MASTER OF ARTS (MA) EARLY CHILDHOOD STUDIES

Entry Year
2020/2021
Entry requirements
2:1 (Hons) degree (in relevant area)
Duration
Flexible: normally up to 5 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, 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. In some modules there is an online taught element. Modules are taught on-campus, 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.

 

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.

WELLBEING IN THE EARLY YEARS (30 CATS)

OCTOBER 2020

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 (30 CATS)

OCTOBER 2020

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.

SEC7006

QUALITY PEDAGOGY (30 CATS)

MARCH 2021

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.

SEC7007

EARLY YEARS LEADERSHIP (30 CATS)

FEBRUARY 2021

The module explores and analyses the concept of effective leadership in an early years context, the relationship between effective leadership and performance and the key issues affecting effective educational provision. Leadership and management style and issues are examined in the context of personal professional practice and the influence of leadership and innovation on effective teaching and learning is considered.

SEC7003

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON EARLY YEARS CARE & EDUCATION (30 CATS)

SEPTEMBER 2021

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 (30 CATS)

JANUARY 2022

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.

SEC7008

CHILD DEVELOPMENT (30 CATS)

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.

EDC7024

RESEARCH METHODS (30 CATS)

SEPTEMBER 2020 & JANUARY 2021 FULLY ONLINE

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.

DISSERTATION

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

 

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 the MA Early Childhood Studies Programme should be made by downloading the application form and reference form (see ‘Apply Now’ link above) and returning the completed forms to masters@stran.ac.uk

Applications are now closed for September 2020 . The next intake is January 2021.

During current circumstances please only submit your application to the email address above.

Tuition Fees

The module fees for 2020/2021 are:

NI/ EU £1023 (30 CATS) £2047 (60 CATS)

GB £1150 (30 CATS) £2300 (60 CATS)

International £2817  (30 CATS) £5633 (60 CATS)

All completed Masters applications require a payment of a £10 administration fee. Please click here to complete this payment via the Stran Eshop.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans

A Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan of up to £5,500 is available to eligible student for postgraduate study at Stranmillis University College: please contact your Education Authority for further loan information. Please note students who are applying for a postgraduate tuition fee loan must complete their Master’s study within 3 years. Other payment options are available such as payment in full or direct debit instalment plans Please contact the College Finance Office on studentfinance@stran.ac.uk for further information.

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, 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. In some modules there is an online taught element. Modules are taught on-campus, 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.

 

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.

WELLBEING IN THE EARLY YEARS (30 CATS)

OCTOBER 2020

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 (30 CATS)

OCTOBER 2020

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.

SEC7006

QUALITY PEDAGOGY (30 CATS)

MARCH 2021

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.

SEC7007

EARLY YEARS LEADERSHIP (30 CATS)

FEBRUARY 2021

The module explores and analyses the concept of effective leadership in an early years context, the relationship between effective leadership and performance and the key issues affecting effective educational provision. Leadership and management style and issues are examined in the context of personal professional practice and the influence of leadership and innovation on effective teaching and learning is considered.

SEC7003

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON EARLY YEARS CARE & EDUCATION (30 CATS)

SEPTEMBER 2021

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 (30 CATS)

JANUARY 2022

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.

SEC7008

CHILD DEVELOPMENT (30 CATS)

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.

EDC7024

RESEARCH METHODS (30 CATS)

SEPTEMBER 2020 & JANUARY 2021 FULLY ONLINE

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.

DISSERTATION

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

 

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 the MA Early Childhood Studies Programme should be made by downloading the application form and reference form (see ‘Apply Now’ link above) and returning the completed forms to masters@stran.ac.uk

Applications are now closed for September 2020 . The next intake is January 2021.

During current circumstances please only submit your application to the email address above.

Tuition Fees

The module fees for 2020/2021 are:

NI/ EU £1023 (30 CATS) £2047 (60 CATS)

GB £1150 (30 CATS) £2300 (60 CATS)

International £2817  (30 CATS) £5633 (60 CATS)

All completed Masters applications require a payment of a £10 administration fee. Please click here to complete this payment via the Stran Eshop.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loans

A Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan of up to £5,500 is available to eligible student for postgraduate study at Stranmillis University College: please contact your Education Authority for further loan information. Please note students who are applying for a postgraduate tuition fee loan must complete their Master’s study within 3 years. Other payment options are available such as payment in full or direct debit instalment plans Please contact the College Finance Office on studentfinance@stran.ac.uk for further information.

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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