Manchester Metropolitan University

Early Childhood Studies

The MA Early Childhood Studies provides an opportunity to engage critically with ideas, theory and research for those with an interest in supporting young children and their families. This award encourages critical reflection on diverse social and professional settings that engage with children and families as well as the social structures that support them.

Early Childhood Studies questions the purpose and operation of the systems and structures that support the upbringing of young children. It also explores theories of identity and agency to consider how individuals sit within societies' structures and expectations. In a time of significant shifts in education, health and welfare services for young children and their families; the ability to apply knowledge and understanding in reflective, responsive and responsible ways to promote values of social justice, are all part of being an engaged and active professional.

The MA in Early Childhood Studies challenges students to think deeply about their own professional contexts and settings as well as the social structures around them. The award draws widely on (inter)disciplinary perspectives that illuminate early childhood in order to think about, and take forward practice.

We encourage applications from practitioners, professionals and leaders who might be working (or volunteering) in a diverse range of roles in education, health, social welfare/care, community, and other settings, and in the public, private, and voluntary or social enterprise sectors. We aim for an inter- and multi-professional student group on the award for the cross-fertilisation of knowledge, experience and expertise that can be brought to bear, and as it reflects complex challenges in practice and collaborative imperatives.

This award is part of the Manchester Met Faculty of Education postgraduate Professional Development Programme.

Features and Benefits

- Masters level continuing professional development tailored for your own context, priorities and interests, drawing on multi/interdisciplinary perspectives
- A multi-professional student group for the cross-fertilisation of ideas, collaborative approaches and working with difference
- Places enquiry and purpose at the heart of professional practice
- Flexible award structure and three starting points (October, February, June)
- Participation in a large, dynamic and forward-thinking taught postgraduate community
- Course design and delivery to fit with busy work, and other, commitments
- Possibility of accrediting prior experiential learning (APEL)

Entry requirements

You should have an honours degree or a postgraduate diploma or a professional qualification recognised as being equivalent to a UK honours degree. Other qualifications or experience may be acceptable if they demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills to a UK honours degree standard. You also need to have experience relevant to the award area (or taking up employment or similar related to the award area)

Course modules

Year 1: Core Units: Dissertation; mapping the territory: critical concepts and issues; research and practice; shaping the future; specialist support project: early childhood studies.

Assessment methods

Assessment is by coursework for each unit and a full assignment brief is available for each unit. For taught units (30 credits) the assessment is 5000 words equivalent. The final (60 credit) dissertation is 12-14,000 words.


All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Fee locale Course duration
MA Part-time September 2018 2 2 Years
MA Part-time February 2018 2 2 Years

Get in touch today and increase your future employability