Delivered through blended learning, you can work full-time and study this Post Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Studies. You will study two postgraduate modules allowing you to build further on the strong foundation of knowledge you have acquired from your undergraduate studies.
Start Date11th February 2023
QualificationLevel 9 Certificate
Course Duration1 year
This contemporary Post Graduate Certificate is designed for professional early years practitioners working within the early childhood workforce, including those who may not be working directly with children. The modules taken from our Masters programme builds upon knowledge gained during undergraduate studies and experiential learning in the workplace. The blended learning delivery mode is a flexible study option for those seeking to fit learning around work and family.
The PGCert in Early Childhood Studies offers you an opportunity to advance your knowledge, understanding and professional practice through engagement with current research and thinking in early childhood. It also involves a reflection on, and analysis of, your own professional practice, supporting your personal development as well as putting you in a strong position for career progression in this sector.
Why should I study this course?
Portobello Institute’s post graduate certificate in Early Childhood Studies gives you the opportunity to attain a level 9 post graduate qualification through a flexible mode of delivery designed to fit learning around your busy working and home life.
Earning a Post graduate certificate in Early Childhood Studies will help you foster a deeper understanding of child learning and child psychology. As part of the programme you will cover two modules that will focus on learning theory and child development, leadership and curriculum design, making you an expert in early years. You can take that knowledge with you into whichever profession you determine suits you after graduation: You will be introduced to new ideas. The post graduate certificate will strengthen and develop knowledge you have already gained, exposing you to new, ground breaking ideas on how children learn and develop and the diversities we might be working with daily. You will be encouraged to communicate your ideas and learning, disseminating those with others, parents, stakeholders, practitioner, students etc, but even further with other professionals and researchers at conferences and seminars where your ideas can help develop the sector.
Who will recognise my qualification?
Upon successful completion of this programme, you will be awarded a Post Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Studies. This is awarded at level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications.
Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK
The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement. Further guidance on this framework is available here.
What will I study during this PGCert Early Childhood Studies – Starts Feb ’23 course?
A commitment to equality, diversity, social justice and advocacy are themes central to this programme. You will develop a detailed understanding of current research and contemporary thinking in the field of early childhood. You will appraise research and theory continuously and reflect on its impact on early childhood provision and practice with an emphasis on your own professional practice. Developing a sophisticated understanding of the historical, economic, social, cultural and political contexts which impact the lives of young children and their families is a key benefit of studying this PGCert in Early Childhood Studies. You will also develop a comprehensive understanding of, and commitment to, issues of equality and diversity, social justice and advocacy in relation to the field of early childhood.
Who will I learn from?
I started my career in education at the age of 16 and was teaching English to preschool and school-aged children in Kyiv, Ukraine. To develop my interest in languages and teaching, I completed a BA and then MA in Teaching English and German, followed by a PhD in Linguistics at Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv. Between 2000 and 2005, I worked at the English Language Department of the university and was responsible for teaching English to future English teachers and interpreters and supervising student research projects.
Having married an Irishman, I moved to Ireland in 2005 and as I started having my own children, I developed an interest in early childhood education. I completed training in Montessori education and started my career as a Montessori Teacher. Around that time Siolta and Aistear frameworks were introduced and I realised that I wanted to enlarge my knowledge about the variety of methods and approaches used to educate children. This led me to a BA Hons in Early Childhood Studies with Portobello Institute/London Metropolitan University and after completion of this programme with First Class Honours I taught on Portobello Level 5 and 6 Early Childhood Care and Education programmes while still continuing to work directly with children and families in Early Years settings. In 2018, I joined the Portobello team in a full-time capacity as the Programme Manager for the degree programmes and my role is focused on providing positive learning experiences for the students through leading the team of tutors and working with other Portobello departments as well as communicating with the teaching team at LMU.
I am eager to learn more about third-level education and working with adult learners. I am currently completing a MA in Education, Learning and Development programme.
Why did you choose to work in education?
I believe that the learner-centred approach is as important in third level as it is in early childhood education. The student’s well-being is very important and it is only when the student feels they are welcome and accepted as unique individuals, learning can take place. I work to create this welcoming atmosphere and make sure that students have no barriers in approaching the team, that they receive the necessary information timely, know where to get help and can get help. Education is not just about content knowledge, it is about making relationships, meeting inspiring people, learning from others – and this is what we offer the students in our department and in our Institute.
Your experience as a Programme Manager.
