Institution / Institute of Technology Carlow Carlow Campus
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Leadership in Early Years Educaiton & Care

What is the programme about?
Early Years Education and Care is a rapidly growing area in Ireland. This programme has been designed to facilitate and prepare students and current practitioners or those with an interest in early childhood education for leadership and management roles in the operation of early childhood education services and related public policy. This Masters programme will develop students’ ability to both analyse, manage and creatively respond to critical issues and changes in early childhood care policy and service implementation, all the time being cognisant of the best interests of the child.

What will I be able to do when I finish this programme?
Graduates of this programme will be able to:
• Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the underlying theories and key concepts with a focus on leadership and critical assessment skills within an Irish and International context;
• Analyse the current theories, concepts, challenges and research areas with an ability to solve complex problems through a variety of reflective and participatory work;
• Exhibit critical awareness of contemporary issues and challenges relating to the role and effect of early years education on the child, the family and society;
• Apply the theory and practice of leadership roles in supporting quality;
• Engage in scholarly debate at an academic, policy and practice based level on a range of early year’s education and leadership issues;
• Develop, maintain and build on professional relationships fostered throughout the programme with practical skills and tools to reflect and critically self-evaluate;
• Gather, assimilate, synthesise and analyse information on a variety of levels;
• Critically reflect on how leadership practice in early year’s education connects to and interacts with wider social issues in Ireland and beyond.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements are a Level 8 degree, with a minimum of Second Class Honours, Grade 2 or equivalent in the following areas:
• Early Childhood Education & Care
• Applied Social Studies
• Social & Community Studies
• Youth & Community Work
• Social Sciences or cognate area

Candidates with significant experience in the social sciences (as determined by IT Carlow’s Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) policy), in addition to an honours primary degree in another discipline area may also be considered for entry. Applicants applying for entry via routes other than those listed above will be considered on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with IT Carlow’s Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) policy.


2 years. 2 nights per week (Wednesdays & Thursdays)

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

What follow-on study opportunities are available?
Graduates of the programme may progress to a PhD programme of study in the discipline areas, in Ireland or abroad. Graduates of the programme may also be eligible to progress to a professional doctorate in the field of teaching and learning in both Irish and international Institutions.

Potential employment opportunities
This is an ideal postgraduate programme for students or current practitioners within the early childhood education sector who are interested in becoming an administrator, director or manager of early childhood education programs. It is also suitable for those interested in advisory, mentoring and inspection roles within the sector.

Further enquiries

Lifelong Learning Centre
Institute of Technology Carlow,
Kilkenny Road,
Tel: 059 9175280
Fax: 059 9175005

Subjects taught

Contemporary Issues in Early Years
Policy, Theory and Practice
Leading Quality in Early Years Education & Care
Leadership, Strategy & Governance
Research Methods & Dissertation
Transformative Children’s Rights
Educational Psychology
Early Years Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Some single subject certificates are available from this programme. Contact the Faculty for Lifelong Learning for further information.


Students taking Level 6, 7 or 8 courses of 1 year duration or longer where course fees are €2,290 and who opt to pay full course fees by Saturday 2nd September 2017 will be eligible to benefit from the €300 discounted fee of €1,990.

For programmes where fees exceed €2,290 the appropriate fee payment regulation information is available from the faculty for Lifelong Learning.

(a) Course fees are expected to be paid in full at the commencement of the course. IT Carlow recognises that some students may have difficulties in paying the full amount in one transaction thus the Lifelong Learning Centre has created a number of fee payment by instalment options. All such applications will be treated in confidence. In general, fee payment by instalment applications will only be considered for fees in excess of €1,000.
Students who apply for and are granted a fee payment by installment plan should note that failure to meet the payment dates set down for their payment scheme, in particular key dates, may:
• be denied access to Blackboard
• be prevented from sitting examinations in December, May or August as applicable
• have all other assignment / exam results withheld until payments are made
• assignments will not be accepted nor will a late submission for an assignment be accepted after late payments are made
• pay an additional surcharge.

(b) Students in receipt of employer sponsorship etc. will be required to submit a letter of confirmation of commitment to pay from their employer of funding body. They must also include a Purchase Order Number for invoice purposes. Where fees have not been paid by the ‘sponsor’ within thirty days after issue of the invoice, it is the responsibility of the student to then pay the fee and claim back fees from their sponsor.

(c) Repeat students will be required to pay relevant examination fee when applying to sit the repeat.

(d) The Faculty for Lifelong Learning has a strict policy in relation to Refund of Course Fees and a fees refund or a percentage of same will only be given in the following circumstances:
• A full refund will be given if requested in writing before the commencement of the course.
• Where a student leaves within two weeks of the start of a short course (10-13 weeks), 70% refund of the course fee will apply. Outside this two week period there will be no refund of fees.
• For long courses i.e. those of one-year duration or longer, a percentage of fees refund will be given over the first nine weeks of the course as per table 1. Thereafter there will be no refund of fees.
• The refund calculation is based on the full fee for the course not the amount that a student may have paid under a fees payment installment agreement.
• The fees refund calculation is based on the date that the student formally applies in writing to withdraw from the course.
• All courses will run subject to sufficient numbers. Where a course has to be cancelled those students who have registered and paid will be refunded in full.
• Receipts must be retained and produced when requesting a refund of course fees which must be applied for on the official refund form.

Application date

Closing Date for Applications

All Postgraduate Applications – 12 noon 14th August 2017

All other applications – 12 noon Friday 25th August 2017

Course fee


Enrolment and start dates

Registration / Orientation Saturday 2nd September 2017

Courses Commence
Monday 11th September 2017

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