Childcare & Early Years Education

FDA Professional Practice in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities


Have you ever thought about working towards a degree, but decided against it as you are already in employment or volunteering and don’t want to give that up? Our FdA Professional Practice in Special Educational Needs and Disability course is designed for those looking to develop personal and professional skills in relation to working with young people with special educational needs or disabilities in a school or educational setting.

This foundation degree course is run in conjunction with Bishop Grosseteste University. For help with your application, please contact Bishop Grosseteste University on 01522 583648 or email

Am I Ready?

Applicants must have substantive work-place experience (normally, at least one year) in a relevant setting, with on-going access to the work-place for the duration of the programme. Students will need to undertake a minimum of 12 hours per week in a relevant work setting for the duration of the programme. Typically, students will evidence previous study up to level 3, in a relevant area (e.g. STLS, Early Childhood, Health & Social Care), and demonstrate functional literacy to the level required for degree study.

Course Details

This work-based Foundation Degree programme is a combination of practice-based learning and campus-based teaching sessions that take place once a week, allowing you to continue working or volunteering throughout the course. Throughout the two-year programme, you will integrate your previous experience of working with children into your studies.

This course will be of interest to those with an interest in working with children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities in a school or educational setting and/or who wish to develop their skills and knowledge to a higher level to develop career opportunities or progress to an undergraduate degree.

This foundation degree is designed to improve and develop personal and professional skills. The programme increases knowledge and understanding of the complex relationships which exist between those with special educational needs and disabilities, the educational setting and the educators/support staff meeting individual needs, inter-agency working, inclusion, core curriculum and assessment.


Assessment is through a variety of methods including essays, presentations, journals and portfolios depending on the module content.

Additional Information

This course will be of interest to those with an interest in working with children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities in a school or educational setting. If you want to develop your career opportunities or progress to an undergraduate degree the Foundation Degree in Professional Practice in Special Education Needs and Disabilities, offered in partnership with Bishop Grosseteste University, will equip you with the knowledge, understanding and practical skills to enable you to meet your personal and professional aspirations. 

The programme delivery structure is designed to facilitate studying alongside employment and includes a mix of 15 and 30 credit modules each year. Typically, a full-time student will study two (30 credit) modules in each semester. Formal contact hours for lectures, seminars and tutorials will be at Grantham College for one afternoon per week, which will typically be on the same day across the two years of the course. A range of assessment styles and techniques are included in the programme which enables students to achieve positive outcomes by a range of different means.

Staff profile: 

Staff profile: Emma Marshall. Emma has been involved in education for over 25 years. Following her first-degree BA (Hons) in geography from University of Birmingham, Emma did her PGCE with the University of Lancaster and worked as a teacher in Foundation stage and key stage 1 classrooms across Lincolnshire, she was also SENCO in two different Primary Schools. She then took a sideways step and took a role as Deputy Head of a large Montessori Nursery school. During that time she developed her passion for outdoor learning becoming an accredited Forest School Leader. Emma has worked for the past 5 years at Grantham College teaching on the BGU Foundation Degrees and in the past 18 months has taken on the role of course leader. She has recently completed her MA in Professional Studies at BGU.

Sharon Craven. Sharon is a Registered Nurse and Health Visitor with over 30 years’ experience in a range of health and social care settings and at various levels of service delivery and management. Sharon is a Master of Public Health, Master of Psychology, holds BSc (Hons) Military Nursing Studies as well as a BSc (Hons) Community Nursing. Her current focus in on teaching and training development, other areas of interest include Psychology and Service Evaluation. 

Your Next Steps

On successful completion of this course you may be able to progress on to a BA (Hons) Degree. Future careers: • Primary or special school teaching • SEND Classroom Assistant • Youth Work • Social Care Setting • Private Sector Educational Providers

Course Details
Code: HGA25191 Type: Part Time Duration: 30 weeks Dates: 18 September 2023 Day: Thursday
Costs: Tuition Fee: £6935 Entry Requirements: See “Am I Ready?”
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