This course is studied 100% online
1 or 2 years
16th August 2022
Payment plans available
Please note: See our 'Fees and funding' section for full course fees and the options available to help fund your studies.
- Gain expert knowledge and understanding of early childhood education
- Develop specialist knowledge in your chosen area of expertise
- 100% online learning gives you the flexibility to fit your study around other commitments
What our students say
For a mature student, distance learning is a match made in heaven.
My time studying with ARU has been challenging, fulfilling but most of all satisfying.
About your course
Our online Education with Early Years MA is ideal if you’re passionate about making a positive impact on young children's education. Our distance learning early childhood education course will give you the expert knowledge, skills, and understanding to help you achieve your career aspirations. Studying online allows you the flexibility to develop your career, fuel your passion and make a difference around your other commitments
Our Education with Early Childhood Master’s focusses on early childhood education from birth until eight years old and is ideal if you currently work with children or if you have a degree in early childhood studies, pre-school education, or a related subject.
This distance learning Master’s degree presents you with a fantastic opportunity to explore aspects of young children’s lives in more depth, examining current policies and practices to build on your existing knowledge.
Our online Master’s in early childhood education will advance your understanding of young children’s learning and develop and inform your early years practice and professionalism. It also provides the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge in your chosen area of expertise to support your own career success.
Taught by experienced tutors who are passionate about using insights from research to enhance the lives of young children and their families, this early childhood studies MA consists of four key modules and a postgraduate major project. You'll explore key topics such as early childhood principles and practice, exploring and developing educational research, and specialist studies in learning and teaching. The major project gives you the opportunity to carry out a significant piece or work related to your specialist area.
You’ll be able to link your newly-learned theories and research with your practice from the start, boosting your contribution to your workplace and enhancing your career prospects. It’s also a great starting point if you’re looking for a career in academia and is a step towards a PhD or EdD.
The successful completion of this distance learning early childhood and education degree can support a wide range of career opportunities in a variety of sectors, enhancing your existing role, and supporting your future career aspirations.
Modules and assessment
Modules And Assessment
Due to the structure of this course, there will be instances where you will study two modules simultaneously during a trimester. You will be supported by your tutors to help manage your workload and assessment deadlines.
Please contact one of our advisers to discuss the pacing of this course and the options available to match your circumstances.
Exploring Educational Research
This module is designed to familiarise you with the various research approaches that you may read about, critique, and use during your online postgraduate course in early childhood education and beyond. It’ll provide a forum for exploring, discussing and evaluating different types of educational research. You’ll have the opportunity to: look at a range of research methodologies; to find, read and review research studies; and to discuss the relevance of research for practice in education across different sectors (from birth to life-long learning). You’ll be encouraged to learn about research methodologies and methods through critical reflection on published work.
Specialist Studies in Learning and Teaching
This module will enable you to explore a subject that is relevant to your role as a teacher in compulsory or post compulsory education. You will be required to focus on one of the specialist areas provided by the course team and to work with other students to successfully achieve the learning outcomes. You will choose from a range of subject specialisms which will include but not necessarily be limited to: Developing Assessment for Learning in the classroom context; Enhancing learning and teaching using learning technologies; Supporting students with Special Educational Needs; Outdoor Learning; Critical Education and Social Justice.
Early Childhood - Principles, Practice & Professionalism
In this module, early childhood is considered from a range of contemporary perspectives. You will examine and critique theories from developmental psychology and be introduced to ideas from the new sociology of childhood. Students will examine the work of pioneer early educators and more recent pedagogies, curricula, and practices from a range of countries, mindful of the importance of indoor and outdoor play experiences. The dynamics of leadership and management will also be explored.
Developing Educational Research
You’ll be supported to develop a high-quality research proposal to implement for your postgraduate major project. A workbook approach will guide you through the various elements that need to be considered during the process of planning and preparation for a small-scale educational research study. There will be opportunities to discuss your ideas with your tutor and peers and to present your developing research proposal for feedback. You’ll also learn by giving constructive feedback to your peers. By the end of the module, you’ll be prepared to submit an application for ethical review, to the appropriate research ethics panel, and to embark upon research for the postgraduate major project.
Postgraduate Major Project in Education
The Major Project enables you to demonstrate your ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your specialism which may involve working at the current limits of theoretical and/or research understanding. It’ll involve the ability to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in your research or professional practice. Gaining an understanding of an appropriate methodology, appropriate methods, and an ability to draw meaningful and justifiable conclusions from information that may be complex or contradictory. Expand or redefine your existing knowledge, to develop new approaches to changing workplace situations and/or to contribute to the development of best practice. You’ll communicate these processes in a clear and elegant fashion and evaluate your work from the perspective of an autonomous reflective learner. Research topics will be negotiated with your appointed supervisor. The project may take the form of a written dissertation, a formal presentation and full research paper, an exhibition, a performance, an artefact, or the development of software, or other written, aural, or visual material. The project may be formed from a combination of these modes but will normally include a written component.
Instead of sitting exams, you’ll benefit from preparing high quality written assignments. These build up throughout each module, with opportunities for peer and tutor feedback as you learn. You’ll develop core strengths in valuable appraisal methods, such as the ability to carry out individual and collaborative critical reflections. You’ll also carry out enquiries applied directly to your specific interests and context. Each assignment will progress your learning, assessing your ability to communicate with clarity, both verbally and in written reports aimed at a range of audiences.
Modules are subject to change and availability.
How you'll study
Our Education with Early Childhood MA is studied 100% online.
