Manchester Metropolitan University

MA

Early Childhood Studies

2017 entry

Features and benefits of the course

  • Masters level continuing professional development tailored for your own context, priorities and interests, drawing on multi/interdisciplinary perspectives
  • A multi-professional student group for the cross-fertilisation of ideas, collaborative approaches and working with difference
  • Places enquiry and purpose at the heart of professional practice
  • Flexible award structure and three starting points (October, February, June)
  • Participation in a large, dynamic and forward-thinking taught postgraduate community
  • Course design and delivery to fit with busy work, and other, commitments
  • Possibility of accrediting prior experiential learning (APEL)

 

About the course

MA Early Childhood Studies is designed to inform a wide range of professionals in inter and multi-professional settings, in education and related health and social welfare/care. The course encourages students to explore and develop their thinking about the nature of young children, their social worlds as well as the social, political and professional structures that surround these.  

Structure and commitment

Following enrolment, students attend an induction event.  Induction includes a welcome and introduction, library and resources briefing, and academic student support session.  Further details will be available on the Welcome Website following enrolment. Please note that as well as the beginning of the academic year, it is also possible to start this MA in February (or June by request).

A full Masters is 180 credits at level 7, and at Manchester Met this is divided in to 4 x 30 credit taught units, plus a (60 credit) dissertation. 

Each 30 credit taught unit lasts four months (units start in October, February and June) and begins with a unit conference event from 6pm Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime.  Unit conferences are non-residential (and we appreciate most students like to get back to their own beds/families if possible), but good value accommodation options are available close to the Brooks Building for those students coming from distance (information on these will be provided). 

Keynote speakers will normally be timetabled for Friday evenings and will introduce issues of broad relevance and at the forefront of thinking and practice. On Saturday and Sunday (morning) students will largely be working in small, award-specific groups with specialist tutors. You should leave with ideas for the assignment you will be working on!

The unit conference is followed by (a minimum of) two further (evening) group seminars/tutorials, supported by a dedicated VLE resource, and individual tutorial contact with an award tutor to support assignment work. For students at distance participation in group seminars may be possible via Skype or similar. 

Every unit offers opportunities for formative assessment – feedback on a draft or plan, before final submission. 

The dissertation is supported by individual and group supervision, a dedicated electronic resource, and group events.  

All students are also invited to our ‘MMU Postgraduate Sessions’ – monthly evening sessions where staff and doctoral students present their ongoing research (sessions are also podcasted where possible).  

Unit conference dates for 2017/18 are: (please note these, it’s important that students can attend):

  • 6-8 October 2017 - Mapping the Territory and Research and Practice
  • 9-11 February 2018 - Specialist (Supported) Project and Research and Practice
  • 8-10 June 2018 - Shaping the Future

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Students with recent (within five years) PGCE or similar normally enter the MA Early Childhood Studies with advanced standing, that is, with 60 credits. This means you will complete two taught units (including Research and Practice) before progressing to Dissertation.

Other relevant and certificated level 7 (recent) qualifications may also allow advanced standing via accreditation of prior learning procedures and you should indicate on your application form if this might apply to you.

In addition, it is possible with the agreement of your Award Tutor to incorporate recognition of prior experiential learning, that is, via relevant work experience that you may have. Further advice and guidance on this will be given by your Award Tutor after enrolment. 

 

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

 

 

Core Units
Dissertation

This unit is designed to support and facilitate students in planning, conducting and evaluating a significant, practical and coherent (practitioner) research project which explores an aspect of leading or managing provision for young children or those supporting them. Participants finalise a research proposal for approval and for ethical clearance, and will then undertake the research project. Whilst undertaking the project students are offered tutorial support, this constitutes a blend of group tutorials as well as individual supervision. The entire process is supported by a suite of online resources as well as on-site activities that are aimed at enriching the students’ experience and improving the quality of the final dissertation. 

The unit runs from June 2018 - June 2019 (for students with previous credits) and from February 2019 for students starting their MA from the very beginning in October 2017.

