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Early Years courses

Do you work with or have an interest in the field of children and young people? Are you looking to learn more about young children's lives and experiences? An Open University early years course could be for you. Find out more about our early years qualifications below.

Group of young children taking part in a classroom activity

Early Years

Degrees 

Stage 1120 credits
Stage 2120 credits
Stage 3120 credits
Total of 360 credits 

How long will it take?

Part time: 16–18 hours per week for 6 years
Full time: 32–36 hours per week for 3 years


Early Years

Diplomas 

Stage 1120 credits
Stage 2120 credits
Total of 240 credits 
How long will it take?
Part time: 16–18 hours per week for 4 years
Full time: 32–36 hours per week for 2 years


Early Years

Certificates 

Stage 1120 credits
Total of 120 credits 
How long will it take?
Part time: 16–18 hours per week for 2 years
Full time: 32–36 hours per week for 1 year

Why study Early Years with The Open University?

You'll be studying courses designed and created by our School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport. The School offers a ground-breaking curriculum, inspiring and engaging teaching methods, and supports research that looks to influence practices, policies and debate – both nationally and internationally.

The benefits of studying an early years qualification with us are:

  • Your study will be professionally and vocationally relevant across many contexts.
  • You'll become equipped with the knowledge and experience to make a real difference in this field.
  • You'll be studying with a university that has 50 years’ experience as pioneers of social justice and social change.
  • You can fit our flexible study around your work and other commitments.

Careers in Early Years

An early years qualification – for example, in childhood and youth studies or early childhood – can open up a range of careers, including: childcare, counselling, early years work, youth and community work, and local, national and international policy development.

Our courses in early years can help you start or progress your career as a:

  • Teacher
  • Counsellor
  • Education Welfare Officer
  • Family Support Worker

Looking for something other than a qualification?

The majority of our modules can be studied by themselves, on a stand-alone basis. If you later choose to work towards a qualification, you may be able to count your study towards it.

See our full list of Early Years modules

All Early Years courses

Browse all the Early Years courses we offer – certificates, diplomas and degrees.

See our full list of Early Years courses