Foundation Degree (FdA) in Therapeutic Work with Children and Young People


Run by The Mulberry Bush and validated by the University of the West of England, this course has been specially designed for practitioners in the childcare sector. The course is suitable for those working in education, both mainstream and special, residential care, or health settings working with children or young people who have experienced trauma or mental health difficulties. The course is also suitable for foster carers.

Why study therapeutic work?

The value of developing a therapeutic relationship with children and young people has been well established through research and practice. 

This degree in therapeutic work with children and young people considers ideas that are central for developing such a relationship such as developing a deeper understanding of children’s real needs and developing yourself as a reflective practitioner. This means graduates in therapeutic child care are much sought after for a wide range of employment opportunities across education, social care and health.

Why Mulberry Bush / UWE?

This course is unique in that it is developed and led by the Mulberry Bush organisation, who have over 70 years of experience in therapeutic working with children, young people and their families.  This degree course draws on work-place learning and is an intellectually and emotionally demanding and enjoyable course.

You will explore issues around understanding children’s behaviour as a communication of need, how the wider context impacts professionals and children alike, a range of theories including trauma informed practice and much much more. 

Students are required to be working alongside children or young people in order to draw upon their skills and experiences to inform their learning.

By the end of the course you will be qualified to work at a minimum of level 3 in the children’s sector.

Where can it take me?

Through your modules and assessment you will graduate in a confident position to develop your professional career. 

You will be equipped to work at a managerial level in childcare and education settings or to continue studying and specialise in therapeutic aspects of childcare.

Examples of where graduates have gone onto work include:

  • Setting up a new therapeutic pastoral support service for children in a secondary school
  • Taking on a therapeutic management school in a special school for adolescents with complex needs
  • Studying to be a play therapist
  • Becoming a therapeutic trainer supporting a settings to develop their provision
  • Setting up and running a therapeutic fostering agency
  • Senior therapeutic manager for a group of children’s homes

The course is regarded as equivalent to the mandatory Level 3 Diploma and the content has been mapped against these requirements, and the Therapeutic Service Standards set out by the Community of Communities. A progression year to BA (Hons) level is available through the University of the West of England.

Entry Requirements
The course is open to all who have an interest in the subject, regardless of previous academic study, but students may be asked to write a short piece of work to prove they can write coherently at the required level.

The course is based on a work-based learning model and students are required to have experience of working alongside children/young people throughout the course.

How Much Does The Course Cost? 

The fees for the foundation degree for 2022/23 are £5900.

If you have not previously accessed student funding, you can apply through Student Finance England, visit their website to find out more.

We can also arrange for your fees to be paid in termly instalments, for more information about this please get in touch by emailing Kathy at [email protected].

How to Apply
Applications for the 2022/23 course are now closed.

We will open applications for 2023/24 early next year, for more information, or if you have any questions about the course please email Kathy Smith at [email protected]

Princess Royal Training Award 2021

We’re proud to be one of the 48 recipients to achieve the Princess Royal Training Awards for our Foundation Degree in Therapeutic Work with Children and Young People. This award is for our commitment to training and development in 2021. You can find out more about the awards here.