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Early Years Initial Teacher Training: Graduate Employment Based Route

Learn about the course below
September 2022
1 year part-time
This course is funded by the DfE
See the Fees and funding tab for more information
Course leader
Dilys Wilson

Working as an early years teacher is a rewarding and challenging career and you can make a real difference to young children’s development and life chances. This part time training programme is designed for graduates who are employed in an early years setting and wish to further their experience and knowledge in early childhood development and lead education and care for children from birth to five years

Why study Early Years Initial Teacher Training: Graduate Employment Based Route at Middlesex University?

This 12 month part time training route enables you to work towards Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) whilst being employed in an early years setting. We recognise that as an employed student you will have unique training needs and we will work with you to create an individual training plan, in consultation with your employer, to ensure that you have sufficient training and placement opportunities to meet all aspects of the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years).

In addition to the practice role you have in your workplace, you are also required to extend your knowledge, skills and understanding through placement experiences in order to meet the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years). You will gain experience of different approaches to teaching, and to school and early years setting organisation and management.

As an Early Years ITT Graduate Employment Based trainee you will work towards the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) and achieve Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS). To enhance your progress towards achieving EYTS, we offer the Professional Practice in Early Years Foundation Stage Teaching which enables you to gain 60 credits at Masters Level.

As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for each module.


Our degree is accredited by the Teaching Regulation Agency, Department for Education.

Find out more

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What will you study on the Early Years Initial Teacher Training: Graduate Employment Based Route?

You will be expected to teach in two schools or early years settings which will comprise of:

  • A contrasting setting placement This placement will be for a period of up to 30 days depending on the extent of your previous teaching experience and you will focus on the teaching and practices on an age group you have not had experience teaching
  • A 10 day placement This placement will support your understanding of children's learning as they progress through primary school as you will focus on the teaching and practices of children aged 5-7 years

There are also three additional components to this course which are assessed by coursework and cross referenced against the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years).


  • Modules

    • Professional knowledge and skills for the Early Years Teacher

      This module tracks the development of your professional skills and understanding necessary for effective early years teaching and leadership of practice.

    • Early Years Practice Based Enquiry

      For this module, you will design a practice based enquiry in your placement setting so that you can take the lead on improving an aspect of early years practice.

    • Early Years Pedagogy and Wider Professional Practice

      This module aims to deepen your knowledge and understanding of current practice issues and emerging policies and practices relating to the early years sector.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module,  or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the Early Years Initial Teacher Training: Graduate Employment Based Route taught?

This course will be taught through weekly lectures and seminars on early years theory, policy, education and care practices which will closely reference the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) and the professional knowledge and skills required by early years teachers. Opportunities are provided through small group supervision sessions to share ideas and reflect on your academic learning and practice with an experienced early years tutor.

During your training, your working timetable should be no more than 90% of your full time working hours, enabling you to be released for training days, study time and placements. Your employer must be in full support of your application and agree to release and support you to undertake the requirements necessary to achieve EYTS.



Assessments have been designed to enable you to reflect on your knowledge and understanding of young children’s learning and development alongside the experiences of professional teaching practice that you gain from your role in your work place and on placement. Teacher led sessions are delivered twice a month with opportunities for smaller group and individual supervision based on your training needs. In addition, trainees are encouraged to learn independently through guided and blended learning through an e-portfolio and a work based project. Progress meetings within your workplace with your employer and tutor will take place at regular intervals throughout the training programme.

Teaching and learning

Changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some small group sessions on campus, with other interactive teaching as well as larger lectures delivered online and recorded sessions available to you on-demand. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes and make arrangements for any face to face sessions (for example, in some cases these could take place every two weeks with an increased number of hours), the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario 1: course delivered fully online


Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

3 hours


Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

1.5 hours


On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

1 hour

Scenario 2: course delivered with a mix of online and face to face learning with social distancing in place


Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

2 x 1.5 hour interactive/live seminars.

1 x 1.5 hour group supervision.


Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

Students will engage in pre and post-session activities.

The time will vary from week to week


On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:



Face-to-face sessions

Contact time per week, per level:

Students attend a training day on Fridays.

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.
  • Face to face sessions – Wherever it’s possible to do so, and we can make the necessary arrangements to ensure your safety, you’ll be able to attend scheduled sessions, workshops or appointments on campus as part of your live learning. The number of hours given in this scenario provides an indication of the number of hours of face to face learning you could expect, and a full timetable will be provided to you before the start of your course.


You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. EU fees
  3. Additional costs

How can the Early Year Initial Teacher Training: Graduate Employment Based Route support your career?

Early Years ITT is the only teacher training focused on the birth to five year age range. This makes Early Years Teachers ideally placed to provide high quality education and care for babies and young children in all private, voluntary and independent (PVI) early years settings which is where the majority of children and early years provision is based. You can also work in free schools, academies and independent schools where teaching staff can be employed without the requirement for them to have QTS.

Early Years Teachers with EYTS can work in maintained settings. However, only those who meet the legal definition of a school teacher with QTS can lead teaching in a maintained nursery school or a nursery class in a maintained school for children aged 3 and over.

There is no pay scale for early years teachers. The pay and conditions of individuals with EYTS are determined by employers. All early years settings are free to set the level of pay for individuals they employ with early years teacher status including maintained schools.

Dilys Wilson

Dilys Wilson is the programme leader for this course.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Early Years Initial Teacher Training: Graduate Entry Route

Start: September 2022

Duration: 1 year full-time

Code: 034X32W

Early Years Initial Teacher Training Assessment Only Route

Start: Flexible

Duration: 3 months part-time

Education MA

Start: September 2022, January 2022

Duration: 1,2 or 3 years part-time, dependant on previous experience and qualifications

Code: PGX30X

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