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Masters Degrees (Early Childhood Studies)

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Prepare young learners with the skills, confidence, and motivation they need to excel in school and beyond through our MS in Early Childhood Studies program. Read more

Prepare young learners with the skills, confidence, and motivation they need to excel in school and beyond through our MS in Early Childhood Studies program.

There are few professions as rewarding as those that involve nurturing the developmental needs of children. Our master’s in early childhood development non-licensure degree program empowers you to deepen your understanding of child development and learning, expand your knowledge of effective programs and services, and enhance your ability to link issues of equity and inclusion to how students learn and grow.

You already have the desire to make a difference. With our master’s-level early childhood development degree, you can gain the knowledge and professional competencies that prepare you for leadership roles, in and out of the classroom.

After the first course, you can take one course at a time, earn your degree faster by taking two courses at once, or choose a combination of the two throughout the program to fit your changing needs.

And Walden now offers two ways to earn your degree. With Tempo Learning® by Walden, you have the option to choose your learning experience depending on your learning style and preferences. Whether you want to study alongside classmates in a traditional course-based program or earn your degree at your pace, there’s an option for you to achieve your dreams.

MS in Early Childhood Studies Degree Specializations

Walden’s MS in Early Childhood Studies program offers a variety of specializations to help you meet your personal and professional goals.

Career options

Expand Your Career Options

Prepare for a variety of roles in the early childhood field, including:

  • Child and family advocate
  • Public policy coordinator
  • Child development instructor
  • Professional development facilitator
  • Lecturer in early childhood studies
  • Child care administrator
  • Assistant director of a child care center
  • Director of a child care center or program
  • Owner of a child care center
  • Preschool director
  • Program administrator for early childhood programs


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Accelerate Your Success Through Competency-Based Education. Few professions are as rewarding as those that nurture children’s developmental needs. Read more

Accelerate Your Success Through Competency-Based Education

Few professions are as rewarding as those that nurture children’s developmental needs. Our non-licensure MS in Early Childhood Studies delivered through Tempo Learning™ will improve your ability to work with children in diverse environments so you can promote positive learning experiences for all children and will empower you to:

  • Deepen your understanding of child development and learning.
  • Expand your knowledge of effective programs and services.
  • Enhance your ability to link issues of equity and inclusion to how students learn and grow.

Tempo Learning™

The MS in Early Childhood Studies program delivered through Tempo Learning™ by Walden is a custom-paced, competency-based education option for working professionals, meaning that your progress is measured by the mastery or demonstration of skills, abilities, and knowledge in a particular area of study.

Each competency we include in your path to a degree has been carefully designed by expert faculty with input from employers, with your education and future employment in mind.

This custom-paced online program allows you to learn and advance on your own schedule. Walden faculty engage proactively with you on each competency, sharing their expertise to ensure you gain the knowledge needed to impact your career. In addition, your real-life experience and prior knowledge can be used to demonstrate what you already know and potentially accelerate your progress to save time and money.

Degree Specializations

The MS in Early Childhood Studies program delivered through Tempo Learning™ by Walden offers specializations to help you meet your personal and professional goals:

Expand Your Career Options

Prepare for a variety of roles in the early childhood field, including:

  • Child and family advocate
  • Public policy coordinator
  • Child development instructor
  • Professional development facilitator
  • Lecturer in early childhood studies
  • Child care administrator
  • Assistant director of a child care center
  • Director of a child care center or program
  • Owner of a child care center
  • Preschool director
  • Program administrator for early childhood programs

 



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The MA Early Childhood Studies provides an opportunity to engage critically with ideas, theory and research for those with an interest in supporting young children and their families. Read more
The MA Early Childhood Studies provides an opportunity to engage critically with ideas, theory and research for those with an interest in supporting young children and their families. This award encourages critical reflection on diverse social and professional settings that engage with children and families as well as the social structures that support them.

Early Childhood Studies questions the purpose and operation of the systems and structures that support the upbringing of young children. It also explores theories of identity and agency to consider how individuals sit within societies’ structures and expectations. In a time of significant shifts in education, health and welfare services for young children and their families; the ability to apply knowledge and understanding in reflective, responsive and responsible ways to promote values of social justice, are all part of being an engaged and active professional.

The MA in Early Childhood Studies challenges students to think deeply about their own professional contexts and settings as well as the social structures around them. The award draws widely on (inter)disciplinary perspectives that illuminate early childhood in order to think about, and take forward practice.

