MA Early Childhood Studies

How do communities influence children’s lived experiences ? Is creative play beneficial to children’s learning and development? Does policy relating to children need to change?

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Overview

Explore the social and cultural context of children’s lives across the world. Understand how communities influence the way children operate through their interactions with others. Evaluate the education, health and welfare services that support children. Develop your knowledge of ways to promote social justice and inclusion.

On our part-time masters course you’ll study the complex factors that affect children's lives and explore ways to positively influence their futures.

It’s designed for people working or volunteering with children and their families, across the education, health or social care sectors. Perhaps you’re in the police force and work with children or you’re a childminder in the private sector, or a volunteer with a community organisation.  

Through this course, you’ll examine your own ideas about children’s participation, agency and voice, critique your role in practice and investigate current research and theories. 

You’ll reflect on issues you’ve experienced in practice with your fellow students. For example, discussing challenges you face in regards to policy implementation, play, and family engagement, or how you explain the value of outdoor learning to staff in your team.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

With practice and self-reflection as core parts of this course, we’ll help you to develop the confidence and academic knowledge to support positive change for young children.

We encourage you to apply your new thinking to practice and carry these creative, innovative approaches forward. This helps you to develop your skills as a systematic, evidence-driven practitioner.

Previous graduates have gone on to PhD or EdD study, secured jobs within Higher Education, and have used this course to help further their careers across the education, health and social care sectors.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

You will have a degree, postgraduate diploma or professional qualification recognised as equivalent to an undergraduate UK honours degree. Other qualifications or experience may be considered. You also need to have experience related to the award area (or taking up employment or similar related to the award area).

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

For Further Information

Tutor Contact: Dr Patricia Giardiello P.Giardiello@mmu.ac.uk 

 

 

Course details

Through MA Early Childhood Studies, you’ll look at key issues related to young children in the context you work or volunteer in.

Using your practice as a focal point, you’ll explore alternative ways of thinking and reflect on your ideas of early childhood.

Some of the topics you’ll consider include the different approaches to children’s learning and development, global curriculums, and the impact of government policies.

Your final assessment is typically a dissertation on a topic of your choice. You’ll usually conduct a small research project, which involves planning, conducting and evaluating practical research. Past topics have included power relationships between adults and children, exploring the importance of play in education and the ‘schoolification’ of childhood.  

Course Structure

The full 180 credit masters is made up of four 30 credit core units, and a 60 credit dissertation. Typically, each 30 credit unit lasts for four months and you’ll begin each unit with a weekend conference in October, February and June. Your attendance pattern will depend on the number of units you take and the pace at which you decide to progress with your course.

In addition to the conferences, you’ll attend at least two further group seminars/tutorials which normally take place in the evenings. You’ll usually negotiate the timetable for these sessions with your course tutor. This ensures that your on-campus time suits your schedule and fits around your work and home commitments.

We teach our part-time education courses using an integrated curriculum. Each course shares the same core units that are adaptable to your area of practice or interest.

You’ll attend weekend conferences and study sessions with students from our other part-time education courses. This allows you to collaborate, share knowledge and expertise, and be a part of a diverse, postgraduate community of education professionals.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Students with a recent (within five years) PGCE or similar, normally enter the masters with advanced standing, usually 60 credits. This means you will complete two taught units (Mapping the Territory and Research and Practice) before progressing to Dissertation.

Other relevant (and recent) level 7 qualifications may also allow advanced standing via recognition 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 Leader to incorporate recognition of prior experiential learning via relevant work experience that you may have. Further advice and guidance on this will be given by your Award Leader after enrolment.

The following core units are completed across the duration of your part-time course. 
(Typically over two to three years, but there is flexibility to study for up to six years if required) 

Core units:

  • Mapping the Territory: Critical Concepts and Issues
  • Specialist Supported Enquiry: Early Childhood Studies
  • Shaping the Future
  • Research and Practice
  • Dissertation


For the full unit descriptions, click read more about this year of study below.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Research and Practice

Through this unit, we aim to develop your understanding of the relevance of research to your professional practice. You’ll examine different approaches to conducting research and your limitations and possibilities for generating knowledge in your practice area.
You’ll also explore the ethical tensions and dilemma inherent in the research process. As part of the assessment of the unit, you’ll produce a research proposal that can be taken forward to final dissertation. You’ll demonstrate your understanding and capacity to carry out a coherent and credible small research project.

Mapping the Territory: Critical Concepts and Issues

In this unit, you’ll critically explore theory and practice and the ways these inter-relate and extend each other. We’ll encourage you to ask challenging questions, and make judgements about what is going on, where you sit, and how you might respond. We’ll equip you with conceptual and theoretical lenses through taking part in workshops, discussions and wider academic reading. You’ll be encouraged to use these ‘lenses’ to reflect on your practice and develop, and critically evaluate, relevant skills and approaches.

Shaping the Future

In this unit, we’ll ask you to address critical challenges, tensions or contradictions, and professional dilemmas within your own practice. We’ll encourage you to think forward and develop possible ways of re-framing, re-imagining, or innovating for future practice.
We’ll provide opportunities for you to work at the leading edge of thinking and practice to rethink services, approaches or interventions. We aim to equip you with the skills to plan and consider specific changes and innovations for the future.

Dissertation

We’ve designed this unit to support and facilitate your planning, conducting and evaluating of a significant, practical and coherent, practitioner research project. You’ll select the focus for your dissertation yourself. We’ll support you to finalise a research proposal for approval and for ethical clearance, and then you’ll undertake the research project. Throughout the project, we’ll offer tutorial support, which involves a blend of group tutorials as well as individual supervision. You’ll also be supported by a suite of online resources as well as on-site activities that are aimed at enriching your experience and improving the quality of your final dissertation.
You may choose to research any area of interest as long as it relates to the field of education and your practice, and award area. Your terms and content of the dissertation are negotiable with your supervisors. We’ll work closely with you to ensure that you can pursue personal, professional and academic areas of interest in ways that satisfy the unit's assessment criteria.

Specialist Supported Enquiry: Early Childhood Studies

In this unit, we’ll support you to undertake a reflective enquiry that has particular relevance to your practice and early childhood studies. You’ll identify and explore significant themes, issues or points of tension in relation to early childhood studies. And, you’ll select a relevant focus for your enquiry, including the approach, tools and methods you will use.
Your enquiries might be desk, practice, or enquiry-based, but in all cases will enable you to develop and demonstrate specialist knowledge in your award area. You’ll reflect and evaluate, as appropriate to your enquiry. To support you, we’ll provide a useful introduction to the nature of knowledge, knowledge generation for practice and enquiry appropriate to your award area, and underpinning interdisciplinary footprint.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A Masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment

School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies

Our School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies specialises in teaching and research around education disciplines focused on children, young people, families and communities.

The department works collaboratively with communities, partners, local authorities and arts organisations on social enterprise projects, and has been at the forefront of developments in its field for over 20 years.

More about the department

Taught by experts

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.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £1084 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2417 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

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.

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for postgraduate taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

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Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

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. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
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