MA
1 year full time
Starts September 2017

Early Years in Education

Do you want to work with children from birth to five years old (including Reception) in the public and private sectors? Achieve Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) in just one year with this Masters-level course.

Early Years learning primarily focuses on the following ideas:

  • what constitutes ‘quality’ in Early Years education?
  • equity, inclusion and justice for the pre-school child and the wider family
  • ideas of communication, imagination, language and literacy, and provision for the bi/trilingual child
  • understandings of early mathematical and scientific development
  • discourses of nurture, care and attachment.

Key facts

  • As this course is currently funded by the UK Government’s body responsible for Early Years Initial Teacher Education, there is no fee to pay for UK/EU students.
  • This course offers you the rare – if not unique – opportunity to earn Early Years Teacher Status and an MA in just one year.
  • Choose the Graduate route or the Employment route depending on your employment status at the beginning of the course. On both routes, you will be placed, or continue to work, in an Early Years setting throughout your period of study.

How will I study?

Choose from two routes through this course:

  • if you follow the Employment route, you’ll work part or full time in an Early Years setting during your period of study. Your employer receives remuneration to support your studies
  • if you follow the Graduate route, you’ll be placed full time in an Early Years setting and you may be eligible for a bursary.

Over your study period, you spend up to 120 days working in an Early Years setting (this will vary depending on whether you are taking the Employment route or the Graduate route to achieve EYTS).

You’ll have experience of an alternative Early Years setting and a Key Stage 1 placement within the year. On average, you spend one day per week at the University where taught components of the course are delivered.

What will I study?

  • Module list

    Core modules

    Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

    • Dissertation (Early Years)

      60 credits
      All Year Teaching, Year 1

      In this module you design, conduct, evaluate and report on an empirical study (10,000 words), typically conducted in your own professional context.

      As part of this module, you synthesise and apply all the learning you have achieved over the entire course, meeting all the key learning outcomes.

      This module requires a highly specialist focus on an individual area of Early Years education, showing deep subject-specific and research knowledge, understanding and skills, in addition to professional learning.

      You will need to develop a systematic and rigorous approach to the entire research process, working in a highly independent way. You are supported by small-group and individual supervision by a specialist tutor in your research field.

      Your studies in this module include:

      • designing an empirical study with appropriate research questions
      • conducting an ethical review
      • conducting the data-collection, data-analysis and evaluation at the required level
      • producing findings and recommendations for practice that could inform other professionals' understanding in this area of education.
    • Critical Reflection: Professional & Context-bound Learning EYTS

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

    • Educational Theory and Practice: EYTS

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

    • Professional Practice 1 (EYTS)

      15 credits
      Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you develop and apply your knowledge and understanding in a phase/subject specialism, in a setting and classroom context.

      This is a current Statutory Requirement for Early Years Teacher Status (Department for Education, 2014). 

      You will be working towards the Standards for Early Years Teacher Status in your Professional Practice.

      The module may include:

      • an induction week programme, providing an introduction to setting policies and procedures
      • opportunities to observe experienced practitioners in your specialist subject/phase
      • between 4–10 hours dedicated mentor time over the placement, focusing on subject knowledge and pedagogy
      • a phased introduction to teaching, including a negotiated timetable of classes across Year 0–5, amounting to a total of 12 hours (eight hours classroom teaching and four hours other professional duties)
      • 2–10 formal observations over the placement by an approved mentor with written and oral feedback
      • one observation by the University Curriculum Tutor, with written and oral feedback
      • access to school/setting resources, including ICT
      • opportunities to take part in wider setting life, e.g. trips, parents evenings
      • time to reflect critically on this experience, plan lessons and prepare resources.
    • Research Methods - EYTS

      30 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you will test a research instrument, evaluate the process you used, and learn how to use research literature to support your choice of methodology and analyse your results. Our module gives you first-hand experience of the research methods you’ll need to use throughout your PhD.

      You will:

      • develop a practical and intellectual understanding of key research paradigms
      • learn how to use different enquiry methods and processes
      • explore ethical considerations, researcher positioning and other key research concepts.

      You are assessed through a poster presentation to other MA students, where you will be expected to answer questions from your assessment tutors.

    • Professional Practice 2 (EYTS)

      15 credits
      Spring & Summer Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you develop and apply your knowledge and understanding in a phase/subject specialism, in a setting and classroom context.

      This is a current Statutory Requirement for Early Years Teacher Status (Department for Education, 2014).

      You will be working towards the Standards for Early Years Teacher Status in your Professional Practice.

