Skip to main content Accessibility information

MA Early Years

Study alongside your work commitments

Entry requirements

We accept applications from experienced practitioners with non-traditional qualifications.

AP(E)L regulations will apply.

IELTS 6.0 or equivalent (when applicable).

DBS clearance may be required for action research in an early years setting.

UCAS code Apply to Marjon

Duration One year full-time or up to two years part-time

Course Summary

MA Early Years is the perfect course for anyone who has an interest in developing their knowledge and skills for working in early years policy, practice and/or leadership. It considers some of the 'living contradictions' that those working in early years face on a daily basis as they balance the needs of children, families and other stakeholders.

The course is designed for both students who work in the early years sector and those who are new to the sector; it provides a fantastic opportunity to do a substantive early years research project for your dissertation.

Why this course at Marjon?

Passionate lecturers who have recent experience working in Early Years and Education.

Exceptional teaching and tutorial support enable our students to succeed.

Blended learning including taught days at Marjon and online tutorials to provide flexibility of study, enabling you to balance studying with work.

This course is perfect if you're curious about

How can mentoring enhance early years practice?

What does quality in early years provision look like?

What does 'school readiness' really means?

Is play really the best way to support young children's development?

What might you become?

Our graduates can become leaders in early years settings or choose to set up consltancy and training provision, plugging the gap that exists now local authorities provide less training for early years settings. 

Modules for this course


1st Year

The Early Years Setting
We start out by questioning what we know about play. Is play always the most powerful way to learn? You'll discuss the Early Years Foundation Stage and make links between theory and practice.
Notions Of Quality in Early Years
The concept of quality is open to interpretation depending on your role. We question how we assess quality in Early Years settings.
Early Years Research
Develop your understanding of techniques and ethical considerations for undertaking research with young children.
Developing Early Years Practice
You'll consider the role of leadership in Early Years practice and how mentoring and coaching can develop Early Years workers.
Early Years Project
Your opportunity to undertake action research in an area of early years that really interests you.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £6,500

Fees for International students: £12,000

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Lectures, seminars, workshops, online tutorials and one-to-one tutorials. 

How will you be assessed?

Includes online blogs, essays, critical analysis and a dissertation. 

Course leader

Hannah Holdgate

Hannah is a former SureStart Children's Centre Manager, Nursery Manager and Early Years Professional, as well as an assessor and mentor. She is particularly interested in early years, play, inclusion and leadership.

View full profile


Marie Bradwell

Visiting Lecturer in Marjon Teacher Education Partnership

View profile

Marie has worked in Early Years and education for the past thirty years, working in various roles from manager to teaching assistant and with individuals who have special education needs. She is interested in policy, Early Years, active listening and children’s rights. 

Jayne Garcia

Associate Lecturer

View profile

Jayne is an experienced Early Years Teacher and Pre-School Manager with additional insight into primary education, including school governance. She teaches Child Development and Early Years Initial Teacher Training with a focus on Attachment, Transitions and Children's Emotional Development, as well as Leadership in Early Years.

Jan Gourd

Senior Lecturer

View profile

Jan was previously a primary head teacher in the South West and she now leads a teaching team at Marjon who together draw on decades of classroom experience and wide-ranging research specialisms to deliver Education courses.

Virtual open day registration

These details will help us to run the day smoothly, and let us keep you updated with more details or changes.

Please select your level of study:

Which courses are you most interested in?

Which courses are you most interested in?
Personal details

Optional, add a phone number and we’ll be able to contact you if needed about your booking and send you a reminder nearer the time.

Or manually enter address

Date of birth (Required)

For example, 02 01 1974

Please let us know if you have any vision, hearing, learning difficulties or motor skills which could affect your participation in live sessions
Other options (optional):

How this data will be used

We will use the information you have given us here to complete this request. After this, we may use this information in order to compare initial enquiries to application and enrol data, and to understand the effectiveness of different marketing activities. You can find out more about this in the University's privacy statement here.

Further information

You may wish to receive further information on subjects or events that we think will interest you. Please let us know if you would like to receive this. (You can change this request at any time).

Yes, I would like to receive ongoing information about Plymouth Marjon University:

We will use this information to contact you in this way for a maximum period of two years. After this we may use the data to analyse the effectiveness of different types of communication. You can unsubscribe from this type of communication, or request we delete your details at any time and contact details are in our privacy policy.

Share this page on