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What makes the MA Education (Early Childhood) at Worcester special?

This course explores the principles of pedagogy within the particular context of Early Years provision. Starting by considering how the concept of childhood (in the UK) has been developed, it unpacks the values that we hold as early years educators and how these impact upon the choices that we make in our work with children.

The modules consider how we, as individuals, work in partnership with families and a wide range of professionals to produce the best outcomes of the child. The modules also consider how practice is influenced by policy. All learning is underpinned by principles of leading practice and how this can be done both effectively and ethically.



Key features

  • This course is designed for those working, or aspiring to work, within Early Years who want to develop and improve their understanding of professional practice in ways which will have a real impact on quality in the workplace. With a focus on the interrelationship between theory with practice, the curriculum will develop your understanding of yourself as a leader and ‘change agent’ for improvement in the Early Years. 

  • The course is suitable for Early Childhood graduates, but also those with alternative qualifications who wish to move into a lead practitioner role in Early Childhood.

  • Learning interactions are designed to deepen critical reflection in and on child development and education in order to support personal and professional development

  • The modules enable the development of the necessary professional skills and knowledge to deal with complex issues reflectively, systematically and creatively.


  • Flexibility: The programme of study can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. Modules are delivered at weekends, in the evenings and online to maximise accessibility and to allow students to retain their other professional and family commitments.  

  • International and full-time route: This route meets the needs of professionals wishing to study and familiarise themselves with the UK educational environment alongside their own contrasting experience. The programme consists of two taught modules in each of the first two semesters and a Dissertation in the first half of the second year. 
Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

General admission requirements for entry to the programme are: 

  • A good honours degree (2.2 or above) and a significant interest in education and/or equivalent professional qualifications, experience and evidence of continuing professional development. 
  • International students must hold a qualification equivalent to a UK first or second class honours degree.  
  • All International student for whom English is not their first language are required to achieve IELTS 6.5 or equivalency – with no less than 5.5 in any element. For more information please click here.

See Admissions Policy for other acceptable qualifications. 

Other information

Students with relevant previous study at postgraduate level or with extensive experience may be considered eligible for recognition of prior learning.  Please contact the Registry Admissions Office for further information or guidance on 01905 855111. 

Further information on Recognition of Prior Learning can be found on our Registry Services pages

For further information, please get in touch with the Education CPD office on



The MA Education (Early Childhood) is one of a number of specialist pathways that allow you to deepen your knowledge and understanding in an area of particular relevance to your current (or future) professional context. 

The other pathways available are: 

Bethany Foden

Bethany Foden

I really enjoyed completing my Masters in Education. I made the decision to do a MA in Education, after a year of working 1:1 with children with special educational needs and disabilities. The decision to take the special and inclusive pathway was a no brainer after the work I’d done, as it was something I’d become incredibly passionate about.

I really enjoyed the mentoring and coaching module and found it really insightful. The managing behaviour module also provided me with a lot more information about managing behaviour (and I had a strong base to begin with), and a range of strategies I wished I’d known the year before. Now that I am working in class I find that I am using a lot of what I learnt, on a daily basis. 

One of the most insightful and enjoyable parts of my Master’s was actually researching and completing my dissertation! The topic was close to my heart, and the opportunity to interview families about the subject gave me so much awareness on the issue. It was an emotional experience, to hear their stories, and these conversations have shaped a lot of my teaching philosophy now I am working as a class teacher.  

I didn't study my BA at Worcester and the welcoming and supportive environment they provided was a stark contrast to what I had experienced in the past. It was a great year and a half of my life, and I would recommend it to anyone! 

Helene Rogers

Hélène Rogers

After completing my undergraduate degree in 2004 and PGCE in 2005, I felt that, with a full time teaching job, I would never have the time to complete another postgraduate degree. Having had the opportunity to mentor in my teaching post, I found that I became very interested in how to mentor and wanted to become the best mentor that I could be. I had also reached a stage in my career where I felt that I had gained a lot of confidence in what I was doing day to day but was lacking professional development to reach the next step.

In 2012, I decided to study for a PGCert in Education with Mentoring and Coaching and, even though I had not studied in an academic setting for 7 years. The lecturers at the University of Worcester made me feel at ease, offered support and thorough and timely feedback, making studying alongside working full time as Head of Department possible. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and it really made me want to study at MA level. 

I completed the NPQML and, in 2017, I decided to start the MA course. By that time, I was Head of Faculty, SLE and mother to two children and, despite leading a very busy lifestyle, I have found that the course was flexible enough to enable me to carry it out successfully which I did in October 2019. I cannot recommend the course highly enough as it has given me the tools to become an effective and reflective mentor and has had a very positive impact on my career. 

