Cookies and Privacy

The University uses cookies on this website to provide the best experience possible including delivering personalised content on this website, other websites and social media. By continuing to use the site you agree to this, or your can go to our cookie policy to learn more and manage your settings.

course page main image

Education (Early Years) - MA

The MA in Education (Early Years) is designed specifically for practitioners working in the early years sector and can be studied part-time alongside and in support of your day-to-day role. Each module builds upon the experience and knowledge that you bring from your professional outlook....

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.


Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • School School of Education and Social Work
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Overview

The MA in Education (Early Years) is designed specifically for practitioners working in the early years sector and can be studied part-time alongside and in support of your day-to-day role. Each module builds upon the experience and knowledge that you bring from your professional outlook. The diverse, multi-disciplinary nature of the sector which encompasses education, childcare, family support, social work, and health is acknowledged through the construction and arrangement of modules that allow flexibility to explore theory related to specific, real-life examples from your practice.

The course is work-based by nature and structured in stages, leading to the Masters award which will make a significant contribution to raising the levels of qualification across the Early Years sector.

This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The course is designed to support and develop you into a highly reflective early years practitioner researcher who can improve outcomes for children and families through their practice. Prpgression is built into each but you have the flexibility to choose your own pathway through selecting your modules, that way you can tailor your study to suit your needs and areas of interest.

Year 1 focuses on reflective practice and professional development.

Year 2 provides a broader research methods introduction and related research project.

Year 3 is a detailed study of an area of professional interest through a dissertation.

Currently, Year 1 & 2 students can choose from the following early years areas to specialise in: Physical Activity; Music; Creativity; Children’s Rights; Under 3s; Leadership; Coaching & Mentoring; Learning Outdoors.

How will you learn

Our programme is based on the development of a community of practice (Wenger, 2002) and we value the social aspects of learning. All options include face-to-face days in Birmingham, England. Please note however that due to the impact of the pandemic, we are preparing contingencies to run our pathways through a combination of face-to-face taught days at our centre in Birmingham, virtual teaching and distance learning.

Assessment is via submission of academic assignments (Level 7). 105 hours of scheduled learning is provided across the three years with further directed learning (eg gap tasks between sessions) and self-directed study intended to complement and enhance this input.

Learning starts with core values and a combination of your own knowledge and professional experience. The course requires you to reflect upon, critique, and build upon this experience in light of theory and research that they encounter.  

Why Choose Us?

  • The course is delivered by the internationally recognised Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) led by Professor Chris Pascal & Prof Tony Bertram

  • Improving outcomes for children, particularly the most disadvantaged, is at the heart of what CREC does and this course is designed to develop high-quality, reflective, impactful professionals who can bring about positive change in early childhood.

  • You will have the dual benefit of being a BCU student with access to all university services and resources as well as being part of the CREC learning community and the networks and resources it has to offer.

  • Through an approach that advocates reflective practice and professional enquiry, the curriculum is designed to develop the individual and their practice. This in turn will lead to longer-term benefits for the settings, schools, or services they work for.

  • We have various optional early years specialisms available each year delivered by nationally recognised figures – early years music; physical activity; Under 3s; Creativity; Outdoor Learning; Leadership; Coaching & Mentoring are current examples.

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

Undergraduate degree (or demonstration of ‘graduateness’*) plus current employment (paid or voluntary) in an early years service or setting

*Graduateness (the qualities skills and understanding gained through university experience) is determined via a written assessment and is given on the basis that you bring significant professional knowledge and experience to the programme.This pathway to Masters is important for the early years sector which includes many individuals who have positions of responsibility without having followed the traditional academic route.

We will accept RPL applications on this route prior to enrolment.

EU students

Due to the part-time nature of this course, we are only able to accept applications from EU citizens with Settled or Pre-Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and Irish Nationals under the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangement.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 3 years
  • £2,200 per year

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Block A

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete a total of 180 credits including two 20 credit modules from Block A and two 40 credit module from Block B. The same module cannot be taken at both 20 credits and 40 credits.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning 20 credits

Reflecting on Early Years Professional Practice 20 credits

Reflecting on Early Years Theory 20 credits

Introduction to Masters Research 20 credits

Block B

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete a total of 180 credits including two 20 credit modules from Block A and two 40 credit module from Block B. The same module cannot be taken at both 20 credits and 40 credits.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning 40 credits

Enhancing your Early Years Professional Practice 40 credits

Professional Enquiry (Child Study) 40 credits

Researching Early Years Practice 40 credits

Masters Stage

Dissertation 60 credits

Our programme is based on the development of a community of practice (Wenger, 2002) and we value the social aspects of learning. All options include face-to-face days in Birmingham, England. Please note however that due to the impact of the pandemic, we are preparing contingencies to run our pathways through a combination of face-to-face taught days at our centre in Birmingham, virtual teaching and distance learning.

Assessment is via submission of academic assignments (Level 7). 105 hours of scheduled learning is provided across the three years with further directed learning (eg gap tasks between sessions) and self-directed study intended to complement and enhance this input.

Learning starts with core values and a combination of your own knowledge and professional experience. The course requires you to reflect upon, critique, and build upon this experience in light of theory and research that they encounter.

Employability

Enhanced Employability Skills

In addition to the academic qualification and personal growth that a post-graduate course can provide, CREC offers access to early years research networks and learning communities. Each MA intake also brings together early years professionals from across the UK and even Europe who help to develop a student’s network of connections including engaging with freelancers; nursery practitioners & managers; teachers; school leaders; civil servants; early years consultants; early years and primary staff of national/regional organisations.

Facilities and Staff

Facilities

This course runs at CREC (Centre for Research in Early Childhood).

Find out more about CREC