Taught course

Early Childhood - Education

Oxford Brookes University · School of Education

Entry requirements

Students should normally have a first degree.

Months of entry


Course content

The course aims to be a forum for sharing experience and developing knowledge of child development, the early years curriculum and the particular challenges of leadership in an early years context. It is designed for early years professionals and managers.

This is a three module course leading to the award of Postgraduate Certificate in Education: Early Childhood. The modules are:
Learning and Development in Childhood
Content includes:
  • constructivism and social constructivism;
  • brain development and core knowledge theories;
  • learning in a social context: children shaped by and shaping their context;
  • inter-subjectivity and learning through sustained shared thinking;
  • narrative understanding and learning through analogy;
  • self-esteem and the achievement of mastery;
  • the development of values and identity;
  • achieving a theory of mind: empathy, social understanding and relationships;
  • learning through the body;
  • self-regulation, planning and problem solving.

Children's Imaginative Worlds
Content includes:
  • the development of memory and alternative narratives of past and future events;
  • imagining, mulling and the development of creativity;
  • the role of imagination in children's self-directed lives;
  • the role of imagination in the construction of knowledge;
  • domains of imaginative experience e.g. children's literature / role play / spiritual development / drawing and painting / music and musicality / children and the media.

Investigating Practice (early years focus)
Content includes:
  • selecting and refining an issue for investigation;
  • examining notions of quality and effectiveness in provision for young children;
  • evaluating responses to diversity in early years settings;
  • understanding the role of play in young children's learning;
  • an introduction to action research methods;
  • recording and analysing progress and change in young children eg in relation to language / movement / social interaction;
  • ethical issues in the collection and holding of data on young children and their families;
  • contextualising findings from personal investigations in relation to national and international perspectives on the education and care of young children.

Leadership in the Early Years
Content includes:
  • the policy context for education and care in the early years;
  • the financial modelling that shapes early years settings;
  • theories of leadership, management and motivation;
  • principles, values and the development of organisational cultures;
  • defining and assuring high quality provision;
  • appraising the impact of policy and practice on diverse culture groupings;
  • managing for diverse cultures and needs;
  • leading, building, maintaining and contributing to teams;
  • self-evaluation and planning;
  • continuing professional development and work force reform;
  • advocacy and partnership in working with diverse groups.

As our courses are reviewed regularly, course content and module choices may change from the details given here.

Information for international students

As this is a part time course International students cannot usually be considered.

Qualification and course duration


part time
12 months

Course contact details

Programme Administrator
+44 (0)1865 488617