Edinburgh College Banner

Childhood Practice & SVQ Provision

Childhood Practice PDA Level 9

Campus Sighthill Campus

Qualification SCQF Level 9

Study mode Evening

Duration 52 weeks

Start date Jan 2024

Course enquiry form

Note your interest for this course.
Enter your full name
Enter your email address
This form collects your name and email address so we can contact you with pre-application information on future courses including application deadlines, campus open days and course information. Read our privacy notice to find out how we collect, store and use your data (and for information on withdrawing your consent).

Course overview

Please note our 2023/24 intake is now full. 

We'll have a course information meeting for the 2024/25 intake on Wed 28th February at 6.30pm, to register your interest contact jacqueline.vural@edinburghcollege.ac.uk

The PDA Level 9 Childhood Practice is a qualification designed for lead practitioners and managers of childcare and playwork settings. This qualification is equivalent to a university degree and is accepted by the SSSC for registration as lead practitioner/manager.

The course focuses on management and leadership in the childhood practice sector and covers a range of relevant topics from a management perspective. Students are encouraged to take part in research and to research and review contemporary theories.


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.

The course begins with a short mandatory introductory block in academic writing, to ensure students are prepared for academic study and assessments at this level. This runs from October to December 2024, with the PDA Level 9 units beginning in January 2025.

You may be able to access funding for course fees from your local authority workforce development fund or receive a proportion from the SAAS part-time fee grant. Course fees are payable at the start of each year (2-year course).

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, comparative play theories, and collaborative working with colleagues and other professionals.
  • The course includes a research project into an area of interest to identify potential areas for change and development.
  • 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 working 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.

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. 

Number of days per week

  • One evening per week - Thursday 6.30-8.30pm
  • A blended learning approach with one evening per month on campus (Sighthill) and the other classes as live online MS Teams sessions.
  • Applicants who live too far from Edinburgh to attend the on campus sessions can attend these classes on Teams.
  • 2 year course 

Entry requirements

  • You must have 240 credits at SCQF levels 7 and 8 in relevant subjects to gain entry to this course. This should include an award accepted by the SSSC to register as a practitioner (eg HNC or SVQ 3). Contact us for advice on this, we have a range of options for gaining additional credits if required.

Information on Tests / Auditions / Interview Requirements

English Proficiency Requirements

IELTS 6.5

Progression and Articulation Routes

  • Postgraduate study in a related field 

Career options

  • Register with the SSSC at a lead practitioner/manager level 

Study Options

Campus Study mode Start date Duration
Sighthill Campus Evening 04/01/24 52 Weeks

You may also be interested in these courses

Childhood Practice & SVQ Provision

Award in Forest Kindergarten (April 2024)

The SQA-certificated Forest Kindergarten course has been put together to specifically meet the needs of practitioners wh...

Read more and apply

Campus
Granton Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 7

Study mode
Part time

Duration
8 - 15 days

Childhood Practice & SVQ Provision

Childhood Practice - Additional Credits

This course offers continuing professional development for those already working with children and young people in a chi...

Read more and apply

Campus
Outreach - Multiple Sites

Qualification
SCQF Level 7

Study mode
Open learning

Duration
41 weeks

Childhood Practice & SVQ Provision

ESOL Part time courses Milton Road

Please note, applications for this course open on 9 April 2024.Edinburgh College is one of the largest year-round provid...

Read more and apply

Campus
Sighthill Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 5

Study mode
Full time

Duration
20 weeks

Childhood Practice & SVQ Provision

Childhood Practice Level 5 (SCQF 5)

The Childhood Practice Level 5 is an engaging and interactive course designed to prepare students for working with child...

Read more and apply

Campus
Granton Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 5

Study mode
Full time

Duration
41 weeks

Childhood Practice & SVQ Provision

Childhood Practice with ESOL Level 5 (SCQF 5)

This SCQF Level 5 course is ideal for you if you are interested in a career working with children and young people and i...

Read more and apply

Campus
Granton Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 5

Study mode
Full time

Duration
41 weeks

Childhood Practice & SVQ Provision

Education Support Assistance PDA (for Classroom Assistants) (SCQF 6)

This SCQF Level 6 course is designed for people who would like to work as a classroom assistant/education support assist...

Read more and apply

Campus
Sighthill Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 6

Study mode
Full time

Duration
41 weeks

Childhood Practice & SVQ Provision

HNC Childhood Practice (Practitioner Focus)

The HNC Childhood Practice (Practitioner Focus) is for applicants interested in a career in the early education, childca...

Read more and apply

Campus
Granton Campus

Qualification
SCQF Level 7

Study mode
Full time

Duration
41 weeks