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.
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.
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