We encourage applications from practitioners, professionals and leaders who might be working (or volunteering) in a diverse range of roles in education, health, social welfare/care, community, and other settings, and in the public, private, and voluntary or social enterprise sectors. We aim for an inter- and multi-professional student group on the award for the cross-fertilisation of knowledge, experience and expertise that can be brought to bear, and as it reflects complex challenges in practice and collaborative imperatives.

This award is part of the Manchester Met Faculty of Education postgraduate Professional Development Programme.

About the Course

MA Early Childhood Studies is designed to inform a wide range of professionals in inter and multi-professional settings, in education and related health and social welfare/care. The course encourages students to explore and develop their thinking about the nature of young children, their social worlds as well as the social, political and professional structures that surround these.

Assessment details

Assessment is by coursework for each unit and a full assignment brief is available for each unit. Assessment tasks always allow you to pursue your own thinking and interests within the parameters of the unit and award. Formative feedback is available and built in for every unit.

For taught units (30 credits) the assessment is 5000 words equivalent. The final (60 credit) dissertation is 12-14,000 words.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is possible for some credits on this award and with the agreement of the Award Lead on your route through the award. Award of a PGCE recently (within the previous five years) allows advanced standing on the programme up to 60 credits; waiver of some credits may also be possible (under the Manchester Met Accreditation of Prior Learning Policy) if you have a recent or relevant certificated award at Level 7.

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You follow this specialist route if you are a practitioner working or intending to work in the early years sector. You draw on your own personal and professional experience, practice and interests to explore an area of early childhood studies that is particularly relevant to you and your career development. Read more

You follow this specialist route if you are a practitioner working or intending to work in the early years sector. You draw on your own personal and professional experience, practice and interests to explore an area of early childhood studies that is particularly relevant to you and your career development. If you have previously studied this area at undergraduate level, you can build on the knowledge you have already gained.

Course details

This MA has a full-time and a part-time route. Both routes have taught sessions which are scheduled to enable working professionals to attend. You study 180 level 7 credits made up of four modules plus a final dissertation. 

The core modules enable you to update your knowledge and skills and give you the opportunity to reflect on your professional practice whilst developing your understanding of theoretical models and current debates. There is a strong emphasis on the application of your studies to your professional context.

You study two modules; Using the Literature to Inform Educational Research and the Dissertation. You choose your topics which should be around current debates and issues in early childhood studies.

What you study

This MA has a full-time and a part-time route. Whichever route you choose you will study the same modules which are all scheduled on a Tuesday evening to enable working professionals to attend. You study 180 level 7 credits made up of four modules plus a final dissertation. The core modules enable you to update your knowledge and skills and give you the opportunity to reflect on your professional practice whilst developing your understanding of theoretical models and current debates. There is a strong emphasis on the application of your studies to your professional context.

You study two modules; Using the Literature to Inform Educational Research and the Dissertation. You choose your topics which should be around current debates and issues in early childhood studies.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Combining Professional and Academic Practice
  • Contextualising Education
  • Dissertation
  • Educational Research: Practice and Planning
  • Using the Literature to Inform Educational Research

Modules offered may vary.

Teaching

How you learn

You share experiences and perspectives on aspects of practice. You study with students from other programmes who are from a variety of educational settings and backgrounds – this sharing gives you the opportunity to develop a systematic and critical understanding of the breadth and depth of knowledge in educational research and practice. You can develop a sense of belonging to the programme while being able to discuss and explore your own area of interest. 

Peer-led discussion on research and practice issues raised in sessions provides the opportunity for interprofessional discussion and debate, and the opportunity to consider relevant issues from the perspective of other professional educational groups which supports you to integrate and synthesise a diverse range of knowledge. You share taught sessions with the Education Doctorate, enhancing the range and type of discussions held within sessions as well as encouraging you to consider your progression after the programme.

How you are assessed

Staff have a wide range of educational backgrounds and specialist interests to support for your cross-disciplinary interests and multi-agency working. Another important element is how we support your transition to studying at level 7. You are offered academic support to help you understand the requirements of master’s level study; to develop your skills in academic writing and referencing, critical thinking and critical writing; and in the key IT skills such as literature searching. The assessment allows you to reflect on your own practice and context, and produce assessed work that benefits your working context. Student feedback on the programme has consistently highlighted the level of support from the staff as a major contributor to their success.



