Taught course

Early Years in Education

University of Sussex · School of Education and Social Work

Entry requirements

There are two entry routes to this course:

  1. for the graduate route you will normally need a lower second-class (2.2) undergraduate honours degree or above in any subject, although degrees below this level can be considered if candidates have considerable experience in Early Years;
  2. for the employment-based route you will need a lower second-class (2.2) undergraduate honours degree or above in any subject and be currently working as a trainee teacher within a UK school in an Early Years or Foundation class setting.

All applicants must have achieved a GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in English, maths and a science subject, pass the UK Department for Education Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy, obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure certificate, and obtain health clearance. We will contact you about these during the application process.

Months of entry


Course content

Do you want to work with children from birth to five years old (including Reception) in the public and private sectors? Achieve Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) in just one year with this Masters-level course.

Early Years learning primarily focuses on the following ideas:

  • what constitutes ‘quality’ in Early Years education?
  • equity, inclusion and justice for the pre-school child and the wider family
  • ideas of communication, imagination, language and literacy, and provision for the bi/trilingual child
  • understandings of early mathematical and scientific development
  • discourses of nurture, care and attachment.

Key Facts

As this course is currently funded by the UK Government’s body responsible for Early Years Initial Teacher Education, there is no fee to pay for UK/EU students.

This course offers you the rare – if not unique – opportunity to earn Early Years Teacher Status and an MA in just one year.

Choose the Graduate route or the Employment route depending on your employment status at the beginning of the course. On both routes, you will be placed, or continue to work, in an Early Years setting throughout your period of study.

How will I study?

Choose from two routes through this course:

  • if you follow the Employment route, you’ll work part or full time in an Early Years setting during your period of study. Your employer receives remuneration to support your studies;
  • if you follow the Graduate route, you’ll be placed full time in an Early Years setting and you may be eligible for a bursary.

Over your study period, you spend up to 120 days working in an Early Years setting (this will vary depending on whether you are taking the Employment route or the Graduate route to achieve EYTS).

You’ll have experience of an alternative Early Years setting and a Key Stage 1 placement within the year. On average, you spend one day per week at the University where taught components of the course are delivered.

Information for international students

English language requirements

Higher level (IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section)

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English Language Support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

Please note that this course awards a professional qualification specifically for teaching in the UK.

Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.

Visas and Immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Fees and funding

UK students
Please see our website.
International students
Please see our website.

Please visit our website for latest fees information: Fees and scholarships

Postgraduate Masters Loans

Borrow up to £10,000 to contribute to your postgraduate study.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Julie Bailey
+44 (0)1273 873870