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Early Childhood Studies - Masters

Within Northern Ireland, services directed at the education and care of young children in the age phase 0 to 8 have seen unprecedented growth and development in recent years. Initiatives such as Sure Start, the implementation of the Learning to Learn Strategy and the Infant Mental Health Framework have brought early years issues to the fore.
The MA in Early Childhood Studies is aimed at professionals working in the area of early childhood - teachers, early years practitioners, social workers and development officers in both statutory and non-statutory agencies - who are already qualified to undergraduate level in an educational or social science subject.

The course will:

• Develop and enhance the knowledge and skills of early years practitioners as they improve the outcomes and opportunities for children, families and communities;

• Provide new opportunities to study in the specialised field of Early Childhood Studies;

• Deepen students' capacity to manage their own learning.

Entitlement To The Award Of Master Of Arts (ma)
A Master of Arts is awarded to students who have completed 180 points at M-level (four taught modules and a research dissertation). The degree of Master of Arts may be awarded
with distinction on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners. Students who have accumulated 60 points on
the MA may graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate and those who have accumulated 120 points may graduate with a
Postgraduate Diploma.

To be awarded an MA Early Childhood Studies students must complete at least two modules from the MA ECS programme plus an additional 60 CATs points from any specialist option. One of these modules is normally Research Methods. In addition students must complete a dissertation.

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally hold a relevant 2:2 Honours degree or above in a related discipline. Applicants who do not meet the requirements above may be considered on an individual basis, where there is evidence of relevant experience. Applicants may be required to attend an interview to determine their suitability
for entry.


Flexible: normally up to 5 years

Further enquiries

For further information please contact:
Louise O'Sullivan
Stranmillis University College
Stranmillis Road
T: +44 (0) 28 9038 4327

Alternatively course enquiries can be made to:
Dr Barbara McConnell
MA Programme Leader

Subjects taught

SEC 7003 Critical Perspectives on Early Years Care & Education
Dr B McKee Sept 2019

SEC 7010 Outdoor Learning Dr R Greenwood Jan 2020

SEC 7007 Early Years Leadership Dr B McConnell Jan 2020

SEC 7012 Wellbeing in the Early Years Dr B McKay-Redmond Sept 2020

SEC 7011 Critical Perspectives on Working with parents Ms P Carlin Sept 2020

SEC 7006 Quality Pedagogy Dr G Walsh Jan 2021

SEC 7008 Child Development Dr B McConnell Jan 2021

SEC 7002 Research Methods Dr Frances Burgess & Ms Celia O'Hagan
Sept 2019 & Jan 2020


Students who have recently completed a PGCE in the last 10 years will be eligible to apply for 30 M-Level credit points towards a Master's qualification. Candidates may seek accreditation for completed school-based professional development activities. Application for credit transfer and exemption from module requirements must be made upon enrolment.

Assessment method

How will I be assessed?

There are no written examinations. Modules are assessed by coursework.

Application date

For further information on how to apply please contact:
Academic Registry
Stranmillis University College
Belfast BT9 5DY
Tel: ++44 (0) 28 9038 4263

Course fee

The course fee for 2018-2019 will be £917 per taught module and £1834 for dissertation (UK/ Republic of Ireland and EU students only) International fees apply for international students.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!