Catherine Atkinson

My experience of completing my Masters in Education at the University of Worcester was one of challenge and reward. Completing the course at the same time as working full time in school was, at times, a struggle, but enabled me to strengthen my time management skills. The greatest challenge was not getting carried away with the academic reading, I found I would get totally engrossed in a topic but sometimes need to reign myself back to stay focussed. The support from the University and staff was exemplary, hearing from previous participants and learning from their experiences was particularly useful. My tutor was always there, either on the end of the phone, in person or by email. The individual tutor sessions honed my learning but also challenged me to question my own thinking and develop my criticality. 

I would highly recommend studying for a masters at the University of Worcester. 

Ruth Leak

Ruth Leak

I chose to do an MA in Education at the University of Worcester to develop my knowledge for the job I was already doing. I am a social worker and my role at the time was arranging work based placements for student social workers. I was curious about the wider field of education and what it had to offer to social work. The MA Education programme at UoW was right for me because it fitted in with my life. It could be done on a part time basis, leaving time for work and family commitments.

The stimulating and inclusive teaching dispelled any concerns about not having studied for several years. Lecturers and other students were welcoming, interested to hear about social work and happy to share their experience of education. Arrangements for tutorials were flexible. When life was busy, support was available via emails or phone calls as an alternative to face to face meetings. 

I took my time, successfully completing the course in three years but others qualified sooner. I am delighted that the MA equipped me with the knowledge and skills to move into an academic post in the University of Birmingham’s Social Work and Social Care Department.  

The end of the course brought mixed feelings of achievement and loss. There was pride in what I achieved on this very ‘do-able’ programme and disappointment that a satisfying and challenging time was ending.   

Sevde Isteyin

Sevde Isteyin

Sevde joined the University of Worcester’s MA Education as, having had a background in human resources (HR) in Turkey, she wanted to learn more about coaching and mentoring. She was thinking of starting her own coaching business when she returned to Turkey, as her research showed that coaching was still in its early stages there. 

In relation to moving overseas to study, Sevde says: “leaving my comfort zone, and being in a different country, may cause some uneasiness for some people.  However, I found an environment at the University of Worcester where new ideas are welcome, there is clear communication and tutors pay special attention to help you realise that you are not alone.” 

Having returned to her home country in summer 2019, Sevde says that “feeling empowered in the field of coaching, I’m beginning my career with steady steps and a clear path.  Im pleased that I joined the MA Education and am starting to reap the benefits.  I would like to give many thanks to everyone at the University of Worcester, especially my valuable instructors who helped to prepare me for my new journey. 

Ella Young

Ella Young

Ella took advantage of a collaboration the University had with schools in India, teaching two children from Mumbai each week online. She supported them with their pronunciation of English, along with their English writing. 

“There were many challenges with online learning and being so far away,” she said. “I am a person who loves visual teaching. When I teach children, I will be as physical and visual using objects to support my students. Therefore, being online and being across the other side of the world was very difficult, as I could not support them in person when they needed help. The main problem was the internet difficulties.  

Ella planned her lessons to make sure they were interesting, fun, and worked for both children’s language abilities.  

“This experience has already improved my teaching skills before I even started my PGCE at Worcester, as I learnt new ways of breaking instructions down, to support the children in their understanding. In settings, I have not had the opportunity to work with an EAL (English as Additional Language) child, therefore working with two students from India with basic English skills was such a privilege and I would recommend the collaboration to anybody.”

Ella has achieved First Class Honours in her Early Childhood studies degree.  And has gone on to study for a teacher training qualification through the Early Years PGCE course at the University of Worcester.

Course content

What will you study

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 


In many cases it is possible to gain credit for previous study or experience. Previous study at the same level in other institutions is recognised as transferred academic credit, and professional learning can be analysed through the completion of an Independent Study. Up to 50% of taught elements of the award for which you are registered may be achieved through Recognised Prior Learning (RPL). This is normally applicable to the generic MA route.

It is possible to study towards a Masters award (five modules) or either of the interim awards:

Postgraduate Certificate
To gain a Postgraduate Certificate students must successfully complete two modules.

Postgraduate Diploma
After completing the Postgraduate Certificate, it is possible to complete a further two modules to achieve the award of Postgraduate Diploma

International Pathway 
This pathway meets the needs of professionals wishing to study and familiarise themselves with the UK educational environment alongside their own contrasting experience. The programme consists of two taught modules in each of the first two semesters and a Dissertation in the subsequent semester. A Masters Degree can enhance your career aspirations and offers you the chance to excel through promotional opportunities. It will enable you to work in management and advisory roles. 


Programme Structure MA Education (Early Childhood)

To complete the Early Childhood pathway the following modules are required: 

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Early Childhood) 

  • Understanding and Developing Pedagogy  
  • Developing Learning Communities   


Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Early Childhood) 

  • Understanding and Developing Pedagogy  
  • Developing Learning Communities  
  • Contemporary Issues in Education: Theory, Policy and Practice
  • An Optional Module 


Mandatory Modules for the full MA Education (Early Childhood) pathway: 

  • Developing Learning Communities 
  • Understanding and Developing Pedagogy 
  • Research Methods in Education  
  • Contemporary Issues in Education: Theory, Policy and Practice 
  • Dissertation in Education 
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.



