PGCE Early Years Teaching PGCE

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Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

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Develop an expertise working with young children. Gain a globally recognised qualification in your home country. Progress your career.

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The PGCE in Early Years Teaching is ideal for people living outside of the UK who already work with children aged 0-5.

If you want to develop a specialism or further enhance your professionalism in teaching young children up to the age of five, then this course is for you.

This course is aimed at professionals/practitioners who will engage in an intensive one year blended learning programme to acquire knowledge, understanding and skills with regard to working with children and families in the international early years context. Our course is unique and distinctive in that it offers a highly flexible mode of learning with course delivery and assessment entirely via distance using our university VLE (virtual learning environment), without ever having to come to the UK.

Why us?

  • ‘World-leading’ research in Education, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • Study from anywhere in the world 
  • Graduate from a UK university which has been training teachers for over 100 years

Course structure

You can learn from anywhere in the world that has internet access, as learning materials will be e-books, online journal papers and other online resources. There will be online discussion forums where you can debate current issues relevant to the module content. All academic assignments are marked online (with online feedback). Teaching practices are monitored continuously by your PAT (personal academic tutor) and you will upload documentation and evidence weekly for feedback. Your progress will be assessed with written assignments, and observed teaching.

This programme has four modules of applied theory (40 credits at undergraduate level and 60 credits at Masters level) which are spread out over the academic year. The four modules of applied theory allow you to examine the context of young children’s learning and development. You will also explore how to assess development and learning, how to construct a curriculum and how to lead Early Years provision.

Additionally, and concurrently, you will undertake two teaching practices in an Early Years setting of your choice – either at your own workplace or with an employer who is willing to provide you with a placement and mentor.

Teaching practice:

  • Teaching the Early Years 1 (20 credits)
  • Teaching the Early Years 2 (20 credits)


  • Observing, Assessing and Reporting Young Children’s Learning and Development (20 credits)
  • Constructing a Curriculum for the Early Years (30 credits)
  • Leading, Planning and Managing Provision for Development and Learning in the Early Years (30 credits)


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

  • As a distance-learning student, you'll be able to remotely access online journals, articles and e-books.

    The library team offer real-time online help through ‘Live Chat’ at various periods throughout the day, and they also offer online tutorials to help you make the most of our electronic resources.

    Library Services - distance learning


This distance-learning course can be studied from anywhere in the world. You'll need internet access to use our Virtual Learning Environment, where you will access specially designed learning materials, e-books, e-journals, relevant websites and multimedia.

Entry requirements

We usually require applicants to hold an honours degree or equivalent.

You must be able to undertake teaching practice as part of this course. This can be in the school where you already work, or another educational institution.

If you are currently not employed as a teacher and will be seeking a placement school please read our Advice to applicants seeking a placement before applying.

Before applying please note:

Along with your application form you must upload the following documents:

1. Supplemental Application Documents (.pdf)

2. A copy of your degree certificate.

3. If English is not your first language you need to send proof of IELTS level 6.5 or equivalent. Applicants whose first language is not English must achieve a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5, with 6.5 in writing, and no less than 6 in Reading and Speaking and Listening.

Without these documents we will be unable to offer you a place on the course.

This course is subject to approval.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is £7,100.

A £1,000 deposit must be paid prior to the start of the course.
This deposit is refundable up until the point of enrolment.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night


This degree is ideal for teachers and other people working with children aged 0-5. It will qualify you for more senior positions in teaching and educational management in schools and educational institutions around the world.

Career options

The theory and practical elements of the course will help you gain greater satisfaction from your involvement in Early Years. With up-to-date knowledge and expertise in child development, early years curriculum and pedagogy you will be in a strong position to make effective applications for teaching jobs and promoted posts.

This course leads to a PGCE in Early Years Teaching that is accredited by the University of Sunderland.

Please note that this course does not award Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which you need to teach in any state-maintained school in England or Wales.

Graduate destinations

From our previous cohorts successful graduates have moved to enhanced job roles, both within and out-with their existing workplace settings. Successful graduates from this course have used their Masters level credits to gain entry to and accelerate their progress on Masters degrees both at the University of Sunderland and other international universities.

Student testimonials

“After graduating when I have been to job interviews they have always been impressed by how much I have done and learned on teaching practices.”

“The emphasis on leadership within this course really has given me confidence and the edge and competitive job market – this programme is held in high regard in the country in which I live and work.”

“I have had a lot of positive feedback from my masters degree course tutors here in Canada about the knowledge and expertise from the Sunderland PGCE Early Years Teaching programme that I can share with other students.”

“I believe that having two teaching practices is the edge that University of Sunderland has compared to other online PGCE courses, as other universities focus mainly on theories and students are less able to put learnt theories into practice. This was noted by my co-workers here in school, too.”

Meet the students

  • The level of education that I’ve received has been beyond exceptional.
    Yara Aslan

    Yara Aslan

Meet the team

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