MA Leadership in Early Years

How can we measure the effectiveness of education in an early years setting? What are suitable services to improve education in young people? Can we empower children and their communities by engagement with education?

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend a course fair How to apply

Overview

Critique theories of leadership and management and learn how they relate to your working environment. Explore services and multi-agency working for young children and families. And, through critical reflection, develop skills to pursue a leadership role in an early years setting.

On our part-time master’s course, you’ll explore leadership and management in early years education and consider how you can improve services for children and families.

This course is designed for professionals working, or volunteering, across the education, health, social care and community sectors. Whether you’re a teacher or volunteer for a social enterprise, we’ll help you to develop your leadership and management skills.

Whichever early childhood area you work in, you’ll gain theoretical knowledge about leadership and management and apply them to your own practice. You'll disrupt your assumptions about leadership and early years provision. And, you’ll critique your position in your workplace, considering ways you could be more influential and work across agencies.

You’ll have the opportunity to engage in professionally stimulating and challenging dialogue with fellow students and explore ways of leading and visioning, such as using the power of pictures to create your shared goal. You’ll also critique the role that a leader plays in the early years environment, including nurseries, preschools, and childminders.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Through this course, you’ll develop a clear understanding of the role a leader plays across educational settings, and develop your vision of leadership.

You’ll gain the knowledge to help you pursue a career in a leadership position across multi-agency support services and communities that support young children.

You may choose to use this knowledge to support your current management or leadership role, or to move into a more senior role.

You could also continue with further study and begin a PhD or EdD, which is often the first step to a career in academia. Previous graduates have gone onto study a PhD while working in a leadership position.

Learn more about graduate careers

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)

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

Our part-time masters course helps you to develop the leadership and management skills to become an educational leader in an early years setting.

You’ll study theories of leadership and management, such as the different ways of understanding leadership, and instrumental theory. You’ll also analyse current models relating to leading change, and consider methods of managing people and resources.

Some of the topics you’ll consider include the growth mind-set, the contribution of educational leadership to global equality, ethical leadership, and the impact of leadership on organisational effectiveness.

Your final assessment is typically a dissertation on a topic of your choice, related to the field of education. 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 leading learning with two year olds.

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.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Students with recent (within five years) PGCE or similar normally enter the MA Leadership in Early Years 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. 

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: Leadership in Early Years
  • 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: Leadership in Early Years

In this unit, we’ll support you to undertake a reflective enquiry that has particular relevance to your practice and leadership in early years. You’ll identify and explore significant themes, issues or points of tension in relation to leadership in early years. 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

Find out more

Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

Learn more

Want to know more?

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.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

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
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at officeforstudents.org.uk.

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.

Top