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This distance-learning programme is designed for professionals working within the early childhood workforce, including those who may not be working directly with children but are involved in developing the early childhood workforce, such as further education lecturers and local authority advisors. Read more
This distance-learning programme is designed for professionals working within the early childhood workforce, including those who may not be working directly with children but are involved in developing the early childhood workforce, such as further education lecturers and local authority advisors.

More about this course

This course is a high quality, contemporary and coherent programme that has been designed to meet the needs of professionals working within the early childhood workforce.

The MA offers you an opportunity to advance your knowledge, understanding and professional practice through engagement with current research and thinking in early childhood. It also involves a reflection on and analysis of your own professional practice. A commitment to equality, diversity, social justice and advocacy are themes central to this programme.

The course is delivered by distance learning using an interactive online platform and individual academic support from tutors. As well as academic content the interactive online platform includes podcasts, video, online discussions and links to identified reading – either as scanned chapters or through access to our wide range of online books and academic journals.

The early childhood studies team has a long history of developing accessible study for the early childhood workforce. London Met was one of the first universities to offer an undergraduate programme designed for those working within the early childhood workforce – both as a face-to-face and distance learning programme.

The course is underpinned by the following aims to:
-Develop a detailed understanding of current research and thinking in the field of early childhood
-Continuously appraise research and theory and reflect on its impact on early childhood provision and practice with an emphasis on students’ own professional practice
-Develop a sophisticated understanding of the historical, economic, social, cultural and political contexts which impact on the lives of young children and their families
-Develop a comprehensive understanding of and commitment to issues of equality and diversity, social justice and advocacy in relation to the field of early childhood

You are assessed through coursework as well as a dissertation.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2016/17 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:
-Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood (core, 30 credits)
-Distinctive Approaches in Early Childhood Education and Care (core, 30 credits)
-Research Methods and the Dissertation (core, 60 credits)
-Creativity in Early Childhood (option, 30 credits)
-Equality and Inclusion in Early Childhood (option, 30 credits)
-Foundations of Being (option, 30 credits)

After the course

Career opportunities and potential continuing professional development include:
-Advisers to local and national government
-Further and higher education tutors
-Leadership roles within early childhood
-Doctoral research

Moving to one campus

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

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Why study at Roehampton. We are ranked best modern university in London for the quality of our research (Research Excellence Framework 2014). Read more

Why study at Roehampton

  • We are ranked best modern university in London for the quality of our research (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • Roehampton’s School of Education has a historical association with Froebel College which was founded in 1892. As a result, the programme is supported by the renowned Froebel Archive for Childhood Studies, and has developed an international reputation in the field attracting students at postgraduate level from around the world.
  • Students become part of the early childhood research centre with its internationally highly respected research team.
  • Students graduate with a high level of knowledge and expertise in early childhood and strengthened confidence to contribute to, and advance in their chosen career.

Course summary

Early Childhood Studies at Roehampton is committed to babies and young children as people with agency and unique capacities, and to their overall wellbeing from the prenatal period.

The postgraduate programme draws on Froebel’s understanding of the transformative power of young children’s play on their thinking, and the crucial way that adults can either seek to assist or control young children’s intrinsic creativity. In adults’ interactions with children, however, Froebel recognised the profound influence of the community and social context. 

The syllabus is underpinned by an awareness of the influence of these social, cultural and political contexts on young children’s lives, and of the roots and structures of inequality that arise from these issues. The programme will strengthen your awareness and understanding of these influences and explore how you take account of them in action. In these respects, the programme also draws inspiration from the work of Paulo Freire, the radical and pioneering educator. 

The teaching is informed by active research and scholarship in early years policy and practice, as well as leading research into young children’s well-being, thinking and understanding. There is a deep commitment to working in partnership with families and communities and to the development of students’ professionalism, advocacy and leadership.

The programme is relevant, engaging and of professional and personal value for a variety of roles within the early years sector. For those working directly with young children, engagement with the course content will provide a platform for continuing professional development and career progression, while for those involved in early years policy or research, the course offers an opportunity to engage with up current thinking in a broad range of issues.

Content

Students will first look at babies' and children’s capacity for play, how they think, and how they communicate their ideas and emotions though a variety of ‘languages’ such as talk, mark-making, drawing, construction, movement, music and dance. This is studied from a variety of theoretical perspectives, critically looking at the values and assumptions underpinning these views. 

