MASTER OF ARTS (MA) EARLY CHILDHOOD STUDIES

Entry Year
2022/2023
Entry requirements
2:1 (Hons) degree (in relevant area)
Duration
Flexible: normally 3 years
Course image

The MA in Early Childhood Studies is aimed at professionals working in the area of early childhood - teachers, early years practitioners, social workers and family support workers in both statutory and non-statutory agencies - who are already qualified to undergraduate level in an educational or social science subject. Within Northern Ireland and beyond, services directed at the education and care of young children up to age 8 have seen unprecedented growth and development in recent years. Initiatives such as Sure Start, the implementation of the Learning to Learn Strategy and the Infant Mental Health Framework have brought early years issues to the fore.

How will I study?

Depending on the modules selected, teaching and learning is delivered through a blended approach of lectures, virtual learning activities, field visits and reflective, self-directed study. For your dissertation, you will be allocated a personal tutor who will guide and support your throughout your dissertation.

Contact time

The majority of module sessions are in the evenings, although attendance at weekend workshops may occasionally be required. All modules are taught online, with each module lasting approximately 10 weeks, with the equivalent of 30 hours of contact time per module.

Who will be teaching me?

You will be taught, assessed and supported by an exceptional team of internationally recognised, research-informed and experienced practitioners.

How will I be assessed?

There are no written examinations. Modules are assessed by coursework.

Entitlement

A Master of Arts is awarded to students who have completed 180 CAT points at M-level. Students who have accumulated 60 points on may graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate and those who have accumulated 120 points may graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma.

Programme Specification

For full programme specification click here

Download the Postgraduate Studies flyer here for more information on all programmes on offer.

Course image

To be awarded the Master of Arts in Early Childhood Studies, you need to complete 180 CATs, which normally comprises of four 30 CAT point taught modules plus a 60 CAT point final dissertation. In addition to Research Methods, which is normally a compulsory module, the other three taught modules must include at least two of the specific Early Childhood Studies modules below.

SEC7012 – WELLBEING IN THE EARLY YEARS 

OCTOBER 2022

The module addresses the importance of early intervention to promote the health and wellbeing of young children. Emotional, psychological and social wellbeing will be analysed in line with the main government strategies and educational policies. It is important for Early Years educators to consider how individual and environmental resources around children can be strengthened to ensure wellbeing.

SEC7011 – CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON WORKING WITH PARENTS 

OCTOBER 2022

Parental engagement is a key factor in improving educational outcomes. The module examines the rationale for working with parents to engage them in their child’s learning, looking at historical perspectives, current policy and issues such as newcomer and refugee families. Students will be challenged to reflect on, and consider, their own practice in working with parents to enhance a child’s learning and development.

SEC7007 – LEARNING LEADERSHIP

JANUARY 2023

The module offers leadership support for those who are aspiring or current educational managers aiming to develop transformative competences in line with the new General Teaching Council of NI requirements (coming soon). Offering best practice examples from the practitioner team of current and past principals and middle managers who deliver the module, the programme of work will involve introductory skill development in areas such as: resilience and wellbeing strategies for schools/colleges, operational and strategic leadership, team and individual leadership through coach-mentoring and how to build communities of practice for shared and networked professional development at whole school/college level. A wide range of assessment methods will be employed including preparations for interviews and developmental tasks.  Practitioners with leadership experience or aspiring leaders will benefit from developing new and enterprising ideas for classroom practices and/or projects. Some students will develop new ways to promote leadership within the curriculum, while others will develop a wider nusery or school/-based strategy for enterprise education utilising effective leadership strategies and paradigms.

SEC7006 – QUALITY PEDAGOGY 

MARCH 2023

The module encourages critical debate on quality pedagogy in early childhood and the implications for practitioners, children and parents. It examines different pedagogical models, such as the Scandinavian approach. It also looks at the psychological, philosophical and sociological influences which have informed thinking and encourages students to reflect critically on existing practice, research evidence and policy changes.

EDC7024 – RESEARCH METHODS 

SEPTEMBER 2022 & JANUARY 2023

Completion of this module is normally required  before a student starts their dissertation. Research Methods covers the areas required for effective educational research including; qualitative and quantitative research methods and techniques: the quasi-experimental approach; research method selection; questionnaire design and analysis; research and project preparation; and reporting the findings.

 SEC7003 – CONTEMPORY ISSUES IN EARLY CHILDHOOD

SEPTEMBER 2023

This module provides students with a thorough understanding of a wide range of theories and perspectives on early years care and education, plus relevant legislation, guidelines, policy and the latest research, allowing practitioners to re-examine and rethink their methods and practices. The module encourages students to discuss and consider implications for service development and the construction of developmentally appropriate practice with children aged 0 to 8 years.

