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MA International Study of Early Childhood

Course Description

Early Childhood Studies is an innovative field of study dealing with many aspects of childhood, with approaches drawn from a variety of disciplines including anthropology, psychology, child health, social policy, sociology, history and education.

The MA International Study of Early Childhood is a taught programme with the teaching, learning and assessment being online. We envisage the MA attracting a range of students who want to study international perspectives on early childhood at a UK University. The on-line element of the course will be particularly attractive to students who need to balance work, family and financial commitments.

The MA is international in context, comprising a critical study of perceptions, cultures and experiences of early childhood in a range of different countries and contexts. The programme will promote the development of a broader international perspective to challenge normative stereotypes and perspectives, leading to a more critical analysis and understanding of early childhood. The programme therefore aims to explore and deconstruct dominant discourses around early childhood and young children and to focus on alternative ways of knowing and doing.

Students will develop skills and knowledge which will prepare them for a wide range of opportunities to work overseas and enable them to bring an international perspective to work in their own countries. The MA International Study of Early Childhood will equip graduates with a wide range of skills, knowledge and experiences from early childhood contexts across the world and will appeal to those who wish to become effective advocates for young children and also to further their careers both nationally and internationally and bring an international lens to their work with young children and families.

Programme Structure

There are a number of awards which can be granted depending on the number of modules successfully completed. These are:
- Single modules can be taken as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) modules. Certificate of Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS): awarded on successful completion of one module (30 masters level credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate: International Study of Early Childhood: awarded if you decide to conclude your studies on successful completion of two modules (60 masters level credits)
- Postgraduate Diploma: International Study of Early Childhood: awarded if you decide to conclude your studies on successful completion of four modules (120 masters level credits)
- MA International Study of Early Childhood: awarded on completion of four modules (120 credits), the research proposal (10 credits) and a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words (50 credits). A total of 180 masters level credits is required to receive the award of MA.

Programme Highlights

- The programme offers participants opportunities to develop an international awareness and understanding of key themes in early childhood studies.
- Students will study materials from a range of different international and national contexts.
- Students will be able to develop their ability to see aspects of their own ‘local’ practice from an international perspective and understand the cultural values behind different practices.
- Graduates of this programme will be in a position to develop international awareness of core features of early years practice in their own countries, to bring knowledge from other countries to the development of this practice and/or to take on genuinely international roles in organisations which support or monitor early years provision across a range of countries.
- The programme will help students to develop their work in ways which give a greater acknowledgement to international variations in early years principles and practices.
- The programme will help students to understand the cultural heritage inherent in early years policy and practice within their own country.
- The online nature of participation and discussion will help students to develop skills in e-communication and cultural sensitivity which will be particularly relevant to any international work.
- Students will be encouraged to organise and undertake fieldwork for their research dissertation in another country or another - context, to enable them to gain further experience. However, this is an expectation, not a requirement and for some students this may not be a possibility.
- Students will have the opportunity to engage with lecturers who have direct experience of working with and undertaking research with young children in a range of contexts.
- Early Childhood Studies at Plymouth University is multi-disciplinary and students will have opportunities to engage with lecturers from a wide range of backgrounds including social policy, health, education, psychology and sociology.
- Assessment of work will include, but not be limited to, reflections upon on-line discussions, the use of case-studies and essays. There are no exams.

Visit the MA International Study of Early Childhood page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Prospective students will normally need a relevant undergraduate degree (eg BA, BSc, BEd) or its equivalent plus an interest in early childhood. The degree must be from a recognised university. Please see the detailed entry requirements on our website for further information about entry requirements for this programme.

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