Course specification and structure
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PMEARCHI - MA Early Childhood Studies

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Arts Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Professions
Subject Area Health, Social Care and Early Childhood
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time Distance Learning 1 YEARS  
Part-time Distance Learning 3 YEARS  
Course leader Victoria Mummery

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The MA Early Childhood Studies programme is designed for professionals working within the early childhood workforce, including those who may not be working directly with children but are involved in developing the early childhood workforce, such as further education lecturers and Local Authority advisors.

This MA offers students an opportunity to advance their knowledge, understanding and professional practice through engaging with current research and thinking in early childhood. It also involves students in reflecting on and analysing their own professional practice. A commitment to equality, diversity, social justice and advocacy is theme which is central to this programme.

The programme is delivered by distance learning using an interactive on-line platform and individual academic support from tutors. As well as academic content the interactive on-line platform includes pod-casts/video, on-line discussions and links to identified reading – either as scanned chapters or through accessing our wide range of on-line books and academic journals.

The Early Childhood Studies team has a long history of developing accessible training routes for the early childhood workforce and was one of the first universities to offer an undergraduate programme designed for those working within the early childhood workforce – both as a face-to-face and distance learning programme.

Course aims

This course aims to provide a high quality, contemporary and coherent programme of study leading to the award of MA. It provides a programme of study that is inherently flexible to meet the needs of those working within the early childhood workforce.

The course is underpinned by the following aims:

  • To develop a detailed understanding of current research and thinking in the field of early childhood
  • To continuously appraise research and theory and reflect on its impact on early childhood provision and practice with an emphasis on students’ own professional practice
  • To develop a sophisticated understanding of the historical, economic, social, cultural and political contexts which impact on the lives of young children and their families
  • To develop a comprehensive understanding of and commitment to issues of equality and diversity, social justice and advocacy in relation to the field of early childhood
  • To develop a strong commitment to working collaboratively and in partnership with parents and carers and recognise this as a core value that underpins early childhood provision and practice
  • To advance scholarship through their own inquiry and research relevant to early childhood

Course learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes incorporate and depend on a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice.

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • apply methods and techniques appropriate to their own research or advanced scholarship in Early Childhood Studies
  • apply knowledge with originality, based on a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in Early Childhood Studies
  • evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in Early Childhood Studies
  • evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • exercise self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level
  • advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.
  • exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations
  • learn independently for the purposes of continuing professional development.

Assessment strategy

Students will receive theoretical input through bespoke on-line module materials with access to an allocated module tutor who is available to support them by e-mail, telephone or face-to-face. All students will benefit from a blended learning approach through the use of the virtual learning environment, WebLearn for supplementary materials, links to E-books, on-line discussions and self-assessment exercises such as reflective tasks. Reflection and discussion are key to teaching – reflection will be promoted by the discussion-board exercises incorporated into the web-based materials. Teaching and learning strategies and methods will link module content to workplace skills and professionalism in early childhood.

Students are assessed using a variety of assessment methods relevant for students studying at a distance, for example:
- Reflective essays based upon observational visits
- Presentations
- Facilitated discussion board engagement
- Portfolio and associated commentary

Modules required for interim awards

For Masters award – see Course Structure

PG Diploma
SE7000 Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood
SE7001 Distinctive Approaches in Early Childhood Education and Care
Plus two of the following option modules:
SE7002 Equality and Inclusion in Early Childhood
SE7003 Foundations of Being
SE7004 Creativity in Childhood

PG Cert
SE7000 Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood
SE7001 Distinctive Approaches in Early Childhood Education and Care

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Reflection on learning and its subsequent impact on professional practice are a key feature of the MA programme. Students are encouraged to continuously appraise current research and theory and reflect on the impact it has on approaches to provision and practice. The emphasis is on enhancing the work they do within the early childhood sector.

The modules’ content has been designed to facilitate a deep engagement with current theoretical and research-based knowledge. Assessments are designed to facilitate the transfer of this knowledge to students’ own practice through reflection, critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

Arrangements on the course for careers education, information and guidance

The majority of students undertaking the MA Early Childhood Studies will be currently employed in the early childhood sector.

Career opportunities

Career opportunities and potential continuing professional development include advisers to local and national government, further and higher education tutors, leadership roles within early childhood and doctoral research. Graduates have gone on to roles as early years educators at nurseries and play therapists at children's hospitals.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a relevant honours degree (at least 2:2) and work within the early childhood workforce

Some of the modules require an observational visit to a setting offering care and education for children from birth to seven-years-old. Where you're not working directly with children you will need to be able to commit to this component of the programme.

All students are interviewed, but importance is also placed on the statement of application.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Due to statutory requirements, we are not able to offer sponsorship under the Tier 4 visa route for this course. We will be happy to consider those falling into this category for an alternative suitable course on request. Overseas nationals who already hold an alternative visa in a suitable category or have been granted permission to remain in the UK indefinitely, and EU nationals may be considered for admission but please note that an additional international enhanced police check will be required.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2015/16 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 14 Apr 2015 Last validation date 14 Apr 2015  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes X310 (Academic Studies in Nursery Education): 100%
Route code EARCHI

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SE7000 Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Core 30        
SE7001 Distinctive Approaches in Early Childhood Educa... Core 30        
SE7P00 Research Methods and the Dissertation Core 60        
SE7002 Equality and Inclusion in Early Childhood Option 30        
SE7003 Foundations of Being Option 30        
SE7004 Creativity in Early Childhood Option 30        

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SE7000 Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Core 30        
SE7001 Distinctive Approaches in Early Childhood Educa... Core 30        
SE7P00 Research Methods and the Dissertation Core 60        
SE7002 Equality and Inclusion in Early Childhood Option 30        
SE7003 Foundations of Being Option 30        
SE7004 Creativity in Early Childhood Option 30