MA Early Childhood Education (part-time)

School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences

Join education professionals from all over the world: our postgraduate courses will launch your career in education, or aid your continuing professional development.

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. Our research has a direct impact on educational theory, policy and practice; we're supporting the development of children, families and learning communities through dedicated research centres.

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

Course description 2017

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

  • Early Childhood Education: history and policy
  • Development Learning and Curriculum
  • Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education
  • Research Methods in Early Childhood Education
  • Dissertation (Early Childhood Education)


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


Each module is assessed through a 6,000- word assignment. A final 15–20,000-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

An honours degree and two years’ experience of working full-time with or for young children. If you don’t have an undergraduate degree, you can register for the Diploma and transfer to a Masters course when you’ve completed enough coursework.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent

Entry requirements for international students

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Fees and funding

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Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

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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.