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Early Years Initial Teacher Training PGCE

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught
  • Start Date(s): September 2024
  • Duration: One year part-time
  • Study Mode(s): Part-time (day & evening)
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


This one-year part-time PGCE will train you to teach young children from 0 to 5 years of age. You will need to be employed in an early years setting.

The introduction of the Early Years Initial Teacher Training qualification aims to raise the status of the Early Years workforce, providing specialist practitioners with the knowledge and understanding required to give children the best start in life.

Early years teachers are specialists in early childhood development. They plan, organise and run a wide range of learning and play activities for young children in a safe and supportive setting. They often work closely with parents, guardians and social workers.

  • The qualification leads to Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).
  • Course fees covered by DfE funding.
  • Generous funding available for employers.
  • Fast-track to a Master's with up to 60 Masters-level credits.

What you’ll study

The modules have been developed to support you in meeting all of the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years), while working in an Early Years setting with children aged 0 to 5 and their families.

Modules run through the academic year including some evenings and use a range of teaching methods designed to fit around your working life.


Trainee early years teachers need breadth and variety of early years experience to meet all of the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years). You will need to teach children from different backgrounds, and across the 0 to 5 age range, as well as gaining experience of different approaches to teaching and to early years settings.

All applicants undertaking the Employment Based route must be employed in a setting providing the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This employed setting counts as your main placement.

One additional assessed placement will be required (30 days) to demonstrated you can teach children from birth to 5 years old.

You will also undertake an enhanced placement experience in a school for 10 days with Key stage 1 and 1 day with Key stage 2.

Your setting will receive funding to support you to attend required additional placements.

Knowledge of Early Learning and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Explore and reflect how young children learn, grow and develop, and consider this against theoretical viewpoints, current research and media perspectives. Consider how Early Years Frameworks apply in practice to inspire, motivate and challenge all children.

Responding to the Strengths and Needs of All Children

Explore the broad areas of observation, planning and assessment, and how to adapt programmes to meet the differing needs of children. You’ll assess methods of working in partnership with parents, carers and other professionals to support children’s learning and development.

Professional Leadership in Early Years

You’ll consider the fundamental principles and strategies for leadership and management in Early Years, and you’ll reflect on how these impact your professional practice.

Early Years Professional Practice

Covering all three terms, this module allows you to gather your portfolio of evidence to demonstrate you meet the Teachers' Standards (Early Years). You will engage in self-reflection and share practice with other professionals during your study, as well as evidencing work experience and teaching practice.

Education Policy and Practice in Early Years

Investigate the various influences on policy analysis and processes of policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. You will explore contemporary education reforms both in the UK and internationally, in terms of their origins, orientations and consequences for Early Years settings.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Carla Brindley

Early Years Initial Teacher Training

The tutors, and the knowledge they provide to you on the Early Years Initial Teacher Training, will inspire you and remind you exactly why you began your career in early years.

Staff Profiles

Vicky McEwan

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Vicky McEwan is a Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Primary Education undergraduate degree.

Careers and employability

A successful assessment and achieving Early Years Teacher Status will provide you with excellent career development opportunities for the future.

Individuals with EYTS can work in all private and voluntary settings. Free Schools, new mainstream and alternate provision academies, and existing academies can also employ teaching staff without the requirement for them to hold QTS.

Graduates may use their masters-level credit to pursue an MA in Education.

Campus and facilities

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A minimum of a third class honours degree or equivalent;and
  • GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at minimum grade C or equivalent, We accept the GCSE equivalency taken via or Applicants with pending qualifications will be considered;
  • one year’s work experience in a related role; current employment in a related field; and
  • in paid employment with an Early Years setting for at least 15 hours per week during the assessment period; and
  • an interview; and

Other requirements:

  • an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check, and any other safeguarding checks that may be necessary

There is no longer a requirement to complete Department for Education Professional Skills Tests.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Alternative qualifications

If you hold international qualifications, take a look at the alternative qualifications we accept for this course.

If you are unsure whether the qualifications you have, or are currently studying, meet the minimum entry requirements for this course, please contact us before submitting an application form.

GCSE English, Mathematics and Science

GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at minimum grade C, or equivalent, are compulsory and must be achieved prior to staring the course. See which GCSE equivalent qualifications we accept. If necessary, you can take GCSEs as a private candidate. Find out how to do this on the AQA website.

Fees and funding

The course is funded by the Department for Education (DfE), so there are no fees.

Your workplace can access up to £7000 to support you in completing this course. this could be used for staffing costs to release you for a second placement and / or for study.

How to apply

Applications to this course are made through the Direct Application Portal.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Diversity of our students

We are committed to promoting a diverse and representative body of teachers. We welcome applications from under-represented groups, such as male applicants, applicants from BME communities, mature applicants and those with disabilities.