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MA Early Childhood Studies
14th October 2023
What will I study during this MA Early Childhood Studies course?
A commitment to equality, diversity, social justice and advocacy are themes central to this Masters programme. You will develop a detailed understanding of current research and contemporary thinking in the field of early childhood. You will appraise research and theory continuously and reflect on its impact on early childhood provision and practice with an emphasis on your own professional practice.
Developing a sophisticated understanding of the historical, economic, social, cultural and political contexts which impact the lives of young children and their families is a key benefit of studying this MA in Early Childhood Care & Education. You will also develop a comprehensive understanding of, and commitment to, issues of equality and diversity, social justice and advocacy in relation to the field of early childhood.
The main aims of this programme are to:
- Enable students to further develop their specialist knowledge of early childhood studies, through engaging with modules that provide up to date knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to current issues appropriate to the professional practice context, and provide progression routes to M/Phil and PhD programmes.
- Ensure that students develop a detailed understanding of current research and thinking in the area of early childhood.
- Develop an enhanced critical and evaluative awareness of current issues within Early Childhood Studies.
- Develop high levels of proficiency in Early Childhood studies, with individual personal and professional development planning needs, including leadership, problem solving, oral and written communication skills, and information and technology.
- Develop an in-depth knowledge of developmental perspectives including developmental psychology, neuroscience and psychoanalytical theory and play.
- Develop the ability to take leadership and responsibility for the extension of their own learning and to exercise independent judgement in the investigation, analysis, and evaluation of Early Childhood Studies.
- Develop an in-depth and wide knowledge of Early Childhood Studies practice and the ability to critically reflect on their experience through critical analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
- Evaluate and appraise and continuously reflect on the impact of research and theory on early childhood provision and practice with an emphasis on students’ own professional practice.
- Develop a sophisticated understanding of the historical, economic, social, cultural, and political contexts which impact the lives of young children and their families.
- Develop a comprehensive understanding of, and commitment to, issues of equality and diversity, social justice, and advocacy in relation to the field of early childhood.
During year 2, you may choose between the following modules;
A Critical Underpinning of Ethics for Inclusion and Diversity
Psychology of Development and Emotional Well-being
Who will I learn from?
Personal Academic Tutor
Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor to support you throughout your learning journey. They are available to offer you telephone and email support. You can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance at a time convenient to you.
Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. Emailing your tutor during your programme to ask a query or submit a draft of your assessment supports you to achieve your personal best throughout your studies with Portobello.
This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello as your Institute of choice to complete your studies.
How will I learn?
This MA in Early Childhood Care & Education has been specifically designed for delivery by online learning, with one to one tutorial support and interactive modular webinars designed specifically to prepare you to complete the module. It is very suited to you if you are working full-time with limited spare time yet you want to achieve your Masters qualification.
Each module commences with an induction webinar and you will meet your lead lecturer during this session. You will be able to log-in and “attend” the lecture even if you are off-site or you can re-visit the lecture at a later date through our online portal. You can upload your assessments and your lecturer will give you feedback on whether you are on the right track before you submit the final version. Blended learning allows you to study at your time with support available throughout your learning journey.
What is a webinar?
A webinar, in the context of online learning, is a lecturer delivering a presentation or class online to a group of students. We use specifically designed e-learning software so you can participate in the class just as if you were present in the same room. You can ask a question of the lecturer at any stage during the class.
Interactive break-out rooms
The software is designed with “break-out rooms” where you can discuss a topic or complete a group exercise with a smaller group from your class. You will need a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone that has internet connection, an audio facility so you can hear and speak during the class and a camera so your lecturer and fellow class participants can see you.
Secure online learning environment
The webinar is a secure online environment and only those permitted entry by the lecturer can gain access to the “classroom”. Webinars are recorded during each session and should you miss a session, you can catch up with the recorded session at a later date. You will only be able to access Webinars of the group you are assigned to.
Peer to Peer Support
Learning from the experience of other students is often cited as an integral part of any learning journey through a programme. This programme is conducted primarily online and to achieve peer to peer learning, we create study groups. This is a group of students either with a similar research interest or located regionally for ease of “meeting up”. Many graduates tell us that the relationships they build in their study group, offers them a professional network to tap into through out their careers as well as some lifelong friendships.
