Canterbury Christ Church University MA Early Years

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Canterbury Christ Church University MA Early Years

This MA offers you the opportunity to explore current issues within early childhood education in national and international contexts, and can open up a wide range of career opportunities in areas including childcare management, lecturing and research.

It focuses on the crucial role that experiences in early education play in producing happy, healthy and successful children. Drawing on your own professional experience, practice and interests you’ll be able to research and develop specialist areas of expertise within this field.

Specifically, our re-validated course provides an exciting new opportunity to:

  • Engage in rigorous and critical professional development
  • Explore issues of relevance to your own workplace
  • Enhance your skills in research and critical enquiry
  • Investigate the latest research
  • Innovate and lead practice

The MA attracts a wide range of graduates from a variety of backgrounds not necessarily Early Years related but those who wish to expand and deepen their knowledge of young children from birth to 8 years. Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities hosted by the University such as conferences, open lectures, and visits to early years settings.

The course is based at our Medway campus and can be studied on a full or part-time basis.

 “The decision to study on the MA Early Years programme (whilst on an extended period of maternity leave) is one that has genuinely changed both the direction of my career and my confidence and knowledge as a practitioner. The opportunity to reflect on, and study in depth, areas of education that are of most interest to me, has allowed me to develop a professional expertise that I might otherwise not have pursued in any detail. In addition, my final dissertation year project has resulted in a long term venture which is now running as a Community Interest Company delivering outdoor learning opportunities in the form of a Beach School. The support of the tutors proved invaluable along the way and the links with CCCU by no means ended with the completion of the programme. Having self-funded my study, I was particularly keen for it prove professionally worthwhile and, having now graduated, I am thrilled with the impact not only on my career but on my perspective of what 21st Century education should look like.”

Further module information

Teaching on the programme is focused on a Tuesday evening (6-9pm) although some modules will be offered during the daytime or on Saturdays. Each 20 credit module has 21.5 taught or supervised hours associated with it. There are typically 7 taught sessions per module as well as a one-to-one tutorial.  In order to maximise choice, some modules may be offered on a blended or distance learning basis.

Part-time pathway

Part-time students normally complete the MA over three years taking ONE20 credit module per term in years one and two. These are mainly taught as evening sessions on a Tuesday (6-9pm). There is one core module (Professional Development) which all students must take. Students can also elect to take a flexible module (Negotiated Project) as an option to further their own specific research interests.  Optional modules are offered subject to viable numbers and the specific requirements of cohorts. All part-time students will take the 60 credit research methods and dissertation module in year 3. This pathway is particularly suitable for applicants in full or part-time work.

Full-time pathway

Full-time students can complete the MA in one year and study TWO modules in each of the three terms alongside Research Methods and Dissertation module which runs throughout the year.  There is one core module (Professional Development) which all students must take.  Students can also elect to take a flexible module (Negotiated Project) as an option during any term to further their own specific research interests.  This pathway is suitable for applicants who are not working or who have minimal work commitments.


It is possible to exit the programme after completing 60 credits. You will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education.

If you choose to leave after completing 120 credits you will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education.

The final MA is awarded after the completion of 180 credits including a 15000 word dissertation worth 60 credits

Entry requirements

  • You will normally need a good honours degree to enter a Master’s level programme (2.2 or above). However, it is recognised that some applicants may not meet these standard requirements, yet may be desirable candidates with other and appropriate skills and knowledge. In this case they may be offered the opportunity to complete an orientation module or a portfolio to demonstrate their ability to work at level 7. Applicants may be asked to attend an interview.
  • The University normally accepts non-UK qualifications equivalent to those outlined above and confirmed through NARIC.

How to apply

Applications for this course can be completed online.

For further information, please read our guidance on how to apply online.

Further information about the application process and what you will need to do to prepare.