Taught course

Education (Early Years)

University of Bedfordshire · School of Education

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a good undergraduate degree at Honours level, or equivalent.

Months of entry


Course content

About the course

This course aims to further develop your professional knowledge, understandings in Early Years Education and Care, applicable to a wide range of practice-based settings.

For all students this will require you to undertake observations in work-place practice, and advice and support from tutors will be provided to facilitate assessment and learning on the course.

You will study with other professionals from a range of educational organisations including schools, local authority organisations, the lifelong learning sector and universities.

The course is available for part time study, giving students access to a range of optional units with broad themes that allows individuals to focus on specific areas of study within the units in order to personalise these appropriate to their interests and needs. In this way you will be able to make a deeper, more specialist analysis in one particular core theme, or appropriate to one area of your own practice or experience.

Alongside the taught units, you will study Research Methods in the workplace in preparation for your dissertation.

The MA Education (Early Years) aims to:

  • Increase awareness of and access to a range of academic ideas and research findings in early years, to promote evidence-based practice.
  • Promote personalisation of broad themes to meet the needs and interests of early years students while providing a focused line of study.
  • Promote vocationally relevant and varied assessment formats with a negotiated focus to support individual and organisational needs in an early years context.
  • Promote engagement with key issues in education, involving critical examination of a wide range of key education sources and texts, leading to the identification and justification of recommendations for further action.

Key features

The aim of this part-time MA in Education (Early Years) is to enhance your knowledge and skills required to support the learning that occurs in early years settings.

The core unit Early Years Education and Care explores current theory and practice in early years settings, with a particular focus on social constructions of childhood, and the learning opportunities available for children in early years settings.

Following this, you have access to a wide range of units that allow you to explore and develop your skills and understandings, for example by exploring leadership in early years educational settings, or by focusing on the diverse needs of students that present in early years settings.

You also have the opportunity to interrogate current policy in relation to early years education in detail in the unit analysing policy: children’s voice.

On this course you will be able to learn through a variety of ways including workshops, seminars, online learning and through tutorial support.

As part-time students, this blended learning course will allow you to work around your work commitments with a combination of face-to-face sessions as well as online support and activities

Areas of study

  • Early Years Education and Care
  • Analysing Policy: Children’s Voice
  • Enhancing Practice in Educational Contexts
  • Research Methods in the Workplace and Dissertation (Practice) or Applied Research Methods and Project
  • Educational Leadership in Context*
  • Leading change in Education*
  • Meeting Diverse Needs*
  • Exploring Coaching and Mentoring*

*options. You will receive guidance on the units that are most appropriate for your career aspirations and interests.

Career prospects

This Master’s qualification will enhance your chances for promotion and for employment in other contexts, particularly in relation to taking on further management and leadership responsibilities in early years settings.

The course is designed to help you engage, study and critique key issues in early years education and care as well as offering options in leadership, mentoring and coaching, all of which support career progression or diversification.

As a Master’s graduate, you will have the confidence, knowledge and critical skills to prepare and present a strong application to senior posts in the field of education.

Previous graduates have gone on to take up enhanced roles within their organisation; some have undertaken PhD study

Qualification and course duration


part time
36 months

Course contact details

+44 (0)1234 400 400