Early Childhood Studies Care & Education

This part-time, evening, postgraduate course is designed to facilitate existing graduates from relevant areas who wish to upskill or convert to early childhood care and education to gain the professional qualification required in Ireland's contemporary, professionalised, early years sector. The programme is targeted at applicants who are already working in supervised practice.

Learning Outcomes
The overall aim of the Higher Diploma in Early Childhood Studies, Care and Education is to develop critically reflective, skilled and ethically aware professional Early Childhood Educators. The course will afford graduates from relevant disciplines an opportunity to enhance existing qualifications, and build on existing practical expertise, to obtain a recognised level 8 qualification in Early Childhood Studies, Care and Education.

For information on this programme please email tlace@wit.ie

The course has three main elements:
•Placement, where knowledge and skills acquired in the course are put into practice in a controlled work environment, under the supervision of experienced practitioners and academics; where also reflection on the application of theory to practice will take place

•Academic Development, where knowledge of new and emerging developments in the sector, combined with the development of conceptual knowledge and theoretical frameworks takes place

•Practice/Skills Development, where the skills necessary to function at a high level within the sector are developed

Subjects taught

Semester 1
• Practice Placement: Early Childhood Studies 1 (10 credits)
• Personal and Professional Development: Early Childhood Studies (5 credits)
• Child Developmental Psychology (5 credits)
• Early Learning and Play (5 credits)
• Social Research Methods (5 credits)

Semester 2
• Practice Placement: Early Childhood Studies 2 (10 credits)
• Managing Early Years Contexts (5 credits)
• Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood (5 credits)
• Early Years Curriculum, Quality and Practice (5 credits)
• Independent Study Early Childhood Studies (5 credits)

Entry requirements

The programme is designed for:
Applicants with an existing level 7 major award in Early Childhood Studies, or equivalent, and with at least two years of relevant work experience who wish to progress to progress to level 8;
Applicants with an existing major award at level 8 degree in a cognate area who wish to convert to a career in early childhood care and education. Cognate degrees are defined as level 8 degrees in which Psychology, Sociology or Early Years Education was a major component.

Candidates who do not currently meet these requirements may consider making an application using WIT's Recognition of Prior Learning process.

RPL for admission information is available at www.wit.ie/rpl/ and the full policy is available as Chapter 3 of the WIT Academic Regulations at www.wit.ie/policies

Teaching Council Registration: This programme is designed to facilitate existing graduates from relevant areas to gain the professional qualification required to work in Ireland's contemporary, professionalised, early years sector. It is not purpose designed as part of a pathway towards registration as a Teacher in Further Education with the Teaching Council (TC)


Advice on gaining registration with the TC is available from the TC. Advice is also available from the free Adult Education Guidance Services countrywide.

Application dates



1 year part-time. Tuesday & Thursday, 6pm -10pm.

Post Course Info

On successful completion of this qualification students will have a recognised level 8 qualification in Early Childhood Studies, Care and Education. They will be qualified to work as Room Leaders and their work setting will be eligible for a higher capitation grant for the ECCE programme.

Students will have opportunities to work in leading learning in ECCE settings, family and community settings; local development projects; advocacy work for children and families; management; setting up own business; childcare committees; pre-school inspectorate roles; preschool educator; policy work; public and voluntary organisations and special education services.

Students will also have opportunity to progress to further study including: post grad opportunities; primary school teaching; play therapy; therapeutic professions and research and policy.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Evening

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