follow CHS on Twitter

    The Foundation Degree in Housing with Support

    Click to request a brochure. Include your postal address for a printed copy.The Foundation Degree (FdA) In Housing with Support gives you the opportunity to advance your professional career, academic development and personal prospects by gaining a unique, valuable and nationally-validated qualification.

    The Centre for Housing and Support offers this prestigious qualification as part of its range of blended learning courses for those working in any type of housing-related support setting. If you satisfactorily complete this course you will be awarded your qualification by the University of Plymouth.

    Exciting news about the Foundation Degree

    The CHS is delighted to announce we have been successful in obtaining CIH accreditation for the whole of the Foundation Degree in Housing with Support.

    This is highly significant because it now means that those who attain their degree will be eligible for full Chartered Membership of the CIH. Previously, students would have had to undertake further study to attain full CIH membership.

    Also significant is the fact that this award is retrospective; meaning all holders of the degree from its inception in 2007 are now eligible for membership of the CIH!

    Full CIH membership is incredibly valuable for those intent on forging a career in Housing. Attaining the Level 4 Certificate alone does not give access to this benefit.  The FD is the only CIH delivered qualification that provides access to membership.

    It is of course recognition that our programme is of very good quality and highly relevant to the needs of housing organisations and to those who work in housing.

    How the Foundation Degree Works

    An educational progression

    The Centre for Housing and Support’s Foundation Degree is a three-year flexible learning course, validated by the University of Plymouth. The content of the degree is wholly relevant to the professional and academic needs of those working in Housing with Support.

    The Foundation Degree has been designed in partnership with employers to equip people with the relevant knowledge and skills for business.

    By successfully completing the Foundation Degree you will also attain the Chartered Institute of Housing Level 4 Certificate and Diploma in Housing.

    Flexible Learning

    Flexible Learning offers a combination of tutor-led and independent study. During study blocks, students enjoy the considerable benefits of being taught in a classroom by our experienced tutors. This learning is further enhanced by the benefits of working together with other students.

    The study blocks are spread throughout the year making it easier for employers to plan and for students to complete course work.

    Click to view the CHS Moodle SiteLearning is supported by substantial on-line resources via the CHS Moodle website. Moodle gives you access to teaching materials, activity work, learning resources and provides a valuable communication tool through which you will interact with your tutors and the other students on your course.

    Kevin McConnell, a previous successful student of this course said,

    "The course provided me with a solid foundation upon which to develop and think creatively. This expanded my understanding of working with sometimes helpless individuals and provided me with a confident platform to stimulate new ideas. Although difficult at times, the rewards far exceeded the effort and it was reassuring to know that help was always at hand."

    Embedded in the first two years of the Foundation Degree are the CIH’s Level 4 Certificate and Diploma in Housing. This means that Foundation degree students are student members of the CIH during the first two years of the course and receive all the benefits of that membership including:

    More about Foundation Degrees

    Foundation Degrees are higher education qualifications designed to prepare people for work in higher technician and associate professional occupations. A fundamental element of Foundation Degrees is the work-based learning aspect of the course. Foundation Degrees develop the student’s technical and  work-specific skills, work-related knowledge, academic learning, generic skills and key skills.

    The work required for the entire Degree Course equates to around 270 Guided Learning Hours (including all contact hours such as Study Blocks, as well as further reading and any assessments). This is for an average student, spread across the whole three years of the course. The modules in this programme are distributed over the three years of study.

    The concept of work-based learning is fundamental to any Foundation Degree. You will integrate your learning with your employment through work-based assignments and your Reflective Practice (RP) and Personal and Professional Development (PPD) activities. Additionally, some modules will be delivered in whole or in part by specialists from the housing sector.

    Flexible Access

    This course offers flexible access with recognition for your existing skills and knowledge; in other words, your work experience can help qualify you to enrol. See the application form in the Foundation Degree brochure for more details.

    Here’s a list of the learning modules in each year of the course. A full description of all of these is contained in the full 12-page Foundation Degree Brochure. Send for your copy.

    Year 1

    Year 2

    Year 3

    A unique course

    You should be aware that the CHS programme is not available elsewhere because it incorporates the CIH Level 4 Diploma in Housing; it is delivered by flexible learning, which allows you greater flexibility in planning your studies; it focuses on vulnerable people and it is delivered by staff who are specialists in Housing-related Support.

    We are delighted to report the success rate for students following this programme has been over 90 percent, with an increasing proportion of students graduating with distinction. Over 60 percent of those who graduated in November 2012 did so with distinction, and one was awarded the accolade Cornwall College Student of the Year.

    As you will have heard and read, many universities are charging up to £9,000 per year for degree courses. A great advantage of studying for your Foundation Degree with the CHS is that we are part of the Cornwall College Group. Further Education colleges are now playing a bigger role in offering degrees in England, as colleges are awarded funding for thousands of places previously held by universities.

