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.
Download Programme Brochure Higher_Diploma_in_Early_Childhood_Studies_Care_and_Education_Updated.pdf
Express your interest by sending an e-mail at [email protected]
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.
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.
The fee is €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.
How to apply
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 [email protected]
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
|Semester 1||Semester 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)|
Candidates who do not currently meet these requirements may consider making an application using the Recognition of Prior Learning process.
Please find RPL Form
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
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.