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Education and Early Childhood (MA)

Course Description


The MA Education (Early Childhood) provides an opportunity for graduates in the children’s workforce to progress onto postgraduate study in their subject area. It also provides access to modules from other related subject areas, as part of the course, to reflect the multi-professional nature of their interests.

It enables you to make choices that will support your developing expertise in particular areas within the wide range typical of the children’s workforce. It combines a social science and educational approach to research in this subject.

There are increasing numbers of graduates in the children’s workforce, and an increasing focus on continuing study and professional development. Many have taken advantage of the provision of study and training pathways for the Early Years Professional Status (a graduate status).


The full Masters award requires you to gain 180 credits, including an 18,000-20,000 research dissertation in a specialised area of your choice. Prior to a dissertation, students will complete four 30 credit modules. Modules are organised into four complementary themes.

A. Critical analysis of professional practice

B. Contemporary issues and innovation in education and society

C. Exploring specialist interests

D. Research methods

At the Postgraduate Certificate stage, students complete two modules from themes A and B. The following two modules are available at the Postgraduate Certificate stage:

The development of young children's' thinking and learning in socio-cultural context* (30 credits)

This module provides an opportunity for adults working with children 3-7 year old to gain in-depth knowledge of the factors involved in children learning about and understanding this world. The findings of socio-cultural research are critically examined to indicate the contextual, linguistic and cognitive components of allocating meaning to, and making sense of, people, places and events.

Critical reflection for participation in the early years* (30 credits)

This module will enable professionals to develop their knowledge and understanding of participation in the context of working with children. The module involves student engagement in dialogic reflective conversations as part of a series of structured workshops.

At the Postgraduate Diploma stage, students have a free choice of specialist modules from theme C or they may select again from the themes 'Critical analysis of professional practice' and 'Contemporary issues and innovation in education and society'.

The fourth theme D contains a 30 credit core compulsory research methods module: 'Research methods in Education and Social Science'. This module is intended to provide a thorough preparation for the research undertaken at Dissertation stage.

Dissertation (60 credits)

At the dissertatioi stage, students complete a 60 credit, 18,000 - 20,000 word research study. Students can choose to focus their dissetration on a specialist area or theme of their choice in the field of Early Childhood. Dissertation supervisors are allocated according to their expertise and research interests so as to offer the best possible support and guidance.


Students should note that some modules require access to educational contexts in order to gain professional experience or enquiry and research visits that lead to the completion of assignments. In some modules, assignments are structured to enable students to complete through drawing on reflection, prior experience or literature research. If fieldwork goes beyond the students workplace and involves access to children a new CRB clearance will have to be completed.

Visit the Education and Early Childhood (MA) page on the Liverpool Hope University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A good honours degree in a relevant discipline or equivalent.You will also need adequate experience within the children’s workforce It is expected that applicants can demonstrate engagement in CPD and provide a reference confirming their suitability to work at M levelPlease note that a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau is required for students where they are required to visit settings other than their own workplace and involves access to children.In addition, overseas students will normally be required to have an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent qualification that meets the UK Border Agency requirements.

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Recipient: Liverpool Hope University

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