Early Years Initial Teacher Training student in preschool classroom
Mode of Study
1 year part-time
Start Date
September 2022


It takes a special kind of person, and a specific set of skills, to make a positive difference to the education and lives of young children. If you're already working, or hoping to work with the early years age group (0-5 years), this GradCert Early Years Initial Teacher Training course is the perfect next step.

You'll get a deeper understanding of the educational process through the early years and Key Stages 1 and 2, and receive the training you need to meet the Teachers' Standards (Early Years), so you can teach across the Early Years Foundation Stage (0-5 years).

When you graduate with Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS), you'll be qualified for both teaching and leadership roles, such as a nursery teacher or manager, or children's centre co-ordinator or manager.

Accredited by:

Early Years ITT (Initial Teacher Training) leads to the award of Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

Entry requirements​

GradCert Early Years Initial Teacher Training entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • A 2:2 honours degree or above, or equivalent. Applicants with a third class degree would need to demonstrate extensive experience in Early Years.
Selection process
  • All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview. Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course.

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What you'll experience

On this Early Years Initial Teacher Training course, you'll:

  • Review, develop and enrich the working practices in your place of work
  • Develop your own professional and reflective practice across the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Support and mentor your colleagues and others, share experiences from others on the course, and evaluate best practice in the workplace
  • Nurture the children in your care, safeguarding and promoting positive outcomes for them
  • Produce a portfolio of evidence which demonstrates your practice in relation to the Teachers' Standards (Early Years)
  • Be supported by enthusiastic, professional staff who are qualified in the field
  • Have access to our library's extensive electronic resources 24/7

Careers and opportunities

What can you do with an Early Years Initial Teacher Training GradCert?

Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) is designed for those who choose to specialise in work with babies and young children and is assessed against the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years), a national set of standards covering leadership, support of others and effective practice.

Once you graduate from this course, you'll be able to lead improvements in working practices, mentor others and promote good outcomes for children in your care.

You'll graduate with one of the following:

  1. Graduate Certificate in Early Years Initial Teacher Training (with Early Years Teacher Status), Level 6
  2. BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies with Early Years Teacher Status

If you're a trained early years teacher with experience in practice, you'll have the opportunity to progress to higher level leadership roles, including private nursery manager, nursery chain teacher and children's centre co-ordinator or manager.

If you're a recent graduate with less experience, you'll start your career in a role as an early years teacher in private nurseries, preschools or children's centres, working with children and their families.

Other options include postgraduate studies, including PGCE Primary with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Work experience and career planning

If you're a full-time undergraduate trainee on the Early Years Teacher Status route (EYTS) Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EY ITT), you'll have a placement arranged by the School of Education and Sociology (EDSOC) to put your learning into practice, and you'll have secured more than 120 days of teaching practice by the completion of the programme.

Part-time Trainees are likely to be working in this field already and will arrange their own alternate work-based placement.

The Graduate Employment Based route offers employers an incentive of £7,000 to cover the cost of university days and 6 weeks* alternate early years placement, including a Reception class and 10 days in Key Stage 1.

6 weeks is required so you can achieve the breadth and depth of experience necessary to teach across the birth to 5 years age group.

You'll need to complete your placement in at least two settings/schools across the birth to five age range. You'll need to pick schools that challenge and further your existing experience, representing a different curriculum model or demographic to your own. This could be a larger urban school, a location which provides for English as an Additional Language (EAL) or Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) etc.: somewhere that allows you to better demonstrate that you meet the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years).

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your teaching skills to work.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

What you'll study on this GradCert Early Years Initial Teacher Training course

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits. You'll study 3 modules, each worth 20 credits, for a total of 60 credits.

Modules currently being studied

GradCert Early Years Initial Teacher Training modules

Core modules include:

  • Developing Professional Practice 1 – 20 credits
  • Developing Professional Practice 2 – 20 credits
  • Developing Professional Practice 3 – 20 credits

There are no optional modules on this course.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • A formative development and progress review to determine your progress in meeting the Teachers' Standards (Early Years)
  • A portfolio of evidence which relates to your practice against the Teachers' Standards (Early Years)
  • Direct observation of your practice
  • Academic progress towards age related modules/assignments and placement

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

Please contact Department of Student and Academic Administration (DSAA) on +44 (0) 239284 5259

If you are studying as part of the ‘Department for Education (DfE)’ route, your fees will be paid by the DfE. The DfE also offers an employer incentive of £7,000 to cover the cost of university days and 6 weeks alternate placement.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. 

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.


Start your application by following the link below:

International students

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us (above) or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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