M.A. Early Years Education

  • On Campus
  • 12 months
  • GBP15525 per Full programme (International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

    GBP7145 per Full programme (EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

  • English ( Take IELTS test or Find a course )
UCL Institute of Education (IOE) | London, United Kingdom
The programme allows students to engage with current issues and debates relevant to early years education, increasing understanding of policy development and developing leadership knowledge and skills in assessing the quality of early years practice.



Students gain understanding of general methodology and research methods, which enables them to conduct research in early years settings.

This programme provides the opportunity for students to access professional development that is informed by best practice in early years education. It will also prepare students for leadership roles and develop their understanding of general methodology and research methods.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Detailed Course Facts

Start dates and application deadlines

Starting in

  • There is no deadline for this start date.
Tuition fee
  • GBP 15525 per full programme (International

    Tuition fee for the international students.

  • GBP 7145 per full programme (EEA

    European Economic Area tuition fee is applicable to the students from EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.


Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Credits 180
Duration full-time 12 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Intensity Flexible
Duration part-time 24 months

Course Content

Contemporary Issues in the Early Years

This module introduces a range of important contemporary issues related to the provision of services for young children and their families. The content of the module will be embedded within current policy contexts, professional practice, recent research, and contemporary debates about the changing landscape of the early years sector, the practitioner's role in working with children, families and other professionals within early years settings, schools and children's services. The module aims to raise questions about the provision of care and education for children, interpret current provision within the context of the values and policies which underpin them. The inclusion of an international perspective enables a critique of western ideas of the early years as a significant phase of provision. Reflective practice provides a framework for critical reflection of policy into practice throughout the module.

Early Childhood Education

This module covers key issues in the education and care of children under eight and focuses particularly on the provision made in early childhood settings for children from birth to five (the current English Early Years Foundation Stage). It is of interest both to those concerned with early childhood provision in the UK and to those with experience of other, international, contexts. Key themes include: the role of play in creative problem solving in early learning, and the types of curriculum and pedagogy that support successful outcomes for children; personal, social and emotional development including the development of a gendered and racialised identity; the development of communication skills; and inclusive practice, including the role of assessment in children's early learning. All sessions draw on recent research and emphasise the ways that this may inform policy and practice.

Researching Early Years and Primary Education

This module offers an introduction to the importance of high-quality educational research, enabling students both to evaluate and critique published research studies, and to design and implement a small-scale study of their own. It proceeds by means of a detailed consideration, week by week, of a recent study in the field of early childhood and primary education, and an analysis of the design, methods and interpretation the study has employed. By these means, participants are enabled to experiment with different research approaches and methods, and to explore the ethical aspects of research, especially research with young children. The module assessment has two components: a 2,000 word methodological critique of a research paper, and a 3,000 word review of literature on a topic of your own choice.

English Language Requirements


IMPORTANT NOTE: The UK government confirmed new requirements for secure English language testing for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more



A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required. Appropriate experience of working with young children is desirable.


If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Special. Only the IELTS or a pass to the required standard in the Institute of Education's pre-sessional English (PASHE) course are accepted. If taking IELTS, applicants must obtain an overall grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in the reading subtest and 6.0 in the writing subtest.

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

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UCL Institute of Education (IOE), United Kingdom

United Kingdom The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is world leading in education and social science. Ranked 1st in the world for education (QS World Rankings 2015) and 1st in the UK for research strength (REF 2014), the IOE has an unrivalled reputation for excellence in the field. Located in central London, the IOE is a global hub of ideas and debate with a true commitment to research and teaching excellence. Our world-renowned academic staff conduct research for governments, ministries, schools and universities, meaning that the IOE’s expertise continually influences and impacts global educational policy. Students interested in education can choose from two undergraduate programmes, 60 flexible masters programmes and research in the largest Centre for Doctoral Education in the UK.

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