I am really proud of the programmes we offer. A lot of the assignments are practice-based and both, those students who are new to the industry, and experienced practitioners, have a lot of opportunities to reflect on their work with children and families and learn to align it with best practice and research evidence. Our teaching team is very strong and they strive to help the students along this journey – we employ tutors who do not only have the academic knowledge but also have industry experience so they can relate in the theory to practice in a real way. My role is to develop and support the teaching team and ensure that we are meeting our students’ needs.
The students in our department come from a variety of backgrounds. Many of them have been out of formal education for a long time, many are experiencing third level education for the first time. Some have a fear of using technology and online systems, some have learning difficulties. We understand that each student’s needs and situations are unique. We do our best to support them and we are thrilled to celebrate their success on the graduation day – their success is our success!
Ever since I started tutoring with Portobello, I’ve been inspired by the learner profile of those who study with the college. The majority of Early Childhood Studies students are practitioners who have to juggle the pressures of work, study and family life. These are people who want to better themselves despite any difficulties that might come their way. This is what motivates me to do my work on a daily basis. And as a mum of three children, who also combines work and study, I feel I am in the right place to be able to understand our students.
In addition, I think we have an excellent team working for the college. I am surrounded by like-minded and hard-working people, some of whom have become really good friends. I am blown away in how creative and innovative our senior management is in advancing the college work and how supportive they are of the team.
Because our team is compact and closely-knit, I believe we can communicate a lot better and meet the students’ needs more effectively and efficiently than many other institutions. We are currently putting emphasis on improving our student feedback system and this will be instrumental in further promoting quality in our department.
- MA Teaching English and German
- PhD Linguistics
- BA Hons Early Childhood Studies
- PGr Cert Training and Education
- Early Childhood Ireland Research and Practice Seminar
Personal Academic Tutor
Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor to support you throughout your learning journey. They are available to offer you telephone and email support at any time. You can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance at a time convenient to you.
Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. Emailing your tutor at any stage during your programme to ask a query or submit a draft of your assessment supports you to achieve your personal best throughout your studies with Portobello.
This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello as your Institute of choice to complete your studies.
How will I learn?
This PGCert in Early Childhood Studies has been specifically designed for delivery by online learning, with one to one tutorial support and modular seminars designed specifically to prepare you to complete the module. It is very suited to you if you are working full-time with limited spare time yet you want to achieve your Level 9 qualification.
During the induction seminar, you will be given your log-in details to the online portal, ePortobello. Here you will find course notes, reading lists, podcasts, articles of interest and assessment guidelines. The content is structured in an easy to “find and follow” week by week format. You will need basic computer skills such as searching the internet and typing a word document.
Each module commences with an induction seminar and you will meet your lead lecturer during this seminar. Attendance at these seminars is recommended however it is optional. You will be able to log-in and “attend” the lecture even if you are off-site or you can re-visit the lecture at a later date through our online portal. You can upload your assessments and your lecturer will give you feedback on whether you are on the right track before you submit the final version. Blended learning allows you to study at your time with support available throughout your learning journey.
This course is delivered over one academic years with optional supported seminars held during scheduled weekends. This programme consists of two core modules. You will complete on module each semester.
Each semester has 4 – 6 one day seminars designed to support the student to complete the modules scheduled for that semester. Seminars are generally held on a Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Attendance at seminars is not mandatory and are delivered with the purpose of introducing the module lecturer, setting out the learning outcomes, content, the assessment strategy and expectations for skills/knowledge development. You will be able to log-in and “attend” the lecture even if you are off-site or you can re-visit the lecture at a later date through our online portal.
All of the course material is held on an online learning portal which is an easy to use online platform specifically designed for online learning programmes. During the induction, students will be introduced to the platform with practical demonstration of how to use the portal and access lessons quickly and easily. To complete this course, students must have a basic knowledge of using a computer and searching the internet for research purposes.
Seminars & Tutor Support
The tutorial seminars are held at the start of each module and are designed to guide and support you throughout the module. These seminars lay out the module for you and the content you will cover. The assessment and expectations for successful completion are covered in detail as is where and how to access the information on the platform. You will meet fellow students and have the opportunity to create your study network for the duration of your learning journey.
You can email your tutor at any stage during the module to ask a simple query or submit a draft of your assessment. Our programme management team are always available to offer you telephone and email support and if you need to, you can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance. For more information about our team, click here. Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. This level of one to one support is unique to blended learning and is a particular benefit to choosing this mode of study. Portobello Institute has invested in a team of programme managers and tutors who are experienced early years practitioners as well as qualified and knowledgable educators. They are available to assist you at every stage of this programme.
