This course blends distance learning with face-to-face teaching. It’s open to early childhood professionals anywhere in the world, including early years practitioners, FE and HE lecturers, teachers, nursery nurses, voluntary and independent providers, and inspectors and managers working in areas relevant to early childhood.
Wherever you are in the world, you’ll develop the skills you need to carry out high-quality educational research relevant to your own culture. Those skills include a clearer understanding of the policies, practice and theories that underpin your work. You’ll discuss international approaches and educational change with leading experts.
We offer postgraduate courses that will launch your career in education or aid your continuing professional development.
Our graduates work in the UK and overseas in schools, universities, and local and national government. Some are teachers and lecturers. Others use their skills in policy development, education, administration, psychology and social work.
We value creative teaching that challenges inequalities in the education system. We believe in increasing opportunities for education, for everyone. Our research has a direct impact on educational theory, policy and practice. We’re supporting the development of children, families and learning communities through dedicated research centres.
You’ll learn from world-class academics such as Professor Cathy Nutbrown and Professor Dan Goodley. Cathy, who teaches on three of our postgraduate courses, won an Outstanding Impact in Society award in 2013 for her work on literacy. Dan’s work on disability in education has been described as ground breaking.
Our research seminar programme gives you access to the latest findings, often before they’re published. The University’s library has online catalogues and databases, e-books and e-journals.
Structure, teaching and assessment
All MA courses follow a similar pattern with two core modules (1 and 4) and two subject-specific modules (2 and 3).
Teaching and learning takes place via lectures, seminars, tutorials, discussion, active inquiry and investigations. Regular meetings with a personal tutor support and encourage your learning and understanding.
A weekly tutorial and a Study of Education course accompanies the taught modules.
There are no formal written examinations and assessment is by coursework and a 15–20,000-word dissertation.
Early Childhood Education: history and policy; Development Learning and Curriculum; Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education; Research Methods in Early Childhood Education; Dissertation (Early Childhood Education).
You’ll study mostly at home, staying in contact with your tutor by telephone, post and email. You must attend five residential weekends in Sheffield during the two years of the course.
Each module is assessed through a 6,000- word assignment. A final 15–20,000-word dissertation represents one-third of the MA (60 credits out of 180). On completion, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for doctoral study on our Early Childhood Education EdD.