- MA Education (Early Childhood Studies)
- School of Education
- Campus or location
- Newton Park
- Course length
- One year full time or two years part time.
Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We're generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent.
Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.
Please contact our admissions team for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Study early childhood education issues in depth, covering policy, practice and theory, in our Master's in Education specialising in early childhood studies.
- Explore constructions of childhood.
- Benefit from in-depth study of children from birth to eight.
- Focus on applying your developing knowledge of early childhood to practice.
On this MA Education in Early Childhood Studies, you'll have opportunities to evaluate and critically analyse issues and challenges whilst focusing on political, ethical, cultural and social issues both in early childhood and in education in general. The course draws on theoretical insights into the study of early childhood which challenge and inspire. Children’s right to play and to learn through play are important features throughout the course.
You'll explore perspectives of play and creativity and the importance of research in early childhood education. You will consider ethical and playful ways to engage with children, their families and communities, as well as theoretical perspectives underpinning engagement in those areas.
Your final dissertation is an opportunity to explore and research a topic of your choice and is a fitting way to complete your Master’s journey at Bath Spa. This MA Education in Early Childhood Studies incorporates modules that will enhance your understanding of early childhood.
What you'll learn
You’ll gain a deep insight into early childhood. You'll investigate and examine:
- Theoretical perspectives of early childhood, including sociocultural and posthuman approaches
- The importance of play and playfulness in practice and theory
- Ethical and political dimensions of early childhood education
- International perspectives and approaches to early childhood
- The theoretical and practice links between play and creativity
- Children’s engagement with materials and its importance for wellbeing.
In your first trimester you'll undertake modules which provide a firm foundation for your Master's in Education. You'll have opportunities to evaluate and critically analyse issues and challenges whilst focusing on political, ethical, cultural and social issues both in early childhood and in education in general.
The course draws on theoretical insights into the study of early childhood which challenge and inspire, whilst considering the impact of national and international trends. Children’s right to play and to learn through play are important features in this first trimester and throughout the course.
In your second trimester, you'll explore perspectives on play and creativity while beginning to consider the focus for your dissertation as you engage with research methodology and the importance of research in early childhood education.
In your third trimester you'll study and research an aspect of early childhood education theory, policy, or practice in depth for your final 16,000 word dissertation. You'll be guided by a supervisor and will also be able to attend research seminars and workshops if you wish. The dissertation is an opportunity to explore and critique a topic of your choice (related to early childhood studies) and is a fitting way to complete your Master’s journey at Bath Spa.
This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document for more information on which modules are core, required or optional.
- Education and Society
- Research Methods in the Social Sciences
- Early Childhood: Education, Culture and Society
- Perspectives on Play and Creativity
- Research and Professional - Part 1 (part-time students only)
- Research and Professional - Part 2 (part-time students only)
There are no written exams on this course; each module is assessed through coursework.
You’ll be taught through lectures and small group seminars. There are also individual tutorials and good opportunities for extended discussion with tutors. Analysis of ideas through discussion is the key to teaching and learning in the programme. Some lectures and seminars occur during the day. Others take place from late afternoon.
To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.
Governments worldwide are now making early childhood education a priority and increasing their investment in provision for young children. You’ll acquire specialist expertise in an area of education that is rapidly expanding and opening up new career opportunities.
Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.
|Annual tuition fee
|UK full time
|UK part time
|International full time
*Fees shown are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.
Interested in applying?
Some students apply for our MA having completed their PGCE with the intention of postponing their entry to the profession, whereas others apply before making a decision whether to become a teacher. Some are already teachers who wish to develop their understanding of the role.
The content and subject matter of your first degree is open. Some students have educational studies as a first degree, while others studied subjects from marine biology to music, or are experts in alternative fields. Some understanding and experience of working with young children is beneficial and aids understanding of many of the issues raised during the Programme.
We attract students from a range of countries, including Cyprus, the Republic of The Gambia, the United States, Germany, Indonesia, China, India and Australia, as well as the United Kingdom. Students are expected to have an Honours degree from a recognised Higher Education Institution in the UK, although we often accept applicants with appropriate experience that we consider sufficient and comparable, or an equivalent degree from overseas. Equivalence of overseas students' academic qualifications is assessed by NARIC. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) web page to learn more.
If English is not your first language, you'll need to provide evidence of proficiency in the English language. The Admissions Team assesses applications individually, but for postgraduate courses we're looking for an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component (Writing, Listening, Reading and Speaking).
Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.
Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.
Read the following and ask questions:
- Penn, H. (2014) Understanding Early Childhood: Issues and Controversies. 3rd edn. Maidenhead: Open University Press
- Moss, P. (2019) Alternative Narratives in Early Childhood: an introduction for students and practitioners. London: Routledge.
When to apply
Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.
Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.
Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.