There is special focus on Froebel’s legacy in early childhood practice and other key pioneers in the child-centred tradition, which embodies advocacy and respect for children and their families. You will gain an understanding of the political nature of this work, learn advocacy skills for the well-being of young children and their families and develop effective leadership and collaboration techniques across disciplines in the field of early childhood. Alongside modules going deeper into young children’s emotions and well-being, students will learn skills for undertaking their own social and educational research. These skills will be put into practice with an extended in-depth research-based project, critically enquiring into an identified social or educational problem.

Modules

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation
  • Play, Thinking and Communication

Required module

  • Undertaking Social and Educational Research

Optional modules

  • Early Childhood Pedagogy and Practice
  • Exploring the Froebelian Legacy in Early Childhood Practice
  • Professionalism, Leadership and Advocacy
  • Emotion and the Roots of Wellbeing

Career options

  • Careers in professional practice and leadership in early childhood, education, health and social welfare.
  • Careers in policy making, implementation and administration of early childhood provision.
  • Careers in research and developing the early years workforce in further and higher education.

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The PGCE Early Childhood Education with recommendation for Early Years Teacher Status is funded by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) for the Initial Teacher Training for specialist early years teachers (birth to five years). Read more

The PGCE Early Childhood Education with recommendation for Early Years Teacher Status is funded by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) for the Initial Teacher Training for specialist early years teachers (birth to five years).

Visit the website: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/courses/postgraduate/early-childhood-education-with-early-years-teacher-status.aspx

Course detail

There are two routes for this course. The Graduate Entry (Mainstream) and the Graduate Entry (Employment Based).

The Graduate Entry (Mainstream) is a twelve month, full-time course suitable for high calibre graduates who have limited experience of working with children from birth to five, but who are looking to pursue a career working in early years.

On this pathway you will work for some periods of the week in a minimum of two placements, undertake a number of PGCE modules and attend Early Years Teacher Status professional study days.

The Graduate Entry (Employment Based) pathway is suitable for graduates working in an early years setting or who require training and further experience to demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years), or for newly recruited graduates in an early years setting who need to undertake early years ITT through an employment based route.

Suitability

This postgraduate route into teaching is a credible career choice for students wishing to pursue specialisation and expertise as a teacher with children from birth to five years.

Content

All PGCE pathways cover three main areas: Curriculum Studies, Professional Studies and Enhanced Studies. The Early Childhood Education pathway is designed to complement professional practice and the academic study should be informed by and inform practice.

In Curriculum Studies modules and taught days, you will develop your understanding and knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, pedagogy and resources to support the teaching.

As you progress through your studies and can apply your learning to practical teaching situations, you will be introduced to a wider range of critical perspectives on teaching and learning in the early years. You will be expected to apply that critical reflection to your own teaching.

In Professional Studies modules and taught days, you will learn about broader aspects of education and the early years, its role in society and communities and how education policy and practice has an impact on schools. Key principles and values in early years education will be explored as you develop your own theories of education and reflect critically on others.

In the Enhanced Studies module and taught days, you will have the opportunity to choose a particular aspect of early years education and to study that in greater depth. Your learning in this context will enable you to reflect more strongly and critically on your own emerging identity as an early years teacher.

On completion of the course you will be awarded your Early Years Teacher Status from the National College of Teaching and Leadership. The Early Years Teacher Status is subject to the relevant standards and requirements set out by the Department for Education which are subject to change.

Format

You can expect to receive 50 hours academic direction for each module in a university taught session. The range of learning and teaching strategies is a central component of the design and planning of the PGCE Early Childhood Education pathway on the ITE course.

There is an expectation of 150 hours practice learning and independent study to support your individual and collaborative learning. We will use of a range of ways of engaging you in critical debate and discussion during taught sessions, including talk partners, small group discussion and micro-teaching, while enhancing the experience with practical, creative and active learning.

The Graduate Entry (Mainstream) students on this course are required to be in placement for 120 days. These placements are linked to two credit bearing modules and will contain the assessment process for the recommendation of the award of Early Years Teacher Status. The placements will be in settings for children from birth to five years and will be sourced by the Partnership Team in line with the University placement procedures and processes.

Students studying on the employment pathway (Graduate Entry Employment Based) will be able to use their current employment as their base location in addition to contrasting placements to meet the requirements of the course. On commencing the course they will complete a needs analysis with tutors so that gaps in their knowledge, skills and experience can be highlighted; in this way additional placements will be arranged to ensure these students can cover the breadth of the 0-5 years subject area.

Assessment

Early Childhood Education PGCE pathway students who opt for the PGCE modules (either as a whole or for separate Masters level modules) will be assessed in two main ways – via academic assignments and via assessment of your teaching.