You can email your tutor during the module to ask a simple query or submit a draft of your assessment. Our programme management team are available to offer you telephone and email support and if you need to, you can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance.
For more information about our team, click here. Portobello Institute has invested in a team of programme managers and tutors who are experienced early years practitioners as well as qualified and knowledgeable educators. They are available to assist you during your learning journey through this programme.
Online Learning Portal
During the induction webinar, we will show you how to navigate and find what you need with all of the information you need to complete this programme uploaded on to the learning portal. The content of this programme is set out in an easy to follow format with a combination of notes, articles, podcasts and other materials that will help you to understand the subject and complete your assessment. You will need basic computer skills to search the internet and type a word document to complete your assignment.
This course is delivered over 2 academic years with optional supported webinars held during scheduled weekends. This programme consists of five core modules. You will complete one module in each semester and the final module, your dissertation project, will be completed throughout year 2. Each student is assigned a Dissertation Supervisor who will act as their personal academic support tutor for the research-based module that is the dissertation project.
Each module has 1 – 2 one day webinars designed to support the student to complete the modules scheduled for that semester. Webinars are generally held on a Saturday from 10am to 4pm. There are also 3 – 4 webinars held on evenings scheduled throughout the semester. Attendance at webinars is recommended for an optimal learning experience and achievement. Webinars are delivered with the purpose of introducing the module lecturer, setting out the learning outcomes, content, the assessment strategy and expectations for skills/knowledge development.
All of the course material is held on an online learning portal which is an easy to use online platform specifically designed for online learning programmes. During the induction, students will be introduced to the platform with practical demonstration of how to use the portal and access lessons quickly and easily. To complete this course, students must have a basic knowledge of using a computer and searching the internet for research purposes.
How will I be assessed?
Assessments for this degree are through course work and a dissertation. The assessments vary from practice based assignments to researching a topic you are interested in. We encourage you to reflect on your knowledge gain with a number of assignments designed to explore your learning journey. All of these methods are seeking to support you to combine theory with scenario based learning and how to practically implement these methods into your every day practice.
As our society has become more diverse, there is a growing awareness of the importance of early years settings and the service provided not just to children and families but also to society as a whole. This has resulted in a growth in the number and variety of job positions available in the sector, some of these are new roles not previously imagined.
Broaden your career opportunities with a Masters
Employers in every sector are raising the educational requirements for emerging roles, the early years sector is not immune. A masters in Early Childhood Studies can open up a range of job opportunities for you both in and out of the early years setting that you may not have previously considered or even been eligible for.
Consider areas of administration, working as part of the inspectorate, tutoring on level 7 degree programmes, policy development, research into the early years sector, working as a Standards Verifier of external results; The opportunities are much wider than you possibly are aware of and all of these opportunities put your expertise and experience of the early years sector to good use, enhancing your career opportunities.
Be a leader of the early years sector
With an MA Early Childhood Studies, you have the opportunity also to lead and enhance the early years sector and gain the recognitions deserved for the early years profession. You will continue to have an impact on children at a critical part in their lives, but you can develop how and where you do this; taking on advisory and consultation roles, lecturing roles and inspectorate roles to lead change in the sector.
Command a higher pay scale
A Masters degree will immediately increase your earning potential due to the wider range of career opportunities that will now be open to you. This Masters in Early Childhood Studies qualification will elevate your employability and give you the opportunity to command a higher pay scale than your less qualified peers.
What will a Masters mean to me in practice?
All of the knowledge you will gain together with the experience you have, you will find beneficial when you are working with children or you have children or grandchildren of your own. Understanding why children behave in a particular way, how to support them during difficult times, being aware of what they are doing and why they do these things. You will see the bigger picture. As you advance through your Masters –everything that you absorb – psychology, research techniques, theory, curriculum design, classroom management, diversity, complexities of childhoods in context – will all come together to give you a well-rounded understanding of childhood learning and development.
