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Course content

This MA offers you the opportunity to explore current issues within early childhood education in national and international contexts, and can open up a wide range of career opportunities in areas including childcare management, lecturing and research.

It focuses on the crucial role that experiences in early education play in producing happy, healthy and successful children. Drawing on your own professional experience, practice and interests you'll be able to research and develop specialist areas of expertise within this field.

Specifically, our re-validated course provides an exciting new opportunity to:

• Engage in rigorous and critical professional development

• Explore issues of relevance to your own workplace

• Enhance your skills in research and critical enquiry

• Investigate the latest research

• Innovate and lead practice

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Course detail

The range of modules is designed to reflect the range of expertise and specialisms within the Early Childhood Directorate teaching team, who are passionate about using insights from their research to enhance your learning experience. You will have the opportunity to develop your own research and specialist areas of expertise, based on personal interests and professional experiences. We encourage you to gain experience as a researcher, and there may be opportunities to get involved in research projects and student internships within the Faculty of Education.

You will study a core module at the outset which will help you develop an understanding of Level 7 learning and the importance of reflection on practice, as you begin to develop effective Level 7 writing skills and abilities.

• Professional Development through Research, Reflection and Professional Practice (core 20 credit module)

As you progress you will have the opportunity to develop these skills further in a range of optional 20 credit modules. Options include the following although some combinations may be limited due to your mode of study (full/part¬time). All modules are subject to change.

• Early Childhood Education: Curricular and Pedagogical Approaches (optional)

• Leading Quality Practice in Early Childhood Education (optional)

• Policy and Practice in Early Childhood Education (optional)

• Learning Outdoors in Early Childhood (optional)

• Children’s Lives in Context: Historical and International Perspectives (optional)

• Children and Charities in Early Childhood Education (optional)

• Early Childhood Education for Sustainability (optional)

• Early Childhood Education: Negotiated Project (optional)

The final 60 credits of the course are designed to enable you to demonstrate self-direction and originality in conducting an independent research study into a specialist area in early childhood education.


The MA attracts a wide range of graduates from a variety of backgrounds not necessarily Early Years related but those who wish to expand and deepen their knowledge of young children from birth to 8 years. Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities hosted by the University such as conferences, open lectures, and visits to early years settings.


You'll study using a variety of learning and teaching strategies involving you as an active participant in the process of learning and teaching depending upon the mode of delivery. Modules typically consist of a series of lectures, workshops and seminars which are delivered over the course of seven weeks. Some modules may be offered on a blended basis combining face to face Saturday sessions with access to online learning resources. Blended delivery is particularly appropriate where the module content demands experiential learning and some sessions may include field work as well as classroom based activities. It is also appropriate for modules such as the Negotiated Project where students are encouraged to further their own specific research interests with one-to-one tutor support.

All learning will be supported through the use of the University Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard) as well as other digital media. Individual tutorials are offered to students in all modules and individual supervision forms an essential part of work on the dissertation. The module tutor or the Programme Director will act as your personal tutor.


The programme uses a range of assessment types including presentations, action research reports, reflective commentaries, literature reviews and document analysis. You will also complete a 15,000 word dissertation based on your research interests.

What can I do next?

As a programme of rigorous and critical professional development, the MA Early Childhood Education can open up a wide range of opportunities. Graduates from the MA Early Childhood Education have been successful in pursuing careers in a variety of different professional contexts with roles including Lecturer in Early Years, Nursery Manager, Childrens Centre Manager, Deputy Headteacher (primary) and Creative Early Years Specialist. Some students have gone on to enroll on doctoral programmes and to undertake a PhD based on their particular research interests.

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow this link:

Fees and Funding

See our postgraduate fees and funding page to discover the loans, scholarships and bursaries available.


Visit the MA Early Childhood Education page on the Canterbury Christ Church University website for more details!




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