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Foundation Degree (FdA) in Educational Practice

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Key information

Course code



Oxford City Centre,
Oxpens Rd,
Oxford, OX1 1SA

This programme of study aims to produce highly skilled and well-qualified Teaching Assistants, capable of supporting teaching and learning within a variety of contexts.

In light of the current situation, Activate Learning and its awarding university partners have agreed to postpone the start of this course.  We will now be looking to run the exact same course starting from January 2021. If you’d like to discuss a current application or a potential new application please contact and we will advise you accordingly. 

Building on the Professional Practice Framework for Teaching Assistants and on Oxford Brookes' considerable success in providing Higher Education for mature students, it is aimed at Teaching Assistants working in primary, secondary and tertiary education.

In the first year, students are taught to develop an understanding of how individuals learn, in particular, in the subjects of English and mathematics.

In the second year, wider education issues such as reflective practice and mentoring are taught.

Please note: tuition fees may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by the government.

What I'll learn

Upon successful completion of the Foundation Degree, students will be able to progress to the BA (Hons) top-up in Education and Lifelong Learning which is a one-year programme.

However, the Foundation Degree is a recognised qualification in its own right and students have used it for career progression in learning support roles and in other educational careers. 

Some foundation degree students, on completion of a third year top up, apply for the PGCE programme to gain Qualified Teacher Status.

If you wish to progress to Initial Teacher Training you must have Mathematics, English and a Science subject at GCSE Grade C or above at the point you apply for the PGCE.


How I'll learn

This is a work-based course and it is a requirement that participants are employed in a school or college. The course is considered full time, although it only requires attendance at the college for one day per week. For those receiving student funding or loans it is full time.

To undertake the course successfully entrants to the Programme should normally possess the following:

  • a minimum of two years' relevant work experience and a current role in an appropriate workplace setting, and a Line Manager's letter of support and recommendation; or
  • a minimum of one pass at A-level or 6-unit Vocational A-level, plus three passes at GCSE (grades A-C), or O-level (grades A-C) normally including Mathematics and English Language, or · a National Certificate or Diploma or other equivalent qualifications, such as GNVQ/NVQ or other Level 3 vocational qualifications.

All students must produce a 500 word piece of work reflecting on their role in their school or college which must be assessed by the programme leader.


How I'll be assessed

Students will gain a recognised University-awarded Foundation Degree and also have the opportunity to progress to a BA (Hons) top-up in Education and Lifelong Learning through one more year of study. Successful graduates will then be able to pursue a PGCE in order to achieve Qualified Teacher Status.


My favourite part of working at Activate Learning is the opportunity for Continued Professional Development.  

Soumaya Arfa

Entry Requirements

All applicants must have a reference from their Head teacher or line manager. The letter must confirm that they support the application and will take all reasonable steps to support the applicant's study on the Programme, and in particular that the educational institution will facilitate the applicant's work-based studies.
English Language Requirements Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate that their level of English is acceptable, by achieving a score in a recognised test such as: · British Council IELTS: normally minimum level 6.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in the reading and writing components;
DBS checks - all students will be required to have obtained clearance from, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for working with children and young people and as teachers. You will not be permitted to undertake the programme if you have been barred from teaching or working with children.
Mature students, who do not meet these academic qualifications, can have relevant work or life experience taken into consideration.


How to Apply

About course costs

There are student loans available to help with course costs. The government sets a threshold for when you begin to repay the loan.

For example in 2018, you would need to earn £25,000 or more to begin to repay the loan; if you do not earn this amount, then the loan will just remain. Click here for more information to explain how these thresholds work.

You will need to apply via UCAS for this programme on

  • The UCAS code is X102.
  • The Awarding Body is Oxford Brookes University/ institution code O66. 
  • The campus code is O

All applicants are required to attend an interview before admission to the programme. See also 

Fees information

Home/EU Fee for 2020 entrance: £7,570 per year 


As a new Oxford Brookes student, you will able to apply for halls of residence at the university. Once you have accepted an offer for the Foundation Degree Business and Enterprise from the college, you will be sent a confirmation letter. The Accommodation letter which contains a password that will enable you to apply online for halls of residence will be sent out shortly after that. If you require a paper application form or further details, please contact the Accommodation Office on 01865 484660 or email