Mapping the Territory: critical concepts and issues

This unit enables a critical exploration of theory and practice and the ways these inter-relate and extend each other, for practice. There is an emphasis on participants exploring the contexts in which they work and locating themselves within these contexts.  Workshops, discussions and wider academic reading provide conceptual and theoretical lenses through which to reflect on practice and to develop, and critically evaluate, relevant skills and approaches.   Typical content might include: current practice in coaching and mentoring and policy developments at local and national level; coaching and mentoring frameworks and skills; coaching and mentoring relationships and diversity; critical evaluation of theoretical models and approaches in practice; progression in coaching and mentoring and impact on practitioners and organisations.  However, content will also be shaped by participants’ own interests, practice and contexts. 

The unit runs from October 2017 to February 2018, starting with the unit conference on 6-8 October 2017.

Research and Practice

The unit aims to develop a greater understanding of the relevance of research to professional practice. Students examine different approaches to conducting research, and their limitations and possibilities for generating knowledge in their own practice area. The unit also explores the ethical tensions and dilemma inherent in the research process, especially those particular to practitioner research. As part of the assessment of the unit, students produce a research proposal (that can be taken forward to final dissertation) to demonstrate understanding and capacity to carry out a coherent and credible small research project. 

The unit runs from February to June 2018, starting with the unit conference on 9 - 11 February 2018.

Shaping the Future

This unit asks students to address critical challenges, tensions or contradictions, and professional dilemmas within their own practice, to think forward and develop possible ways of re-framing, re-imagining, or innovating for future practice. This provides opportunities to work at the leading edge (of thinking/practice) to rethink services or approaches/interventions, to plan forward and/or to consider specific changes and new innovations. 

The unit runs from June - October 2018 starting with the unit conference 8 - 10 June  2018.

Specialist Support Project: Early Childhood Studies

This unit supports students to undertake an project that has particular relevance to their professional practice in relation to early childhood.  Students identify and explore significant themes, issues or challenges, select a relevant focus for their project, and appropriate approach/tools/methods. Projects might be desk, practice, or enquiry-based, but in all cases enable students to develop and demonstrate specialist knowledge through the use of evidence, analysis, reflection and evaluation, as appropriate to their project. The unit provides an introduction to the nature of knowledge, knowledge generation for practice and enquiry/investigation approaches and underpinning inter/disciplinary footprint. The unit runs from February to June 2018 starting with the unit conference on 9-11 February 2018.

Programme Review

Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.

Assessment details

Assessment is by coursework for each unit and a full assignment brief is available for each unit. Assessment tasks always allow you to pursue your own thinking and interests within the parameters of the unit and award. Formative feedback is available and built in for every unit. 

For taught units (30 credits) the assessment is 5000 words equivalent. The final (60 credit) dissertation is 12-14,000 words.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is possible for some credits on this award and with the agreement of the Award Lead on your route through the award. Award of a PGCE recently (within the previous five years) allows advanced standing on the programme up to 60 credits; waiver of some credits may also be possible (under the Manchester Met Accreditation of Prior Learning Policy) if you have a recent or relevant certificated award at Level 7.

Teaching Staff

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject. Details of departmental staff can be found at: http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/cyes/staff/

Typical entry requirements

Manchester Met standard entry requirements for taught postgraduate programmes apply:

http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/entry-requirements/

You also need to have experience relevant to the award area (or taking up employment or similar related to the award area)

For Further Information

Tutor Contact Dr Martin Needham m.needham@mmu.ac.uk

 

 

 

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

How do I apply for this course?

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

Download our course application form. There are instructions on what to do next and who to send the form to in the Word document.

Career options after the course

The MA in Early Childhood Studies demonstrates to employers a level of intellectual rigour, thinking at the forefront of a field of practice, and a capacity for sustained and systematic engagement. The course also places students’ expertise in early years at its core developing the personal and professional confidence support positive change for young children. The course encourages students to apply new thinking in practice in systematic and innovative/creative ways, with competence and impetus. In this way, students are able to build their reputations as systematic, evidence-driven innovators. These are all good foundations for potential promotions and progressions in professional contexts supporting early childhood services.

MA Early Childhood Studies is also a good option for practitioners to develop more critical and theoretical insights about early childhood practice. If you are consideringcontinuing with your studies on completion of your Masters by pursuing a research degree (MPhil, EdD or PhD) then you will find MA Early Childhood Studies a good foundation.

Confirmation of Regulator

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Important Notice

This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.

Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.

The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.