You’ll study through Canvas, our world-class online Learning Management System (LMS), which can be accessed from your phone, PC, or tablet both at home or on the move. Canvas provides instant access to study materials, forums, and support from tutors and classmates, as well as enabling easy submission of your assignments.
On successful completion of your studies, you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony on campus. If attending the ceremony in person is not possible then we’ll arrange to have your certificate sent to you.
To help you land your dream job, our Employability Service will work with you throughout your time at ARU and after you graduate.
- careers advice, including one-to-one online and telephone appointments with our experienced advisers
- help with your CV, job searches, applications, and interview preparation
- an online portal packed with useful careers resources
- our Employability Programme, which helps you hone the skills employers say they want in graduates.
You’re expected to have at a first degree, with honours, at a minimum final classification of Lower Second (2:2) or equivalent.
You will be required to obtain a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check through the University.
If you have lived outside of the UK for 6 months or more within the last 5 years, then you will need to provide a police check from the country/countries previously resided in.
If you are completing placements overseas you will be required to obtain a police check/certificate of good conduct from the relevant country.
If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 (Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by ARU.
As a distance learner, you’ll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of word processing, internet and email.
Please note: Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course.
Fees & funding
The full tuition fee for this course is £7,300.
The tuition fees you pay each year will be between £3,650 and £7,300 depending on how long you take to complete the course. You can choose to study our Education with Early Childhood MA in either 1 or 2 years.
Accredited Prior Learning may reduce the tuition fees. This will be confirmed once your application has been submitted.
Your course can be fully funded by the Postgraduate Student Loans now available (subject to eligibility).
We offer payment by instalments, so you can spread the cost of studying with us.
For military students: You can use your ELCs towards this course. ARU is a recognised ELCAS provider (number 1007). Please contact your Learning Centre for details of ELC, eligibility and how to apply.
For more information on how you fund your studies please see our funding page.
Who is suited to an Education with Early Childhood MA?
Our online Master’s degree in early childhood education will give you a broad understanding of different research methodologies, and offer you the chance to reflect on published work that will help to impact your own professionalism as you move your career forwards. You will consider childhood education from a range of contemporary perspectives, the practices of educational professionals in the international arena, and the importance of early educators on today’s teaching methods.
As part of this course, you will also critique ideas of early years psychology and childhood sociology, giving you the chance to carry this through to your own teaching, and implement new methods of educating your class, keeping young children engaged, and help them develop as educated individuals through vital activities such as indoor and outdoor play.
Towards the end of this distance learning degree, you will undertake a postgraduate major project. This project will give you an exciting opportunity to fine-tune your speciality as an educator.
You will undertake research into an area of your choosing, approved by your supervisor, and have the chance to present your findings through a wide range of options, including but not limited to, a full written report, visual material, or a formal presentation.
Who is suited to an Education with Early Childhood MA?
Our distance learning early childhood education degree is perfect for those who already work in an education setting, as access to a classroom environment will allow you to put your new learning into practice from day one.
As this is a postgraduate course, it is ideal for those who wish to take the next step in their career and progress to leadership positions. You will also have the opportunity to develop your understanding of a particular specialism, and this will help you should you wish to move on to even further study, such as PhD or EdD level; allowing you the chance to lecture and help other students become teachers of the highest standard and enabling you to help shape educational practice.
As you will study this Master’s in Education with Early Childhood through distance learning, it is perfect for those whose other commitments would normally prevent them from returning to education. Whether you have a family to care for or a career that you don’t want to step away from, you can study on a schedule that suits your needs. And if you’re already an educator, completing an online MA course alongside your teaching career will enable you bring your own classroom experience to your education in real time.
What will a Master’s in Education with Early Childhood do for my Career?
Teaching young children is one of the most rewarding vocations there is, and this Master’s in early childhood education is designed to build upon your existing knowledge, experience, and qualifications to open up leadership and management positions. You will have the opportunity to strengthen your CV, thus making you a more attractive candidate to prospective employers.
If you’re happy with your current position but looking for new ways to handle challenges in the ever-evolving field of early childhood education, this course will expose you to current research methodologies and up-to-date theories on educational practice which will allow you to future proof your career and strengthen your abilities in your current role.
When undertaking a postgraduate degree through distance learning, soft skills such as time management, communication, and critical evaluation are essential. While you will have begun to develop these skills through your previous educational experience and career, our degree programme will help strengthen this vital skill set.
Why study your early childhood degree at ARU?
Our Education with Early Childhood MA is a fully online degree programme, meaning that you have the ability to set your own study schedule, fitting your learning around your own individual needs. As you will be able to complete this early childhood course in your own time, and if your current career is already in the education sector, you’ll start to see the impact of your new learning from day one.
Our expert tutors will guide your through your education, exposing you to the most relevant and up-to-date methodologies in early childhood practice. They will be on hand to answer any questions that might arise as you undertake our course and assist in your individual needs as a student.
What support will I receive at ARU Distance Learning?
At ARU, we are experts in providing our students with the highest standard of distance learning courses, and go and above and beyond to ensure that every one of our students receives all the support that they need to complete their education.
You will undertake your studies through our online learning management system, Canvas, and this can be accessed from a wide variety of devices, anywhere in the world that has access to an internet connection. Canvas allows you to keep in contact with your tutors and peers, and submit assignments, whether you choose to study at home or on the move.
At ARU, we care about your employability once you leave us, so we provide all of our students with excellent career advice that will leave them fully equipped to achieve their post-graduation goals and ambitions.
Find out more about distance learning on our blog:
16th August 2022