A student and two young children serve pretend pizza, cake and other food in an Early Years setting.

PGCE Early Years Education with QTS

Gain Qualified Teacher Status to teach children aged 3-7 as you develop the expertise to stimulate children's curiosity through structured and practical activities, underpinned by significant time in early years settings.

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    Covid-19 - Early Years Education with QTS Essential Information

    View essential information and videos about the changes to teaching and learning and campus facilities from September 2020

    UCAS Code: X124
    Course Length: 1 Year Full-Time
    Start Dates: September 2020, September 2021
    Subjects: Education and Teaching
    Location: Edge Hill University

    Please note, this programme is closed to further applications for September 2020 entry.

    Successful completion of the programme leads to recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status.

    This programme will equip you with the skills, understanding and experience to become a leader of learning in a wide variety of Early Years settings, including primary schools, nursery settings and children’s centres.

    You will be trained across the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, combining on-campus study with high quality training in schools, ensuring you gain the experience to be an outstanding teacher of children aged 3-7.

    On completion of the course you will have the confidence to take up your first teaching post with a clear appreciation of the latest approaches and strategies to teaching theory, combined with extensive practical experience, to enable you to educate and inspire Early Years children.

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    In Depth

    What will I study?

    The programme starts with a series of subject knowledge audits, to identify your main strengths and weaknesses, and enable your tutor to focus on your individual development needs.

    The PGCE consists of three main elements:

    • Personal and Professional Development  you will develop your learning skills and will learn how to reflect upon and take charge of your own development as a trainee teacher. Gaining knowledge of how children learn and how their needs differ, you will also develop strategies for the core skills of planning, assessment, teaching and class management, along with an understanding of the education system, and of the wider professional role of a teacher in school. A critical appreciation of theoretical perspectives, philosophies and research-based findings will also be conveyed;
    • Curriculum – you will learn about the National Curriculum at Key Stage 1 for each subject and how to plan, teach, and assess it across the whole primary age range. You will also learn about the Early Years Foundation Stage and the areas of Learning and Development within this;
    • Research Specialism – you will be immersed in the contemporary key theories and principles of early years education and undertake a relevant small-scale research project.

    The importance of play-based learning will be examined in each element. Cross-curricular themes are also considered as are the practical skills of planning for learning, promoting positive attitudes and working in an extended team and with parents and carers.

    One of the most important elements of this programme is the practical teaching experience you will gain through placement in one of our partnership schools or nurseries. This hands-on approach is combined with tutor-led sessions and self-study so that you can increase your ability to plan, teach and manage the learning of children aged 3-7 years. You will learn how to teach pupils across the ability range, how to assess pupils’ progress in learning, manage behaviour and maintain a happy learning environment.

    The programme will develop your understanding of how children learn and also consider behaviour management, child development and other important professional issues related to the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. You will be encouraged to develop as a reflective and well informed professional.

    How will I study?

    A combination of academic study, group discussion and reflection, practical and work-based learning in the classroom will give you the knowledge and skills you need to become an excellent teacher. You will be supported by online and distance learning materials and encouraged to develop key skills, including the use of ICT, to support your own learning.

    The course involves a significant amount of time in schools and settings. You will complete a series of placements in Early Years Foundation Stage classrooms (age range 3-5 years) and Key Stage 1 classrooms (age range 5-7 years). Here, you will work alongside mentors and peers to further your professional development.

    In schools and Early Years settings you will undertake a range of differentiated training experiences which will be closely linked to your individual targets. Your teaching timetable will increase in relation to responsibility, as your training progresses and you become more confident and competent in the classroom. You will progressively assume the responsibility for the children and their achievement and progress, involving excellence in teaching, learning and assessment.

    How will I be assessed?

    A balanced combination of coursework and observed classroom experience will be assessed against the Professional Standards for QTS.

