MA in education (early years)

CREC offers a flexible way to gain a Postgraduate Master's Degree in Education with Early Years focus.

Our part time programme is designed specifically for practitioners working in the early years sector and can be studied alongside and in support of your day-to-day role. Each module builds upon the experience and knowledge that you bring from your professional outlook. The diverse, multi-disciplinary nature of the sector which encompasses education, childcare, family support, social work, and health is acknowledged through the construction and arrangement of modules that allow flexibility to explore theory related to specific, real-life examples from your practice.

Programme Overview

The course is designed to support and develop you into a highly reflective early years practitioner researcher who can improve outcomes for children and families through their practice. Progression is built into each but you have the flexibility to choose your own pathway through selecting your modules, that way you can tailor your study to suit your needs and areas of interest.
The part-time MA Education (Early Years) requires three years of study:
- Year 1 focuses on reflective practice and professional development.
- Year 2 provides a broader research methods introduction and related research project.
- Year 3 is a detailed study of an area of professional interest through a dissertation.


Each year consists of a total of 60 postgraduate (PG) credits. 
All Year 1 and Year 2 options consist of one 20 credit (3000 words) and one 40 credit (6000 words) assignment.

The final year for all students requires the completion of a 15,000-word dissertation, in which students undertake a closely supervised research project.

Our programme is based on the development of a community of practice (Wenger, 2002) and we value the social aspects of learning. All options include face-to-face days in Birmingham, England. Please note however that due to the impact of the pandemic, we are preparing contingencies to run our pathways through a combination of face-to-face taught days at our centre in Birmingham, virtual teaching and distance learning.


Why study with CREC?

- The course is delivered by the internationally recognised Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC) led by Professor Chris Pascal & Prof Tony Bertram
- Improving outcomes for children, particularly the most disadvantaged, is at the heart of what CREC does and this course is designed to develop high-quality, reflective, impactful professionals who can bring about positive change in early childhood.
- You will have the dual benefit of being a BCU student with access to all university services and resources as well as being part of the CREC learning community and the networks and resources it has to offer.
- Through an approach that advocates reflective practice and professional enquiry, the curriculum is designed to develop the individual and their practice. This in turn will lead to longer-term benefits for the settings, schools, or services they work for.
- We have various optional early years specialisms available each year delivered by nationally recognised figures – early years music; physical activity; Under 3s; Creativity; Outdoor Learning; Leadership; Coaching & Mentoring are current examples.



Current Year 1 Options



New students who have successfully enrolled via the Birmingham City University (our MA accreditation body) website will be contacted to provide their 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 below.



If you need more details or would like to discuss anything, please contact us:


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