Institution / Nui Galway
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Early Childhood Studies

Who is this course for:
This course is aimed at people who may already possess a recognised qualification and who wish to upgrade their qualification in a part-time, flexible manner. This will increase their opportunities to progress into broader professional roles (e.g. management, training, policy development, advocacy or research) and new, emerging roles (e.g. mentoring, leadership).

Course Profile
The course has been developed to reflect contemporary approaches and understandings of family life, childhood, play and pedagogical philosophies as they inform the early years sector.

Students will engage with advanced and critical theories, exploring evolving policy, social research, child protection, integrated working as well as professional leadership and practice. Cutting across all modules and underpinning the ethos of the course will be a children’s rights perspective, facilitated through a strong reflective element, supporting students to analyse, critique and challenge dominant discourses, perceived values, as well as the on-going developments within the practice and policy environment.

On completion of this course, graduates will possess:
• An in-depth knowledge and understanding of contemporary theories in relation to early childhood.
• The ability to take a children’s rights perspective across all content, in particular, on the issues of child protection, risk and vulnerability, safeguarding children; promoting wellbeing through practice, policy and research.
• The capacity to hold leadership positions within emerging and varied professions in the practice, policy, teaching and research areas of the early years care and education sector.
• The ability to critically reflect and evaluate professional practice, early years policy, and dominant discourses in academic literature and research.

Entry requirements

Special Entry Requirements
Academic: Minimum 2.2, NFQ Level 8, primary degree award in Early Childhood Studies and Practice or in a related discipline.

Experiential: Minimum 3 years relevant working experience, or equivalent required.


2 years, part-time. Mode of study: Blended learning.

Number of credits

ECTS: 90

Careers or further progression

Graduates of this course will be well-placed to take on leadership and developmental roles, impacting progressively on the ever-evolving Irish ECEC sector. Potential roles include teaching and research, policy development, mentoring or inspecting, advocacy and support as well as management of ECEC settings.

Upon completing this MA, students with a 2.1 or higher grade average may be interested in pursuing further education through doctoral studies at NUI Galway or another suitable institution.

Further enquiries

Name: Suzanne Golden
Phone: +353 (0)91 492659

Assessment method

Innovative and authentic assessments methods are used throughout the course which will enable learners to demonstrate capabilities and competencies as well as academic knowledge. Methods may include written assignments, reflective journals, e-learning and multi-media exercises, group projects, practical assignments, presentations and reports, though this list is not exhaustive.

Course fee

Fees: (per annum) EU: Year 1, €4,200; Year 2, €3,700 Non-EU: Year 1, €4,700; Year 2, €4,200

Enrolment and start dates

How can I apply?
Apply online at:

Start Date: September 2016.

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