Early Years Initial Teacher Training GradCert

Early Years Initial Teacher Training student in preschool classroom
Mode of Study
1 year part-time
Main Site


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.

What you'll experience

On this 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

Work experience and career planning

We'll help you to identify opportunities that will complement your studies.

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.

Careers and opportunities

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 QTS.

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

A good honours degree or equivalent. A minimum of 2:1 is desirable although applicants with extensive experience in Early Years will also be considered.

See the other qualifications we accept

A good honours degree or equivalent. A minimum of 2:1 is desirable although applicants with extensive experience in Early Years will also be considered.

See the other qualifications we accept

​Course costs

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.

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.

​What you'll study

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

Units currently being studied

Core units include:

  • Developing Professional and Reflective Practice
  • Developing a Pedagogical Approach Across the Educational Continuum of the EFYS, Key Stage 1 and 2
  • Developing a Critical Awareness of Practitioner Responsibility by Promoting Equality of Opportunity, Anti Discriminatory Practice and Children's Rights

A good honours degree or equivalent. A minimum of 2:1 is desirable although applicants with extensive experience in Early Years will also be considered.

See the other qualifications we accept

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 units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

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

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.


How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block - September to December
  • Spring teaching block - January to Easter
  • Assessment period - Easter to June

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


Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study with us, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply. 

Apply for this course using our online application form.

International students

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us 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. 

Contact information
  • Admissions
  • +44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Get in touch

Programme specification
Subject Area
Childhood youth studies and education