MA Education (Early Years)

An Education Early Years degree student with a child in an early years classroom
Entry year
Course code
Education and Childhood
Programme leader
Rebecca Kingsley-Jones

For details about applying, please see the How to Apply section under Entry.

This course is open for applications.

Page last updated 7 February 2022


MA Education will support you to develop as a critically reflective practitioner working within the Early Years sector. Through the study of theory and reflection on practice you will gain a deeper understanding of child development and playful learning with particular reference to the EYTS curriculum. Children's engagement with core skills such as mathematical understanding and early reading will be considered in a wider political context.

The first phase of the course is taught together with the Early Years Teacher Status course. You will then progress to complete the full MA Education (Early Years) and carry out an enquiry focusing on your own area of interest.

Flexible learning environment

This modular course offers a learning environment to help you schedule your study around work and other commitments. Our experienced staff have wide ranging experience and specialisms in Early Years and Education, and will provide support throughout your course.

You can often use existing credits you have from relevant study at UWE Bristol or elsewhere towards your total credits (e.g. M Level modules in a PGCE course).

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



You will work towards the Early Years Teacher Status award in the first instance, by successfully completing the following modules:

  • Critical Perspectives in the Early Years Foundation Stage: you will explore the foundations of the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum and how these can be appropriately developed in practice, with particular focus on the prime areas.
  • Qualifying for Early Years Teacher Status: you will be supported in becoming change agents within your practice, learning to become effective leaders and managers.
  • Becoming an Early Years Teacher: This a 120 day practice module provides you with the opportunity to work in settings and support in linking theory and practice. You learn to plan and deliver an effective curriculum and develop an enabling environment that meets the needs of all children within the relevant age phase.

At this stage you will be awarded Early Years Teacher status. To gain the award MA Education (Early Years) you will then continue to complete the following modules:

  • Researching Education: In this module you will examine approaches to educational research and how this supports professional enquiry and development. You will look at practitioner and action research as well as case study approaches to understanding educational and professional action. There will also be a focus on research methods, the processes of analysis and presentation of argument as well as an examination of ethics and theoretical frameworks.
  • Dissertation: you will focus on the execution of empirical research and writing up your theories. Sections likely to be included are: Introduction; Contextualisation; Methodology; Data Collection and Analysis; Implications; Recommendations and Conclusions.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The MA Education will be delivered through seminars, group-work, online engagement, directed learning and project supervision.

For more details, see our glossary of teaching and learning terms.


We use a range of assessments across the course designed to enhance your learning and support your future employability. We do not use written exams as part of our formal assessments.

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Study facilities

UWE Bristol provides a productive environment in which to study the MA Education (Early Years). Its modern purpose-built facilities provide high quality teaching rooms, excellent IT facilities and an Open Learning Area. With friendly staff on hand to help when needed.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.


Supplementary fee information

For information about funding for postgraduate courses see our funding pages.


Entry requirements

Usually applicants will be required to hold an undergraduate degree (or equivalent) and a qualification related to their professional field, for example a teaching qualification (eg PGCE, PGCE (PCET), Cert Ed, PG Dip). Experience within their professional field is also required.

Applicants with a teaching qualification or previous master's credits are usually entitled to apply for accredited learning credits in recognition of their prior learning: examples include PGCE with QTS and Masters credits; Masters modules as part of NCTL (formerly TDA) funded courses including SENCO, NAPSLBAs.

International applicants

We are unable to sponsor Tier 4 students on this course.

For country specific entry requirements, please find your country on the Country Information pages.

English Language Requirement

EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

*The University accepts a large number of UK and international qualifications in place of IELTS. To find details of acceptable tests and the required grades please visit English Language requirements.

English language support

If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.

Read more about our pre-sessional English programme.

How to apply

Graduate route (Early Years Teacher Status)
Please apply using the Apply Now link at the foot of the page, selecting full-time.

Graduate route (employment-based)
Please apply using the Apply Now link at the foot of the page, selecting part-time.

Read more about postgraduate applications

For further information