You will submit academic assignments for 20 credits in curriculum, professional and enhanced studies. Each submission will include a written element, but you may also be assessed via presentation or practical performance as relevant to your subject or chosen options. You can achieve up to 60 Masters (Level 7) credits (except in the PGCE Modular pathway which offers up to 40 Masters (Level 7) credits.)

What can I do next?

On successful completion students will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with Early Years Teacher Status. Students may have already achieved 60 Masters level credits and may wish to continue studies by applying for the MA Early Childhood Education.

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow this link: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/how-to-apply/how-to-apply.aspx

Fees and Funding

See our Teacher Education Funding page to discover the scholarships and bursaries available.

View http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/fees-and-funding/teacher-education-funding.aspx



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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. Read more
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.

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/early-childhood-education

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.

Teaching times: Tuesday evenings (5-8pm) plus day time study for full-time students; Tuesday evenings only for part-time students. For all part-time students and for full-time students starting in January, there are two Saturday day schools and a daytime summer school in the last week of July in trimester 3.

For the June intake you can only choose to study part-time.

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/early-childhood-education

Careers

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.

- Work placements
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.

Core modules

Investigating Education through Research
Major Project

Optional modules:
Early Childhood - Principles, Practice & Professionalism
Specialist Studies in Early Childhood Education and Care
Professional Enquiry for Early Childhood
National & International Policy Perspectives

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.

Assessment

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.

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This specialist education pathway focuses on policies, services, child development, early years pedagogy, and research in early childhood. Read more

This specialist education pathway focuses on policies, services, child development, early years pedagogy, and research in early childhood.

The emphasis is on the years from birth to five. You will be encouraged to draw on sociocultural perspectives on childhood, government policy, relevant research and curricular approaches - and on your own experience - in examining issues related to early childhood education.

A central aim is to help early years professionals to develop a clear understanding of, and a critical perspective on, issues around early childhood studies.

MA in Education and Early Childhood can be studied one year full-time, or up to five years part-time.

Study information

You study three core modules:

  • Contemporary and Critical Perspectives in Education
  • Research Methodologies in Education
  • International and Intercultural Education

And a specialised module:

  • Early Childhood

You then complete a 60 credit dissertation which will allow you to identify and examine a topic of interest to you.

You have the option of leaving the programme at the end of stage 1 with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or at the end of stage 2 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Education as long as you have earned sufficient credits.

* All modules are subject to availability.

Future prospects

Our Masters students explore a range of current educational practice, looking at key issues and policy.

Graduates leave with reflective and practical skills and the knowledge they need to contribute to their chosen learning community.



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Recognise and champion the uniqueness of every child as you take an holistic 'whole child' approach to the study of children and the issues that affect them and their families. Read more

Recognise and champion the uniqueness of every child as you take an holistic 'whole child' approach to the study of children and the issues that affect them and their families. Using the latest research, you will explore the theoretical and conceptual terrain of childhood to inform and develop your own practice. This course will enable you to specialise your study through two distinct routes - Early Years and Children & Young People

The Early Years route will see you apply a critical lens to young children's education and care within a variety of settings. The Children and Young People route will focus more closely on critically examining concepts, contexts and practice related to childhood.

We recognise that children are active social agents and meaning makers with the abiloty to both interpret and shape their social worlds. Therefore, each module has been designed to highlight the importance of the child's voice and children's participation.

To fit around your working patterns and personal commitments, you can study over one, two or three years through day, evening and Saturday face-to-face sessions or online via our Virtual Learning Environment.

Research Excellence Framework 2014

Research Excellence Framework 2014: twice as many of our staff - 220 - were entered into the research assessment for 2014 compared to the number entered in 2008.

Core modules

  • Theorising Childhood
  • Critical Discourses in Childhood & Early Years
  • Ethical Research with Children

Option modules

  • Diverse Childhoods: Identity & Inequality (Childhood pathway)
  • Playful Learning & Playful Pedagogies (Early Years pathway)
  • Social History of Education
  • Creative Writing Pedagogies
  • Making Drama (on campus only)
  • Working with Children & Families
  • Ethical Enquiry
  • Literature & Childhood
  • Coaching & Mentoring
  • Critical Review of Contemporary Childhood Research
  • Student Negotiated Learning
  • Developing Early Language & Communication
  • Enabling Environments & Spaces of Childhood
  • Embodied Childhoods
  • Children, Crime & Social Justice
  • Reflexive Research in Practice
  • Childhood & Risk
  • Children's Cultural Words

Job prospects

If you work with children and young people, this course will help you to progress to managerial or senior leadership level. It is also suitable should you wish to pursue a career working in early years or with children and young people in, for example, youth justice, child and family support, policy development and education, or should you want to pursue a doctoral qualification.

