PGCE Early Years 0-5 (EYTS)

Entry year
Course code
School of Education and Childhood
One year
Full-time; part-time, September start
Programme leader
Melissa Arrowsmith

This course is open for applications

Page last updated 7 February 2024


The course leads to a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCE) Early Years 0-5 and the professional status, Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

The PGCE Early Years 0-5 (EYTS) is designed to prepare trainee Early Years Teachers (EYTs) for a rewarding career in education, teaching children from birth to five years. This qualification is designed for highly qualified staff to lead on delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS) in the early years' sector. The course leads to a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCE) Early Years 0-5 and the professional status, Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS). This is different from Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which is the equivalent for teaching children aged three to 18. QTS is not awarded as part of this course.

The course will support you to develop as a reflective teacher working within the early years sector. By studying theory and reflecting on your practice, you'll gain a deeper understanding of child development and playful learning with specific reference to the EYFS curriculum. We'll consider children's engagement with core skills such as personal, social and emotional development, communication and language and physical development in a wider political context.

The course is embedded in practice and is designed around a set of key principles based on promoting active learning and stimulating integration, exploration and innovation. The overall approach centres on the trainee teacher and assumes you're highly motivated by choosing to study at postgraduate level.

Our tutors on the course are specialists in their fields bringing significant, research-based early years teaching experience.

The course offers two pathways for graduates: a direct entry, full-time route, and an employment-based, part-time route. The part-time route is for graduates who are already permanently employed in an early years setting.

Graduate direct entry route (full-time)

This route is suitable if you have a degree (in any subject but not a foundation degree) or equivalent.

While no previous experience is required, it would be an advantage if you can evidence having some work experience, with children of a relevant age.

The course is 12 months full-time with three, six-week block placements, in baby, toddler and pre-school age phases, plus a two-week placement in a KS1 classroom of a primary school.

Graduate employment-based route (part-time)

This 12-month part-time route is for graduates who are currently employed in an early years' setting who wish to qualify as an EYT whilst continuing to work in practice. 



The course is modular and offers a learning environment to support you to schedule study around work and other commitments.

You'll study the following modules:

  • Curriculum, Pedagogy and Practice (Early Years 0-5) (30 credits at level 7) - In this module, you'll explore the Early Years Foundation Stage. You'll consider children's learning and development and evaluate the role of the adult, environment, play and relationships. You'll also consider how adaptive practices can create inspiring education programmes for all children.
  • Teaching and Leadership in the Early Years (30 credits at level 7) - This module enables you to continue to develop your knowledge and understanding of theories and practices in early education and care. You'll reflect on your professional development as a trainee EYT who'll lead the implementation of education programmes based on the EYFS.
  • Professional Practice (EYTS) (30 credits at level 3) - A 120-day* professional practice module where you'll work with each of the three age groups; babies, toddlers and young children. There will also be a short placement in a KS1 primary school to experience the transition between the EYFS and the primary national curriculum. You'll put theory into practice, including leadership relating to implementing education programmes based on the EYFS.

*As an employment-based trainee, you may choose to complete up to two of the main age group placements at the setting where you're employed. If you are a trainee with significant experience with an age group(s), you may be able to negotiate shorter placements.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we'll inform you.

Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) is awarded and accredited by the Department for Education (DfE). UWE Bristol has chosen Sheffield Hallam University as our accreditation provider for the EYTS-element of the course.

Learning and Teaching

The University-centred academic modules are taught through face-to-face workshop-style immersion sessions with supporting digital material and engagement as appropriate. Your teaching and learning is centred around presentations, self-directed learning activities (including designated reading), problem-based learning, discussion forums, synchronous and asynchronous feedback.

The early years setting-based teaching and learning is in partnership with the University. The partnership enables you to explore your learning in practice, both from your academic modules and from teaching under the supervision of your setting mentor. Together, this provides you with a coherent and robust training experience.

For more details, see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.


You'll be assessed using a variety of approaches, including both formative and summative assessment and feedback.

