detail

Master of Arts in Early Childhood Studies

Academic Year 2016/17

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes as set out in the DASA Policies and Procedures Manual.

Programme Title

Master of Arts in Early Childhood Studies

Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)

Master of Arts

Programme Code

STR-MA-EC

UCAS Code

JACS Code

X310 (DESCR) 100

Criteria for Admissions

Candidates for admission to the Master's level programme should normally:

Hold a professional teaching qualification with an honours degree or equivalent qualification in education, early childhood studies, or the arts or social sciences;

or

Hold an honours degree or equivalent plus at least two years’ professional experience in an education, training or professionally relevant context;

or

Hold a degree or equivalent with at least 5 years’ professional experience in an education, training or professionally relevant context;

Satisfy the University language requirements for International students.

ATAS Clearance Required

No

Health Check Required

No

Portfolio Required

Interview Required

Mode of Study

Full Time

Type of Programme

Postgraduate

Length of Programme

1 Academic Year(s)

Total Credits for Programme

180

Exit Awards available

INSTITUTE INFORMATION

Awarding Institution/Body

Stranmillis University College

Teaching Institution

Stranmillis University College

School/Department

Stranmillis University College

Framework for Higher Education Qualification Level 
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/publications/information-and-guidance

Level 7

QAA Benchmark Group
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

Early childhood studies (2014)

Accreditations (PSRB)

Date of most recent Accreditation Visit

External Examiner Name:

External Examiner Institution/Organisation

Dr Ioanna Palaiologou

Canterbury Christ Church University

REGULATION INFORMATION

Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)

N/A

Programme Specific Regulations

N/A

Students with protected characteristics

N/A

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF PROGRAMME

The Masters in Early Childhood Studies aims to:

Develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of the specialist academic discipline of Early Childhood Studies to include the policy, practice and theory covered in the programme;

Support the development of early year’s professionals as they apply analysis, synthesis and evaluative skills to the research and study of the field of early years care and education;

Nurture skills of critical analysis and reflective practice within the field of early years care and education and apply critical examples of the research literature relating to the content of the programme;

Assist professionals to accumulate a range of methodologies for gathering knowledge, systematising reflection and arriving at rational decisions for example by supporting students to select fit-for-purpose methods for a research project within the context of their own professional role;

Deepen students’ capacity to manage their own learning through the nurturing of independent and collaborative learning communities in which professionals can find stimulus, relevance, further resource and audience;

Encourage each student to be an advocate for children, enabling them to grow personally and gain confidence as effective practitioners, articulate professionals and active researchers.

The Masters in Early Childhood Studies promotes the study of early childhood care and education as an academic discipline through a wide variety of specialist modules. The programme connects understanding of early childhood care and education through informed, evidence-based reflection, and action is a central aim of the programme. This is achieved by studying 4 taught modules which provide templates for discussion and decision making and completing a double dissertation module, supported by a supervisor.

Candidates will be encouraged to extend their professional contacts by engaging with wider communities of practice and to benefit from contacts with a range of interests. Course modules will connect professionals to a range of theories, perspectives, research methodologies and literature with a view to extending reflection, improving practice and developing professional values. The programme will assist professionals to engage with critical concerns about professionalism and with developments in pedagogy regionally and worldwide. Throughout its delivery, the programme will seek to extend individual and collegial constructions of knowledge through informed and intellectually challenging, evidence-based research.

The programme is primarily for early years professionals in early to mid-career. Entrants to the programme will be required to demonstrate a history of interest in furthering their reflective practice and must provide testimony of their commitment to the child.

The Masters in Early Childhood Studies is a modular programme of professional development. Candidates will be supported in the use of a variety of methods of learning, including developing case accounts of professional practice and experience, writing and responding to the case commentaries of their peers, drawing upon wider professional literature, planning projects, pursuing focused enquiries and using a range of methods for exploring and improving practice. These may include setting-based observations, focused discussions in the workplace, child diagnostic and attainment measures, reflective diaries, questionnaires, case histories, ethnographies and action research. Before proceeding to a research dissertation, candidates will be expected to have successfully completed the practical Methods and Methodologies in Educational Research module.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Participate in a critical community of learning.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Teaching and assessment methods are based on challenging learning tasks, appropriate reading and personal research.

Methods of Assessment

Teaching and assessment methods are based on challenging learning tasks, appropriate reading and personal research.

