Taught course

Early Years Practice (EYTS)

University of Reading · Institute of Education

Entry requirements

Please note that entry requirements for 2024/25 have not yet been confirmed. The entry requirements for 2023/24 were:

IELTS: 6.5 overall with no element less than 6.0 (or equivalent)

Normally a good undergraduate honours degree (2:2 or above), or equivalent from a university outside the UK

You will also need GCSE Grade C (or 4) or above in English Language* (English studied as a foreign language is not an equivalent), Mathematics* and a Science.*

As part of the application process for this programme, you will be required to attend an interview.

However, each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis and practical experience may be taken into account where appropriate.

*Please note: some tests stated as being a GCSE equivalent are not accepted for Early Years ITT. Please contact your provider for advice on suitable courses before booking.

Additional requirements for Graduate Employment Based Pathway:

  • trainees must be employed in an appropriate Early Years setting for at least 16 hours per week
  • trainees must be working in settings that operate the Early Years Foundation Stage framework.

Months of entry


Course content

Our PGCert Early Years Practice (PGCEYP) offers two routes: Graduate Entry (GE), full-time for 12 months, or Graduate Employment-based (GEB), part-time for 12 months.

On this course, you will train to teach early education and care across the birth-to-five age range, leading to 60 master’s credits and Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

For those seeking to build careers specifically within the early years sector, this course gives you the experience, opportunity and knowledge to lead practice in work with babies, toddlers and young children in your chosen sector.

You will enjoy high levels of personal attention and strong support throughout your studies. Your tutors are on hand to offer regular guidance and support, ensuring any potential issues are addressed as early as possible. In addition to academic support, our Student Support Team are able to offer counselling services and wellbeing information.

To help build individual confidence and peer respect, we encourage you to share experiences and expertise with other trainees, enabling open discussion and group support.

During the PGCEYP, you will have the opportunity to gain placement experience in different settings.

The course culminates in assessment against the specialist Teachers’ Standards (Early Years), and qualifies you to work towards a leadership role, supporting young children and their families in private settings, voluntary settings, independent or ‘free’ schools, and some children's centres.

Climate and sustainability education

At the University of Reading, we believe that climate and sustainability education is everyone’s responsibility. This is why we have set out our vision that all initial teacher trainees should be able to access training that empowers them to effectively incorporate climate education within their teaching across all levels and subjects as part of our National Climate Education Action Plan. Across all of our ITT programmes at the Institute of Education, you will learn about:

  • what is happening to our climate, how to help children learn about climate and sustainability in an age-appropriate and accessible way, and how to develop your own positioning as a teacher
  • climate justice, the impact of current and future changes to our environment and climate on ourselves and others and implications for teachers
  • how to translate knowledge and theory into change and personal action through building climate and sustainability education into your planning, teaching, and children’s learning.

Visit Partnering for the Planet to find out more about the University of Reading’s world-leading work in climate science.


On the PGCEYP, we ensure that students' placements meet their needs and complement their previous experience. You will gain invaluable experience in a number of different settings, one of which could be a children's centre. This variety of placement strengthens your knowledge and helps to develop your practical skills in real-life situations.

We have strong partnerships with hundreds of child-based settings and are well renowned for our excellent relationships with these settings. While you are on a placement, you will be fully supported by University-trained subject mentors. Your progress is also closely monitored by your University tutors and you will be visited by a member of the academic staff.

Placements also provide students with the perfect opportunity to connect with potential employers and build a professional network.


The Institute of Education is based at our historic London Road campus, which has undergone a £30m refurbishment of the classical Oxford-cloistered quadrangle to create a dedicated world-class education centre.

We have created custom-built spaces for the teaching of specialist subjects such as music, PE, drama, the sciences, ICT, and art, including:

  • modern laboratories
  • musical studios, including an electronic drum kit room and a recording studio
  • well-equipped art studios and facilities for the practise of work in drawing, painting, sculpture and mixed media
  • studios for wet photography and printmaking, including silk screen.

Alongside these fantastic facilities, you will also find places to eat and drink, as well as plenty of green space to relax in.

The Learning Hub

We have an incredible collection of teaching resources housed in the Learning Hub. A treasure trove for teachers, the Learning Hub contains an extensive selection of teaching aids for loan or reference, from big books to puppets. A printing and binding facility and technical equipment library are also available for your use.


The quality of research at the Institute of Education was recognised in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2021), the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. 98% of our research is of international standing (REF 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Education).

For more information, please visit the Institute of Education website.

Fees and funding

New UK/Republic of Ireland students:

£7,000 per year

New international students:

£7,000 per year

Fees for 2024/25 have not yet been set. For your reference, fees for 2023/24 are listed on this page.

Additional costs

These course fees cover the cost of your tuition. Some courses will require additional payments for field trips and extra resources. You will also need to budget for your accommodation and living costs. See our information on living costs for more details.

Financial support for your studies

You may be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help pay for your study. Students from the UK may also be eligible for a student loan to help cover these costs. See our fees and funding information for more information on what's available.

Further information

This degree is fully funded by the DfE.

The DfE may award bursaries to trainees who have a UK degree with a first or 2:1 degree classification.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGCert
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Additional requirements for Graduate Employment Based Pathway:

  • trainees must be employed in an appropriate Early Years setting for at least 16 hours per week
  • trainees must be working in settings that operate the Early Years Foundation Stage framework.

Course contact details

Global Recruitment Team