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Early Years Initial Teacher Training (mainstream route) - PGCE

Course Description

The mainstream graduate entry pathway on the Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) programme is designed for those who wish to work with babies and children from birth to five years old. Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) will be awarded to graduates who have been judged to have met all of the Teachers' Standards (Early Years).

Degree information

Early Years Teachers will be specialists in early childhood development and the Early Years curriculum. As highly skilled graduate leaders, they will be responsible for facilitating and leading high quality professional practice in early years settings. Participants will leave the programme as reflective practitioners who work with integrity, fostering positive relationships with parents/carers and children as well as other professionals.

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits total), plus 124 placement days across a range of settings, including a 10 day key stage 1/2 placement. There are no optional modules on this programme.

Where less than 60 credits are achieved at Master’s level (level 7), but are successfully passed at undergraduate/Bachelor’s level (level 6), a Professional Graduate Certificate of Education (PgCE) will be awarded.

An additional pathway is also available for those already employed in an early years setting: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/degrees/early-years-initial-teacher-training-employment-route

Core modules
-Teaching and Learning Module (Level 7)
-The Action Research Module (Level 7)
-Professional Practice Module (Level 6)
-Teaching and Learning Module (Level 7)

The programme consists of 124 placement days across a range of settings, including a 10 day KS1/2 placement.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered via a combination of taught sessions, workshops and work-based learning. The content of the programme aims to keep a careful balance between early years initiatives, educational theory and its practical application. Work-based learning means that academic knowledge, skills and understanding are clearly integrated and contextualised within the professional role of an early years practitioner.


Early years teachers can work in all private, voluntary and independent (PVI) early years settings which is where the majority of children and early years provision is based. They can also work in free schools, academies and independent schools which can employ teaching staff without the requirement for them to have QTS.

Recent research such as the EPPE Project (Sylva et al, 2010) has provided sound evidence that high quality early education teaching and care can have a powerful impact on young children, not only preparing them for school, but contributing to positive outcomes later in life (Prout, 1999). Acknowledging the key importance that quality education has on the outcomes for young children from their earliest years, government reforms in initial teacher education are focused on the years birth to five. Consequently, this specialist programme is designed for those already working or seeking to work with babies and children from birth to five years old.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Students on the Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) programme benefit enormously from the complementary skills and expertise of staff in partnership schools and at the IOE.

The EYITT route complements other existing initial training educational programmes at the IOE by both harnessing the expertise of internationally renowned lecturers and well respected researchers in early years education.

At IOE we have a long tradition of working in partnership with inner city, London settings and schools. The placement settings offer teaching experience where practitioners serve as mentors and joint assessors for our student Early Years teachers. IOE tutors have extensive experience of teaching, school management, inspection, research and consultancy.

Visit the Early Years Initial Teacher Training (mainstream route) - PGCE page on the University College London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Lower second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. GCSEs: English Language, Mathematics and Science at grade C. You will be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks. The total cost of these checks is £100. These checks are required to ensure you meet the Department for Education’s requirements for physical and mental health to teach, as well as assessing your suitability for access to children and vulnerable adults. More details can be found on the Entry requirements page: View Website

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