Develop skills of reasoning, critical analysis and reflective practice within the field of early years care and education.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Teaching and assessment methods are based on challenging learning tasks, appropriate reading and personal research.

Methods of Assessment

Teaching and assessment methods are based on challenging learning tasks, appropriate reading and personal research.

Extend their own individual constructions of knowledge through informed and intellectually challenging, evidence-based research, and contributing to the construction of a group construction through collaboration.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Teaching and assessment methods are based on challenging learning tasks, appropriate reading and personal research.

Methods of Assessment

Teaching and assessment methods are based on challenging learning tasks, appropriate reading and personal research.

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Direct their own learning and thinking and further developing their capacity to think independently and also collaboratively.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will be given all relevant information on their progress, informed by regular and appropriate feedback on coursework and practical placements. The degree is designed to provide constructive and supportive working relationships between staff and students, through which learning and teaching can prosper. In particular the degree will support the aim of building professional partnerships, advancing lifelong learning and developing Masters courses that prepare reflective and critical practitioners to meet the challenges of constant educational change.

Methods of Assessment

N/A.

Use a range of methodologies for gathering knowledge.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will be given all relevant information on their progress, informed by regular and appropriate feedback on coursework and practical placements. The degree is designed to provide constructive and supportive working relationships between staff and students, through which learning and teaching can prosper. In particular the degree will support the aim of building professional partnerships, advancing lifelong learning and developing Masters courses that prepare reflective and critical practitioners to meet the challenges of constant educational change.

Methods of Assessment

N/A.

Display their capacity to communicate their understanding in an accessible manner through both the written and spoken word.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will be given all relevant information on their progress, informed by regular and appropriate feedback on coursework and practical placements. The degree is designed to provide constructive and supportive working relationships between staff and students, through which learning and teaching can prosper. In particular the degree will support the aim of building professional partnerships, advancing lifelong learning and developing Masters courses that prepare reflective and critical practitioners to meet the challenges of constant educational change.

Methods of Assessment

N/A.

Have gained skills in the use of ICT using PowerPoint in presentations, internet based resources, email and internet based discussion forums.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students will be given all relevant information on their progress, informed by regular and appropriate feedback on coursework and practical placements. The degree is designed to provide constructive and supportive working relationships between staff and students, through which learning and teaching can prosper. In particular the degree will support the aim of building professional partnerships, advancing lifelong learning and developing Masters courses that prepare reflective and critical practitioners to meet the challenges of constant educational change.

Methods of Assessment

N/A.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Reflect on the relationship between theory and practice in a professional context.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

In line with University College Strategies for Learning, Teaching and Assessment and in the context of QAA Codes of Practice and the University's Quality Handbook, the Master in Early Childhood Studies will create the circumstances whereby Early Years professionals are fully involved in the learning process and take responsibility for their own learning, guided by appropriate academic, professional and pastoral advice. Depending on the nature of the modules they choose, students will experience a variety of pedagogic approaches including: seminars, workshops, lectures, group and project work, work based learning, e-learning, research based field work, intensive block teaching and supervised practice. Teaching will be appropriately informed by current research and professional practice and the constituent modules will provide coherent and flexible learning pathways.

Methods of Assessment

Assignments of 4000-5000 words will be assessed against published criteria. The tutors' assessment is subject to internal moderation and external examining. Double marking (for dissertation) and moderation (for selected assignments) ensure fairness and consistency.

Have increased their understanding of multi-professional approaches as they understand and respond to the issues central to working with young children and their families in a variety of contexts.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

In line with University College Strategies for Learning, Teaching and Assessment and in the context of QAA Codes of Practice and the University's Quality Handbook, the Master's in Early Childhood Studies will create the circumstances whereby Early Years professionals are fully involved in the learning process and take responsibility for their own learning, guided by appropriate academic, professional and pastoral advice. Depending on the nature of the modules they choose, students will experience a variety of pedagogic approaches including: seminars, workshops, lectures, group and project work, work based learning, e-learning, research based field work, intensive block teaching and supervised practice. Teaching will be appropriately informed by current research and professional practice and the constituent modules will provide coherent and flexible learning pathways.

Methods of Assessment

Assignments of 4000-5000 words will be assessed against published criteria. The tutors' assessment is subject to internal moderation and external examining. Double marking (for dissertation) and moderation (for selected assignments) ensure fairness and consistency.