SEC7010 – OUTDOOR LEARNING 

MARCH 2024

This module investigates the scope, benefits and difficulties of providing learning opportunities outdoors and presents Early Years and Primary School professionals with a range of empirical evidence which will enhance their understanding of effective teaching outdoors. Although the module takes a cross-curricular approach, the focus is on outdoor play, the world around us and numeracy, encouraging participants to reflect critically on outdoor learning provision in their own settings.

(Please note this module will have some site visits and face to face teaching)

SEC7008 – CHILD DEVELOPMENT 

SEMESTER TO BE ADVISED

The module provides students with a thorough understanding of a wide range of theories and perspectives on child development. The stages of development will be investigated by examining theoretical perspectives and research which has been conducted in this area. In particular, the module will concentrate on the importance of early brain development for young children’s growth, learning and development.

SEC7005 – DISSERTATION

Students will normally have completed the required number of taught modules (120 CAT’s) before commencing their dissertation.

All modules are 30 CATs unless otherwise started. 

All Modules are taught online, with the exception of SEC7010 Outdoor Learning.

For more information click below to hear from current student Laura.

Course image

Applicants will normally hold a relevant 2:1 Honours degree or above in a related discipline. Applicants who do not meet the requirements may be considered on an individual basis, where there is evidence of relevant experience. Applicants may be required to attend an interview to determine their suitability for entry.

Prior Accreditation

The degree recognises and supports existing professional development activities, whether these are part of induction, early professional development, threshold assessments or programmes of staff development and performance management. All students who have successfully completed a PGCE at Master’s level will be eligible to apply for 30 M-level credit points towards a Master’s qualification. Candidates may also seek accreditation for completed school-based professional development activities. Application for credit transfer and exemption from module requirements must be made upon enrolment.

Course image

How to Apply

Application for admission to all Masters Programmes should be made by downloading the application form and reference form (see ‘Apply Now’ link above) and returning the completed forms by email only to masters@stran.ac.uk

Applications are now closed for a September 2022 intake.

The next intake is January 2023. The closing date for applications is Friday 6th January 2023.

Tuition Fees

2022 - 23 Tuition Fees
MEd / MA ECS / MTeach
CATs PointsNI / ROIGBEU Other*International
Rate per module30£1,109£1,245£3,034£3,034
Dissertation module60£2,218£2,490£6,068£6,068
Full-time Course180£6,650£7,470£18,200£18,200

*EU Other – Students from the EU (excluding Republic of Ireland), other EEA and Swiss Nationals and their family members.

Tuition Fee loans are available for Postgraduate Study via Student Finance NI.

Additional Course Costs

There may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from the Library. However, If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the Library, prices per text typically range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

There may be costs associated with transport for field trips, transport and materials for your dissertation research project and additional costs for printing and binding.

Course image

The MA in Early Childhood Studies is aimed at professionals working in the area of early childhood - teachers, early years practitioners, social workers and family support workers in both statutory and non-statutory agencies - who are already qualified to undergraduate level in an educational or social science subject. Within Northern Ireland and beyond, services directed at the education and care of young children up to age 8 have seen unprecedented growth and development in recent years. Initiatives such as Sure Start, the implementation of the Learning to Learn Strategy and the Infant Mental Health Framework have brought early years issues to the fore.

How will I study?

Depending on the modules selected, teaching and learning is delivered through a blended approach of lectures, virtual learning activities, field visits and reflective, self-directed study. For your dissertation, you will be allocated a personal tutor who will guide and support your throughout your dissertation.

Contact time

The majority of module sessions are in the evenings, although attendance at weekend workshops may occasionally be required. All modules are taught online, with each module lasting approximately 10 weeks, with the equivalent of 30 hours of contact time per module.

Who will be teaching me?

You will be taught, assessed and supported by an exceptional team of internationally recognised, research-informed and experienced practitioners.

How will I be assessed?

There are no written examinations. Modules are assessed by coursework.

Entitlement

A Master of Arts is awarded to students who have completed 180 CAT points at M-level. Students who have accumulated 60 points on may graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate and those who have accumulated 120 points may graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma.

Programme Specification

For full programme specification click here

Download the Postgraduate Studies flyer here for more information on all programmes on offer.

Course image

To be awarded the Master of Arts in Early Childhood Studies, you need to complete 180 CATs, which normally comprises of four 30 CAT point taught modules plus a 60 CAT point final dissertation. In addition to Research Methods, which is normally a compulsory module, the other three taught modules must include at least two of the specific Early Childhood Studies modules below.

SEC7012 – WELLBEING IN THE EARLY YEARS 

OCTOBER 2022

The module addresses the importance of early intervention to promote the health and wellbeing of young children. Emotional, psychological and social wellbeing will be analysed in line with the main government strategies and educational policies. It is important for Early Years educators to consider how individual and environmental resources around children can be strengthened to ensure wellbeing.

SEC7011 – CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON WORKING WITH PARENTS 

OCTOBER 2022

Parental engagement is a key factor in improving educational outcomes. The module examines the rationale for working with parents to engage them in their child’s learning, looking at historical perspectives, current policy and issues such as newcomer and refugee families. Students will be challenged to reflect on, and consider, their own practice in working with parents to enhance a child’s learning and development.

