MA Education (Early Childhood Studies) – Bath Spa University

Education (Early Childhood Studies)

MA

Postgraduate degree

Key facts

Award
MA Education (Early Childhood Studies)
School/s
School of Education
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
One year full time or two years part time.

Entry requirements

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: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

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 ethical, cultural and social perspectives of early childhood.

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 outdoor pedagogy and the importance of research in early childhood education. You'll consider ethical ways to engage with children, their families and communities in areas such as education for sustainability and children’s engagement with nature.

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 and provide insights into constructions of childhood.

What you'll learn

Overview

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 in practice and theory
  • Ethical and political dimensions of early childhood education
  • The development of early language and literacy
  • International perspectives and approaches
  • Outdoor pedagogy, including education for sustainable development in early childhood settings
  • Children’s engagement with nature and materials in forest and outdoor experiences.

Course structure

Trimester one
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.

Trimester two
In your second trimester, you'll explore perspectives of outdoor pedagogy while beginning to consider the focus for your dissertation as you engage with research methodology and the importance of research in early childhood education.

You'll continue to consider ethical ways to engage with children, their families and communities in areas such as education for sustainability, engagement with nature and the importance of space and place.

Trimester three
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 specialist 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 and is a fitting way to complete your Master’s journey at Bath Spa.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

  • Education and Society
  • Research Methods in the Social Sciences
  • Dissertation
  • Early Childhood: Education, Culture and Society
  • Perspectives of Outdoor Play
  • Research and Professional - Part 1
  • Research and Professional - Part 2

How will I be assessed?

There are no written exams on this course; each module is assessed through coursework.

How will I be taught?

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.

Opportunities

Careers

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.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You'll be taught at our Newton Park campus.

Resources

You'll have access to Bath Spa University's:

Fees

Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

UK students full time

Course fees
2021/22 entry £7,585
2022/23 entry Published Jan 2022
2023/24 entry Published Jan 2023

UK students part time

Fees shown below are for part time study over two years, although some courses may be available over longer periods.

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £3,793
Year 2 Published Jan 2022

2022/23 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2022
Year 2 Published Jan 2023

2023/24 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2023
Year 2 Published Jan 2024

International students full time

Course fees
2021/22 entry £14,045
2022/23 entry Published Jan 2022
2023/24 entry Published Jan 2023

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

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.

We attract students from a range of countries, including Cyprus, the Republic of The Gambia, the United States, Germany, Indonesia, China, Japan 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.

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 between 6.0-7.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (Writing, Listening, Reading and Speaking).

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Get ahead

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.

Want to apply for this year? 

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.

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