Have advanced their knowledge and understanding of the specialist academic discipline of Early Childhood Studies.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

In line with University College Strategies for Learning, Teaching and Assessment and in the context of QAA Codes of Practice and the University's Quality Handbook, the Master in Early Childhood Studies will create the circumstances whereby Early Years professionals are fully involved in the learning process and take responsibility for their own learning, guided by appropriate academic, professional and pastoral advice. Depending on the nature of the modules they choose, students will experience a variety of pedagogic approaches including: seminars, workshops, lectures, group and project work, work based learning, e-learning, research based field work, intensive block teaching and supervised practice. Teaching will be appropriately informed by current research and professional practice and the constituent modules will provide coherent and flexible learning pathways.

Methods of Assessment

Assignments of 4000-5000 words will be assessed against published criteria. The tutors' assessment is subject to internal moderation and external examining. Double marking (for dissertation) and moderation (for selected assignments) ensure fairness and consistency.

Have acquired a comprehensive and critical understanding of the concepts, issues and practices of early years services and settings.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

In line with University College Strategies for Learning, Teaching and Assessment and in the context of QAA Codes of Practice and the University's Quality Handbook, the Master in Early Childhood Studies will create the circumstances whereby Early Years professionals are fully involved in the learning process and take responsibility for their own learning, guided by appropriate academic, professional and pastoral advice. Depending on the nature of the modules they choose, students will experience a variety of pedagogic approaches including: seminars, workshops, lectures, group and project work, work based learning, e-learning, research based field work, intensive block teaching and supervised practice. Teaching will be appropriately informed by current research and professional practice and the constituent modules will provide coherent and flexible learning pathways.

Methods of Assessment

Assignments of 4000-5000 words will be assessed against published criteria. The tutors' assessment is subject to internal moderation and external examining. Double marking (for dissertation) and moderation (for selected assignments) ensure fairness and consistency.

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Exercise analytical, critical and problem solving skills in the context of the specialist study area of Early Childhood Studies.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Learning is, in general, independent and may, depending on the options or modules chosen have a practical orientation.

Methods of Assessment

All coursework is assessed properly and transparently and submitted work will be returned with minimum delay, and students will be given adequate feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their work through written/oral comment.

Have increased their capacity to act as an advocate for children.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Learning is, in general, independent and may, depending on the options or modules chosen have a practical orientation.

Methods of Assessment

All coursework is assessed properly and transparently and submitted work will be returned with minimum delay, and students will be given adequate feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their work through written/oral comment.

Have investigated a range of theories, perspectives, research methodologies and literature with a view to extending reflection and improving practice within the field of early childhood studies.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Learning is, in general, independent and may, depending on the options or modules chosen have a practical orientation.

Methods of Assessment

All coursework is assessed properly and transparently and submitted work will be returned with minimum delay, and students will be given adequate feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their work through written/oral comment.

Have developed an awareness and understanding of current theories and debates relating to child development and the early years.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Learning is, in general, independent and may, depending on the options or modules chosen have a practical orientation.

Methods of Assessment

All coursework is assessed properly and transparently and submitted work will be returned with minimum delay, and students will be given adequate feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their work through written/oral comment.

Have gained the skills to carry out a small scale research project in the area of early childhood studies.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Learning is, in general, independent and may, depending on the options or modules chosen have a practical orientation.

Methods of Assessment

All coursework is assessed properly and transparently and submitted work will be returned with minimum delay, and students will be given adequate feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their work through written/oral comment.

MODULE INFORMATION

Programme Requirements

Module Title

Module Code

Level/ stage

Credits

Availability

Duration

Pre-requisite

 

Assessment

 

 

 

 

S1

S2

 

 

Core

Option

Coursework %

Practical %

Examination %

Research Methods in Early Childhood Care and Education

SEC7002

7

30

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

40%

60%

0%

Dissertation in Early Childhood Studies

SEC7005

7

60

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Quality Pedagogy in Early Years Care and Education

SEC7006

7

30

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Child Development

SEC7008

7

30

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Critical Perspectives on Working with Parents

SEC7011

7

30

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Notes

Before proceeding to a research dissertation, candidates will be expected to have successfully completed the practical Methods and Methodologies in Educational Research module.