Institution / Waterford Institute of Technology
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Early Childhood Studies Care & Education

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.

Entry requirements

The programme is designed for:
i. 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;

ii. 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. Guidelines on the Institute’s RPL policy and procedures are available at and the full policy is available as Chapter 3 of the WIT Academic Regulations at


1 year part time

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Career Opportunities
On successful completion of this qualification students will have a 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; pre-school 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.

Further enquiries

Course Leader
Jacqui Quinn

Subjects taught

Course Content
The course has three main elements:
1. 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;
2. Academic Development, where knowledge of new and emerging developments in the sector, combined with the development of conceptual knowledge and theoretical frameworks takes place;
3. Practice/ Skills Development, where the skills necessary to function at a high level within the sector are developed.

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

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


Campus: Cork Road

Application date

Closing Date: 30/September/2017

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