Early Years Education, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • English (book IELTS)
University rank #7 (QS) ,
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).

Programme Structure

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.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 12 months
    • Average part-time duration 24 months
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Credits
    180 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS

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Academic Requirements


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.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    15525 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 15525 GBP for the full programme and a duration of 12 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    7145 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 7145 GBP for the full programme and a duration of 12 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

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

Living costs for London

  • 1000 - 2600 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Please see www.ioe.ac.uk for up-to-date fees and funding details

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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