    Before the end of your PGCE you will need to complete a Career Entry and Development Profile (CEDP) which acts as a useful bridge between your initial teacher training programme and your Induction Year as a Newly Qualified Teacher.

    Who will be teaching me?

    The teaching team delivering this programme has a wide range of experience and expertise as early years practitioners, local authority advisers, teachers in school and university tutors. They are committed to being at the forefront of developments and research within early years education.

    A Great Study Environment

    The Faculty of Education has been at the forefront of teacher education for more than 130 years and today enjoys the enviable position of being one of the country’s leading providers of education, training and research for the children’s workforce.

    Housed in a state-of-the-art £9m building, the Faculty of Education’s facilities include a 300-seat lecture theatre, five well-equipped ICT suites, and 18 teaching rooms complete with the latest technology.

    The faculty has a strong commitment to practice-based learning and has developed partnerships with over 2,000 schools and colleges, local authorities and professional associations.


    Expand All

    EPG4010Philosophy of Teaching and Learning in Early Years (30 credits)

    Philosophy of Teaching and Learning in Early Years equips you with an understanding of key theories and underpinning issues to enable you to reflect upon and understand the principles and ideologies of early years teaching and learning. You will explore the philosophy, aims, values and principles of early years teaching and learning and craft your own philosophy and values in relation to early years education, based upon research, practice, policy, contemporary thinking and pedagogy.  The module enables you to apply your developing knowledge and understanding alongside ongoing professional practice in Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 settings.

    Assessment: Coursework: 80%, Practical(s): 20%.

    EPG4011Early Years Research Specialism Module (30 credits)

    Early Years Research Specialism Module will support your understanding of contemporary key theories and issues to enable you to understand the principles which will be the foundations on which to build and establish your practice in early years education. The module is designed to enable you to engage with research and carry out an individual small-scale research project to explore and critically examine an aspect of early years education of particular interest.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    In addition to the above modules, the course features a range of non-modular activities, covering personal and professional development, curriculum development, and professional practice. These activities will support you in the development of the professional skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes encapsulated in the Teachers’ Standards (Department for Education 2014).


    Timetables for your induction week are normally available in August prior to enrolment. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your induction week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.


    Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

    Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

    Entry Criteria

    Entry Requirements

    When you apply, you are expected to have:

    • A commitment to, and understanding of, early years education, demonstrating the personal attributes, values and motivation required to train as a teacher;
    • Suitable presentational qualities, including a good standard of written English.

    Before the programme commences, you must have:

    • A degree equivalent to UK first-class or second-class honours (2:2 or above). No specific subjects are required;
    • GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent);
    • GCSE in combined Science (dual or single award) or in Physics, Chemistry or Biology at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent). Please note, subjects that cover a narrower range of the National Curriculum, such as Human Biology or Environmental Science, are not acceptable.

    Please note, for the purposes of initial teacher training, level 2 literacy and numeracy qualifications are not considered as equivalent to GCSE Grade C or Grade 4 in English Language and Mathematics.

    EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at www.edgehill.ac.uk/eu.

    If you accept a formal offer from Edge Hill University you will be required to meet the Department for Education’s standards for physical and mental fitness to teach and clearance to work with children. Further information, including a Declaration of Health questionnaire and details of how to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.

    An interview forms part of the selection process.

    English Language Requirements

    International students require IELTS 6.5, with a score no lower than 6.0 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

    If your current level of English is half a band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’). This may include credit or learning undertaken at another university.

    Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s academic regulations (sections C7 and F3.1) or contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

    Career Prospects

    What are my career prospects?

    Successful completion of this PGCE allows you to gain a recommendation for QTS.

    You will be well placed to progress into employment as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) in early years and primary settings.

    Our graduates obtain work in schools across the UK and abroad and we offer excellent support to help you gain a first post as a Newly Qualified Teacher. You will have an ability to teach in Primary schools and Early Years settings, a strong knowledge of primary education and excellent classroom skills, so that you meet and exceed the national standards for Qualified Teacher Status.