Develop your leadership skills for quality provision
You will further develop your skills of reflective practice, leadership, innovation and quality provision. You will continue to develop and strengthen your powers of observation and assessment. Watching and assessing children is a big part of our practice, especially at early childhood level. Assessment of progress in these early stages relies solely on your sense of where their needs lie and will rely on your powers of observation. Your engagement with psychology and child development will enhance this area of your skills, making you a valuable asset to any part of the early years sector. This Masters will help you to become a careful, dispassionate observer of young children, effectively appraising their progress and highlight potential areas of concern.
Exit points on this Masters
After completing the two modules delivered in the first year of this course you will be awarded a Post Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Studies should you wish to exit the programme and not continue to second year. If you wish to exit the programme after completing a further two modules (four in total), you will be awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Studies. Students who complete four modules and the required dissertation project will be awarded a Masters in Early Childhood Studies.
Speak to an expert
Choosing a course that will lead you to your career of choice is a significant decision. Understanding the delivery modes, supports available, career opportunities and further study options are all key considerations when making your choice. Our course adviser team are experts in the courses Portobello offers and the employment prospects of each of our programmes – they will guide you through the detail and support you with any queries you may have.
It is important you make the right choice for you and choose the Institute and course that will best suit your needs.
How long are you working in Portobello?
I have been working for Portobello Institute for over 5 years now.
What do you enjoy about working in Portobello?
I love the interaction with students. Every day I get to meet different individuals and learners who are looking to change their lives and I get to be the person who advises them on the best programme to take. It is a fantastic feeling to be part of their journey. For many learners this is a huge decision and I get to be the person who supports them in making that decision. There is an incredible sense of pride when I see our learners graduate and achieve their education goals.
What inspires you about working in education?
I believe that education is impowering and it can often change people’s lives. It increases the learner’s confidence and it allows the learner to reach their full potential. Coming back to education hugely lifts the learner’s self esteem.
Have you a story that you recall that touched you/made you laugh/made you cry?
One particular lady struggled with dyslexia all her life. Her disability really affected her years in school, her career choices and when this learner approached Portobello Institute I worked with her to establish the best way forward, the right course for her was without a doubt in childcare. This lady registered on the course and she needed a lot of hand holding throughout her studies from both myself and the academic team. I recall that the day of her graduation, she received the “Student of Year” award. We were all thrilled and delighted for her! This learner has since gone on to open a very successful Montessori setting.
How do you feel when you have helped a student reach a decision on their course choice?
I am there to be the deciding factor for our learners. We support people in making the right choice of programme for them. We reassure them the whole way and we support them throughout. It is a very rewarding feeling to be part of this process.
How do I apply?
Entry to this Masters is by direct application to Portobello Institute.
There are entry criteria available to students with differing qualifications however students must hold a relevant honours degree (at least 2:2) and it is preferable you work within the early childhood workforce.
Some of the modules require an observational visit to a setting offering care and education for children from birth to six-years-old. Where you’re not working directly with children you will need to be able to commit to this component of the programme.
Applicants who do not meet the criteria, may be eligible for advanced entry into the BA Ord or Hons in Early Childhood Studies. This programme is available through Portobello Institute.
Please note places on this course are restricted and places only confirmed once tuition fees have been received. Early Application is advised.
Fees & Payment Options
Exam Body Reg. Fee
Easy Payment Plan
Deposit of 33%. Balance payable in 8 equal instalments commencing the 1st of the month after the course commences. There is an additional fee of €365 applied to instalment plan. All additional fees such as exam body registration fees and instalment plan admin fees are included in the easy payment plan detailed.
Deposit + 8 Instalments
- €428.38 due on 1st October 2023.
- €428.38 due on 1st November 2023.
- €428.38 due on 1st December 2023.
- €428.38 due on 1st January 2024.
- €428.38 due on 1st February 2024.
- €428.38 due on 1st March 2024.
- €428.38 due on 1st April 2024.
- €428.38 due on 1st May 2024.
Overall Course Price
|Course||Delivery Mode||Start Date||Duration||Fees Per Year|
MA Early Childhood Studies
14th October 2023
Fees Per Year
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