Online Learning Portal
During the induction seminar, we will show you how to navigate and find what you need with all of the information you need to complete this programme uploaded on to the learning portal. The content of this programme is set out in an easy to follow format with a combination of notes, articles, podcasts and other materials that will help you to understand the subject and complete your assessment. You will need basic computer skills to search the internet and type a word document to complete your assignment.
How will I be assessed?
Assessments for this degree are through course work. The assessments vary from practice based assignments to researching a topic you are interested in. We encourage you to reflect on your knowledge gain with a number of assignments designed to explore your learning journey. All of these methods are seeking to support you to combine theory with scenario based learning and how to practically implement these methods into your every day practice.
As our society has become more diverse, there is a growing awareness of the importance of early years settings and the service provided not just to children and families but also to society as a whole. This has a resulted in a growth in the number and variety of job positions available in the sector, some of these are new roles not previously imagined. Employers in every sector are raising the educational requirements for emerging roles, the early years sector is not immune. A post graduate certificate in Early Childhood Studies can open up a range of job opportunities for you both in and out of the early years setting that you may not have previously considered or even been eligible for.
Consider areas of administration, working as part of the inspectorate, tutoring on level 7 degree programmes, policy development, research into the early years sector, working as a Standards Verifier of external results; The opportunities are much wider than you possibly are aware of and all of these opportunities put your expertise and experience of the early years sector to good use, enhancing your career opportunities whilst also enhancing the sector and helping gain the recognitions deserved for the early years profession. You will continue to have an impact on children at a critical part in their lives, but you can develop how and where you do this; taking on advisory and consultation roles, lecturing roles and inspectorate roles.
A Pst graduate certificate will immediately increase your earning potential due to the wider range of career opportunities that will now be open to you. This qualification in Early Childhood Studies qualification will elevate your employability and give you the opportunity to command a higher pay scale than your less qualified peers.
Speak to an expert
Choosing a course that will lead you to your career of choice is a significant decision. Understanding the delivery modes, supports available, career opportunities and further study options are all key considerations when making your choice. Our course adviser team are experts in the courses Portobello offers and the employment prospects of each of our programmes – they will guide you through the detail and support you with any queries you may have.
It is important you make the right choice for you and choose the Institute and course that will best suit your needs.
How long are you working in Portobello?
I have been working for Portobello Institute for over 5 years now.
What do you enjoy about working in Portobello?
I love the interaction with students. Every day I get to meet different individuals and learners who are looking to change their lives and I get to be the person who advises them on the best programme to take. It is a fantastic feeling to be part of their journey. For many learners this is a huge decision and I get to be the person who supports them in making that decision. There is an incredible sense of pride when I see our learners graduate and achieve their education goals.
What inspires you about working in education?
I believe that education is impowering and it can often change people’s lives. It increases the learner’s confidence and it allows the learner to reach their full potential. Coming back to education hugely lifts the learner’s self esteem.
Have you a story that you recall that touched you/made you laugh/made you cry?
One particular lady struggled with dyslexia all her life. Her disability really affected her years in school, her career choices and when this learner approached Portobello Institute I worked with her to establish the best way forward, the right course for her was without a doubt in childcare. This lady registered on the course and she needed a lot of hand holding throughout her studies from both myself and the academic team. I recall that the day of her graduation, she received the “Student of Year” award. We were all thrilled and delighted for her! This learner has since gone on to open a very successful Montessori setting.
How do you feel when you have helped a student reach a decision on their course choice?
I am there to be the deciding factor for our learners. We support people in making the right choice of programme for them. We reassure them the whole way and we support them throughout. It is a very rewarding feeling to be part of this process.
How do I apply?
Entry to this post graduate certificate is by direct application to Portobello Institute.
Applicants who do not meet the criteria, may be eligible for advanced entry into the BA Ord or Hons in Early Childhood Studies. This programme is available through Portobello Institute.
Please note places on this course are restricted and places only confirmed once tuition fees have been received. Early Application is advised.
Fees & Payment Options
Exam Body Reg. Fee
Easy Payment Plan
Deposit of 33%. Balance payable in 8 equal instalments commencing the 1st of the month after the course commences. There is an additional fee of €365 applied to instalment plan. All additional fees such as exam body registration fees and instalment plan admin fees are included in the easy payment plan detailed.
Deposit + 8 Instalments
- €428.38 due on 1st March 2023.
- €428.38 due on 1st April 2023.
- €428.38 due on 1st May 2023.
- €428.38 due on 1st June 2023.
- €428.38 due on 1st July 2023.
- €428.38 due on 1st August 2023.
- €428.38 due on 1st September 2023.
- €428.38 due on 1st October 2023.