Early Childhood Education MA

Duration: 2-3 years part-time distance learning


The Early Childhood Education MA is a unique, internationally renowned programme which has been running successfully since 1998. The programme offers students both the flexibility of studying from anywhere and at any time with the added opportunity to meet fellow students and share experiences at three weekend study schools.

We welcome applications from UK and internationally-based candidates. Students living all over the UK and many other countries including Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, India Japan, Malta, Singapore United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam have successfully completed the course.

The two-year programme is delivered through distance learning experiences and through attendance at three study schools. The course covers a broad range of issues and debates relating to learning, pedagogy and curriculum in early childhood education. Students have opportunities to critically reflect on early years practice, on current policy, and address theory and research relevant to their interests. The programme content draws upon contemporary research in the School of Education that can be explored on our website:

I loved my 'Sheffield weekends' and every time I returned home my work was just that much better.

Helen Nixon,  Early childhood education MA

The programme aims to:

  • Develop students’ critical understanding of how research, theory, policy and practice intersect within the context of early childhood education in general and within professional and cultural contexts;
  • Promote critical reflection and evaluation of learning, pedagogy and curriculum in early childhood education in relation to global contexts and within the local contexts of students’ needs and interests;
  • Develop students’ ability to conduct rigorous practice-based research or policy analysis, and to disseminate their work as appropriate.