Leadership in Early Years Education & Care

Course Codes:
Carlow Campus: CWL17
Wicklow Campus: CWW05

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 part-time (Wednesday & Thursday evenings)

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

Faculty for Lifelong Learning
Wicklow County Campus
Clermont House
Rathnew, County Wicklow
Tel: 0404 67125

Subjects taught

What subjects will I study?
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 Education
Educational Psychology
Early Years Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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

Application date

Closing Date for Applications
All Postgraduate Applications – 12 noon Friday 24th August 2018.
All other applications – 12 noon Friday 24th August 2018.

Course fee

IT Carlow Graduate €2,750 per year.

Non Graduate €3,700 per year.

Enrolment and start dates


Start Date
September 2018.

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