  • Early Years Advisor
  • Nursery Co-ordinator
  • Children's Charity Worker
  • Social Worker


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The Early Years Education (Online) MA offers exceptional career development opportunities for early childhood practitioners and other professionals worldwide. Read more

The Early Years Education (Online) MA offers exceptional career development opportunities for early childhood practitioners and other professionals worldwide. This new programme builds upon the success of our established campus-based Early Years Education MA programme.

About this degree

This Master's degree offers students the opportunity to enhance their professional development and understanding of national and global issues in early learning, early years policy and curricula; critically evaluate a range of literature about young children’s learning and best practice in early education; develop their understanding of research methodology with and about young children; conduct their own small-scale research project in a setting of their own choice.

Students can expect to study an average of 300 hours per 30-credit module and 600 hours for the Dissertation. The number of weekly study hours can vary during the programme. As a general guide, students following the suggested 2-year programme structure can expect to study 7-14 hours per week and 1-2 hours per day.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (120 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Contemporary Issues in the Early Years
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Leadership in Early Childhood Education
  • Researching Early Years Education

Please note:

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 20,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through online sessions based on Moodle, our virtual learning environment. Assessment is by 5,000-word coursework assignments and a 20,000-word dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Early Years Education (Online) MA

Careers

This is a new programme and no information on graduate destinations is therefore available. Graduates of the campus-based Early Years Education MA are currently working as advisers to local and national governments; nursery, children’s centre and primary school senior leaders; further and higher education tutors; early years doctoral and funded researchers.

Employability

This programme will enable students to understand and reflect on current knowledge of early years policy and practice in the UK and internationally; raise awareness of research into early childhood practice and of research methods and approaches relevant to the field of study; enable early years educators to gain a critical understanding of policy development in early childhood services, at a local, national and international level.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is ranked first for education in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.

This new online programme provides students worldwide with an opportunity to access the exceptional expertise of the IOE.

The Early Years Education staff team at the IOE have been at the forefront of international research for two decades including the renowned Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE) project.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Learning & Leadership

78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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This course is designed for graduates with limited experience of working with children aged 0-5 years. Your studies are based around extended placements in at least two different early years settings to give you the confidence, skills and experience to work across the 0-5 age range. Read more

This course is designed for graduates with limited experience of working with children aged 0-5 years. Your studies are based around extended placements in at least two different early years settings to give you the confidence, skills and experience to work across the 0-5 age range.

Alongside this practical experience you attend taught sessions which provide you with theoretical knowledge of child development, pedagogy and the key areas of early years foundation stage (EYFS). You also gain knowledge and understanding of transition issues, including children's progress through Key Stages 1 and 2.

Supported by experienced workplace mentors during your placement, you develop your knowledge and professional skills in key areas including

  • the observation and assessment of young children's development
  • children's development and learning through play
  • children's participation and inclusion
  • collaborative working with parents and carers
  • the leadership of staff teams

During your training you also gain skills in teaching early literacy, including reading, and mathematics, including numeracy.

Throughout the course you are supported to develop a range of relevant academic and professional skills at graduate and postgraduate level. This enhances your career potential and opens up future opportunities for higher level posts within early years services.

Professional recognition

By meeting the standards for Early Years Teacher Status, you are recognised as an Early Years Teacher (0-5) with EYTS by the http://www.nationalcollege.org.uk/index" target="_blank">National College of Teaching and Leadership.

Course content

Key areas include

  • child development for babies, toddlers and young children
  • the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • play in early childhood
  • working with families
  • leadership
  • working across professional boundaries.

During the course you complete two assessed teaching practice placements in different early years settings.

Assessment

  • coursework
  • assessed practice
  • professional development portfolio

Employability

This course prepares you for roles including • early years teacher • senior early years practitioner • children's centre teacher • nursery manager.

Previous students have gained employment as early years teachers in private nurseries, preschools and children's centres, working with children and their families.

Early career roles are often practice based but involve some form of leadership such as a room leader, EYT leading practice across a setting or SENCO co-ordinating provision for children with special education needs. Students have also gained practitioner roles in schools, working with young children aged 2 - 5.

