University of Chester

Programme Specification
Supporting Learning with Children and Young People BA (Hons) (Level 6 only)
2014 - 2015

Bachelor of Arts (Level 6 only)

Supporting Learning with Children and Young People

Supporting Learning with Children and Young People [Bachelor of Arts (Level 6 only)]

University of Chester

University of Chester

As determined by the Faculty of Education and Children's Services

Undergraduate Modular Programme


Classroom / Laboratory,

2 years

3 Years

Annual - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Academic and Professional Programmes

National Framework for Higher Education Qualifications

University of Chester

Academic and Professional Programmes Board

Friday 1st July 2011

  • To develop students' knowledge and understanding of how the thinking, learning, development and care of children and young people may be supported in a range of contexts;
  • To provide opportunities for students to appreciate the complex nature of theory, policy and practice related to how learning and development is supported;
  • To enable students to study the theory and practice of learning and how to support it for wider career applications and as a subject in its own right;
  • For students to understand the cultural, political and historical influences on children and young people's development and learning;
  • To enable students to apply the methods and techniques that they have learned, to explain, reflect upon and critically assess their own practice;
  • To enable students to apply and reflect on the knowledge learnt and to construct and sustain a reasoned argument which demonstrates the use of critical thinking skills;
  • To develop students' ability to work both independently and collaboratively;
  • To develop autonomous learners who can demonstrate intellectual independence and critical engagement with evidence.

Knowledge and Understanding

Studentswill be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key principles underpinning the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of children and/or young people, for example in ED6906 Pedagogy, Policy and Practice;
  • Express their knowledge and understanding of interdisciplinary working in a coherent and critical manner for example in ED6907 Professional Working with Children and Young People;
  • Express their knowledge and understanding of interdisciplinary working through reflection on practice with children and young people;
  • Express and understand the main provisions of the national and local statutory and non-statutory frameworks within which services for children and young people work and their implications for practice. Module ED6906 Pedagogy, Policy and Practice reflects upon relevant, current policy and initiatives;
  • Demonstrate a depth of knowledge and reflective understanding of literature related to the field of study including seminal theory and key government documentation;
  • Demonstrate how family, social, economic, environmental, political and cultural factors influence children and young people;
  • Understand the diversity of the rights of children and young people;
  • Understand and critically analyse legislation relating to children and/or young people and families.

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

Student will be able to:
  • Critically discuss a range of ideas and concepts relevant to how children and/or young people are supported in their learning;
  • Critically analyse and interpret the effects of specific aspects of society on children and/or young people and their families;
  • Understand and critically evaluate different theories of learning and development and their influence on policy and practice with children and young people;
  • Critically analyse the nature and quality of a range of provision with children and young people;
  • Critically review cultural and social diversity and inequality in society and evaluate how these are expressed and addressed within the context of learning;
  • Critically discuss the concept of inclusive practice with children and young people;
  • Critically discuss a broad range of complex ideas and concepts relevant to the study of children and/or young people;
  • Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate a broad range of research related to the field.

Practical Skills

Students will be able to:
  • Develop and enhancetransferable skills;
  • Critically analyse and interpret appropriate experiences, activities and opportunities in a range of contexts which enable children and/or young people to develop and learn;
  • Monitor, observe and assess children and/or young people in theirlearning and development in a theoretical, and where appropriate, practical context;
  • Give constructive and sensitive feedback to enable children and/or young people to understand what they have achieved, be able to identify developmental steps and when appropriate, encourage children and/or young people to think about, evaluate and improve on their own performance. During ED6905 Dissertation, there is opportunity, where appropriate, for action research to impact on practice.
  • Establish fair, respectful, trusting, supportive and constructive relationships with children and/or young people. There is opportunity to explore these issues theoretically during ED6906 Pedagogy, Policy and Practice and ED6907 Professional Working with Children and Young People and in practice, where appropriate, in ED6905 Dissertation;
  • Communicate sensitively and effectively with children and/or young people in practice where appropriate;
  • Recognise and respect the influential and enduring contribution that families and parents/carers can make to the development, well-being and learning of children and young people;
  • Articulate how formal and informal opportunities through which information about well-being, development and learning can be shared between a setting and families and parents/carers;
  • Contribute towards establishing a culture of collaborative and cooperative working between colleagues. During module sessions where collaborative, group tasks are designed and in practice, where appropriate, in ED6905 Dissertation in liaison with professionals in practice.

