SCQF Level 9
Childhood Practice & SVQ Provision

Course Overview

This Professional Development Award (PDA) is an industry-recognised qualification designed for lead practitioners and managers of childcare and playwork settings. This qualification is equivalent to a university degree and accepted by the SSSC for registration.
For those with qualifications in social work, community education and nursing we can offer the 60 credits of management and leadership required by the SSSC.

Our next course will start in October 2021 - an evening class at our Sighthill campus.

This course begins with a short course in academic writing, to ensure students are prepared for submitting assessments. You will be taught by highly qualified and experienced lecturers and have individual support from Edinburgh College allowing you to progress professionally and academically.
A career in childhood practice is more than just a job. With plenty of opportunities for progression, each day can be different.

You may be able to access funding for course fees from your local authority childcare partnership or receive a proportion from the SAAS part-time fee grant.

Contact for more information or to register your interest. 

What You Will Learn
  • The course is based on the Standard for Childhood Practice (SSSC).
  • There is a focus on management and leadership from the start, and this underpins all units.
  • Students study a unit based on their own area of specialism - we currently offer options in early learning, pre-birth to three and playwork.
  • Other units cover topics such as children's rights, inclusion, diversity, play theories and collaborative working.
  • The final unit offers students the opportunity to develop an organisational operational plan based on the knowledge they have gained during the course.
Placement Information
  • Applicants should be in a senior or lead practitioner role in a childhood practice setting.
  • A five-day placement in a different setting is required when you will shadow the manager to observe practice.
Entry Requirements
  • You must have 240 credits at SCQF Level 7 and 8 in relevant subjects to gain entry to this course.
English Proficiency Requirements
  • IELTS 6.5
How the course is assessed
  • The course will take place over two academic years and will include a range of different learning opportunities and tutorial sessions including online learning, research, and discussion groups; all with full support from our experienced staff. 
Information on Test/Auditions/Interview Requirements
  • You must complete an application pack which is available from 
Progression And Articulation Routes
  • Postgraduate study in a related field 
Career Opportunities
  • Register with the SSSC at a lead practitioner/manager level 
Number Of Days Per Week
  • One day per week (morning or evening) 
Course Cost And Funding Options
Student Stories

After studying Music at university, Childhood Practice PDA SCQF Level 9 student Gavin explored a range of different careers before finding his calling in childcare and early learning. He told us why a career in childcare is so rewarding: 

“I work as a centre manager at Midlothian Sure Start, a voluntary organisation with charitable status, which aims to give young children from pre-birth to 11 years the best possible start in life. I’m studying Childhood Practice PDA Level 9 as part of my professional development and I’m learning skills which will enable me to help shape children’s futures.”

Course Delivery
GRANTON x x x x x
MIDLOTHIAN x x x x x
MILTON RD x x x x x
SIGHTHILL x x x x x
OUTREACH x x x x x

Courses may be subject to alteration or cancellation

It's not just making play-dough!
Gavin tells us why he studies childcare

​Read his story

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To apply please download an SCP application form and contact your guidance teacher who will support you through your application.

For further information please contact the College t: 0131 669 4400 | Terms of use and disclaimer
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