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Early Years (MA)

Course Description

Early years education continues to be debated since the introduction of the Foundation Phase/Stage and is now recognised internationally as being a cornerstone for children’s lifelong learning and development.

The MA Early Years course is designed to meet the interests of a wide range of graduate and non-graduate participants with relevant experience of working within early years settings, schools, or sectors outside of education such as children’s services, health and social care.

The course draws upon both national international contexts in order for you to be able to explore and reflect upon current issues relating to the field of early years, including child development, children’s wellbeing and approaches to early learning.

MA Early Years is grounded in the belief that a multi-disciplinary approach to working with children is crucial if their needs are to be met holistically. As such we aim to promote inter-professional dialogues throughout your study. The key element of the course will be the use of your own professional experience, practice and interests to research and develop specialist areas of expertise.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1225-ma-early-years

What you study

In common with all of the MA Education pathways, you will take the core module Research Methodology. In addition you will study the two specialist modules.

- Child Development - This module explores the impact of a wide variety of genetic and environmental influences on child development, and considers the course of physical growth from birth to adolescence and factors which affect this growth. You are helped to understand and debate the theoretical frameworks relating to cognitive and language development and to explore and evaluate emotional and social development from a developmental and sociological perspective.

- Supporting Early Learning - This module looks at effective ways to support children’s learning and development. The role of play, which is a key element in the delivery of the Foundation Phase for Children’s Learning, is explored in some depth.

You will then select one other relevant module from within the MA Education programme.

- Dissertation - To complete the full MA you will present a 17,000 word research dissertation and a 3,000 word research dissemination plan.

Learning and teaching methods

Students will be taught by a highly experienced team who are involved first hand with current research and development in the early years education field.

Assessment methods

Each module is normally assessed by a written assignment of 5,000 words.

Employment Prospects

A Masters degree is required for professional advancement in numerous occupations, and is widely seen as evidence of a successful commitment to high level professional development.

An MA award demonstrates that you’ve developed advanced level skills in analysis, evaluation and research. If you’re interested in the possibility of a higher degree by research, your tutors will be pleased to discuss the opportunities for doing so.

Visit the Early Years (MA) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You should be a graduate or, if you’re a non-graduate, you will need relevant experience. Full-time and part-time students, choosing modules which have a placement component as part of the assessment process, will need to provide evidence of a current enhanced DBS check (or its equivalent if you are an EU or international student). Full-time students wishing to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the internship scheme will also need to provide evidence of a current enhanced DBS check (or its equivalent if you are an EU or international student).

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