When is the next MA open day?

Our MA information event will be hosted virtually on 8 June 4:30 - 5.30pm. To be notified of any future open days, please sign-up to our newsletter. If you would like to schedule a call, please email

I cannot attend the next open day, what should I do?

We are very happy to connect you directly with module tutors or answer course enquiries over the telephone. Just let us know which pathway(s) you are interested in and someone will get in touch. 


What are the entry requirements for the course?

Ordinarily we ask for a relevant undergraduate degree and experience in the wider field of education and/or early childhood. However, we are very aware of the diverse nature of the sector and would encourage those without a degree to get in touch as in some cases experience can be evidenced for this requirement. A graduate skills test would also be required to ascertain the capacity to write at level 7. 

Are your courses only part-time?

Our MA Education (Early Years) is built around practice and we rely upon our students being able to reflect upon their studies whilst in practice and vice versa. We only offer part-time options as the pathways are aimed at those working in the sector.   
How big are the cohorts at CREC?

Most year one and year two pathways will equate to approximately ten students. Individual tutors will set the student parameters on their own pathways so do let us know if you'd like to connect with individual tutors.

What if I only want to do one of the MA pathways for CPD?

We have the option to exit you from studies after each pathway. Please note student finance is not available to those not undertaking the full MA.
--> Pathway 1 = 1st year = Post Graduate Certificate
--> Pathway 2 = 2nd year = Post Graduate Diploma
--> Dissertation = 3rd Year = MA in Education

How much do your pathways cost?

Our 2021-22 fees are £2200 per 60 credits. 

Can I apply for student finance?

We are pleased to say that arrangements are now in place for new students starting in September 2021 to be able to access Student Finance. This is available to students enrolling on full MA only (180 PG credits). Visit Birmingham City University portal for more information.

Who will certify the programme?

Our MA Education (Early Years) is currently validated by Birmingham City University (BCU). All MA pathways follow BCU academic regulations and you are invited to graduate officially from BCU at the end of the programme.  

Can I transfer postgraduate credits from another university?

YES - at the point of application with our validating partner, BCU, you can apply to have the credits transferred to our programme. You must do this at the application stage and it is an agreement between yourself and BCU. They will ascertain whether the credits you have are applicable to our programme but, ordinarily, if you have a PCGE within the last 5 years, this is an acceptable transfer. Those planning to carry forward credits from any prior learning at level 7 are not eligible for student finance.

Do you offer distance learning?

Our modules are based on the development of a community of practice (Wenger, 2002) and we value the social aspects of learning. All pathways include face-to-face days in Birmingham, England.

All pathways will be delivered, where possible, through a combination of in-person and online sessions. Given the ongoing uncertainty, we will ensure that all students are able to access their learning even if they are unable to attend in person. Equally, as soon as we are able to open our office (including the library and learning and training centre) in a safe way for groups of students, we will provide opportunities for formal and informal group learning on site.

Do you take international students?

Despite online programme delivery due to COVID pandemic, unfortunately, we are currently unable to enrol international students because of how the programme is set up and regulated; we do not hold the relevant Tier 4 Home Office Licence. We are however exploring possibilities to be able to offer our Master’s to a wider international audience so please join our mailing list for updates.

Why should I choose a CREC MA?

The CREC MA has been designed by Prof. Chris Pascal and Prof. Tony Bertram and includes taught modules by experts such as Pete Sturgess, Jessica Pitt or Peppy Hills and Debi Keyte-Hartland.
Current students are provided with opportunities to attend additional sessions throughout the year, such as tutorial on academic skills and writing, or reflective practice support session for Year 1 students and research methods support session for year 2 students.
Graduates of our programme go on to become confident practitioners, charismatic trainers and consultants, passionate researchers and early childhood experts in their own right.
"It is no exaggeration to say this course changed my working life. Yes, it's tricky fitting study round busy family life but the tutors at CREC are so knowledgeable and supportive, and the people you meet on the course become such great friends and allies that you're all in it together. I have learnt so much, met so many like-minded people and actually got more work from the opportunities that have arisen, having done this course.  A fantastic place to study, I whole-heartedly recommend it."
Sally-Anne Brown, CREC MA, 2015-18
"I found the CREC modules to be challenging, stimulating and thought-provoking. The environment was always supportive and enabling. I loved being part of CREC and love that I still feel part of the network.
My Masters led to article commissions in EY sector magazines, and teaching in HE institutions. It allowed me to continue furthering my career during maternity leave, and to feel real, significant achievement at a time when I was predominantly looking after my babies. It was a challenge, but that’s what made it worthwhile. I did it anyway, and I did it well, and I’m incredibly proud of that."

Sally Teare, CREC MA, 2012-14

"I did my MA in Education at CREC, including the Mentoring and Coaching Module and the Dissertation, through which I designed a meditation programme for young children. I loved being at CREC; the smaller setting and the care and dedication of the staff. I have since developed both an audio programme of meditation for children and families and a series of lesson plans for teachers. Having attracted outside investment, this is beginning to reach a wider audience through schools and individuals."
Chris Ludlow, CREC MA

How do I apply?

If you are a new student, please complete your application via the Birmingham City University website. Once you have enrolled, have been offered a place and you have accepted it, CREC staff will contact you to ask you for your Year 1 first and second choice options. 

If you are a continuing student, please contact the programme lead or your tutor to discuss your Year 2/3 options. You can also view our Master's Programme structure  for more information.

What is the enrolment deadline?

The deadline will be provided in due course. Additionally, to ensure we follow the government guidelines on social distancing, our spaces for the face-to-face sessions will be set up to accommodate this. We are therefore capping our successful Master’s applications at 12 per pathway. Whether you are a new or continuing student, we encourage you to enrol early to secure your place on your first choice pathway.

What else can CREC offer?

CREC specialises in early childhood research which has relevant and meaningful outcomes for practice and policy. Some of its research is transformed into training and development programmes designed for the specific needs of the early years sector. CREC also offers undergraduate and postgraduate research degrees, teacher training, CPD days and more. We have a strong reputation for undertaking reviews, reports, evaluations and consultancy work with many UK local authorities, NGOs and countries.

Accredited Courses and CPD include:

MA in Education (Early Years) School Centred Initial Teacher Training One Day CPD courses Certificate for Music Educators Funded Leadership Course EEL & BEEL AcE

How are the Certificate for Music Educators (CME) and our MA Music Pathway different?

The CME:EC level 4 course is practical in nature. Techniques, repertoire and musical activities for working with children under five and their caregivers will be introduced and you will have lots of practical hands-on experience. There is some theoretical background provided but the emphasis is on skills and techniques required to work as a freelance early childhood music educator.
The MA module does not focus on practical techniques but rather the theoretical frameworks that underpin our pedagogy, our thinking about young children as learners. Theories and concepts from for example: education, psychology, play, developmental psychology, ethnomusicology and evolutionary science are explored to help us think about music, musicality, learning and teaching.
Both courses - like all the modules at CREC - have peer learning at their heart and you will meet like-minded peers with whom to deepen your thinking and reflection about why you do what you do.
You have not answered my question, what do I do?

Please get in touch! We're open Monday - Friday, 8am - 4pm. 


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