GradCert Early Years Initial Teacher Training - University of Portsmouth

Early Years Initial Teacher Training

Part Time1yr

Make a difference to children with a rewarding career in early years teaching

Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course offers training, adapted to your needs, to help you meet the Teachers' Standards (Early Years) that will enable you to teach across the 0-5 age range (the Early Years Foundation Stage). These standards support the training, assessment and award of Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS), and will provide you with a deeper  understanding of the educational process through the early years and Key Stage 1 and 2. It is designed for those already working or seeking to work with the early years age group.

Portsmouth was one of the universities selected to train the first cohort of Early Years Teachers, and continues to develop the training experience to support high calibre trainees. Our BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies also offers a route to EYTS as part of an undergraduate degree.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Review, develop and enrich working practices in your setting
  • Lead and develop a range of practice across the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Support and mentor your colleagues and others, share experience from others on the course and evaluates best practice in the workplace
  • Model skills and behaviours, nurture children in the settings and safeguard and promote good outcomes for children

What opportunities might it lead to?

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

You will be able to lead improvements in working practices, mentor others, and promote good outcomes for children in your care, whilst your setting will benefit from access to the knowledge and best practice you have gained.

Trainees can exit with one of the following:

  1. Graduate Certificate in Early Years Initial Teacher Training (with Early Years Teacher Status) Level 6
  2. Early Years Teacher Status

Read more about the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years)

Note to Employers

Early Years teachers add value and make a difference to the nursery team, they share leadership, skills and expertise. £14,000 funding is available to train and support a graduate in your setting to become an early years teacher and could include supply cover; salary enhancements; employment costs; National Insurance and other overheads.


Louise Phipp, Graduate Employment Route

I found the whole course useful: group work made me compare my setting to others… assignments allowed me to reflect on myself and placements allowed me to examine different age groups. I feel confident that I had effective training

Louise Phipp, Graduate Employment Route


Education, Childhood and Youth Studies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Hands-on opportunities to work in a relevant educational setting
  • The support available to all students
  • The flexibility of unit options that enable you to tailor your study to your own interests

Browse all courses in Education, Childhood and Youth Studies

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Structure & Teaching

The course is split into three units that are studied in one year, part time. 

  • Unit 1 – Developing Professional and Reflective Practice
  • Unit 2 – Developing a pedagogical approach across the educational continuum of the EYFS (0-5), Key Stage 1 and 2.
  • Unit 3 - Developing a critical awareness of practitioner responsibility by promoting Equality of Opportunity, Anti-discriminatory Practice and Children’s Rights

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.

Teaching and Assessment

The year long course consists of three 20-credit units at level 6. The assessment is based on trainees meeting the Teachers' Standards (Early Years). 

How are you assessed?

The assessment process is likely to include:

  • 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

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Facilities & Features

Study in SECS

The School comprises a body of experienced and enthusiastic staff with a range of expertise in the professional and academic sectors. We offer a welcoming learning environment, in a location near the heart of town, the sea front and within easy reach of road, rail and bus links.

Academic skills support

We offer access to online resources, modules and bite-size activities, all loaded with useful information and interactive activities to help you with all of your study skills needs as you study with us.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

For trained early years teachers with many years of experience in practice, there are good opportunities for career progression leading to higher level leadership roles. These roles include private nursery manager, nursery chain teacher and children's centres co-ordinator or manager, where you would lead a multi-professional team. Salaries range between £25,000 and £40,000.

Those commencing employment from the undergraduate route have gained roles as early years teachers in private nurseries, preschools and children's centres, working with children and their families. Early career roles are often practice based but involve some form of leadership such as a room leader, EYT leading practice across a setting or SENCO co-ordinating provision for children with special education needs. Students have also gained practitioner roles in schools, working with young children aged 2 - 5. Salaries on graduation vary across the early years sector, starting at around £16,000 going up to £24,000.

Some graduates take up teaching roles in further education, with salaries starting at £25,000. Others continue their academic and professional development at Master's level.

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunites

Full-time undergraduate  students on the  Graduate Certificate  EY ITT will have a placement arranged by the School of Education to put their learning into practice, and will have secured more than 120 days  of teaching practice at the completion of the programme. Part-time students are likely to be working in this field already and will arrange their own alternate work based placement.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, 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.

University of Portsmouth
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