Department of Education

Early Years

We are delighted to be able to offer the Early Years teacher training course leading to Early Years teacher status. There is great demand for brilliant graduates to train as Early Years teachers who can provide essential, high-quality education to young children.

Download  the ITE Leaflet.

We Are Open For Applications! 

We remain open for PGCE and School Direct applications during the Covid-19 outbreak. All interviews will take place remotely.

Find Sussex PGCE or School Direct courses (by location or training provider) on website and apply via the UCAS Teacher Training website.
If you need help with your application, refer to our guidance: Applying to UCAS for PGCE/School Direct Sussex courses.

See our School Direct & PGCE Place List: 2020/21.

See also information on bursaries and scholarships.

What makes this course special?

This course is highly unique in that it offers a Masters qualification alongside the opportunity to gain Early Years teacher status. There are two routes: graduate and employment-based.

As an Early Years Teacher, you’ll be a specialist in early childhood development, trained to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage to children from birth to the age of five - a critical stage in children's development.

Why train to become an Early Years teacher?

As an Early Years teacher, you will be a leader responsible for organising and leading high-quality teaching practice in Early Years settings. You’ll make a lasting, positive difference to children's wellbeing, learning and development.

How to become an Early Years teacher

You will need to meet the same entry requirements and pass the same skills tests as trainee Primary school teachers.

You should apply for the Early Years course leading to the award of Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

To ensure that the training and assessment of Early Years teachers is appropriate for trainees, a set of Early Years Teachers' Standards have been developed which operate in parallel with the current Teachers' Standards. In order to be awarded EYTS, you will need to demonstrate that you have met these standards.

Training and funding

For graduates studying full-time and commencing their teacher training in September 2016, funding is available from the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). See Fees and scholarships for information on fees and eligibility for financial support. Specific information on bursaries, financial incentives and other sources of funding for Initial Teacher Education are available from the Department for Education.

Entry requirements

You must:

  • have a GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in English, maths and a science subject
  • hold a first degree from a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification
  • have taken part in a rigorous selection process designed to assess your suitability to teach

Teaching, learning and assessment

This course is delivered in partnership between the University and over 40 schools, settings and academies across Sussex. Professional learning across the partnership is delivered through a combination of taught sessions at the University, and setting-led professional development and classroom practice.

The course starts with a 2-3 week induction at the University in September, followed by a programme of lectures, seminars and workshops undertaken on campus once a week. These include presentations, group work, role-play, classroom modelling, and peer teaching in which you will explore ideas and approaches and reflect on your own experiences. You may also work occasionally alongside other students studying at Masters Level, or on a course that specialises in ‘childhood and youth’

Over the course of the academic year, you will undertake two periods of professional practice in two different settings (minimum of 120 working days).

Throughout your period of training, you will receive comprehensive, personalised support from a dedicated university Curriculum Tutor and an experienced setting-based Mentor who will give you extensive tutorial support. Your progress will be assessed through observations, feedback and discussion. You will create and maintain a 'portfolio of evidence' demonstrating how you have met Early Years Teachers' Standards. You will earn the Masters award having successfully completed all modules laid out as follows:

  • Professional Practice 1
    Professional practice profile assessing quality of teaching and professionalism over first half of year
    15 credits / Level 6
  • Critical Reflection
    Professional or context-bound learning. Coursework essay (3,000 words)
    15 credits / Level 7
  • Educational Theory and Practice
    Critical reflection. Coursework essay (3,000 words)
    15 credits / Level 7
  • Professional Practice 2
    Professional practice profile assessing quality of teaching and professionalism over second half of year
    15 credits / Level 7
  • Research Methods
    Investigate and pilot a method, including a 20 minute poster presentation to peers and tutors
    30 credits / Level 7
  • Professional Knowledge for Schools
    Portfolio of Evidence to map your progression in relation to Teachers' Standards - explored further in an exit interview at end of assessment period
    30 credits / Level 7
  • Dissertation
    Final dissertation essay (15,000 words)
    60 credits / Level 7

How to apply

Contact Dr Rebecca Webb, Course Leader for the MA in Education with Early Years Teacher Status, for an informal chat: 

You will be invited to interview after which – if both parties agree – you can apply for a place on the course via the Online postgraduate application system.

Queries about using the online application system should be directed to
Or call:
+44 (0)1273 877773


See the MA in Education with Early Years teacher status leaflet [PDF 2.27MB] leaflet.

Specific course enquiries can be directed to the Course Leader:
T: +44 (0)1273 678436