University of Northampton

University of Northampton

Early Years Education

This course is designed for graduates wishing to become highly committed and creative professionals working with children aged 3-7 years. The course supports trainees in developing the skills, knowledge and understanding required to demonstrate the teachers standards of the Department for Education (Teaching Agency) it prepares trainees to become teachers of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the national curriculum at Key Stage 1. Trainees also study professional issues including organisation, the role of play in learning, behaviour management, planning, assessment, equal opportunities, inclusion, parent partnership and working with other agencies. The course contains 2 distinct strands: professional and academic, with 2 additional modules at Master's level 7. Trainees work on both strands and if successful receive a PGCE with QTS and 60 credits towards an MA in Education. A substantial part of the course is spent in partner settings and schools, which enables trainees to develop capability in practical teaching in a range of educational contexts. During the year there are 3 special curriculum weeks when the students study a topic in depth; these include performance arts, the outdoor curriculum and inclusion.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold an Honours degree from a UK university (or equivalent) and whenever possible the classification should be a 2.1 or 1st, although other strong candidates may be accepted; evidence of a minimum of 10 days recent primary school experience is expected; GCSE passes at grade C or above in mathematics, English and science are required by all candidates; a good range of GCSE passes (or other qualifications and experience) is also required; there is an interview to explore the candidates suitability for teaching; Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are undertaken; students are required to pass the DfE's skills tests in literacy and numeracy before attending an interview.

Course modules

Level 6: core subjects and early years pedagogy and practice including mathematics, English, science and information communication technology (ICT) and aspects of effective early years practice; foundation subjects and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) studies (includes history, geography, art, music, design technology and the areas of learning and development of the EYFS); professional studies; school experience. Level 7: MA module 1 (teaching and learning); MA module 2 (classroom or setting-based research).

Assessment methods

Assessment is continuous and includes written assignments and practical teaching; partner schools share the responsibility for assessment.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
PGCE Full-time - 1 years
PGCE (professional) Full-time - 1 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Park Campus Northampton NN2 7AL East Midlands

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