The PGCE Early Childhood Education with recommendation for Early Years Teacher Status is funded by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) for the Initial Teacher Training for specialist early years teachers (birth to five years).
There are two routes for this course. The Graduate Entry (Mainstream) and the Graduate Entry (Employment Based).
The Graduate Entry (Mainstream) is a twelve month, full-time course suitable for high calibre graduates who have limited experience of working with children from birth to five, but who are looking to pursue a career working in early years.
On this pathway you will work for some periods of the week in a minimum of two placements, undertake a number of PGCE modules and attend Early Years Teacher Status professional study days.
The Graduate Entry (Employment Based) pathway is suitable for graduates working in an early years setting or who require training and further experience to demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years), or for newly recruited graduates in an early years setting who need to undertake early years ITT through an employment based route.
This postgraduate route into teaching is a credible career choice for students wishing to pursue specialisation and expertise as a teacher with children from birth to five years.
All PGCE pathways cover three main areas: Curriculum Studies, Professional Studies and Enhanced Studies. The Early Childhood Education pathway is designed to complement professional practice and the academic study should be informed by and inform practice.
In Curriculum Studies modules and taught days, you will develop your understanding and knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, pedagogy and resources to support the teaching.
As you progress through your studies and can apply your learning to practical teaching situations, you will be introduced to a wider range of critical perspectives on teaching and learning in the early years. You will be expected to apply that critical reflection to your own teaching.
In Professional Studies modules and taught days, you will learn about broader aspects of education and the early years, its role in society and communities and how education policy and practice has an impact on schools. Key principles and values in early years education will be explored as you develop your own theories of education and reflect critically on others.
In the Enhanced Studies module and taught days, you will have the opportunity to choose a particular aspect of early years education and to study that in greater depth. Your learning in this context will enable you to reflect more strongly and critically on your own emerging identity as an early years teacher.
On completion of the course you will be awarded your Early Years Teacher Status from the National College of Teaching and Leadership. The Early Years Teacher Status is subject to the relevant standards and requirements set out by the Department for Education which are subject to change.
You can expect to receive 50 hours academic direction for each module in a university taught session. The range of learning and teaching strategies is a central component of the design and planning of the PGCE Early Childhood Education pathway on the ITE course.
There is an expectation of 150 hours practice learning and independent study to support your individual and collaborative learning. We will use of a range of ways of engaging you in critical debate and discussion during taught sessions, including talk partners, small group discussion and micro-teaching, while enhancing the experience with practical, creative and active learning.
The Graduate Entry (Mainstream) students on this course are required to be in placement for 120 days. These placements are linked to two credit bearing modules and will contain the assessment process for the recommendation of the award of Early Years Teacher Status. The placements will be in settings for children from birth to five years and will be sourced by the Partnership Team in line with the University placement procedures and processes.
Students studying on the employment pathway (Graduate Entry Employment Based) will be able to use their current employment as their base location in addition to contrasting placements to meet the requirements of the course. On commencing the course they will complete a needs analysis with tutors so that gaps in their knowledge, skills and experience can be highlighted; in this way additional placements will be arranged to ensure these students can cover the breadth of the 0-5 years subject area.
Early Childhood Education PGCE pathway students who opt for the PGCE modules (either as a whole or for separate Masters level modules) will be assessed in two main ways – via academic assignments and via assessment of your teaching.
You will submit academic assignments for 20 credits in curriculum, professional and enhanced studies. Each submission will include a written element, but you may also be assessed via presentation or practical performance as relevant to your subject or chosen options. You can achieve up to 60 Masters (Level 7) credits (except in the PGCE Modular pathway which offers up to 40 Masters (Level 7) credits.)
On successful completion students will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with Early Years Teacher Status. Students may have already achieved 60 Masters level credits and may wish to continue studies by applying for the MA Early Childhood Education.
For information on how to apply, please follow this link: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/how-to-apply/how-to-apply.aspx
See our Teacher Education Funding page to discover the scholarships and bursaries available.
If you choose to study the Early Years Teacher Status programme, you will become a specialist in early childhood development, trained to work with babies and young children from birth to the age of five. You will be equipped to organise and lead high quality practice in early years settings.
We are one of the main providers of Early Years Teacher Training (0-5) in the East Midlands, with over forty years of experience in teacher training, education and research. We are committed to inspiring change which transforms the lives of children and young people.
We have been praised for developing a “post-qualification programme for newly qualified trainees who make a substantial contribution to the trainees’ professional formation” by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (November 2014).
Our Early Years Teacher Status programme takes the Graduate Emploment-Based (GEB) route. This is a part-time route for experienced graduate-level early years practitioners who are currently in paid employment in an early years setting but require training and further experience to demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years). We only ask that you have either a relevant degree and one year of full-time experience working in the age range 0-5 years, or a degree that is not relevant and two or more years of full-time relevant experience.
When you successfully complete the course, you will be recommended for and awarded Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) and will be a specialist in early childhood development, trained to work with babies and young children from birth to five.The course will build on your existing knowledge and experience, giving you everything you need to demonstrate the standards for early years teachers required by the National College of Teaching and Leadership, exceeding the minimum expectations for each Standard.
Find out more about the course content, modules and special course features on our course page.
The programme allows students to engage with current issues and debates relevant to early years education, increasing understanding of policy development and developing leadership knowledge and skills to assess the quality of early years practice. Students gain understanding of general methodology and research methods, which enables them to conduct research in early years settings.
This programme provides the opportunity for students to access professional development that is informed by best practice in early years education. It will also prepare students for leadership roles and develop their understanding of general methodology and research methods.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).
Students can also choose one from a wide range of Master's-level optional modules across the IOE offering.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a 20,000-word dissertation.
Teaching and learning
This programme is delivered through face-to-face evening sessions. Assessment is through assignments and a dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Early Years Education MA
Graduates of the Early Years Education MA are currently working as nursery teachers and managers, primary school teachers, advisers to local and national government and researchers on early childhood programmes.
Recent career destinations for this degree
By taking this programme students develop an international, critical and deep understanding of early years leadership, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The Early Years Education staff team at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) have been at the forefront of international research for two decades including the renowned Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE) project.
The research and teaching team specialise in early years leadership, pedagogy and curriculum and assessment
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Learning & Leadership
78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.