Early Childhood Studies Care & Education - Waterford

The programme is targeted at applicants who are already working in supervised practice.

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.

Subjects taught

Early Childhood Studies, Care and Education Course Structure
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

Year 1

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

Semester 2
Practice Placement: Early Childhood Studies (10 credits)
Managing Early Years Contexts (5 credits)
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood (5 credits)
Early Years Curriculum, Quality & 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 the Recognition of Prior Learning process.

Please find RPL Form

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

All Applicants will be required to attend interview for the programme. Successful applicants will then be required to login/register on the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC system) online by going to www.pac.ie PAC applications require a non-refundable application fee of €50 payable directly to PAC. For further details please contact at tlace.wd@setu.ie


1 year, evening, blended.

The course is delivered in blended mode. Classes are from 6-10 on Tuesday and Thursday online. Online lectures are live and are not recorded. Students are required to attend onsite for both days in Week 1, 6 and 10.

Enrolment dates

NEXT INTAKE September 2024

Post Course Info

There are a wide range of pathways available to graduates.

Progression routes for part-time students are similar to those followed by full-time students, although many of the part-time learners are already employed throughout various social care settings. This course provides an opportunity for participants to further develop their knowledge and skills in key areas of professional practice. It equips them with skills and knowledge required for management positions and with research knowledge and skills required for research and/or taught postgraduate studies. A number of graduates of the part-time degree also progressed to set up their own businesses using innovative models of care. Their work practices reflect a blending of their life experiences, both personal and professional, and the knowledge gained whilst completing their award.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Blended,Evening,Part time

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