Key Skills
  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

For successful completion of this programme students will have demonstrated competences in the followingkey skillareas:
  • Communication: Through discussion and analysis activities in module sessions, the development of oral argument during module debate, in critical writing tasks and assessments and through collaborative directed work;
  • Application of Number: Opportunity to analyse quantitative data in empirical research;
  • Information Literacy and Technology: Engage with the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and electronic tutorial support and conversations;
  • Improving own learning and performance: Through independent research, reflection on individual research and engagement with, and response to tutorial support. In addition, through the development of personal study skills, information retrieval and capacity to plan and manage personal learning.
  • Working with others: To develop interpersonal skills in collaborative tasks during module sessions, during data collection and in liaison with professionals in practice ;
  • Problem solving: Through research design, in the analysis of complex concepts and in the application of new knowledge.

Transferable Professional Skills

The BA Supporting Learning for Children and Young Peopleprogramme enables students to develop key transferable professional skills which include:
  • Meeting the diverse needs of children and/or young people;
  • Partnership working with peers and professionals in practice where appropriate;
  • Learning from observation and assessment in a theoretical and where appropriate, practical context;
  • Reflective practitioner skills stimulated by specific modules which are particularly contextualised in practice;
  • Howeffective learning environments which are safe and stimulating are resourced;
  • Safeguarding and protecting children and/or young people;
  • Recognition ofthe family's role in supporting learning and development needs;
  • Children and young people valued as unique individuals and the securing of aninclusive ethos in practice.


The opportunity for a focussed specialism in Supporting Learning is an important addition to the undergraduate academic portfolio. It is concerned with how children and young people are supported in the learning environment and facilitates a critical study of the nature of this support. This level 6 programme is an important part of the Faculty’s part-time provision to enable Foundation Degree graduates to progress to a full Honours degree. It is of particular relevance for the Faculty's FdA Teaching Assistance graduates and to graduates of other similar FdA degrees from HEIs in the region due to its content and delivery mode.

Part -Time study is particularly attractive for most FdA graduates who wish to continue in full-time employment while they study. This programme contributes to the Faculty’s strategy to cater for the wider workforce involved with the learning, development and well being of children and young people. The Foundation Degree Qualification Benchmark (QAA, 2010) highlights the need for institutions, which deliver Foundation Degrees, to consider the requirements of the learners likely to enter their programmes. These requirements may include a level of flexibility regarding delivery patterns and modes of delivery and flexible progression routes, with links to an identified honours degree programme. The BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People is an identified honours degree that will enable FdA graduates to continue their professional development and enable progression to advanced professional recognition, for example Early Years Teacher Status or into the teaching profession.

The Government acknowledges the importance of a highly qualified early years workforce and to attracting graduates to work with young children. This is viewed as key to continuing to raise the quality of provision in settings across England and improving outcomes for many more children and young people (DfE, 2011).

The BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People permits a critical engagement with a variety of perspectives and ways of knowing and understanding, drawn from a range of disciplines including psychology, and history. The programme enables students to secure their own philosophy of how children and young people are supported on their learning journeys, within a theoretical context. This BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People has a particular emphasis on the relationship between policy and practice at national and international levels. It encourages students to critically reflect upon their own practice in the light of the theoretical perspectives explored on the programme.

The BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People is a level 6 programme where students follow four 20-credit modules and one 40 credit module, giving a total of 120 credits at level 6. The programme is designed to be able to be co-taught with students at Level 6 of the Early Childhood Studies programme where appropriate.

Learning together with students who are focussing on different phases of the development of children and young people is seen as an enriching feature of this programme. Through multi-disciplinary debate and the interpretation of the generic issues covered, different groups of students can be supported in their understanding of the key issues covered in the shared modules. 

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
ED6905 6 Dissertation 40 Comp
ED6906 6 Pedagogy, Policy and Practice 20 Comp
ED6907 6 Professional Working with Children and Young People 20 Comp
ED6908 6 Principles Underpinning Practice with Children and Young People 20 Comp
ED6909 6 Contemporary Issues: Children and Young People 20 Comp

BA Supporting Learningwith Children andYoung People(Level 6)
Five modules:
ED6907 Professional Working with Children and Young People [20 credits]
ED6909 Contemporary Issues: Children and Young People [20 credits]
ED6906 Pedagogy Policy and Practice [20 credits]
ED6908 Principles Underpinning Practice with Young People [20 credits]
ED6905 Dissertation [40 credits]
Exit Award:
Successful completion of 120 credits at level 6 will lead to the award of BA (Honours) Supporting Learning for Children and Young People

Admission of students is based on the University of Chester's expectation that the student will be able to achieve the standard required for the academic award. Within the admissions process the University seeks to give advanced standing/credit for prior learning appropriate to specified learning outcomes. The BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People is a level 6 programme available as a part-time option for students who have completed a Foundation Degree and wish to gain full honours. A typical applicant will have acquired 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5 through the completion of a course or courses at the University of Chester or another HEI. In addition, GCSE in Maths, a Science and English at grade C or above is required.