    The fees for a Foundation Degree course provided by a Further Education College can be significantly lower than those for a university course of the same level. Having said that, the Foundation Degree in Housing with Support is validated by the University of Plymouth, from which you will receive your Degree.

    The fee for the Foundation Degree have been set by Cornwall College at £8,360 for the three years of the programme with effect from September 2015, following the application of a fee waiver to reduce the fee below the college's standard fee because of the blended nature of the programme.

    This fee includes the fee required by the CIH for student registration and the costs of the residential induction at the start of year 1 of the course.

    Year 1

    Course fee includes all your first year tuition, 2 nights’ food and accommodation during the ‘Introduction to Higher Education’module in Worcester, access to Moodle, student membership of the Chartered Institute of Housing, a subscription to ‘Inside Housing’, the CIH weekly magazine, comprehensive on-going Tutor support for one year and end-of-year Centre for Housing and Support and independent assessment of your work.

    £2,786 for 2015/16

    Year 2

    Course fee includes all your tuition, access to Moodle, student membership of the Chartered Institute of Housing, a subscription to ‘Inside Housing’, the CIH weekly magazine, comprehensive ongoing Tutor support for one year and end-of-year Centre for Housing and Support and independent assessment of your work.

    £2,787 for 2016/17

    Year 3

    Course fee includes all your tuition, comprehensive on-going Tutor support for one year and end-of-year Centre for Housing and Support and independent assessment of your work.

    £2,787 for 2017/18

    A Tuition Fee Loan covers the fees you are charged for each year of your course. It will be paid directly to Cornwall College.

    Repayments for the Foundation Degree will not begin until the April after your final year finishes or the April 4 years after your course starts – whichever is the sooner - and only then if you are earning £21,000 per annum or more. Should your income fall below £21,000 a year, your repayments will stop.

    Interest on your loan

    You’re charged interest on your loan from the time you receive your first payment until you pay your loan back in full. The amount of interest you’re charged varies. Visit this web link for details.

    The actual interest rates depend on the rate of inflation. You can pay back all or some of your loan at any time without incurring any early repayment charges.

    A student loan should be very affordable for students on average incomes. Note also that all these figures are based on someone taking the maximum loan. If you or your employer pays some of the fees upfront, there will obviously be less to repay later.

    Q: What’s in it for me?

    The Centre for Housing and Support’s Foundation Degree provides the opportunity to study a Higher Education course that develops your professional skills and knowledge. As part of a wider HE programme it offers you many opportunities to study at your own pace and by flexible learning.

    What would this qualification mean to you? Knowledge, career progression, kudos and increased status.

    Q: What is flexible learning?

    Flexible learning is designed to be more responsive to the needs of students and their employers. This means there are classroom learning study blocks spaced throughout the duration of a programme, together with online learning between study blocks. So, for the first year of the Foundation Degree this means 11.5 days of study blocks within a 12 month period.

    Q: What if I have no formal academic qualifications?

    If you have substantial experience in housing then holding a minimum of four GCSEs could allow entry to the programme. Each application is judged on its merits.

    Q: When should I apply?

    There are two intakes to the Foundation Degree each academic year; one in Spring and one in Autumn. The deadline for each is two weeks before the start date. You can however apply as soon as you wish; in fact it is best to apply well before the deadline.

    Q: Is the Foundation Degree as far as I can progress in my studies?

    If you wish to take your career in Housing a stage beyond even the Foundation Degree, you can do this too. What’s more, there are two ways you can continue.

    1. A further “Top-up” course, offered by several other Universities with which the Centre for Housing and Support has links, builds to the award of a full BA (Hons) Degree.
    2. The second way is to gain the Chartered Institute of Housing’s full professional qualification, via distance learning with De Montfort University, leading to full Corporate Membership of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

    There are more questions and answers in the full Foundation Degree Brochure - request your copy to read them all.

    Send for the brochure

    The full Foundation Degree Brochure contains many more details and should answer all your questions. Click here and we'll send you a copy - either as the full 12-page printed version or as a PDF file. Let us know which you prefer and include your postal address if you would like a printed copy.

    If you have any questions, please do send us an email, or better still, call us for a chat - our contact details are below. When you decide to go ahead, your next move is to discuss this with your employers (if they would like to talk to us about it, we’re always happy to speak with them).

    Next, photocopy the application form in the brochure; complete it and post or email it to us. We’ll be in touch to start the ball rolling.

    Contact details

    The Centre for Housing and Support
    Kirkham House
    John Comyn Drive
    WR3 7NS

    Telephone:  01905 727272

    The Programme Manager and Senior tutor for this course is Steve McCann. He will be pleased to answer any questions you may have about the academic content of the course. Email:

    The CHS Foundation Degree in Housing with Support is validated by the University of Plymouth