    You will also have a thorough understanding of how to teach the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum in creative ways that excite and stimulate children whilst ensuring that they make good progress. Skills in monitoring and managing your development, and an ability to reflect on alternative approaches to education, will help you to make your own informed choices and aid your career progression.

    Our proactive Careers service can help you to find job vacancies and offers in-depth advice on teaching job applications and interviews, to help you secure work.


    Tuition Fees

    Academic Year 2020/21 Entry

    If you are a prospective UK or EU student who will be joining this PGCE in academic year 2020/21, the tuition fee will be £9,250. Tuition fees for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2020/21 are £13,250.

    Academic Year 2021/22 Entry

    If you are a prospective UK student who will be joining this PGCE in academic year 2021/22, the tuition fee will be £9,250 (subject to final Government approval). Tuition fees for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2021/22 are £13,500.

    Tuition fees for EU students enrolling on PGCEs in academic year 2021/22 are still to be announced. If you are a prospective EU student, you are advised to check this page regularly and once the position has been confirmed we will update this information.

    Financial Support

    Academic Year 2020/21 Entry

    Subject to eligibility, UK and EU students joining this PGCE can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK and EU students enrolling on the programme may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

    For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining this programme in academic year 2020/21, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2020/21 guide at www.edgehill.ac.uk/pgcefinance2020.

    Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.

    Academic Year 2021/22 Entry

    Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this PGCE can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the programme may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

    For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining this programme in academic year 2021/22, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2021/22 guide at www.edgehill.ac.uk/pgcefinance2021.

    Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.


    Ten scholarship winners sitting together in a lecture theatre at the Scholarship Awards Evening.Edge Hill University offers a range of scholarships with a competitive application process for prospective full-time PGCE students.

    These scholarships aren’t linked to academic success and celebrate determination, talent and achievement beyond your coursework, for instance in creativity, enterprise, ICT, performance, sport or volunteering.

    To find out more about scholarships, to assess your eligibility, and to meet some of our dedicated scholarship winners, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/scholarships.


    How to Apply

    Apply online through UCAS Teacher Training at www.ucas.com/apply/teacher-training.

    Applications for September 2021 entry open on Tuesday 13 October 2020.

    Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyucasteachertraining to find out more about the application process.

    Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.

    Visit Us

    If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at www.edgehill.ac.uk/opendays.

    Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about our full range of events for prospective students, including campus tours and virtual activities, at www.edgehill.ac.uk/visitus.

    Request a Prospectus

    If you would like to explore our full range of PGCEs before you apply, you can order a PGCE prospectus at www.edgehill.ac.uk/pgceprospectus.

    Get in Touch

    If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

    International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international or email international@edgehill.ac.uk with any queries about overseas study.

    Course Changes

    Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

    18th July 2019 - Change to Entry Requirements

    Professional Skills Tests have been removed from the entry criteria for September 2020 entry onwards. Details of the replacement for the tests are still to be announced, however they will be benchmarked against a defined set of English and Mathematics skills that students will be expected to have by the end of the course (rather than at the point of entry).

    The Professional Skills Tests remain part of the entry requirements for September 2019 entry in line with Government policy.

    29th January 2019 - Change to Entry Requirements

    The requirement for two further GCSEs at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent qualification) in National Curriculum subjects, in addition to GCSE English Language, GCSE Mathematics and a Science subject, has been removed from the entry criteria.

    6th November 2018 - Removal of Specialist Strand

    Reference to a Specialist Strand has been removed from the course information.

    Covid-19 - Early Years Education with QTS Essential Information

    Early Years Education with QTS Course Statement

    Delivery for each module will consist of six hours of on-site teaching per module per semester (delivered accumulatively, where appropriate) supported by a minimum of four hours of online learning comprising synchronous (seminar, tutorial) and asynchronous (lecture, discussion board) learning activities and academic support.

    Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

    In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.

    Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

    In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.