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The early years of a child's life are critical years that play a major role in determining the child's developmental trajectory throughout life. A significant body of research literature has documented the importance of early childhood education and the difference that quality early childhood education makes in these early formative years. The Faculty of Education at UBC is fortunate to have a number of faculty members whose research and professional interests focus on children from birth to age 8. The strength of this group is in its breadth across disciplinary areas, the variety and the high calibre of its research, and its commitment to professional development. As a collective, this group represents a significant strength within the Faculty of Education that attracts outstanding students, new faculty, and research funding.

The Masters of Education (MEd) is a course-based degree; while the MEd also includes research courses, its focus is primarily on knowledge of professional practice. Students may choose from either the course-only option or courses plus ECED 590 (3 credits), which is recognized as a capstone experience by the British Columbia Teacher Qualification Service (TQS).

The Master of Arts (MA) in Early Childhood Education is a research-oriented degree, requiring the completion of a Master's Thesis. As such, it is the preferred route for individuals planning to pursue a doctoral degree after the Masters.  

What makes the program unique?

Graduate programs in UBC's Early Childhood Education program are designed for educators and child care professionals who wish to explore issues in early childhood research, theory, and practice. The MA in Early Childhood Education program is an interdisciplinary, faculty-wide program that consists of core courses in early childhood education (ECED) and related courses in other Faculty of Education departments. Key areas of focus include: theorizing early childhood and early childhood education, research and research methodologies, issues in early childhood curriculum, instruction, assessment and evaluation, and cross-departmental inquiries in early childhood education.

Career options

While the majority of students in the MA or MEd are teaching professionals, this program is also appropriate for individuals in other professions related to early childhood education and care, such as child and youth care, nursing, psychology, and social work. 

Students may also aspire to pursue administrative or leadership roles in the education sector, as well as higher coordination/directorship positions in public offices and NGOs.

Many students have gone on to pursue doctoral studies in the field of Early Childhood Education in other departments at the Faculty of Education and elsewhere.


Visit the Early Childhood Education - MA/MED page on the University of British Columbia website for more details!

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