienced in providing support for practitioners returning to learning through online study networks, library facilities and tutorial support which is offered in between study blocks by telephone or face-to-face. Students both nationally and internationally have successfully studied with us and we know our approach has

proved invaluable in maintaining communication and information sharing without being limited by location.

Yes of course – if you have any further questions we would be happy to talk these through with you.  We run regular Degree Open Days which are a great opportunity to come along and meet the team.  You could also give us a ring or email us and we will talk through any of your queries.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pen Green Research, Development & Education.

Application forms can be found on our website on the specific course that you are interested in. These need to be completed and sent to us either physically to:

Pen Green Research Base,
Rockingham Road
Corby
Northants
NN17 1AG

or electronically to pengreenenquiries@northamptonshire.gov.uk

If you are interested in coming to visit Pen Green you can book as individuals or groups by telephoning the Research Base reception on 01536 443435 or emailing pengreenenquiries@northamptonshire.gov.uk.

We also offer bespoke visits for groups that are interested in a particular topic (i.e. safeguarding, schemas, free flow play etc). If you are interested in anything in particular let us know so that we can organise a visit that interests you.

We have all of our resources, publications and books available in our shop:

Assignments should be submitted via Studynet. Log in via https://adfs.herts.ac.uk/adfs/ls/IdpInitiatedSignOn.aspx?loginToRp=https://www.studynet1.herts.ac.uk, find your course and then select ‘Assignments’ on the left hand side of the page.

Contact details for your tutor can be found in the module guide.

You need to contact Pen Green as soon as you can by either emailing the course administrator or phoning the main office number 01536 443435.

Extensions need to be in place before a submission date. You need to tell your tutor as soon as you can if you feel this is a requirement so that the necessary paperwork is completed in good time.