Taught course

Education (Early Years)

Birmingham City University · School of Education and Social Work

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree (or demonstration of ‘graduateness’*) plus current employment (paid or voluntary) in an early years service or setting

*Graduateness (the qualities skills and understanding gained through university experience) is determined via a written assessment and is given on the basis that you bring significant professional knowledge and experience to the programme.This pathway to Master's is important for the early years sector which includes many individuals who have positions of responsibility without having followed the traditional academic route.
We will accept RPL applications on this route prior to enrolment.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

The MA in Education (Early Years) is designed specifically for practitioners working in the early years sector and can be studied part-time alongside and in support of your day-to-day role. Each module builds upon the experience and knowledge that you bring from your professional outlook. The diverse, multi-disciplinary nature of the sector which encompasses education, childcare, family support, social work, and health is acknowledged through the construction and arrangement of modules that allow flexibility to explore theory related to specific, real-life examples from your practice.

The course is work-based by nature and structured in stages, leading to the Masters award which will make a significant contribution to raising the levels of qualification across the Early Years sector.

The first year of the course is reflective year, structured to balance the support of sector experts Professor Chris Pascal and Professor Tony Bertram with the guidance of specialist tutors. The focus of the year is professional practice and, through two academic assignments, you will reflect upon your own specialism within early years and consider how you might influence change. You are invited to specialise in areas such as Leadership, Music, Creativity and the Arts, Mentoring, and Nurturing Childhoods. Specialist tutors work alongside Chris and Tony to introduce you to the nuanced debate and specific considerations of these areas and support you in reflecting on your own practice.

As you progress from year one into year two, the focus of the course shifts and you will be trained in CREC’s specialism, Early Years research. You will attend sessions led by Professor Chris Pascal and Professor Tony Bertram with additional input from a range of specialist tutors. Through the taught sessions, you will consider paradigm and methodology choices, systematic approaches to literature, specific methods, ethics and data analysis. In addition, you will be guided by tutors on conducting case study and action research within your own professional practice.

In the final year, you will complete a dissertation. CREC provides taught support sessions to extend your research repertoire and supports you in the design of an extended piece of research. Again, CREC’s wider networks and specialist tutors are on hand to support you. We also encourage wider sector engagement through the CREC learning circle and conference attendance and dissemination.

Information for international students

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

Fees and funding

Learn more about postgraduate fees and funding.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries Team
+44 (0)121 331 6295