MA Early Childhood Education (part-time)

School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences

Join education professionals from all over the world for a postgraduate course that will advance your career.

Our graduates work in the UK and overseas in schools, universities, and local and national government. Some are teachers and lecturers. Others use their skills in policy development, education, administration, psychology and social work.

The tutors who are very supportive and have enabled me to develop in all aspects of research into contemporary issues. What’s more, the staff at the University are always on hand to assist if any problems occur. I recommend the course as being well planned and motivational: it has motivated me to further my career to doctoral level

MA Early Childhood Education student

About the course

2018 start

Course description 2018

Distance learning, part-time course

This course blends distance learning with face-to-face teaching. It’s open to early childhood professionals anywhere in the world, including early years practitioners, FE and HE lecturers, teachers, nursery nurses, voluntary and independent providers, and inspectors and managers working in areas relevant to early childhood.

Wherever you are in the world, you’ll develop the skills you need to carry out high-quality educational research relevant to your own culture. Those skills include a clearer understanding of the policies, practice and theories that underpin your work.

You’ll discuss international approaches and educational change with leading experts.

School of Education postgraduate student

Core modules

  • Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood Education
  • Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education
  • Research Methods in Early Childhood Education
  • Leadership and Professional Knowledge
  • Dissertation


You'll study mostly at home, staying in contact with your tutor by telephone and email. You must attend three residential weekends in Sheffield during the two years of the course.


Each module is normally assessed through 30-credit assignments, amounting to 90 credits each year. A final 13–17,000-word dissertation represents one-third of the MA (60 credits out of 180). On completion, you'll have the opportunity to apply for doctoral study on our Early Childhood Education EdD.

Course duration

2-3 years part-time distance learning

Entry requirements

  • Normally at least a 2:1 honours degree. Relevant experience in the field of early childhood education and care is desirable.
  • If you don't have a 2:1 honours degree, you might be eligible to register for a postgraduate certificate or diploma, and transfer to the masters course once you have completed the coursework in the first year to a satisfactory level.

Please speak to the course director if you would like to discuss your qualifications and experience.

All students study together, making the transition from certificate/diploma to masters registration seamless.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

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You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

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Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our programmes, contact us:

T: (+44) (0)114 222 8177

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.