Learn from practitioners from a range of backgrounds
Why take this course?
Would you like to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of supporting learning and take your education support role to the next level? If so this course is for you. The Foundation degree in Learning Support is designed for current and aspiring Teaching Assistants who wish to gain a professional recognition via a university level qualification.
You will apply for the course through the University of Portsmouth’s website, and you can choose to study at one of our partnership colleges – Alton, Chichester, Eastleigh, IOW, St Vincent's, South Downs, or Southampton City College.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Study alongside your existing learning support role (whether you are in a general or special educational needs setting, in a school, college or other educational institution)
- Experience a range of dynamic and professionally relevant teaching from highly experienced staff
- Learn in supportive study groups with other practitioners from a range of backgrounds.
- Discover ways in which you can take your learning into your practice
Whilst you are based in one of our partner colleges, you are a University of Portsmouth student and are therefore able to access a range of our facilities here.
What opportunities might it lead to?
Achievement of the foundation degree provides a recognition of both professional and academic achievement. Successful completion of this course gives you the option to progress to an appropriate BA degree, such as the BA (Hons) Education Studies offered at the University of Portsmouth. It may also be used as a stepping stone to Qualified Teacher Status or to promotion in learning support roles.
During my time on the FDA Learning Support course I have had the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and develop my practice. The support from the tutors and staff has been outstanding. They are always there when you need them. The course itself has developed my thinking and the dynamics of how I approach my job. I have a better understanding on many things including: how pupils learn, the reasons why behaviours are shown and the history of education.
Alex Oliver, FdA Learning Support student
- 3 years part time
- 2017 ENTRY REQUIREMENTSPlease refer to the department. Applicants without formal qualifications but with relevant experience will be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.
See full entry requirements
- 2018 ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Please refer to the department. Applicants without formal qualifications but with relevant experience will be considered. See full entry requirements
We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: part time: £4,110 p/a*
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase
+44 (0)23 9284 5204
- School of Education and Childhood Studies
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
The course is designed to encompass the wide range of topics associated with being a learning support professional. Students are encouraged to continually reflect on their studies and relate their learning to their professional roles. Some of the topics covered in the course include:
- Strategies for supporting learner’s individual needs, understanding the range of special educational needs and disabilities.
- Investigating theories of learning and understanding their use to support learning.
- Exploring assessment and its impact on learning
- Social and emotional needs of students
- Developing support for numeracy and literacy
Teaching and Assessment
We have a well-established reputation for providing stimulating and academically rewarding courses and our tutors are committed practitioners who will guide you through your study.
Teaching will be in groups of 10 to 15 and will include group activities and seminars as well as more formal lectures.
Each unit of study will require you to reflect on your work based practice. You will be encouraged to identify a critical friend in your workplace who will be able to support you through the course.
Use of specialists from the learning support sector where appropriate will ensure that you receive current knowledge and expertise.
Library support: Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of e-journals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
How are you assessed?
There are no final exams. Instead, each unit has its own assessment focus, which will be one of the following:
- case studies
- reflective reports
- research projects
You will be given clear guidance for all assignments.
FdA Learning Support
This innovative course focuses on your professional role and will enable you to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the workplace. It is used by students as a stepping stone to Qualified Teacher Status and to an enhance professional status in your school.
Facilities & Features
Study in SECS
The School comprises a body of enthusiastic staff with a range of expertise in the professional and academic sectors. We offer a welcoming learning environment, in a location near the heart of town, the student buildings and the sea front.
Academic Skills Unit (ASK)
ASK will help you become a successful university student. Our workshops are designed to improve a number of essential academic skills from essay writing and understanding plagiarism to revision and exam techniques. This is a great way to enhance your academic performance and make a smooth transition into university study.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Online discussions with colleagues have been very valuable and I have confidently taken part in them. The online resources have been very useful and help is never very far away.
Diane McEwan, FdA Learning Support student
Budgeting for your studies
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
Careers & Opportunities
If you are successful in the Foundation degree, you can apply for direct entry to level three of the BA (Hons) Education and Training Studies where you will study educational issues from a wide perspective including sociological issues and professional practice, alongside carrying out an in-depth personal study.
Many students have successfully followed this route into Qualified Teacher Status by completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, embarking on the School Centred Initial Teacher Training Programme (SCITT) or the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP). Others have used the qualification to gain promotion in the teaching assistant role.
Advice from the University’s career service is available throughout your course and up to two years after you graduate and this is supplemented by input from local education authorities.
Please note that this degree does not currently make you eligible for entry to teacher training at secondary level.
Students on this course are working in the education sector, and will be able to incorporate elements of their work into their learning.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.
Our next Open Day is
Wednesday 5 July 2017
Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.