The assessment process is underpinned by a spiral curriculum enabling you to reflect and deepen your skills and knowledge. Assessments are designed to evaluate a range of professional skills and knowledge to reflect the demands of an EYT. You'll be able to develop your written and presentation skills, research skills and professional reflection. Assessment includes a focus on values and beliefs and a critical awareness of how these impact teaching practice.

During your professional placements, assessment evaluates your competency level in translating pedagogical, learning and leadership theories in practice.

Find out more about assessments at UWE Bristol.


Study facilities

UWE Bristol provides a productive environment for you to study the course. Its modern, purpose-built facilities provide high quality teaching rooms, excellent IT facilities and an Open Learning Area, with friendly staff on hand to help when needed.

Find out more about facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Get a feel for the education and teaching facilities available here.


Postgraduate support

Our support includes access to fantastic facilities, study tools and career consultants, plus practical help to access everything from funding to childcare.


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Careers / Further study

EYTS enables you to teach children from birth to five years in early years' settings.

EYTs also are permitted to teach in reception classes in free schools, academies or independent schools.

The course also prepares trainee teachers for further study at master's level.


Supplementary fee information

Graduate direct entry (full-time)

The DfE offer a bursary of up to £5,000 to study this course. The amount is dependent on the classification of your first degree. You can apply for this bursary as soon as you've enrolled on the course.

Graduate employment-based (part-time)

This route is fully funded by the DfE and an incentive of £7,000 per trainee is paid directly to the employer, with a further £7,000 paid to the University to cover the course fees.

The payment to the employer must be used to support the trainee and used for supply cover, salary enhancement and further training as required. Employers can invoice for the incentive once trainees have enrolled on the course.

Funding guidance

See the funding guidance for Early years initial teacher training 2023-24.

For more information about funding for postgraduate courses see our funding pages.


Entry requirements

For both routes, you should typically meet the following criteria:

  • An undergraduate honours degree, or a recognised equivalent qualification at 2:2 or above.
  • GCSE grade C/4 in English, Mathematics and Science, or equivalent. Candidates with pending GCSEs will be considered. We'll consider candidates who need to take a GCSE equivalency test. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as alternatives to GCSEs. Where applicants have achieved a GCSE grade 4 or above in English Literature only, we'll look for further evidence of achievement in English.

All applicants will also be required to have: 

  • Health checks for Fitness to Teach
  • A clear Enhanced DBS Disclosure including check of children's barred list 
  • Satisfactory references including one from latest employer and/or latest role involving working with children 
  • Verification of identity and right to work in the UK 
  • Check for sanction, restriction or prohibition on teaching issued by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) (if in teaching role) 
  • Criminal records checks overseas. If you have lived, studied or worked overseas for five months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required even if you are a UK applicant or currently based in the UK.

The university will also check that candidates are not

  • subject to a prohibition order issued by the Secretary of State 
  • disqualified from childcare
  • or have obtained a childcare disqualification waiver from Ofsted. 

Applicants to the Graduate employment-based (part-time) route will also have:  

  • Written agreement from employer to participate in the course (plus an appropriately qualified staff member to act as setting-based mentor i.e. who has QTS, EYTS or EYPS). 
  • A permanent work contract in an early years' setting. A voluntary role is not acceptable for this option. 

Selection process

Applicants who meet the entry criteria will be invited to an interview. We want to ensure you get all the information you need about the course and about studying at UWE Bristol and that you can meet members of the course team.

International applicants

We won't be able to accept your application for this course if you require the Student Route visa. Please refer to our PGCE International Early Years.

How to apply

Graduate direct entry

Please apply using the 'Apply now' link at the bottom of the page, selecting full-time.

Graduate employment-based

Please apply using the 'Apply now' link at the bottom of the page, selecting part-time.

If your application is successful, we'll invite you to an interview. Our Admissions team will provide you with full details.

Read more about postgraduate applications.

For further information