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Course Description

The foundation degree in Montessori Early Childhood Practice was developed to meet the demand in the workplace for well qualified Montessori early childhood specialists who can demonstrate high levels of professional competence, and apply knowledge and skills effectively in practice. It provides a foundation degree level qualification for the Montessori community.

The focus and context for the study of early childhood is the distinct philosophy and pedagogy of Montessori practice, and we aim to develop reflective practitioners who are forward thinking, responsive and ready to engage in contemporary early years discourse.

The Level 5 foundation degree is offered full-time over two years to new entrants. Full-time students attend MCI two or three days per week and are in professional placement in a Montessori setting two days per week.

If you have already studied with MCI and have either the former MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy, or the current MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – birth to seven (Early Years Educator), you are awarded university credits (APL) and gain direct entry to Year 2 (Level 5). Choose to study either full-time over one year, or part-time over two years. You will need to be based in a group setting for an additional two days per week. 

The FdA provides a platform for students wishing to progress to the full Early Childhood Studies BA (Hons) with scope to develop as graduate leaders and early years teachers.

Employability and work-based learning is a key aspect of the training. Students combine academic study with practical experience on assessed professional placements in Montessori settings. The vocational nature of the course fully meets the early years educator requirements and allows you to work as an early years practitioner with a Montessori specialism.

The foundation degree in Montessori Early Childhood Practice was developed to meet the demand in the workplace for well qualified Montessori early childhood specialists who can demonstrate high levels of professional competence, and apply knowledge and skills effectively in practice. It provides a foundation degree level qualification for the Montessori community. The focus and...

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Course Content

The focus of the foundation degree is the interplay between theory and practice. Knowledge, understanding and skills are integrated by learning in a work context, leading to the development of professional as well as academic skills and competence.

The course offers a holistic approach to the study of early childhood, incorporating multiple perspectives and a multi-disciplinary approach drawing on a range of disciplines such as psychology, sociology, education and health. Child development and observation are studied progressively throughout the programme with an emphasis on play as an integrating mechanism in young children’s development. Within the core construction of professionalism, perspectives such as children’s rights, children’s health and wellbeing, including child protection and disability, diversity and inclusion will be considered and applied.

Emphasis is placed on active learning with a gradual transition from more supported and guided study to more independent and self-directed learning. A variety of teaching and learning strategies are used, including workshops, lectures, seminars, guided reading, individual tutorials, independent study and opportunities for reflection on practice. Level 4 students participate in timetabled weekly practical workshops to develop competence and understanding in the use of the Montessori learning materials.

Teaching and learning strategies focus on workplace skills and professionalism. Observations, work-related tasks and the use of development planning tools support the growth of professional competence. You will, for example, develop an increasing range of observation skills and techniques; handle curriculum materials and make evaluations of curriculum approaches and resources. You will practise and reflect on techniques to promote effective interactions with parents/carers and other professionals.

Year 1 (Level 4) topics:

  • Montessori Early Childhood Curriculum 1 (30 credits)
  • Montessori Early Childhood Curriculum 2 (30 credits)
  • Perspectives on Children’s Development and Well-being (30 credits)
  • Professional Studies and Practitioner Placement 1 (30 credits)

Year 2 (Level 5) topics:

  • Approaches to Pedagogy and Curriculum in Early Childhood (30 credits)
  • Supporting Diversity in Early Childhood (30 credits)
  • Creative Thinking and Representation (15 credits)
  • Personal Social and Emotional Development (15 credits)
  • Professional Studies and Practitioner Placement (2) (30 credits).

The focus of the foundation degree is the interplay between theory and practice. Knowledge, understanding and skills are integrated by learning in a work context, leading to the development of professional as well as academic skills and competence. The course offers a holistic approach to the study of early childhood, incorporating multiple perspectives and a multi-disciplinary...

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Entry Requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • you must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  • GCSE Maths and English at grade C (grade 4) or above (or equivalent).
  • two A Levels, one of which must be at least a grade C/grade 4 or above (combined 48 UCAS points or above) or an equivalent stand alone subject (CACHE Level 3 Certificate/Diploma, BTEC, International Baccalaureate, etc).
  • candidates with English as an additional language must hold IELTS 6.5 (Academic).
  • For direct entry to Level 5, applicants must hold either the former MCI International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy or the current MCI Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – birth to seven (Early Years Educator)

Please note that this course is not suitable for Tier 4 (international) students.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have: you must be a minimum of 18 years of age. GCSE Maths and English at grade C (grade 4) or above (or equivalent). two A Levels, one of which must be at least a grade C/grade 4 or above (combined 48 UCAS points or above) or an equivalent stand alone subject (CACHE...

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Assessment Methods

A range of assessments are used throughout the course to allow you to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and understanding. This includes essays, child studies, reflective accounts, oral presentations and collecting evidence in online portfolios, linking practical experience and theoretical understanding. 

There is a strong emphasis through all assessments on the relationship between practical, work related tasks and theoretical perspectives – which is in itself an important practical professional skill.

A range of assessments are used throughout the course to allow you to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and understanding. This includes essays, child studies, reflective accounts, oral presentations and collecting evidence in online portfolios, linking practical experience and theoretical understanding.  There is a strong emphasis through all assessments on the relationship...

Read More