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PGCE Early Childhood (Employment-based) - PGCE

Why study this course?

This postgraduate course is aimed at practitioners employed in an early years setting, working with children aged up to five years old. Completing this course will gain you the National College for Teaching and Leadership's (NCTL) Early Years Teacher Status (non-QTS) professional accreditation.

Your attendance of our Early Childhood (Employment-based) PGCE course will be funded entirely through grants from the NCTL. 

In the most recent (2015-16) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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This course is founded on London Met’s close collaboration with early years employers. Our regular consultations to determine what they look for in employees have resulted in a bespoke PGCE that is specially designed to improve your professional development and training.

The first five years of life are critical in every child’s development. High-quality, early years provision and care can not only help children achieve their potential, but also support their parents and families.

Our Early Childhood (Employment-based) PGCE course will equpit you with professional experience through hands-on learning in children's centres, day nurseries, independent schools, pre-schools and other early years environments.

We’ll encourage you to lead, support and mentor children, to support their development. By guiding and improving the children in your care, you’ll demonstrate the skills and behaviour of an effective early years practitioner.

You'll be encouraged and supported throughout your learning. We’ll equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to co-operate with children and their families in a range of situations, such as advocating for the child’s rights and well-being. 

In accordance with the More Great Childcare paper by the Department of Education (DfE), we'll value your individual experience and existing knowledge, and embrace your opinions and experiences. You can also be assured that adhearence equality and social justice underpin our work, complemented by a continuous reflection and critical analysis.

You'll spend the majority of your time in employment within early years environments, and only attend sessions at the University on certain days.

Once you've completed the Early Childhood (Employment-based) PGCE, you’ll meet the requirements of the NCTL’s Teachers’ Standards for Early Years, guaranteeing you Early Years Teacher Status (non-QTS) professional accreditation.


This course is assessed by the NCTL through their Standards for Early Years guidelines.

The taught part of the course is assessed through written coursework, presentations and preparation of resources with no formal examinations.

Professional accreditation

Successfully complete the course to be awarded the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) Early Years Teacher Status (non-QTS) professional accreditation.

You will be required to have:

  • a UK degree grade 2.2 (or equivalent) or above
  • GCSE grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above in Maths, English and Science (or equivalent, eg qualifications from Equivalency Testing or A* Star Teachers)
  • been employed for at least 16 hours per week in an appropriate early years setting that delivers the Early Years Foundation Stage (accepted settings include nursery schools, independent schools, maintained schools, academies and any setting on the Early Years Register)
  • been working directly with children aged up to five-years-old
  • the ability to demonstrate your suitability to teach and have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate

All applicants must also have passed the DfE’s professional skills tests prior to entry. This means that upon submitting your application, you’ll immediately need to register to undertake your skills tests.

Due to statutory requirements, we are not able to offer sponsorship under the Tier 4 visa route for this course. We will be happy to consider those falling into this category for an alternative suitable course on request. Overseas nationals who already hold an alternative visa in a suitable category or have been granted permission to remain in the UK indefinitely, and EU nationals may be considered for admission but please note that an additional international enhanced police check will be required.

Applicants with third class degrees can apply on the condition that this qualification is supported by a completed Master's degree and relevant work experience.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Modules for this course are to be confirmed. Please check back at a later date or call our course enquiries team on +44 (0)20 7133 4200 for details.

Our graduates who gain Early Year Teacher Status become eligible for practice as an early years teacher (non-QTS) and are often employed across private and voluntary early years settings.

Those who go into roles in early years settings find work within free schools, mainstream academies, alternative provision academies and existing academies.

These are organisations that can employ teaching staff without the requirement for them to have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Although QTS is currently a requirement for teachers working in maintained schools and nurseries, 80% of early years provision is outside the maintained sector.

The success of our students from this course reflects the current need for well-trained graduates who can quickly move up to more senior roles in children's centres, nursery and primary schools and other early childhood care and education settings.

A variety of other career paths are also open to graduates in the education, health and social care fields. Some go on to specialise in a particular area, such as special educational needs, while others take up advisory posts in local authorities or government departments.

A significant number of students continue their professional studies, including academic studies at a master's level.

Funding of £14,000 is available through the NCTL to pay for your attendance of the PGCE Early Childhood (Employment-based) course.

This funding consists of:

  • £7,000 grant to cover your course fees
  • £7,000 employer incentive for the early years employer to cover your salary

See the NCTL funding guidance for more information.

We're investing in an exciting, multimillion pound transformation of the London Metropolitan University campus, between 2016 and 2020. We’re moving all of our activity to one place, our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching locations of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.
All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

Please note, fees and course details may be subject to change.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

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