Early Years Teacher Birth to 5 leading to Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) PGCE

Why choose this course?

This fully-funded employment-based course provides intensive specialist training, covering babies, toddlers and preschool children, to become an early years teacher in one year, with Early Years Teacher Status.

This course will enable you to become an effective, inclusive and evidence-informed teacher. At the heart of our course is a commitment to personalising your journey to Early Years Teacher Status. We'll help you to grow in confidence and competence by providing you with outstanding support as you train.

You'll find a supportive learning environment at the University. This will help you develop a deep understanding of the early years curriculum and acquire a range of teaching methods, based upon the latest research in education. We model good teaching as we train you, so you can transfer what you've experienced into your own practice. You will benefit from an additional contrasting placement which will provide you with a breadth of experience in schools, private, voluntary and independent early years sector.

You'll also benefit from a course that supports you in becoming a research-engaged teacher, who can use evidence to drive improvements in children's learning and wellbeing. Your PGCE modules form part of our Master of Research in Education, which you can continue with beyond your PGCE year.

Your employer will receive incentive payments from the government to contribute towards the costs that may be incurred while you are learning, such as arranging supply cover for your weekly sessions on campus and your alternative setting experience days.

Graduate Employment Based pathway

Mode Duration Start date
Part time (employment based) 1 year September 2024
Main location Kingston Hill

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • You will gain Early Years Teacher Status in one year.
  • This course is fully funded by government. Your employer will also have funding to enable you to attend classes and placements.
  • You will be fully supported by a University Tutor and a Setting Based Tutor.

What you will study

You will study the Early Years curriculum and teaching methods based on the latest research. Topics include safeguarding, early literacy and maths, forest school and special educational needs and disability (SEND). Personalised support will help you with your study.

Sessions are for one full day a week, usually a Friday. Placements are in an Early Years setting (minimum 10 days, which may be extended to minimum 20 days depending on the age-range experience in your employed setting) and a Key Stage 1 school experience. You will be fully supported by setting tutors and university tutors.


Core modules

Professional Practice

0 credits

Non-credit bearing module

This module focuses on developing your ability to teach, assess and undertake your professional responsibilities in your chosen phase of education. It is part based at the University, where lectures, seminars and online learning will provide you with research, theory and practice based insights into effective learning and teaching. It is largely based upon your practice in school and settings, where you receive formal training, experience of working alongside professionals, experience of being the lead practitioner in a classroom/setting and experience of the wider aspects of being a teacher.

The Reflective Teacher

30 credits

This module introduces you to theories of reflective practice and the value and purpose of reflection for teachers. This will enable you to develop in-depth understanding of how you reflect in order to identify issues and develop solutions in your professional settings.

The main features of the module are critical explorations of factors that affect how children develop physically, socially and as learners. You will critically analyse issues relevant to your current practice, considering your own position as an effective teacher.

Through completion of a reflective journal during the module, you will develop critical, reflective and reflexive skills to inform peer and colleague discussion within a learning community. You will be encouraged and supported to challenge and develop your professional practice.

Perspectives on policy, practice and professionalism for teachers

30 credits

This module enables you to locate yourself as an emerging professional within wider discourses about teaching as a profession. It allows you to evaluate your own identity as a professional and reflect on the values that you and the wider profession hold. You will critically analyse discussions and debates which affect classroom practice. These debates will focus on specific areas to exemplify wider issues in education. The focus of these discussions will be on inclusive teaching and learning and the legislative frameworks which provide codes of practice. 

A key focus of the module is to develop your ability to make sense of education research and to apply this in the context of your school or setting.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A 2:2 honours degree from a UK higher education institution or equivalent overseas qualification.
  • GCSE grade 4 or above (C or above for examinations taken prior to 2017) in English, mathematics and one science subject. If you do not meet the GCSE requirement in any of these subjects, we are happy for you to take your tests externally via ET Equivalency Testing or A Star Equivalency
  • Trainees must be employed in an appropriate early years setting for at least 16 hours per week.
  • Trainees must be working at settings that deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage in order to be funded.
  • Sufficient employed experience, knowledge and understanding of early years practice working within the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service and Health checking process identifies no concerns about suitability to teach. DBS is current for the duration of the programme.

Trainees must prove that they meet all the following entry requirements before the start of the programme. All overseas qualifications must be accompanied by ENIC equivalence.

All trainees must be UK based and have the right work and study in the UK for at least the duration of their pathway.

If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to attend an online interview via Microsoft Teams.


All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 6.0. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Teaching and assessment

University sessions are led by highly-rated lecturers and visiting lecturers who have all had successful teaching careers. Sessions are held once a week.

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking and preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS – the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

You will attend university once a week. You will have a reflection task to complete each week during the first term. You will gather evidence from your workplace about how you meet the Teachers' Standards (Early Years).

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises a professional development portfolio, assignments and observation of your teaching ability whilst on placement.

You will produce a portfolio of work to evidence how your practice meets the Early Years Teachers' Standards. You will receive regular feedback with targets that enable you to grow in confidence and ability. Your portfolio and teaching observations will be used as a key part of the decision to recommend you for Early Years Teacher Status.

The university liaison tutor will carry out six visits over the year to assess your teaching practice and evidence of meeting the Teachers' Standards (Early Years).

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Sessions are for one full day a week, usually a Friday.

Who teaches this course?

The course is taught by a team of early years experienced staff who are active researchers. Our academics led an EU project researching how to support toddler well-being and education and teaching in early years from international perspectives.

Course fees and funding

Fees for this course

  • Tuition fees are fully funded by the Department for Education.
  • There is an incentive for employers towards cover release/other costs – currently £7,000.

