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Education (Early Years) - MA

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

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....

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

This course is:

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 first year of the course is reflective year, structured to balance the support of sector experts Professor Chris Pascal and Professor Tony Bertram with the guidance of specialist tutors. The focus of the year is professional practice and, through two academic assignments, you will reflect upon your own specialism within early years and consider how you might influence change. You are invited to specialise in areas such as Leadership, Music, Creativity and the Arts, Mentoring, and Nurturing Childhoods. Specialist tutors work alongside Chris and Tony to introduce you to the nuanced debate and specific considerations of these areas and support you in reflecting on your own practice.

As you progress from year one into year two, the focus of the course shifts and you will be trained in CREC’s specialism, Early Years research. You will attend sessions led by Professor Chris Pascal and Professor Tony Bertram with additional input from a range of specialist tutors. Through the taught sessions, you will consider paradigm and methodology choices, systematic approaches to literature, specific methods, ethics and data analysis. In addition, you will be guided by tutors on conducting case study and action research within your own professional practice.

In the final year, you will complete a dissertation. CREC provides taught support sessions to extend your research repertoire and supports you in the design of an extended piece of research. Again, CREC’s wider networks and specialist tutors are on hand to support you. We also encourage wider sector engagement through the CREC learning circle and conference attendance and dissemination.

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. These include leadership, music, creativity and the arts, mentoring, and nurturing childhoods.

OPEN DAY

Join us on campus where you'll be able to find out more about your course, learn about postgraduate finance and get an insight into studying at BCU. Booking for the next event isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Event: 29 June 2024

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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.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • £820 per 20 credits
  • Year 1 - 60 credits
  • Year 2 - 60 credits
  • Year 3 - 60 credits

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

Award: MA

Starting: Jan 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • £820 per 20 credits
  • Year 1 - 60 credits
  • Year 2 - 60 credits
  • Year 3 - 60 credits

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

International students

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

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

You’ll need to submit a personal statement as part of your application for this course. This will need to highlight your passion for postgraduate study – and your chosen course – as well as your personal skills and experience, academic success, and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Not sure what to include? We’re here to help – take a look at our top tips for writing personal statements and download our free postgraduate personal statement guide for further advice and examples from real students.

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.

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.

Masters Stage

Download course specification

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How you will 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 five face-to-face days spread across the year in Birmingham, UK.  Assessment is via submission of academic assignments (Level 7). Scheduled learning across the three years is balanced by directed learning (such as gap tasks) between sessions and self-directed study intended to complement and enhance your learning.

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 the theory and research that you 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 & Staff

Facilities

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

Find out more about CREC