All modules emphasise self-directed autonomous learning with students applying learning outcomes and content to their own particular specialism, discipline and, where relevant, practice. 

Students are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and the university Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) - BlackBoard.  Seminars enable the discussion and development of understanding of topics covered in lectures. Tutorials offer additional support both during taught modules and significantly through offering supervision for the dissertation. The VLE is employed to support face-to-face sessions with additional resources and is also utilised to deliver online modules, where available, where journals and discussion forums are also hosted. 

Some modules focus on the teaching of specific practical skills e.g. mentoring and coaching, whilst all the modules foster the critical dialogue between theories and practice by the means of critical reflection upon experience, discussion, scenario- and enquiry-based learning. 


Students are assigned a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT); the PAT will work with them throughout their studies on the MA. Meetings with PATs are formally scheduled on at least 2 occasions in the year.  

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement.  A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support from Student Services and Library Services, and also the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help you to flourish and be successful.  


Contact time

Modules for the MA in Education are delivered in a number of ways; consequently, the precise contact time depends on the options selected and the mode of delivery. Modules are offered during the weekends on Saturdays, on weekday evenings and via online learning.

In a typical week full-time students will have around four to ten contact hours of teaching, and part-time students two to five contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected. During completion of the dissertation students are supported through supervision, which as a minimum includes six hours of one-to-one support.

Typically, class contact time will be structured around:

  • FT 2-4 hours lectures, PT 1-2 hours lectures
  • FT 2-6 hours seminars, PT 1-3 hours seminars

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, FT students are expected to undertake around 30 hours of personal self-study per week and PT students 15 hours of personal self-study per week.  Typically, this will involve weekly tasks, reading, and VLE engagement. 

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.   


Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  

Teaching is informed by research and consultancy, and 100 per cent of course lecturers have, or are working towards, a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles



The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessment, which is graded and counts towards the overall module grade.

A range of assessment methods are used to provide students with the maximum opportunity to achieve success. These include: essays, critiques and analyses which encourage critical thinking; critical reviews; individual and group seminar presentations; poster presentations; reflective accounts and case studies and presentations of cases.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course for a FT student is:

Semester 1

  • 1 Reflective Diary
  • 2 Essays

Semester 2

  • 1 Research proposal
  • 1 Academic poster
  • 1 Essay
  • 1 Presentation

The precise assessment requirements for part time students will vary according to the modules selected.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.




  • 18 Months Full-time 
  • Three years part-time 


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Scheduled teaching takes place on Saturdays, during the evening or online. 


Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.


Where could it take you?

The course has a tradition of improving the career profiles of participants, as many case-studies of former students demonstrate. This award is intended to prepare students to deepen their engagement with issues in the educational workspace, fostering transformative personal and organisational learning for those involved. The programme additionally offers preparation to continue study for some participants wishing to go on the professional doctorate (EdD) award or to an MPhil/PhD.  

The University maintains close links with education providers locally and regionally and meeting workforce need is the ethos of a number of modules and pathways in the MA Education. In addition, the course is also designed to enable those with an intention of working in an education context to deepen their understanding of education in a range of contexts and building the skills which will enhance their career opportunities. For example, the School of Education works with members of the Careers and Employability Service. Where appropriate, many modules have an applied focus intended to facilitate the development of learning, which will have direct impact on professional contexts from which participants are drawn.  

The course team is comprised of academic staff with a breadth of backgrounds in education, research profiles in specialist areas and in most cases extensive experience of education in various contexts. Staff within the School, and the School itself, maintain strong relationships with schools, colleges and other education providers.  



How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time home and EU students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/LLM/MRes courses in the academic year 2023/24 is £8,180 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/LLM/MRes courses in the academic year 2023/24 is £15,800 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time home and EU students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/LLM/MRes/PGCert/PGDip courses in the academic year 2023/24 are £682 per 15-credit module, £1,363 per 30-credit module, £2,045 per 45-credit module, and £2,727 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fees for part-time international students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/LLM/MRes courses in the academic year 2023/24 are £1,317 per 15-credit module, £2,633 per 30-credit module, £3,950 per 45-credit module, and £5,267 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Postgraduate loans

The Government will provide a loan of up to £11,836 if your course starts on or after 1 August 2022 per eligible student for postgraduate Masters study. It will be at your own discretion whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs.

For more details visit our postgraduate loans page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

How to apply

How do you apply?

For all taught postgraduate and PG Cert programmes, please apply directly to University of Worcester.

If you have any questions about the admissions process, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

Please make your application via our online application form. You can apply for postgraduate taught courses at any time, but preferably as early as possible before the start of the academic year, which begins in September.


Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.


Dr Philip Woodward

Admissions tutor