MA in Education: Early Childhood Studies


Program Description

MA Education Early Years

Study educational issues in depth, covering policy, practice and education theory, in our Master's in early years education.

Explore constructions of childhood.

Benefit from an in-depth study of children from birth to eight.

Focus on ethical, cultural and social perspectives of early childhood.

Early childhood education is recognised globally as being crucial for laying the foundations for lifelong learning and development, as critical aspects of social, emotional and cognitive development are established in a child’s early years.

During the course, you’ll develop your knowledge and understanding of how children develop and learn in social and cultural contexts. You’ll be introduced to different pedagogical approaches, including international perspectives, that will encompass a critical analysis of the cultural construction of childhood.

This Master's in early childhood education incorporates modules that will enhance your understanding and insights into developing quality educational provision for young children.


You’ll gain a deep insight into education. We’ll teach you to question:

  • The nature of learning and teaching is in different countries and cultures
  • The relationship between education and the economy
  • How education is changing as it becomes marketed
  • How education systems are managed
  • Who takes decisions about the curriculum and teaching
  • How far governments go (and how far they should go) to control education
  • What the role of a professional educator is
  • The role schools and universities may take on in the future
  • The role of education in the knowledge economy
  • Whether education is becoming an instrument of capitalism.

Course structure

Trimester one

In your first trimester, you'll study one award core module, Early Childhood: Education, Culture and Society. In addition, you'll complete the module Education and Society.

Trimester two

In your second trimester, you'll study the compulsory core module, Social Science Research, which introduces a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies and methods. In addition, you'll take a second module: Perspectives of Outdoor Play, which includes concepts of engagement with nature, space, place, and education for sustainable development. While undertaking these modules, you'll develop a proposal and plan, and carry out research for your dissertation with the support of your supervising tutor.

Trimester three

In your third trimester, you'll write up your Dissertation. The Dissertation enables you to study and research an aspect of early childhood education theory, policy, or practice in-depth while being guided by a specialist supervisor.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules.

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

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.



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.

Cost & Fees

  • UK/EU students full time - 2019/20 entry £7,195
  • UK/EU students part time - 2019/20 entry £3,600
  • International students full time - 2019/20 entry £13,300
Last updated May 2019

About the School

Bath Spa University is about more than studying. It’s about getting stuck in: thinking, making and doing. About bumping into friends on campus, embracing challenges and genuinely caring. We push bound ... Read More

Bath Spa University is about more than studying. It’s about getting stuck in: thinking, making and doing. About bumping into friends on campus, embracing challenges and genuinely caring. We push boundaries and ourselves. If that sounds good to you, you’ll fit in well. Read less