L8 HDip in Early Childhood Studies, Care and Education (60 Credits)

Higher Diploma in ArtsEarly Childhood Studies,Care and Education

Part Time
Cork Road
1 year

With ongoing social distancing regulations likely to continue in place into the academic year 2020/21 WIT is reviewing delivery modes of part-time courses for the coming year. This may mean a change from the typical course delivery schedule. We are planning to publish the listing of part-time courses that will be offered for 2020/21 with further details on schedules and modes of delivery in early July

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.

Download Programme Brochure Higher_Diploma_in_Early_Childhood_Studies_Care_and_Education_Updated.pdf

For information on this programme please  email [email protected] 


Higher Diploma in Early Childhood Studies,  Care and Education


All assessments are continuous assessment.  They include essays, presentations, observations of play and reflective learning diaries.

Cost  €3,000

A contribution towards the fee may be  available to eligible candidates through funding secured by   Waterford Chamber Skillnet working in partnership with  Waterford Childcare Committee.

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.

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 1Semester 2
Practice Placement: Early Childhood Studies (10 credits)Practice Placement: Early Childhood Studies (10 credits)
Personal & Professional Development: Early Childhood Studies (5 credits) Managing Early Years Contexts (5 credits)
Child Development Psychology (5 credits) Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood (5 credits)
Early Learning & Play (5 credits)Early Years Curriculum, Quality & Practice (5 credits)
Social Research Methods (5 credits)Independent Study: Early Childhood Studies (5 credits)

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

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

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