Course Type / Attendance

Full Time, Higher Education

Subject Area


Start Date

Call 0191 511 6000

Course Length

Two Years




Adult, Higher Education

Course Level


Award to be received

Higher National Diploma

Home / Course / Higher National Diploma in Advanced Practice in Early Years Education

Who is this course for?

The course is for learners who wish to work as an Early Years Practitioner/ Nursery Manager with children aged 0-8 years. It is a nationally recognised level 5 vocationally specific qualification. It will allow you to practice within a range of settings in the Early Years sector.

What do you need to apply for the course?

You will have a Level 3 qualification in a relevant subject such as Early Years Education and Care, Childcare or a Diploma for the Children’s Workforce. You will need GCSE English and Mathematics grades 4 or the level 2 equivalent.

Accreditation of prior learning

If you have achieved a qualification such as a HNC, or have gained credit at another higher education provider, you may be able to enter the course at level 5. For further information please contact the College’s admissions team on

What are the key things you'll learn?

This course will give you the knowledge and skills specifically for working in the field of Early Years education and care. You will learn about child development and how children learn. You will learn about how to keep children safe and how to demonstrate inclusive practice. In year 2 you will find out how to carry out research in the field of Early Years.



This unit map provides a list of the units that make up your course.

Each unit is worth a specified number of credits. You must take units worth a total of 120 credits for an HNC and a minimum of 240 credits to achieve an HND.

Our teaching is informed by current practice and modules may change periodically to reflect developments in the sector.

The modules on the course are as follows

Year 1

Wednesday Thursday
Unit 13 Promoting Progress in Language, Literacy and Mathematics in the Early Years (Level 5). Unit 1 Professional Development Through Reflective Practice (Level 4).
Unit 14 Promoting Creative Expression in the Early Years (Level 5). Unit 3 Theories of Development and Progress – Birth to Seven Years, 11 Months (Level 4).
Unit 15 Promoting an Understanding of the World in the Early Years (Level 4). Unit 4 Early Years Curriculum, Play and Learning (Level 4).


Year 2

Wednesday Thursday
Unit 6 Developing Research Skills for Early Years Practice (Level 5). Unit 9 Creating Safe Environments in Early Years Settings (Level 4).
Unit 21 Working with Families (Level 5). Unit 2 Communication, Values and Leadership for Advanced Early Years Practitioners (Level 5).
Unit 10 Supporting Quality Improvement in Early Years Settings (Level 5). Unit 7 Issues Affecting Children’s Behaviour (Level 4).
Unit 19 Diversity, Difference and Inclusion in Early Years Settings (Level 5). Unit 8 Safeguarding, Children’s Welfare and Child Protection (Level 5).



Timetables are normally available at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.

How you will learn


The course is both theoretical and practical and is assessed both at college and in a relevant early year’s setting or workplace environment. You will be assessed using a variety of methods; for example presentations, professional discussions, research tasks and observations in the workplace.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures or placement you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research, preparing coursework assignment and presentations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of facilities including the learning centre.

Academic Support

Our HE Academic Support Tutor provides help in the following areas:

  • Study skills (including reading, writing, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills (in conjunction with the learning centres)
  • Critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • Revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management)

Teaching Staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes (senior lecturers and professional practitioners with industry experience,). Our teaching is informed by the relevant practice within the sector and 100 per cent of our lecturers have a teaching qualification.


The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark.

There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each unit. Assessment methods include; formal written tasks; collaborative group presentations; independent learning; poster presentation; extensive research and enquiry; debated Issue; observed practice; the pursuance and completion of an individual research project in year 2.

The grades from formal assessment count towards your module mark.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The percentage of the course assessed by coursework is 100%.


You will receive feedback on all assessments undertaken by coursework and in placement. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in.

Where could this course take you?

You can find employment as an Early Years Practitioner or Nursery Manager or may gain promotion from your existing role. You may progress on to a Top-Up Degree programme in Early Years or Education and Care.

What costs will you incur?

2018 tuition fee: £5999 per year

It is not possible to confirm fees for future academic years but the maximum increase each year will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The following course-related costs are included in the fees:

  • Annual ?? printing allowance.

Financial support

For more information on Student Finance please go to our HE Finance page.