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This course is validated by: Lancaster University

Positive Practice with Children & Young People Foundation Degree FdA (Subject to validation)

Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: L520
Code: SS2521A14
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: Lancaster University
Study Mode: Full Time, Part Time
Duration: Full time: 2 academic years
Part time: 4 academic years
Start Dates: september 2020
Term Dates: View term dates

Our Foundation Degree in Positive Practice with Children & Young People is for those who wish to work, or wish to work in a higher paid position, in youth work settings or childcare settings. You will study modules such as: Ethical, Legal and Professional Responsibilities, Interpersonal & Counselling Skills, Child and Adolescent Development as well as being able to choose from a wide range of optional modules.

This course should appeal to you if you need to fit studying around other commitments or if you are looking to take your first step into higher education after a gap of study.

This qualification is intended to ensure that those students who wish to work with children and young people are equipped with the knowledge and skills to support their emotional development and stability. It combines underpinning academic knowledge and work-based learning and assessment to allow students to understand how current policy and trends inform the working environment.

There is also the opportunity for students to engage in personal development and reflection to build their confidence and further their career opportunities. 

What will I study?

All students on the programme will study a common set of core modules which include generic areas appropriate for all childcare workers before moving on to appropriate optional modules. There is a strong vocational bias and students will either be currently working in the Child/Youth Work field or be expected to undertake relevant work experience. All students will undertake Professional Development and Research modules throughout the two years of study, which provide valuable and transferable critical, analytical and reflective skills. During the programme you will also undertake a relevant work placement of 120 hours per Level of study.

All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

Level 4 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Ethical, Legal and Professional Responsibilities
  • Effective Communication
  • Integrated and Multi-agency Working
  • Interpersonal and Counselling Skills
  • The Reflective Practioner
  • Research Methods
  • Mediation, Counselling and Advocacy

Level 5 Modules (there are 5 mandatory modules and 3 optional modules out of a choice of 5 as indicated by *) include:

  • Social Policy
  • Child Protection
  • Leadership and Management
  • Research Project
  • Work-Based Learning
  • Special Educational Needs and Inclusion*
  • Working with Abuse*
  • Substance Misuse and Risk-taking Behaviours*
  • Youth Offending*
  • Mental Health*

Optional Modules

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.  If an optional module will not be run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Entry Requirements

You’ll need 48 UCAS points to join this programme (formerly 120 UCAS points). All applicants must show that they have a good level of spoken or written English, and if English is not your first language you’ll need to demonstrate the ability to study in English.

Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria but have relevant work / life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview.

You'll need a clear current Disclosing Barring Service (DBS) check at a cost of aroung £50 to be paid by the student.


How will I be assessed?

During the course you'll be assessed by a variety of methods. These include examinations:

  • Reports
  • Presentations
  • Case study responses
  • Portfolios
  • Essays
  • Examinations
  • Good Practice Guides and handbooks
  • Role plays
  • Research Project

Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.  This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions. 

Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities could include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


We endeavour to make timetables available one month before you start your course.  Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.  Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week. 

Overall Workload

You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

Academic Support

We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

  • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English
  • Academic Writing (including referencing)
  • Research Skills
What can I do next?

As well as the award of Foundation Degree in Positive Practice with Children and Young People awarded by Lancaster University, you will have achieved an innovative and flexible qualification which will allow you to progress onto a number of different career options.

The majority of students progress onto although graduates have gained specific roles as Family Support Workers, Sexual Health Workers, Drug and Alcohol Counsellors, a Homestart Coordinator, an Outreach Worker for Children involved in domestic violence and a Residential Care Home Support worker as well as moving on to teaching through completion of teacher training courses.

Supplementary Information

Download the programme specification for Positive Practice with Children and Young People (FdA). The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

Work Placements

Work placements are subject to availability.  You are also responsible for any costs in travelling to and from your work placements, for any accommodation costs and in some instances the cost of acquiring a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report.

What does ‘subject to validation’ mean?

We are continually looking at enhancing our courses to ensure they are up to date and relevant. This means we may add new courses or update existing courses in our portfolio. As this happens, the courses are advertised as ‘subject to validation’ to make you aware that the course you are looking at may not yet be finalised, or is undergoing changes.

Any course listed as ‘subject to validation’ is in the process of approval. Validation is a rigorous process undertaken with academic staff, students, independent subject experts and employers to ensure the course is current, of high quality, and able to prepare students well for their future employment or further study.

Success through validation is not guaranteed, which is why courses are highlighted as ‘subject to validation’. In the event the course is significantly amended, or does not meet the necessary requirements for a successful validation, we will get in touch to support you in finding a suitable alternative, either at Blackburn College or at another provider.


Career Options

Youth And Community Worker

Youth workers help young people reach their potential in their personal and social development. As a youth worker you will use educational activities, advice and support to help young people to learn about themselves and to become more confident.

To be a youth worker you will need to be able to relate to young people from all backgrounds. You will also need to be enthusiastic, and have good negotiation skills. If you want to help make life better for young people, this could be the job for you.

To become a qualified youth worker, you will need a professional level youth work qualification such as a BA (Hons) degree that is recognised by the National Youth Agency (NYA) .???

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Youth Offending Team Officer

If you are keen to help young people have a better future, this job could be perfect for you. Youth offending team officers aim to prevent young people from offending and reoffending. They work with young offenders and with their families and victims.

Many youth offending services will ask for qualifications in social work or probation. If you don't have qualifications but you have plenty of relevant experience as a volunteer, you may be able to start as a support worker.

Being a youth offending team officer can sometimes be challenging. You will need to stay calm under pressure. You also need to be able to handle difficult behaviour.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Substance Misuse Outreach Worker

Substance misuse outreach workers encourage people to seek help from local support services and advise them how to minimise risks to their health. If you've got an understanding of substance misuse issues, and you want to help people take action to deal with their addiction problems, this job could suit you. In this job you would need to have a calm and caring approach, and be able to build trust. You would need to treat everyone fairly and not judge anyone. Volunteering is a good way to build skills and experience. You would also need to pass a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Victim Care Officer

If you want a rewarding job that allows you to help people facing difficult circumstances then this could be the career for you.

As a victim care officer, you would give support to people who have experienced crime and also to witnesses of crime who may be involved in court proceedings.

You don’t need any specific qualifications for this career but you will need to be a good listener, and be able to deal with people in a sensitive way. You would normally get into this role by volunteering with a victim support charity or through experience gained from working with vulnerable people in related areas, such as counselling or the justice system.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Residential Support Worker

Residential support workers look after the physical and mental wellbeing of children or vulnerable adults in care.

If you enjoy helping people and want to make a difference to their lives, this job could be perfect for you.

In this job, it will be important to get on with people of all ages and backgrounds and gain their trust. You'll need to have understanding and a non-judging attitude.

Some social care employers will be more interested in your work and life experience than formal qualifications, and you can gain these whilst working. You’ll need to pass background checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

There are some age restrictions on working in children’s homes.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire