Two male students working at the Houghall Plant Centre at East Durham College's Houghall Campus

Foundation Studies - Houghall

Foundation Studies offers entry level courses for young people with a wide range of support needs, learning difficulties and disabilities.

Choose your Course

Our foundation programme is a general course with specific foundation learning pathways. The Pathways offer a wide range of subjects tailored to the correct level to meet the needs of each individual learner. 

A wide variety of subjects are offered and learners can follow a combination of subjects including:

  • Animal care
  • Agriculture
  • Poultry
  • Horse care
  • Conservation
  • Horticulture
  • Recycling
  • Floristry
  • IT
  • Independent living skills/travel training
  • Learners also work to improve communication, literacy and IT skills

The course is taught via practical and theoretical sessions at the appropriate level, with additional support provided in all classes when necessary.

Learners will be assessed on their acquisition of skills in accordance with the criteria laid down by the awarding body. Assessments will be part

of their ongoing work or as a specific test. 

The department also caters for a wide range of students including:

  • School leavers aged 16 to 19 with emotional and behavioural difficulties or moderate learning difficulties, who need a little help and extra support before moving onto a full time vocational course or into employment.
  • School leavers aged 19+ with a range of learning difficulties and/or disabilities who need additional help and support in small groups.
  • Adults with a range of learning difficulties and/or disabilities who need additional help and support in small groups. 

Length of course

One, two or three years depending on the needs of the learner.

Houghall Facilities

The College has undergone a £13.25 million redevelopment in recent years, so you can be sure Houghall is an excellent place to study.

However, please note: East Durham College’s Houghall Campus is committed to providing a supportive and welcoming environment for all our students. The campus, some of which is over 80 years old, has seen over £13.25m invested in new facilities over the last 5 years. However, there are still some aspects of the site which are not fully accessible and would cause an issue for those with limited mobility or wheelchair users; and due to the nature of the site, adjustments may not always be reasonable at this stage. The College is committed to further investment and improvements of the site, as we work towards ensuring the campus is as accessible as possible. If you have limited mobility or are a wheelchair user and wish to undertake a course at the Houghall Campus, please contact Student Services on 0191 375 4710 in the first instance to discuss your needs and options.

Progression/Career opportunities

Students who successfully complete their pathway may progress on to a higher level within the Foundation Department or further pathways within the College at a more advanced level e.g. Level 1 Diploma Work Based Land Based Operations, Level 1 Diploma in Land Based Studies (Horse Care) or Level 1 Horticulture.

Our staff are friendly and experts in this area and will make ensure you feel safe and provide you with the best possible learning environment for your development.

To find out more please contact the Student Services team on 0191 518 8222.

For more details, please click on the general course below and you can then apply online too.

Available full time and/or part time course(s) for 2021/2022 are listed below:

The full time and/or part time course(s) listed below are available to apply for to be studied during the 2021/2022 academic year. All full time courses will start September 2021. For any part time courses, please check in the individual course page for their start date during 2021/22.