UCL Graduate degrees


Early Years Initial Teacher Training (employment pathway) PGCE

The employment-based route on the Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) programme is designed for those already working with babies and children from birth to five years old. Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) will be recommended for graduates who have met all of the Early Years Teachers' Standards).

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Part time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 8 October 2019
Close: 7 August 2020
Early application is advised as programmes may close as soon as places are filled.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

See fees note (PT)
N/A (PT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website. A Department for Education training grant of £7,000 is available to cover the cost of tuition fees. This is paid directly to UCL on your behalf by the Department for Education. More information about becoming an Early Years Teacher.

Level: Early Years
Age range: 0–5


Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) will be recommended for graduates who have been judged to have met all of the Early Years Teachers' Standards.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

First degree

A minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor's degree or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

A levels

No specific subjects required.


English Language, Mathematics and Science at grade C or 5.

School experience

We recommend that you aim to gain some experience in an EYFS Setting before you enrol on the EYITT PGCE.  This may involve observations, work experience (e.g. as a teaching assistant or cover supervisor), or voluntary work.

DBS and Occupational Health

If you are made an offer you will be required to successfully complete Occupational Health and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure checks. 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. These checks will be carried out by the school or college that employs you. More details can be found on the Entry requirements page.

Skills tests

Trainees will be assured against a set of fundamental Mathematics and English skills by the end of their teacher training.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Visa information

This programme is not suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this programme

Early Years Teachers will be specialists in early childhood development and the EYFS Framework. As highly skilled graduate leaders, you 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.

Participants will be working to a timetable of no more than 90 per cent of full time working hours and be released for training and study days. Students take three core modules (60 credits total). In addition to this, students will undertake placements in at least one other setting, in order to cover the full 0-5 age range.

An additional pathway is also available for those who wish to study full-time.

Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PGCE in Early Years Initial Teacher Training (employment pathway).

Compulsory modules

All EYITT students complete the same 3 Modules

  • Teaching and Learning and the EYFS Curriculum
  • Developing Action Based Research
  • Professional Practice (EYITT)

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


Students will undertake placements in order to cover the full 0-5 age range, including 10 days in a Key Stage 1/2 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 teacher.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Funding of up to £14,000 is available to cover £7,000 course fees and provide each student's employer with £7,000 to support release for training and placements. Please note that the funding outlined above is provided by the Department for Education (DfE) and therefore subject to DfE policy changes

Further information on the DfE Funding for EYITT students can be found on the Get Into Teaching website.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the UCL Scholarships and Funding website.


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, successful graduates of the specialist EYITT programme find that they are highly sought after throughout the EYFS sector.

Why study this programme 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/settings and at the IOE.

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

At the IOE we have a long tradition of working in partnership with early years settings and schools in inner cities,including London. 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.


Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) will be recommended for graduates who have been judged to have met all of the Early Years Teachers' Standards.

Department: Institute of Education

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

This pathway is for those already employed in an early years setting or phase of a school, or those who have been recruited to a setting in order to undertake an employment-based route, who wish to specialise in teaching children aged 0-5 years.

Application deadlines

All applicants
7 August 2020

Early application is advised as programmes may close as soon as places are filled.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 14 February 2020