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Foundation Studies (Houghall Campus)

Course Level: 


Job opportunities after this course: 

Our Foundation Studies provision aims to give learners who may have additional support needs, learning difficulties or disabilities an opportunity to engage with post-16 progress and to work on their own individual short, mid and long term aspirations and goals.

For some students this will involve progression toward employment and our provision aims to develop a holistic set of life, academic and employability skills and abilities.

Overview of the course: 

Foundation Studies at East Durham College is supportive, inclusive and exciting post-16 provision. Within the department we have a range of young people all of whom require some form of additional support as they transition from school to college life.

The students within our department are all unique individuals, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, goals and aspirations however, broadly speaking, provision within Foundation Studies is ideal for young people who:

- Have formally diagnosed learning difficulties or disabilities such as ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Processing Delay and SLCN difficulties
- Have complex needs in relation to their Education, Health Care and Social Care which may be documented in an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP)
- Have found education within a mainstream environment to be unsuccessful, difficult or stressful
- Have not been able to successfully complete or achieve GCSE exams as expected
- Have challenges in relation to their social, emotional and mental health which make learning and life more challenging than it otherwise would be

Foundation Studies at our Peterlee Campus offers the opportunity for young people to experience and develop their interest and skills in a wide range of subject areas including; Media, Performing Arts, Catering, Retail Skills, Painting & Decorating, Woodwork, Art & Design, Hospitality and much, much more.

As well as vocational curriculum topics and subjects we aim to offer a broad curriculum which also integrates and explores outcomes linked to 'Preparing for Adulthood' (more information in relation to PfA outcomes can be found at the following link:

Entry requirements: 

Suitability of provision is assessed on an individualised basis and dependent upon a number of factors.


Foundation Studies at Houghall Campus is located on a fully working land-based site on the outskirts of Durham City Centre. The campus is often a hub of activity as you would expect from one with a fully operational farm and animal centre at its centre.

Foundation Studies at Houghall looks to provide an introduction to land-based and animal centric provision to young people who have a range of support needs and challenges in relation to their learning.

If you choose to become a Foundation Studies student at Houghall you will be given the opportunity to explore a range of vocational areas including; farming & agriculture, small animal care, floristry, and arboriculture. As fantastic as these subject areas are, we'll also work with you on developing a much broader set of skills including; English & Maths, Independent Living Skills, Work Experience, Travel Training and a range of subjects linked to Preparing for Adulthood (more info at the following link:

How is the course assessed?: 

The course is assessed through a range of assessment methods in order to give all students the best opportunity of evidencing their progress and achieving all elements of the course. These include the creation of portfolios, completion of coursework and participation in practical activities which are assessed through observation by a tutor.

Further study options after this course: 

Our Foundation Studies provision intends to provide those with additional support needs or challenges in their wider life a supportive progression pathway which unlocks further study within the department, within wider mainstream college provision or with providers external to East Durham College.

Length of the course: 

All of our programmes within Foundation Studies last for 1 full academic year (September - July) with a yearly review of the suitability of provision in relation to need and ability. Session are delivered in a range of settings including in traditional classrooms but also a range of indoor/outdoor vocational learning spaces.


Houghall Campus, Durham

When does the course start: 

September 2021


*We make every effort to publish correct fees, however all fees are subject to change. Fees are correct as at the current time (11 Oct 2021 12:15) and are subject to change up to the date of enrolment. Fees quoted are payable annually

How to apply: 

To apply online for this course, please click on the 'Apply for this course' button below.

Alternatively, if you need assistance with your application or you would like to apply over the phone or using a paper-based application form, please call Student Services on 0191 518 8222.

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