There are developing opportunities as schools extend provision to two-year-olds. Early career salaries on graduation vary across the early years sector, starting at around £16,000 going up to £24,000.

Some graduates take up teaching roles in further education, with salaries starting at £25,000. Others continue their academic and professional development at masters level.



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The Doctorate in Childhood Studies (DChild) is a partly taught and partly research based Professional Doctorate which has proved to be both successful and convenient for middle and senior managers and other professionals who wish to further their careers by enhancing their academic knowledge and research skills through developing and expanding on their existing expertise. Read more

The Doctorate in Childhood Studies (DChild) is a partly taught and partly research based Professional Doctorate which has proved to be both successful and convenient for middle and senior managers and other professionals who wish to further their careers by enhancing their academic knowledge and research skills through developing and expanding on their existing expertise.

You can undertake pathways through taught modules that have an emphasis on child care/child protection; children and education; and children/young people and youth justice.

It represents a unique opportunity to pursue an original research project informed by research training and a range of theoretical perspectives on the lives of children and young people. Exploring the experience of childhood across the age spectrum, in different social and political contexts, this research degree places a strong emphasis on the links between social justice, rights, lived experiences and outcomes.

CHILDHOOD STUDIES HIGHLIGHTS

The programme content is delivered intensively through group teaching in two and a half day blocks (usually Thursday-Saturday lunchtime).

WORLD CLASS FACILITIES

  • The modules are delivered in the University's Graduate School.

INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED EXPERTS

  • This unique programme is delivered by leading international academic experts in specialist fields including sociology, law, social work, psychology and education.

STUDENT EXPERIENCE

  • The Professional Doctorate in Childhood Studies is delivered through interactive and innovative methods including electronic resources, online discussion forums and, in the near future, podcasts.
  • Credit Transfer Participants who have completed a Master’s degree within the last 10 years that involved a substantive element of educational research methods training, including a research-based dissertation or project, may be eligible to transfer credit (a maximum of one module).
  • You can can avail of additional specialist training courses and opportunities for networking that are offered by the Graduate School and other events run at Queen’s University Belfast.

COURSE STRUCTURE

Course Details

Students are required to take eight taught modules, five of which are core and three of which are chosen from a menu of options, plus a research thesis.

Core Modules

Students must complete the following five 30-credit core modules:

  • Children’s Rights: Research and Practice
  • Psychological Approaches to Researching Childhood
  • Qualitative Research: Methods, Data and Theory
  • Quantitative Research: Methods, Data and Theory
  • Sociological Approaches to Understanding Children and Childhood

Optional Modules (all 30 credit except where stated)

  • Childhood, Rights and Justice
  • Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood
  • Researching Children and Young People in Educational Settings
  • The Professional as Researcher
  • Youth and Social Justice (20 CATS)
  • Youth Justice: Theory, Law and Practice (20 CATS)

The above list is indicative and not prescriptive.

This programme involves cross-School collaboration and a multi-disciplinary suite of optional modules. The modules are designed to ensure that students acquire interdisciplinary, theoretical and methodological research knowledge within the field of Childhood Studies. Modules are delivered in the Spring and Autumn each year in the splendid surroundings of the historic Graduate School which provides world-class graduate education creating synergy between academic and business communities.



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The programme allows students to engage with current issues and debates relevant to early years education, increasing understanding of policy development and developing leadership knowledge and skills to assess the quality of early years practice. Read more

The programme allows students to engage with current issues and debates relevant to early years education, increasing understanding of policy development and developing leadership knowledge and skills to assess the quality of early years practice. Students gain understanding of general methodology and research methods, which enables them to conduct research in early years settings.

About this degree

This programme provides the opportunity for students to access professional development that is informed by best practice in early years education. It will also prepare students for leadership roles and develop their understanding of general methodology and research methods.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Contemporary Issues in the Early Years
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Researching Early Years and Primary Education

Optional modules

  • Leadership in Early Childhood Education

Students can also choose one from a wide range of Master's-level optional modules across the IOE offering.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a 20,000-word dissertation.

Teaching and learning

This programme is delivered through face-to-face evening sessions. Assessment is through assignments and a dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Early Years Education MA

Careers

Graduates of the Early Years Education MA are currently working as nursery teachers and managers, primary school teachers, advisers to local and national government and researchers on early childhood programmes.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Day Nursery Team Leader and Pre-School Teacher, Working Mums Daycare & Pre-School
  • Pre-School Teacher / Owner, Kyalulu Preschool
  • PhD Early Years Education, Institute of Education, University of London (IOE)
  • Day School Teacher (Early Years), Girls' Day School Trust (GDST) and studying MPhil/PhD Education, Institute of Education, University of London (IOE)

Employability

By taking this programme students develop an international, critical and deep understanding of early years leadership, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Early Years Education staff team at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) have been at the forefront of international research for two decades including the renowned Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE) project.

