MA Early Childhood Studies

Are you an ambitious graduate seeking to take your professional understanding of the early years sector to a higher level? Our Masters in Early Childhood Studies offers you the opportunity to develop greater professional insight and expertise, along with essential career enhancing knowledge of leadership, management and research.

Early Childhood Studies

Key information

Award:

MA

Mode of Study:

Part-time

Duration:

2 years

Location:

The University of Bolton

Start date:

25/01/2021, 20/09/2021

Course Details

The University of Bolton’s MA in Early Childhood Studies is designed to prepare future leaders for the early years sector. The social, cultural and political climate has an enormous impact on the lives of young children, influencing their development and affecting their life chances. This postgraduate course is designed to develop your awareness and understanding of these factors while cultivating your leadership, critical analysis and communication skills. We focus on supporting you to integrate these ideas with your knowledge of childhood development, helping you to achieve career success and champion the uniqueness of every child.

The aim of this course is to extend your already considerable professional skills and knowledge with specialist modules that deepen your understanding of areas such as equality and diversity, early years curriculum development and childhood in a global context. Our expert team will help you gain critical reflection, analysis and evaluation skills that support your ability to determine the impact of professional interventions on the development of children and across the early years sector.

Combining this knowledge with the principles and techniques of academic research and investigation will help develop your evidence-based practice, and grow your skills in evaluating options and formulating creative solutions to complex problems. Studying leadership and management styles, theories and frameworks will support you to become more actively involved in the planning, delivery and transformation of early years and children’s services.

Overall, our aim is to help you gain the professional and transferable skills to move forward in your career, improving the services you provide to the children in your care and their families.

Highlights
  • Our students are drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds – sharing the individual and unique educational insights and perspectives of your peers helps to enrich your learning experience.
  • We promote research and critical enquiry helping you learn to make sound, evidence-based independent judgements.
  • Our excellent links with over 70 partners and external agencies means we can offer a wide variety of perspectives and research opportunities; for instance, we work with youth and community centres, early years settings, children’s centres, schools, alternative education projects, women's refuges and community projects, as well as housing, health, leisure and youth training schemes, resettlement projects, and detached, outreach and mentoring projects.
  • On successful completion of this course you will be awarded an MA in Early Childhood Studies from the University of Bolton.
Key Features
  • Face-to-face sessions and one-to-one support is offered by our team of highly experienced, enthusiastic and dedicated experts.
  • Staff and students from across our Faculty of Health and Wellbeing work closely together. By studying alongside people from related specialisms and sectors, such as youth, community and health and social care you can benefit from a wider range of knowledge and experience that supports cross-disciplinary thinking and inter-professional working.
  • Our academic team is actively involved in early childhood studies research, helping you to explore issues from a robust research-informed knowledge base.
  • Specialists in the field of early years and childhood studies will be invited to join us as guest speakers and lecturers, offering you first-hand live examples of current practice.
  • Our highly experienced team will support you as you develop critical thinking and research evaluation skills and apply these during your independent masters-level project.
Professional recognition


  • Normally, you’ll have at least a Lower Second Class (2.2) Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.
  • We'll also consider applications where appropriate work experience can be demonstrated in lieu of, or in addition to, the published academic qualifications in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at enquiries@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


The MA Early Childhood Studies offers you the opportunity to study and engage critically with research into the systems and social structures that support children and their families. This programme is also a good option is you’re a practitioner wishing to develop more critical and theoretical insights into early childhood practices.

On this programme, you’ll have the chance to develop your critical reflection skills, independent learning and your ability to evaluate your current professional practice.

What can I do with this qualification?

As a graduate of this MA programme, you’ll be well qualified for progression to a managerial or senior leadership role in the sector. It’s designed to support you to pursue a career working in early years or with children and young people, such as youth justice, child and family intervention and support, policy development and education, youth work or child psychology.

On completion of your MA, you could undertake further study by pursuing a research degree (MPhil, EdD or PhD).

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping stone to enter a range of other careers, and for some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or post graduate study may be required. Some of these roles include:

  • Counselling
  • Occupational therapy
  • Mental health
  • Social work
  • Teaching and education
  • Health promotion
  • Mentoring
  • Armed forces
  • Community support
  • Care home management
  • Health services management
  • Child protection
  • Children’s nursing
  • Educational psychology
  • Speech and language
  • Consultancy
  • Child psychotherapist

Course fees

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or SDMenquiries@bolton.ac.uk for more information

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2021/2022.

Bursaries

Click here for more information on our 2020 Master's Bursaries.


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or admissions@bolton.ac.uk

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.


The Faculty of Health and Wellbeing works across a range of sectors offering professional and non-professional education and works to balance exposure to subject knowledge, theoretical perspectives and professional/practical skills. This master’s degree is part of a suite of programmes offering a cross-curriculum and multi-professional ethos in the areas of early childhood studies, community development and youth work, and health and social care.

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods. You can expect lectures, presentations, seminar discussions, small group workshops, small group tutorials and one-to-one tutorials, and using virtual learning environments (VLE) and e-learning packages. You’ll also need to undertake a significant amount of personal study, including general background reading, preparing for seminar activities, working on assignments and revising for examinations.

Assessment methods are also varied, allowing you to develop and demonstrate your learning in a range of ways. For example, assessments may require you to complete essays, reports, presentations, portfolios and dissertation.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Dissertation
  • Postgraduate Preparation for Research Design
  • Critical Reading and Writing Skills
  • Leadership and Innovation
  • Equality and Diversity for Human Services
  • Contemporary Issues, Policy and Practice
  • Childhood in a Global Context
  • Early Years Curriculum Development
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 76%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 24%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Sandra Shaffi
Programme Leader

S.Shaffi@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903728

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

Related courses

BA (Hons) Early Years Childhood Studies (top-up)

Part-time
Mode of study
18 Months
Duration

The University of Bolton

MA Community Development and Youth Studies

Part-time
Mode of study
2 Years
Duration

The University of Bolton

MA Early Childhood Studies

Full-time
Mode of study
1 Years
Duration

The University of Bolton

MSc Social Care, Health and Wellbeing

Part-time
Mode of study
2 Years
Duration

The University of Bolton

Postgraduate Options

PGCE M Post Graduate Certificate in Education M 14+

Full-time
Mode of study
1 Years
Duration

The University of Bolton

PGCE M Post Graduate Certificate in Education M 14+

Part-time
Mode of study
2 Years
Duration

The University of Bolton

myBolton

Download the app for your smartphone from:

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver QQA iip Logo

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver
QQA
iip Logo