Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.

You do not need to be working with young children in order to study this qualification; however to enhance your learning in practice-focused modules, it is strongly recommended students gain direct experience with young children (birth to 7 years, 11 months). Students not working with young children (employed or in a voluntary capacity) will need to negotiate opportunities to gain such practical experience. It is your responsibility and that of your employer – not the OU’s - to ensure the necessary Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (or equivalent if not working in England) required for the setting and country in which you’re working is obtained and that you meet the ‘fit person’ criteria for work with young children. You should contact the relevant agency in your country for more information.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Counting previous study

You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification, if you have:

  • already studied at university level (even if you didn't finish your studies)
  • other professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs

Find out more about credit transfer

Preparing for study with an Access module

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:

  • a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This is a multidisciplinary module that allows you to develop your subject knowledge and your general study skills. It provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of subject areas, including children and young people, health, law, management, psychology and social sciences.

View full details of People, work and society Access module

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you. 

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £2,864*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,728*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £11,456*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2018. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


An OU qualification will always help you stand out from the crowd, now and in the future – whether you’re just starting out, developing your career, or changing direction entirely.

Skills for career development

This diploma of higher education is designed to contribute to the development of a highly skilled and effective workforce and to integrated coherent services for young children and their families. In addition to specialist knowledge and understanding of early childhood, you’ll also develop a range of key communication, IT, numeracy, analytical, critical thinking and time management skills – all attributes that are highly valued by employers across all sectors.

Career relevance

This DipHE is relevant for existing early years practitioners (normally with a Level 3 early years qualification) or those interested in finding out more about young children’s learning and development. It provides a foundation for entry to a range of careers working with and for young children and their families.   It is also suitable for those wanting to move into careers in teaching, health or social work.

Please note
England only: if a Level 3 early years qualification is not held on entry, this course is not deemed ‘full and relevant’ to enable you to count in the staff:child ratios at Level 3.
Scotland only: if a Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) qualification for registration as a day care of children’s services staff (support worker or practitioner) is not held on entry, this qualification does not lead to registration.

GCSE passes at Grade C or above in English and Maths are normally required for post-graduate study and for teaching a GCSE Grade C pass in Science is also a requirement.

Further information about Early Childhood qualifications can be found:

  • For England, on the Department for Education (DfE) website;
  • For Wales, on the Care Council Wales (CCW) website;
  • For Scotland on the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) website;
  • For Northern Ireland, on the Department of Education (DENI) website;
This diploma qualification may also be helpful if you’re interested in primary teaching (3-8 years) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). However, since the OU doesn’t offer teacher training for this age range, we cannot guarantee automatic progression to ITE training programmes. Check with your local ITE training provider about their entry policy. For up-to-date information visit the Department for Education website in England; the Teach in Scotland website in Scotland; the Department of Education in Northern Ireland; and the Teacher Training & Education in Wales website. 
 

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser.  Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience):

  • teacher
  • family support worker
  • counsellor
  • child psychotherapist
  • careers adviser
  • advice worker
  • probation officer
  • social worker
  • education welfare officer
  • learning mentor
  • community development worker.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, Prospects and Plan IT


Thinking of studying this course?

It is not possible to register for this qualification at the moment, registration will be available in 2018. If you would like to be kept updated, register your interest. 


Request your Education, Childhood and Youth prospectus

Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

Request prospectus

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