Options With Your Early Years and Childhood Studies Degree


This booklet looks at your options and gives real examples of how Manchester Met students like you have used their Early Years degree studies as a platform to build a career. I hope that reading this booklet will inspire you to think about your own career plans. 

Some questions to consider when you’re reading this booklet:

Career Research:

Have a go at a Careers quiz to generate some ideas: Prospects Planner.

Have a look at this Prospects article: What can I do with my degree in Childhood Studies?

Browse job profiles to get ideas and find out how to get into a huge variety of different careers: Prospects Job Profiles.

Further study:

To get an overview of studying at postgrad level, including funding info etc. Take a look at: Prospects Postgraduate Study.

Find out more about popular career choices for Early Years and Childhood graduates:


Have a look at the government’s information website for an overview of this career: Get Into Teaching.

Use our specially written teaching guides: MMU Careers Guides scroll down to the Education & Teaching section for a range of useful information which includes guides on:

Roles in Education - Not Teaching:

There’s a huge range of jobs in education – not just teaching e.g. pastoral/support roles in schools, colleges and universities. These can go by a range of job titles:

Have a look at Greater Jobs, the jobsite for the 10 Greater Manchester councils, for more live vacancy examples.

Education Alternatives:

A guide to roles other than teaching is available on the target jobs website and in our guides section: Education Alternatives.

For more ideas have a look at the National Careers Service website which gives over 50 education-related job profiles.

Social Work:

Find out more about the qualifications and skills needed to become a social worker: Prospects Social Worker.

You’ll usually need some work experience/volunteering with vulnerable groups to get onto a post-grad course in social work as well as a genuine commitment to social work and social justice. The majority of opportunities to train are in universities. Find courses on UCAS and search on “Postgraduate” and “Social Work” MMU social work course info.

Therapy-Related Roles:

Many early years graduates are interested in working with children and families in a therapeutic way. Popular related careers:

Play therapy:

Play therapists usually work with children aged 3-11 using play as a communication tool to understand their world and to help them and their families deal with emotional distress and trauma. Many play therapists are self-employed and work across different settings, such as schools and social services centres and/or with private clients. You'll need to undertake a postgraduate qualification recognized by the professional bodies BAPT or PTUK, as well as having a lot of experience of working with children to become a play therapist. For many people this is role they take up as a second career after working with children for a number of years. See this job profile for full info: Prospects Play Therapist.

Health Play Specialist:

Health play specialists use play as a therapeutic tool to help children understand their illness and treatment, often in a hospital setting. Most employers expect health play specialists to be registered with the Healthcare Play Specialist Education Trust. To register, you need a foundation degree in healthcare play specialism. This is a two year part-time course. To get onto the course, you usually need:

Courses are a mix of practical work and theory. Many students have a role in a hospital as a play assistant when they start the foundation degree, but if you are not already working in healthcare play, you need to arrange a placement during the course, see: NHS Health Play Staff.

To look at live job vacancies and entry requirements see: NHS Jobs.

Counselling Roles:

Counselling skills can be very useful in a huge range of jobs working with children and young people. Many people interested in this kind of work start with a level 2 introduction to counselling course (sometimes called Counselling Concepts) which provides basic counselling skills and an overview of training before committing to a full counselling course. These typically last eight to twelve weeks and are widely available part-time at further education (FE) colleges. Some local colleges that offer these type of courses include The Manchester College, Stockport and Bolton College. Some postgraduate level courses have a linked graduate certificate to undertake first to allow you entry e.g. Salford University. Read up on training as a counsellor here: Prospects.

Child Psychotherapy:

Child and adolescent psychotherapists offer psychoanalytic treatment to children and young people with emotional or behavioural difficulties. To get onto one of the accredited training routes it is necessary for you to have considerable experience of working with babies, children, young people or families, so this is another choice that you might work towards as part of a longer-term plan. Find out more here: Prospects Child Pyschotherapist.

Working for Charities/Social Care Sector:

Many graduates from your course find work in the charity and social care sectors, often working with organisations specialising in work with families and children, job titles and duties can be varied. Looking at live vacancy sites will give you a good idea of the types of jobs available and the entry requirements for individual roles. For example look at: UK Charity Jobs.

Get a great overview of 39 different professionals’ real life day-to-day work in the social care sector: Guardian - "A Day In The Life Of".

Have a look at our guide Working in the Public and Not for Profit Sectors for lots more info.

Charity Works: Paid 12 month Graduate Management Programme.


To find out about the range of careers available in the NHS and the ways to train see: NHS Health Careers.

You can look at live vacancies and check out entry requirements on: NHS Jobs.

The Greater Manchester NHS Careers and Engagement Hub: A useful site, have a look at the “learners” section.

NHS Graduate Training Opportunities: Gives info about careers in the NHS for those without a health-related degree. It is possible to re-train for careers such as midwifery, for example, – which some graduates from your course have gone on to do each year.

