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Advance your knowledge of young children’s learning and develop your early years practice and professionalism. Explore areas of personal interest in early childhood education and care whilst also enhancing your research skills. There will also be opportunities to visit different early years settings.
If you have a degree in early childhood studies, pre-school education or a related subject, our MA offers a great opportunity to explore aspects of young children’s lives in more depth, examining current policies and practices to build on your existing knowledge. If that’s you, why not take this opportunity to boost your skills and knowledge? You’ll be able to link your newly-learned theories and research with your practice from the start, boosting your contribution to your workplace and enhancing your career prospects. Taught by experienced tutors who are passionate about using insights from research to enhance the lives of young children and their families. The course focusses on early childhood education from birth until eight years old and you’ll graduate with a valuable postgraduate qualification.
Are you working with children, or do you intend to work with children in the future? If so, our MA will enhance your career. It provides a highly relevant professional development opportunity for you whether you’re an early years or pre-school teacher, a manager in a childcare setting, a family support worker or an early years consultant. It’s also a great starting point if you’re looking for a career in academia and is a step towards a PhD or EdD.
There are no formal work placements for this course. If you’re already working in an early years environment then you can immediately put your new skills and experience into practice. Our course also gives you the opportunity to visit different early years settings thanks to our links with local nurseries. If you’re interested in gaining experience as a researcher you may be able to get involved with research projects run by our Department of Education and the Early Childhood Research Group.
MOUDLES & ASSESSMENT
Educational and Social Research MethodsThis module provides you with the opportunity to consider the aims and intentions of educational research, critique published journal articles, and examine the role of evidence from research as a basis for improving education and social care. You will gain grounding in educational research issues, methods and strategies together with knowledge of how to match intended outcomes with specific educational questions and methods of investigation.
Major ProjectThe Major Project is central to the Masters award and enables you to demonstrate your ability to synthesise learning from previous modules. You will use this learning as the basis for planning, conducting and writing up a research or work-based project. This is the opportunity for you to demonstrate the ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your chosen topic and a critical understanding of research methods and their relationship to knowledge. You will also be in a position to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in your research or professional practice and to expand existing knowledge to contribute to the development of best practice.
Early Childhood – Principles, Practice & ProfessionalismIn this module early childhood is considered from a range of contemporary perspectives, examining and critiquing theories from developmental psychology and introducing ideas from the new sociology of childhood. Students will examine the work of pioneer early educators and more recent pedagogies, curricula and practices from a range of countries, mindful of the importance of indoor and outdoor play experiences. The dynamics of leadership and management will also be explored.
Specialist Studies in Early Childhood Education and CareOn this module, students will have the opportunity to focus on specialist areas provided by the course team and to work with other students to achieve the learning outcomes successfully. Students will decide together on the subject specialism(s) from a list which will include but not necessarily be limited to: children’s rights and participation; observation and pedagogical documentation; play and creativity in the early years; supporting children with Special Educational Needs and their families; or outdoor learning experiences.
Professional Enquiry for Early ChildhoodThis module offers students the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and expertise in an area of personal and professional interest, relating to early childhood education and / or care and offers strategies to assist the development of a deep understanding of factors which shape ways of thinking, working and learning in early childhood. The professional enquiry can be either exclusively literature based or predominantly work based. Students may pursue individual or small group enquiries or a larger group of students may work, with a specialist tutor, to enquire into an agreed subject area together.
National and International Policy PerspectivesPolicy has a central place in all phases of education at macro, meso and micro levels. Students taking this module will have the opportunity to explore aspects of policy in depth, considering the ideologies, values and evidence that inform policy and the position of individuals and groups when responding to and implementing policy. MA Education and MA Early Childhood Education students take this module together as some global and national policy initiatives have an impact across all sectors and policy developments in one part of the educational system are likely to affect others. Students are expected to be active learners, engaging in group discussion and group presentations in order to share their ideas about both theory and practice.
You will take 3 optional modules from the above list. The availability of modules will depend on whether you are a full-time or part-time student and on when you start your course. More information and guidance will be available from your course leader. All modules are subject to change.
You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways including presentations and written assignments as well as group work and peer reviews. For each 30 credit module you’ll complete an assessment of 6,000 words or equivalent. Your Major Project will usually be a written research report of around 15,000 words.