SEC7007 – LEARNING LEADERSHIP

JANUARY 2023

The module offers leadership support for those who are aspiring or current educational managers aiming to develop transformative competences in line with the new General Teaching Council of NI requirements (coming soon). Offering best practice examples from the practitioner team of current and past principals and middle managers who deliver the module, the programme of work will involve introductory skill development in areas such as: resilience and wellbeing strategies for schools/colleges, operational and strategic leadership, team and individual leadership through coach-mentoring and how to build communities of practice for shared and networked professional development at whole school/college level. A wide range of assessment methods will be employed including preparations for interviews and developmental tasks.  Practitioners with leadership experience or aspiring leaders will benefit from developing new and enterprising ideas for classroom practices and/or projects. Some students will develop new ways to promote leadership within the curriculum, while others will develop a wider nusery or school/-based strategy for enterprise education utilising effective leadership strategies and paradigms.

SEC7006 – QUALITY PEDAGOGY 

MARCH 2023

The module encourages critical debate on quality pedagogy in early childhood and the implications for practitioners, children and parents. It examines different pedagogical models, such as the Scandinavian approach. It also looks at the psychological, philosophical and sociological influences which have informed thinking and encourages students to reflect critically on existing practice, research evidence and policy changes.

EDC7024 – RESEARCH METHODS 

SEPTEMBER 2022 & JANUARY 2023

Completion of this module is normally required  before a student starts their dissertation. Research Methods covers the areas required for effective educational research including; qualitative and quantitative research methods and techniques: the quasi-experimental approach; research method selection; questionnaire design and analysis; research and project preparation; and reporting the findings.

 SEC7003 – CONTEMPORY ISSUES IN EARLY CHILDHOOD

SEPTEMBER 2023

This module provides students with a thorough understanding of a wide range of theories and perspectives on early years care and education, plus relevant legislation, guidelines, policy and the latest research, allowing practitioners to re-examine and rethink their methods and practices. The module encourages students to discuss and consider implications for service development and the construction of developmentally appropriate practice with children aged 0 to 8 years.

SEC7010 – OUTDOOR LEARNING 

MARCH 2024

This module investigates the scope, benefits and difficulties of providing learning opportunities outdoors and presents Early Years and Primary School professionals with a range of empirical evidence which will enhance their understanding of effective teaching outdoors. Although the module takes a cross-curricular approach, the focus is on outdoor play, the world around us and numeracy, encouraging participants to reflect critically on outdoor learning provision in their own settings.

(Please note this module will have some site visits and face to face teaching)

SEC7008 – CHILD DEVELOPMENT 

SEMESTER TO BE ADVISED

The module provides students with a thorough understanding of a wide range of theories and perspectives on child development. The stages of development will be investigated by examining theoretical perspectives and research which has been conducted in this area. In particular, the module will concentrate on the importance of early brain development for young children’s growth, learning and development.

SEC7005 – DISSERTATION

Students will normally have completed the required number of taught modules (120 CAT’s) before commencing their dissertation.

All modules are 30 CATs unless otherwise started. 

All Modules are taught online, with the exception of SEC7010 Outdoor Learning.

For more information click below to hear from current student Laura.

Course image

Applicants will normally hold a relevant 2:1 Honours degree or above in a related discipline. Applicants who do not meet the requirements may be considered on an individual basis, where there is evidence of relevant experience. Applicants may be required to attend an interview to determine their suitability for entry.

Prior Accreditation

The degree recognises and supports existing professional development activities, whether these are part of induction, early professional development, threshold assessments or programmes of staff development and performance management. All students who have successfully completed a PGCE at Master’s level will be eligible to apply for 30 M-level credit points towards a Master’s qualification. Candidates may also seek accreditation for completed school-based professional development activities. Application for credit transfer and exemption from module requirements must be made upon enrolment.

Course image

How to Apply

Application for admission to all Masters Programmes should be made by downloading the application form and reference form (see ‘Apply Now’ link above) and returning the completed forms by email only to masters@stran.ac.uk

Applications are now closed for a September 2022 intake.

The next intake is January 2023. The closing date for applications is Friday 6th January 2023.

Tuition Fees

2022 - 23 Tuition Fees
MEd / MA ECS / MTeach
CATs PointsNI / ROIGBEU Other*International
Rate per module30£1,109£1,245£3,034£3,034
Dissertation module60£2,218£2,490£6,068£6,068
Full-time Course180£6,650£7,470£18,200£18,200

*EU Other – Students from the EU (excluding Republic of Ireland), other EEA and Swiss Nationals and their family members.

Tuition Fee loans are available for Postgraduate Study via Student Finance NI.

Additional Course Costs

There may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from the Library. However, If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the Library, prices per text typically range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

There may be costs associated with transport for field trips, transport and materials for your dissertation research project and additional costs for printing and binding.

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