See below some examples of the jobs ex-Manchester Met Early Years & Childhood Studies students were working in 6 months after graduation from the last few years: 

Nursery and Childcare roles:

Charity and Voluntary Sector Roles:

Local Authority/Council Roles:

Schools and College-Based Roles:

Private sector – Not Related to Childcare:

Further Study:

Further Study is also a popular option for people on your course and 6 months after finishing their degree many graduates from your course are already doing a bit more studying! – here are some examples of courses they have gone on to:

Case Studies:

For career inspiration, have a look at our Careers blog education section which includes 6 detailed case-studies written by past students from your course about their career path since graduating and their current roles: Manchester Met Careers and Employability Blog

They include:

See more Man Met Faculty of Education graduate stories  

Some Job Vacancy Site examples:


If you haven’t already got a Linkedin profile, you can set one up very quickly and this is a very useful way to increase your professional presence online and you can also use the platform to search for jobs and research employers. See our Creating your Linkedin Profile guide  Join the CYES Linkedin group to get relevant updates and stay in touch!



When you start applying for jobs make sure your applications are top quality. This is crucial, no matter how good you are in person, you need to get your application technique right to get to the interview stage. Have a look at our Completing Applications guide, and our CVs and Covering Letters guide (both on our guides page). See MMYou Careers Centre for lots of application form resources and CV tips


There is no single correct way to write your CV by any means, but have a look below at an example CV for an Early years graduate (who is applying for roles working with children) to give you an idea of a successful layout:



 07772 997317/0161 917 9227


Personal profile

Recent Early Years and Childhood Studies graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University, with excellent knowledge of child development gained throughout my studies. I am passionate about encouraging children to thrive and work experience in a school has equipped me with classroom support skills. I am now seeking an opportunity within education in order to utilise my existing skills and contribute to a positive learning environment.


2016 - 2019: Manchester Metropolitan University

Early Years and Childhood Studies (BA Hons) Predicted grade: 1st Class Honours

Key Modules Included

Children’s learning and development, Health, Community and Social Care, Constructing Child Development, Rights and Participation, Childhood, Youth and Society, Partnerships for Creativity and Social Enterprise, Perspectives of Play, Working with Diversity and Inclusion, Issues in Education.

University Projects

Carried out a small-scale research project in my second year of study, which involved successfully interviewing 10 professionals regarding child behaviour and behaviour control. My ability to liaise with both education professionals and my dissertation coordinator ensured that information was collated into a well-reviewed resource which was widely shared.

Working with large quantities of qualitative data required me to be extremely organised and to effectively analyse my results in order to develop a presentation that was delivered to a varied of audience of students and professionals.

My dissertation on “How an effective transition is achieved from nursery to reception” emphasised that every child is unique, and the importance of collaboration between parents, teachers and children. Due to my diligence and extensive research I achieved the outstanding mark of 75%.

University Childcare Placements

Sunny Daycare, Moss Side                                                              January 2017 - February 2017

Dudley Day Village Nursery                                                             January 2018 - February 2018

Church of England Primary School                                                   October 2019 - April 2019

Working with children within both the nursery and primary environments I have gained valuable insight into child development within education. Working one to one or in small groups with children to provide extra support I developed my communication skills and my ability to create  stimulating, small scale lesson plans. Supporting learning and play through literacy and numeracy activities with the children I encouraged them to excel and exceed their targets. Through all of my placements I received excellent feedback from my placement coordinators.

Other Qualifications

2009 – 2016: Geoffrey High School

A-Levels: French (A), Psychology (A), Mathematics (D)

AS-Level: Biology (B)

GCSEs: 10 A* - C grades including Maths and English 

Health and Social BTEC (Distinction*)

Career History

Waitress: The Lion Hotel, Dudley
                                                            June 2014 - June 2015

Delivering excellent customer service to all guests, ensuring that the reputation of the hotel was upheld at all times.Working within a busy customer facing environment my ability to work effectively as part of the service team proved essential and ensured a prompt and efficient service.Utilising excellent communication skills when handling complaints and enquiries in order to provide a positive customer experience.

Shop Assistant: Bowden News, Solihull
                                                June 2015 - September 2016

Working alone enabled me to develop my leadership skills as I would have overall responsibility for the store, customers and staff.Effectively managing customer enquiries and sales including the sale of restricted items, where I worked within  the law and store policy. This required me to have a keen attention to detail and to ask for appropriate age identification as required.Due to positive feedback from both customers and management I was promoted to train new staff members.

Additional Skills

Hold a full clean driving licence.

Basic First Aid Certificate.

Hobbies and Interests

During my spare time, I am a committed member of a local community group which involves taking part in volunteering, encouraging community participation, as well as attending meetings and leading the committee when required. Being a member of this community centre has built my confidence and taught me to be well organised which I believe to be important in all aspects of work. I consider myself to be a sociable person and possess a good sense of humour. I also like to keep active in my spare time, and regularly attend the gym.

References are available on request.

The Careers and Employability Service


Detailed Careers Guides: Our full range of careers guides, including information on finding and applying for work and further study opportunities are available on our website.

Ask a Careers Question Online: Get online advice through My Career Hub, ask your question at any time and receive support via email.

Careers Consultant Appointments: Book a 30 minute appointment to discuss working or studying abroad with a Careers and Employability Consultant.

Careers Events: Meet employers and enhance your employability by attending our workshops, employer events and careers fairs.

Term-Time Drop-Ins:

Every week during term-time in Brooks Student Hub

Find out about all our services on MMU Careers

Careers and Employability Support

We offer range of support services to Manchester Met students and graduates:

For more information visit mmu.ac.uk/careers