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This course is validated by: Lancaster University

Teaching and Learning Support (Primary) Foundation Degree FdA

Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: LX77
Code: EH2502A19
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
september 2020
Term Dates: View term dates

Our popular Foundation Degree in Teaching and Learning Support (Primary) is recognised by Head teachers and Governors alike as a successful, relevant qualification that impacts positively on teaching and learning in schools. This Lancaster University validated foundation degree is designed as a professional development qualification for Primary School Teaching Assistants who want to further their understanding, knowledge and skills across the ever-changing primary curriculum.

Students taking part on the course may get involved in a range of trips and activities. Past students have enjoyed trips to a Steiner School near York looking at alternative philosophies of teaching and learning. Students on the course also take part in a range of team building activities and socialise as a group at organised events - this helps you to learn from colleagues and other students in both informal as well as formal settings.

You must have secured a signed agreement of a Head teacher to accept you for a placement in a Primary Class for at least 45 days per year (full-time) and an up-to-date DBS certificate.

As well as your placement, you will be able to take part in a 2 day placement in a different primary school. Our students often tell us this is a valuable insight into the way that different primary schools operate. All staff teaching on the course are former or existing Primary school practitioners who are able to bring a wealth of valuable experience, real-life examples and case studies into the classroom.



What will I study?

You will study a common core of introductory modules designed to familiarise you with differing approaches in supporting the teaching and learning of primary English, Mathematics, Science and Computing and primary teaching and learning technologies to help you apply key theories, concepts and skills to the primary classroom. There will be opportunities to draw upon established and current primary age educational theories throughout all modules. The Professional, personal and academic practice of the primary teaching assistant will develop students understanding of personal development planning rationale and practices.

In the later stages of the course you will study how the challenging area of Special Education Needs and Disability and Inclusive Teaching and Learning practice impacts upon your teaching and learning support. Additionally, you will begin to research Contemporary primary educational policy and practice that affect teaching and learning and engage in your own Practice Based Research.

You will also examine the foundation curriculum subjects and explore Professional, personal and academic practice of the primary teaching assistant. You will become familiar with the Assessment methods used in schools and complete an analysis of a case study implementing change in the primary environment.  This work based Learning will enable learners to consider, explore and examine the key attributes needed to become an effective and reflective practitioner. 

All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

Level 4 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Supporting Teaching and Learning in English
  • Supporting teaching and Learning in Mathematics
  • Supporting teaching and learning in Science
  • Computing and primary teaching and learning technologies
  • Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Learning and Teaching Practice
  • Special education needs and disability (SEND) and inclusive teaching and learning strategies

Level 5 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Supporting teaching and learning in physical education, health and well-being
  • Supporting teaching and learning in the foundation curriculum subjects
  • Planning, assessing and evaluating teaching and learning
  • Contemporary primary educational policy and practice
  • Practice based research
  • Implementing change in the primary environment


Entry Requirements

You will need 48 UCAS points and a Level 2 Qualification or GCSE at Grade 4 (Grade C) or above in both English and Maths.  One year’s recent experience working in a primary school for at least one day each school week (30 days) to allow you to carry out a placement for one and half days a week for two years.

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 will need a clear, current DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) certificate. All offers are conditional and are subject to a successful interview and the signed support of the Headteacher. 

How will I be assessed?

During the course you will be assessed by a variety of methods including coursework, written assignments, reports, poster presentations, electronic presentations and portfolio building. Additionally, there will be a series of reflective tasks to complete at your primary school placement or employment as well as a successful lesson observation in each year of your placement.

Each module is formally assessed through, for example, assignment, 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 course work 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?

Graduates of the programme traditionally do two things upon completion. The first is to join the BA (Hons) in Teaching and Learning Support (Primary) and, from there, progress onto a PGCE in Primary Education. 

The Foundation Degree is recognised as a quality award in the primary school sector. It can lead both directly and via top-up qualifications to careers in:

  • Primary School Support
  • Teaching
  • Learning Mentoring
  • Educational Management/Administration
  • HLTA
  • Family Support
  • Behaviour Management
Supplementary Information

Download the Programme Specification for FdA Teaching and Learning Support (Primary). 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.

Career Options

Teaching Assistant

Teaching assistants support children with their learning activities in the classroom. They work closely with teachers to make sure pupils enjoy learning in a safe and caring setting.

If you like working with children and want to play a part in their education and wellbeing, this career could be ideal for you. You'll need to the ability to work closely with parents and teachers. You'll also need good literacy and numeracy skills, as well as creative ideas for activities.

To do this job, you will usually need some experience of working with children. Qualifications in early years work will also be helpful. You may be able to start as a trainee through an Apprenticeship scheme.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Special Needs Teaching Assistant

If you are keen to help children and want to work in a school, this could be an ideal job for you. Special needs teaching assistants help children with a wide range of learning, physical or behavioural difficulties.

Local education authorities (LEAs) and schools decide which qualifications and experience they expect. You are likely to need some experience to find paid work. A good way of getting this experience is by volunteering in your local school.

To be a special needs teaching assistant you will need to be patient, and firm when necessary. You must also be willing to help with children’s personal needs.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Early Years Teacher

Early years teachers, also known as nursery teachers, work with children aged from birth to five years in day nurseries, children's centres and independent nursery schools. They are specialists in early childhood development. They plan, organise and run a wide range of learning and play activities for young children in a safe and supportive setting.

If you love children and are committed to giving them a great start in life, this could be an ideal career for you.

You’ll need a clear understanding of how young children learn, lots of creative ideas and the ability to work closely with parents, teachers and other professionals.

To become an early years teacher, you will need to complete early years initial teacher training and demonstrate that you’ve met the Teachers’ Standards (early years). For this you will normally need a degree and also GCSEs (A*-C) in English, maths and a science subject, or equivalent qualifications. You will also need to pass Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Special Educational Needs Teacher

Special educational needs (SEN) teachers work with children and young people who have difficulties or disabilities. These children find learning harder than for most children of the same age. If you want to help children and you are looking for a role in education, this job could be perfect for you.

To become a special educational needs teacher, you will need to be able to deal with challenging behaviour. You’ll also need good organisational skills. To work as a special needs teacher you will need to have a teaching qualification and teaching experience.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Community Education Coordinator

Community education coordinators make sure education, training and recreation courses are available to meet the needs of the local community. They support people to take part.

If you’re keen about adult or family learning, and can encourage and motivate people, this job could be ideal for you.

In this job you’ll need to be a good communicator, planner and organiser. You’ll also need to understand the education system.

To get into this job, you’ll either need a degree or a lot of experience working in the community. You may need to have Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire

Education Welfare Officer

Education welfare officers work with schools, pupils and families to support regular school attendance. They help to sort out problems in school or at home. If you want to help children make the most of their school years, this could be perfect for you.

Employers will expect you to have some experience of education or the protection of children. Some may expect you to have or be prepared to work towards a qualification in social work. Others may allow you to train on the job.

To become an education welfare officer you will need to be a good listener without judging people. You will need to be able to build good working relationships with pupils, parents and teachers. A calm and firm approach in difficult situations is needed.

Job Opportunites in Lancashire