The admission criteria for student entry to BA Supporting Learning for Children and Young People will normally be:

  • Successful completion of a Foundation Degree in health, education or social care related subjects with a grade average at level 5 of 60+;
  • Access to an appropriate workplace in a voluntary or paid capacity during the period of study;
  • English, Maths and a science at an equivalent level to GCSE grade C or above.

Students with additional needs should declare this at the time of application, and an assessment made by Student Support and Guidance of the University's ability to support these needs.

As the BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People requires students to reflect upon practice, this may necessitate students having access to settings and workplaces. In the light of this, students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS).


The BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People has taken account of the QAA (2008) Framework for Higher Education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is important to be mindful of the characteristics of the students engaging with the BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People programme at Level 6, as the aim to enable FdA graduates to progress to honours’ level study is a significant contributory rationale.

In the light of this, the QAA (2008) FHEQ states that students who have been awarded a Foundation Degree, have demonstrated:      

Knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established principles of their area(s) of study, and of the way in which those principles have developed;        

Ability to apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, including, where appropriate, the application of those principles in an employment context;        

Knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in the subject(s) relevant to the named award, and ability to evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems in the field of study;         

An understanding of the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences analyses and interpretations based on that knowledge.

The QAA (2008) suggests that typically, the holders of the FdA qualification will be able to:        

Use a range of established techniques to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information, and to propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis;         

Effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences, and deploy key techniques of the discipline effectively;         

Undertake further training, develop existing skills and acquire new competences that will enable them to assume significant responsibility within organisations.

The QAA (2008) also suggests that holders will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.

This programme builds on the knowledge skills and understanding that students will have developed in their FdA and aims to develop honours level characteristics.

While this programme does not directly coincide with QAA subject definitions, it has drawn on elements of the Education Studies and Early Childhood studies benchmarks (QAA, 2007).

The BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People will be awarded to students who have demonstrated:        

  • A systematic understanding of key aspects of their field of study, including acquisition of coherent and detailed knowledge, at least some of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of defined aspects of a discipline;      
  • An ability to deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within a discipline;
  • Conceptual understanding that enables the student to devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of a discipline; and to describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in the discipline; 
  • An appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge; 
  • The ability to manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to the discipline).

The QAA (2008) states that typically, holders of the qualification, specifically in this case, the BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People, will be able to:        

  • Apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects; specifically through ED6908 Principle Underpinning Practice with Young People and ED6905 Dissertation;
  • Critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem; specifically through ED6906 Pedagogy, Policy and Practice and ED6909 Contemporary Issues: Children and Young People   
  • Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences; specifically through ED6907 Professional Working with Children and Young People and ED6905 Dissertation.

The QAA (2008) identifies that holders of the award will have: The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:

  • The exercise of initiative and personal responsibility;        
  • Decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts;         
  • The learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

These qualities and transferable skills are addressed throughout the programme.

The BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People adheres to the Learning and Teaching Strategy for the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services which commits to pedagogical principles which:      

  • Promote professional engagement and reflective practice;      
  • Encourage independent and autonomous learning;         
  • Support continuing professional development;     
  • Value students’ professional experience and prior learning;        
  • Support diversity and personalised learning;       
  • Encourage dynamic and participative learning;
  • Promote collaborative learning;
  • Encourage Internet and Web-based approaches;         
  • Support reflective and Practitioner enquiry.

The BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People at the University of Chester includes a range of approaches to learning and teaching:

  • University-based Modules- These modules are held at the University in technology rich environments. A range of methodologies are employed which take account of best practice and maximise active learning, sensitive to the learning styles and needs of students (Faculty Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy). These methodologies include lectures, seminars, group work, directed tasks, independent research and individual and group tutorials.
  • Independent Study -Independent Study enables a participant to work with a supervising tutor who offers support as participants work towards completing an assignment on a chosen topic. This will count towards academic credit;
  • Electronic Support Materials - The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is an essential feature of the Programme. Each module has a dedicated module site in which a range of support materials is accessible. On the module site, specific information about the module is also available.
  • Electronic Tutorial Support - Participants are able to contact their module tutor or module supervisor by email whenever they wish. Tutors will endeavour to respond to participant queries within 3-5 days but often sooner. Tutorial support includes face-to - face tutorial support meetings and the opportunity for participants to engage with On - Line Tutorial Support. This allows for a tutorial dialogue to continue between module tutors/supervisors and participants. It is an important feature of the Programme in that it enables participants to access tutorial support remotely.  

The BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People adheres to the Assessment Policy of the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services and to the University Regulations pertaining to the assessment of students. Central to the Faculty of Education and Children's Services' learning, teaching, and assessment strategy is the concept of tutor-supported, student-centred learning. The Faculty is committed to the view that students should become increasingly autonomous learners enabled to develop and enhance knowledge and transferable skills as they become more mature, reflective and critical readers and writers. The QAA (2008) recommends that ‘programmes need to be able to demonstrate how the design of curricula facilitates academic and intellectual progression’. The BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People team has taken account of this in the development of assessment strategies on the programme. 

In general terms, students are assessed on their ability to:         

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding, in breadth and in depth, of the subject-matter studied;         
  • Discuss, interpret, and critically analyse a range of literature;       
  • Utilise effectively the transferable communication and rhetorical skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing, and arguing;
  • Conduct independent and collaborative research, using relevant skills and methods including IT where appropriate.

The assessment methods used in each module correlate with the learning outcomes for that module. An appropriate range of assessments is used to enable students to demonstrate their achievement of the stated module learning outcomes. In line with University of Chester policy, not all learning outcomes may be explicitly assessed. Where appropriate, formative assessment is used to support student learning and to ensure that subsequent teaching addresses the identified needs of the students. Students are kept informed about assessment requirements and the formal assessment requirements are described in each module descriptor.

 As well as the generic assessment criteria, students will be provided with assignment specific criteria. This will be provided in module handbooks, available to students at the beginning of each module. Reassessment will, as far as possible, follow the original intention as detailed in the module descriptor and will be in accordance with University Regulations regarding the assessment of students. Where a form of assessment cannot be repeated, for example, as with some presentations, an alternative will be prescribed which gives the student a similar opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the specified module learning outcomes.


All modules have a handbook which complies with University and Faculty Guidelines. All module handbooks are available to students in hard copy. In addition, they are accessible on the dedicated module space on SharePoint (The University’s VLE).

The module handbook includes:       

  • Module aims and learning outcomes;       
  • Outline content;       
  • Assessment method;       
  • Dates and procedures for submission of work;        
  • Recommended reading;
  • Links to relevant documentation and University Policy e.g. The Diversity and Equality Policy, The Disability, Gender and Race Equality Scheme, guidance on regulations governing the assessment of students.


All assessed work is graded according to a percentage scale 0-100 using the University’s level 6 grading criteria linked to the QAA requirements for level 6. All marking procedures comply with the Faculty Assessment Policies. Feedback to students is typed and available electronically using a standard pro-forma. Feedback is given in the context of the module learning outcomes assessed and the Level 6 criteria. Areas for improvement and development are presented as targets. Feedback on the work is intended to identify strengths and points of development. All students complete an assignment front cover sheet on which they describe how they have addressed previously identified targets. Assignments are not pre-marked.  Students may receive formative, verbal feedback on plans or on a specified amount of work identified by the tutor.

The BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People adheres to University Policy on the assessment of students. Students submit work anonymously using their student number unless otherwise specified as a non-anonymous submission. All work is first marked and an appropriate sample, in line with university regulations, is monitored. All dissertations are double marked, usually by the supervisor and then by another marker. The work is made available to an external examiner and includes all fails and distinctions.

Assessment criteria are communicated to students through Programme and Module handbooks. Assignment guidance explains the important features of each assignment. Feedback and assessment judgements are made using module specific interpretations of the following criteria:

  • Knowledge and Understanding;
  • Critical Analysis;
  • Structure;
  • Communication;
  • Reference to sources.

Students who successfully engage in the BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People become reflective practitioners and critical thinkers who can articulate their views with confidence and conviction. They have knowledge of the political arena of learning, teaching, care and provision for children and/or young people. They will have read widely and engaged with theoretical frameworks which have challenged their values, beliefs and understanding. They will be confident researchers, finding solutions to challenges in their professional settings and practice.

Graduates from the BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People would be able to choose from one or more of the following progression routes:     

  • Progress towards advanced professional recognition;       
  • Progress towards higher level qualifications, for example Masters study;       
  • Work as a practitioner within the context of early years and or practice with young people;       
  • Gain promotion within an appropriate setting;      
  • Move to work in a range of related situations, for example, social care, research, childcare, behaviour therapy, play therapy, family support.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

The distinctive characteristic of the BA Supporting Learning with Children and Young People is the opportunity for FdA graduates to progress to full honours through continuing part-time provision, delivered in a pattern similar to that in Foundation Degree delivery. Specifically part-time, usually one day per week in an afternoon. As many FdA graduates are in full – time employment, this is particularly attractive in terms of accessibility and signifies the Faculty’s intention to cater for the wider workforce involved with the learning, development and wellbeing of children and young people.

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