Who is eligible?

  • Trainees who meet the relevant general entry requirements may qualify for a funded place (subject to DBS and interview).
  • Trainees must be UK based and have the right work and study in the UK for at least the duration of their pathway.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.


Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residence. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.


Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Field trips

There is an optional trip to Sweden explore the Swedish educational system and early years provision. You will have a presentation from Swedish University Lecturers and visit three different Swedish Early Years Setting. These expenses are not included, some workplace settings choose to cover some costs of their employee through the government incentive.

Kingston Hill

While you are studying to become a teacher much of your time will be spent putting your skills into practice within a school/settings environment. The rest of the time will be spent being taught by highly experienced professionals.

The Kingston Hill campus features an outdoor learning environment where trainee teachers lead curriculum-linked natural sciences activities with children. It includes a specially built 'cubby house', outdoor pond, beehive and nature trail. It offers students the opportunity to simulate teaching and learning with natural materials.

Find out more about the Kingston Hill campus in the virtual tour.

There are a number of teaching rooms set up to replicate actual classrooms. Each classroom is subject based - such as an art room, science lab, and each is equipped with all the relevant facilities you will need to practise your lessons before taking them into school.

Our library (the Nightingale Centre) has an excellent range of teaching resources to help you plan and teach your lessons, such as a range of children's topic books, music and nursery rhymes on CD, as well as artefacts and kits that can be used to illustrate historical periods, different religions, science, maths and music.

After you graduate

Roles include early years teaching, management, and running an early years setting. The course can lead to a masters.

Positions and Roles:

  • Class Teacher
  • Room Leader
  • SENCo
  • Child Protection Officer
  • Health and Safety Officer
  • Senior Management
  • EYFS Coordinator
  • Deputy Manager
  • Manager
  • Regional and Local Managers

Other Positions:

  • Early Years Advisor
  • FE Lecturer
  • HE Lecturer
  • Consultant
  • Ofsted Inspector
  • Advisory Boards
  • International Positions


Accredited by the Department for Education (DfE) for the purpose of delivering initial teacher training programmes to achieve Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

What our students say

The lecturers are fully aware of the content of the course and have always been able to explain it to students thoroughly. They are very approachable and are always available to meet with students on a one-to-one. Being a mature student, I have never felt singled out or left behind, they have always made me feel part of the team. I have enjoyed my time at Kingston and wish I had actually done this years ago.

I had a very positive placement experience in an outstanding alternative setting which provided me with the opportunity to witness first hand innovative pedagogical approaches and excellence in practice in the early years.



I wanted to further my knowledge and skills into becoming an early years teacher as I have always been so passionate about supporting children's learning and development. This PGCE EYITT with Early Years Teacher Status was perfect!

Ultimately, as a qualified Early Years Teacher, I feel I can make a significant contribution to the development and well-being of young children, helping them to achieve their full potential and preparing them for a successful future.



I initially did my Foundation degree, and I chose to continue because of the teaching and friendships I had made. This course has helped me begin my career teaching and I also hope it will lead to me achieving my Masters.


The course has provided me with the knowledge, the skills and the confidence to do the next step in my career and find a new post with better conditions of employment, which in turn, has immensely affected my quality of life in a very positive way.



The course was a great transition for me to consolidate the practical and theory of being an Early Years Teacher (EYT). It has allowed me to gain a deeper insight into the different practices across various settings through engaging with other students on the course.

Kingston University have great lecturers with a depth of knowledge, they are eager to share their knowledge to help students develop. The University encompassed both the EYITT with the PGCE to allow for a wide variety of teaching and practical expertise.

I have been able to utilise my previous skills and qualifications in a different field with becoming an Early Years Teacher to progress to a Headteacher in an independent school.

Sophia Abbas, former EYITT trainee

I would recommend the EYITT course because it enables you to complete a teaching award whilst being employed. I found this beneficial because I could share what I had learnt directly with my colleagues and as a result it enabled me to improve my practice during the course.

The course enabled me to meet like-minded individuals from a range of early years settings, we were able to share our practice and as a result we have remained in contact and continue to share our experiences and ideas.

The MA part of the course was particularly interesting because it enabled me to think critically about aspects of early years and link my practice to different theories. I particularly enjoyed the 'change management project' as it enabled me to work with the other practitioners at my setting to evaluate and develop our practice on risk management.

Since finishing the course, I have become Room Leader of the Pre-school room, which is in combination to my EYT role. This has allowed me to build my confidence in leading and managing a team of practitioners. 

Saffron Blevin, former EYITT trainee

The training involves a mix of theory and practice. There are lecturer and peer led learning sessions, and also some independent study. Part of the training involves building up knowledge and experience with different age groups by going on the appropriate placements.

The lecturers at Kingston were always on hand to support us in everyday practice as well as our studies. We also had a lot of support from our peers, as we had a huge wealth of knowledge within our EYITT group, this was invaluable.

I had a setting based mentor, who had completed the Early Years Professional Status, and she was able to provide me with practical advice about my studying and my practice. We also had a University Liaison Tutor, who was the link between students and the University, and was also on the end of the phone whenever a question about an assignment, teaching folders, or practice arose.

Sarah Howard, former EYITT trainee

Links with industry

Kingston University works regularly with local authority early years advisers and workforce development officers across London and the South East to deliver a fit-for-purpose programme to meet employers' needs. We have links with:

  • A strong partnership of schools and settings in which you'll train
  • Special schools
  • Teaching school alliances
  • Multi-academy trusts
  • Schools and settings-centred Initial Teacher Training providers
  • Local authorities
  • Teaching unions
  • Other universities around the country to share good practice

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.