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Early Childhood (PgCert)

Course Description

Early Years Initial Teacher Training. Build the strong development knowledge and reflective leadership of practice in early years education that will enable you to become an early years teacher with the passion and commitment to work with children - providing quality education from birth to five years old. Join an education institution with a long and proud history of facilitating excellent teacher training.

Key features

Benefit from the flexibility of choosing from one of two professional pathways: Graduate Entry Mainstream (full time, one year) will see you complete your studies via a focus on academic learning and 120 days in placement, or; Graduate Entry Employment Based (part time, 1 year) will allow you to complete your studies while employed within an early years setting.
Gain valuable experience of the workplace with a range of placement options ensuring you have the opportunities to meet the Early Years Teacher's Standards across the age range you’ll be working with.
Learn from the expertise and experience of our multi-disciplinary teaching team.
Progress your achievements by enhancing your studies with our 60 credit masters level options.
Each candidate will have an interview during induction to determine their specific training needs on the programme to ensure a tailored delivery.

Course details

Both routes will involve a balance of academic modules and work-based learning to build an evidence portfolio. These involve face-to-face days of study per module, supported by on-line materials accessed through Plymouth University’s Digital Learning Environment.

Core modules:

-Developing Leadership Skills in Early Childhood Settings

-Early Years Teacher Status Leading Practice

-Early Years Teacher Status Professional Practice

-The Early Years Foundation: Providing appropriate experiences


To determine suitability to teach all candidates undergo a rigorous selection process. Those successful at the application stage will be invited to interview.

Applications are to be made using the Early Years Initial Teacher Training application form.

Please return applications direct to


Graduate Entry Mainstream (full time)- An additional NCTL bursary is available:

1st Class Degree £5000
2:1 Degree £4000
2:2 Degree £2000

Graduate Entry Employment Based route:

An employer incentive can be claimed by the employer (around £7000) to cover supply costs, salary incentives for those undertaking EYITT and any other costs incurred. For further information please visit the DfE website.

Practice and placements

All trainees will have to demonstrate practice across the age ranges from babies, toddlers and young children. This will be achieved by:

Graduate Entry Mainstream - 120 days minimum placement in registered or maintained setting.

Graduate Entry Employment – will be based in their setting but requiring to undertake a further minimum of 2 weeks experience in another setting where not employed.

Both pathways will be required to undertake two weeks in a Key Stage 1 classroom.

Placements can only be undertaken in registered settings or schools given a grade 1 or 2 by OFSTED.

Assessment will be made via written work submitted for the two masters modules, evidence of meeting the Teacher Standards via portfolio and observation by associate tutors and supervising tutor.

Visit the Early Childhood (PgCert) page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in English, maths and a science subject, degree from a UK higher education institution (or equivalent). You need to have passed the professional skills test prior to beginning the course. Graduate Employment route – you must be in paid employment in an early years setting for the minimum of 20 hours per week and have the backing of your setting manager. You will be required to pass a satisfactory DBS assessment, carried out by the University or employer.

Course Fees

Funding from the NCTL is available to all suitable candidates to cover the cost of training.

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