The research and teaching team specialise in early years leadership, pedagogy and curriculum and assessment

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Learning & Leadership

78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



Read less
This is a new postgraduate qualification designed for those supporting young children’s literacy. It provides ideal training and staff development to improve delivery of the Literacy Framework, up skill practitioners and raise children’s literacy standards. Read more
This is a new postgraduate qualification designed for those supporting young children’s literacy. It provides ideal training and staff development to improve delivery of the Literacy Framework, up skill practitioners and raise children’s literacy standards. The awards of Postgraduate Diploma and MA are both available.

Course Overview

The degree is delivered so that students can integrate work commitments and study. The course combines face to face delivery at the University with independent study by the student from home. Lectures/ workshops are delivered as twilight / evening sessions or on the weekend. The course also uses blended learning where students use online resources provided by the tutors to complement and extend classroom learning.

Themes explored during the degree ensure that the content is multidisciplinary and cross-curricular and include:
-Emergent literacy
-The role of the environment and adults to enhance literacy
-Technology and early literacy
-Literacy and inclusion

The modules studied provide opportunities to develop high level research skills as well as to reflect on, analyse and evaluate current practice and theory within the field of early literacy.

The course also reflects the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child with a strong emphasis on children’s wellbeing, equity, inclusion, respect, the right to make decisions and the right to have access to play. These principles also have close links to the aims of the Foundations Phase Framework.

The programme provides a detailed overview of early literacy and students will be encouraged to take a critical approach to research and theories within this field. The role of adults and the environment in early literacy will be debated and explored, and students are encouraged to share and reflect on their own experience and practice.

The course is designed to allow students to gain the confidence to explore alternative theories and methodologies to support their own work with children. Students on the course are also encouraged to focus on young children as powerful and competent learners and to recognise that lifelong literacy is significantly influenced by literacy experiences during very early childhood.

Modules

During the Postgraduate Diploma students will study modules linked to:
-Research in a Changing World
-Alternative Literacies
-Early Literacy History, Research and Policy
-Literate Environments

Students completing the MA will also be required to complete a research based dissertation within the field of early childhood literacy.

Key Features

This is an ideal qualification for teachers, LSAs, nursery personnel, child-minders, lecturers and course providers, Flying Start personnel and anyone interested in supporting children’s early literacy.

The course has been designed by the School of Early Childhood to support professionals develop and raise literacy standards and to deliver the Literacy Framework effectively. However the multidisciplinary and cross-curricular nature of the course as well as the strong emphasis on reflection, evaluation, analysis and research provide students with important transferable skills.

The degree’s focus on undertaking research, academic writing skills and oral presentation skills also allow students to develop skills which are sought by employers and are transferable to several different career situations

The course is delivered by tutors who have extensive experience of working with young children in a range of early childhood settings and who also have delivered postgraduate training and qualifications successfully for several years.

Assessment

The assignments are varied and designed to assess a range of different skills including critical reflection, evaluation and analysis. Assessments are designed to develop students’ practical and independent research skills where students feel confident to link issues relevant to young children’s learning within a theoretical academic context.

Assessment includes both written tasks as well as opportunities to develop oral skills during seminar presentations.

Those who wish to pursue the MA in Early Literacy will complete as research dissertation during the second part of their studies which provides an opportunity to undertake a significant piece of research in an area related to early literacy. Students will be supported during the process with individual supervision from an experienced member of academic staff.

Career Opportunities

The early literacy focus of this course allows students to demonstrate to employers and expertise in an area currently the focus of government education initiatives. It can also help people who wish to specialise further within the early year’s sector. Developing an expertise within literacy can support students to take advantage of promotion opportunities or new responsibilities within their current employment.

The degree also focuses on developing students’ research skills, written and oral communication skills as well providing students with excellent time management and organisation skills. These are all skills which are highly sought after by a variety of diverse employers, and thus skills gained during the degree are transferable to different career pathways.

The School of Early Childhood works closely with employers and has developed an employer forum with local employers. The forum meets regularly and helps the lecturing team ensure that the content of the degree supports the types of skills and experiences required of graduates when applying for work.

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