The creation in the early years sector of a culture of continuing learning and professional development means that graduate level is not the end of the road.
The University of Sheffield and University College London incorporate distance learning into their masters courses, which span early childhood education and early childhood studies. Leeds Beckett has designed its course so it can be taken around full time work.
Course content, duration and entry requirements for post-graduate admissions will be specified by the individual institutions, but generally speaking candidates would be expected to be of degree level and to have the necessary depth of knowledge to cope with the level of study.
And many more
Practitioners who started an early education and childcare qualification from 1 September 2014 must hold a qualification that meets the early years educator criteria to be considered full and relevant.
Postgraduate certificates and diplomas at level 7 in early years, early childhood studies or childcare with an element of assessed performance in an early years setting are considered full and relevant. To count in the staff:child ratios at level 3, these graduates must also have achieved GCSEs in English and maths at grade C or above.
Practitioners who started or completed a qualification before 1 September 2014 must hold a qualification that meets the full and relevant criteria to be counted in the level 3 EYFS staff:child ratios.
Postgraduate certificates and diplomas at level 7 in early years, early childhood studies, childcare or playwork with an element of assessed performance in an early years setting are considered full and relevant. This means that anyone holding these qualifications can count in the EYFS staff:child ratios at level 3.
NQF or QCF?
Early years qualifications had been migrating from the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) to the new Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) since 2010.
Now however both are being replaced by RQF, Regulated Qualifications Framework, which is designed to be simpler, and will help people understand 'better how qualifications relate to each other, by setting consistent measures of size (how long, typically, a qualification takes to study and be assessed for) and level of difficulty', according to the Government.
For more information about early years level 7 qualifications, see here
A direct link to the Early Years Qualifications List is here.