      The module may include:

      • opportunities to observe experienced practitioners in your specialist subject/phase
      • between 4–10 hours dedicated mentor time over the placement, focusing on subject knowledge and pedagogy
      • a phased introduction to teaching, including a negotiated timetable of classes across Year 0–5 and Key Stage 1 (where appropriate), amounting to a total of 12 hours (eight hours classroom teaching and four hours other professional duties)
      • 3–10 formal observations over the placement by an approved mentor with written and oral feedback
      • one or two observations by the University Curriculum Tutor, with written and oral feedback
      • access to school/setting resources, including ICT
      • opportunities to take part in wider setting life, e.g. trips, parents evenings
      • time to reflect critically on this experience, plan lessons and prepare resources.
    • Reflecting on Professional Knowledge in Early Years

      30 credits
      Spring & Summer Teaching, Year 1

      In this two-term module, you focus on developing and auditing your professional knowledge and reflecting critically upon how this has emerged from your academic study, your own Early Years classroom experiences and investigations, and your work with other professional practitioners.

      Your ability to organise and verbally articulate the evidence you need to demonstrate Early Years Teaching Standards (EYTS) is central to this process - as is understanding how scholarship and research has informed your development and identifying on-going targets for professional development. 

      In this module, you prepare a portfolio, including evidence for meeting the EYTS and reflection on critical incidents or professional challenges you've encountered during the course. 

      Key targets of this module are to reflect upon your own understanding and knowledge of the eight Early Years Foundation Standards (EYFS) and identify your strengths and needs.

      You focus on gaps in your Early Years knowledge for personal research. A key requirement of this module is to present new curriculum knowledge, and an understanding of the frameworks in which that knowledge is organised and delivered as part of the Early Years curriculum (as designated within the EYFS framework).

      In this module, you are also introduced to current developments, initiatives and professional issues in education. You critically reflect upon the intersection between theoretical positions, your own Early Years practice and observations, and the guidance offered by experienced professionals. 

      Your professional studies are likely to include:

      • Early Years contexts and behaviour management
      • the role of play
      • child protection
      • diversity in education
      • assessment for learning
      • special educational needs (SEN)
      • child development
      • how children learn
      • personal, social and health education
      • the role of parents and carers
      • equal opportunities
      • cross-curricular issues
      • literacy and numeracy across the curriculum
      • English as an additional language.

      As part of this module, you develop your professional knowledge within the context of current Early Years research.

      You are assessed for this module through the presentation of your portfolio to two assessors, in the form of a professional dialogue viva.

Entry requirements

There are two entry routes to this course: (1) for the graduate route you will normally need a lower second-class (2.2) undergraduate honours degree or above in any subject, although degrees below this level can be considered if candidates have considerable experience in Early Years; (2) for the employment-based route you will need a lower second-class (2.2) undergraduate honours degree or above in any subject and be currently working as a trainee teacher within a UK school in an Early Years or Foundation class setting.

You must have achieved a GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in English, maths and a science subject, obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure certificate, obtain health clearance, and pass the UK Department for Education Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy - please note that the tests can only be taken at test centres in the UK, France, Germany and Spain (for further information see the Department for Education). You will also be interviewed as part of the selection process.

If you have achieved Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) or Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) within the last five years you are also eligible to apply for the course on a self-funded basis and will be admitted with advanced standing and awarded an MA in Early Years Education. The 30 EYPS or EYTS credits will replace the 30 credits awarded for the two practice-based modules of the EYTS in the Masters degree. For further information about this option, please email MAEYTSadmin@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

Higher level (IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section)

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

Please note that this course awards a professional qualification specifically for teaching in the UK. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa


Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

Home: £7,000 per year

EU: £7,000 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £7,000 per year

Overseas: £14,800 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

Borrow up to £10,280 to contribute to your postgraduate study.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's Masters Scholarship (2017)

Open to students with a 1st class from a UK university or excellent grades from an EU university and offered a F/T place on a Sussex Masters in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Chancellor's Masters Scholarship

PGCE First-Generation Scholars Award (2017)

£600 maintenance award to PGCE students with a household income below £42,875

Find out more about the PGCE First-Generation Scholars Award

Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2017)

Open to Sussex students who graduate with a first or upper second-class degree and offered a full-time place on a Sussex Masters course in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Graduate Scholarship

Sussex India Scholarships (2017)

Sussex India Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from India commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex India Scholarships

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Malaysia commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Malaysia Scholarships

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships are worth £3,500 or £5,000 and are for overseas fee paying students from Nigeria commencing a Masters in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Nigeria Scholarships

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Pakistan commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Pakistan Scholarships

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex.


Faculty

Meet the people teaching and supervising on your course.

  • Faculty profiles

    Prof Kwame Akyeampong
    Professor Of International Education & Development
    A.Akyeampong@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Educational Assessment, Educational inequalities, Educational policy analysis, Educational Reform, Mathematics Education, Teacher Education Policy, Teaching and Learning

    View profile

    Prof Janet Boddy
    Professor of Child, Youth and Family Studies
    J.M.Boddy@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: child and youth welfare, cross-national methodology, family studies, Research Ethics, social pedagogy, Social work

    View profile

    Dr Barbara Crossouard
    Senior Lecturer in Education
    B.Crossouard@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: assessment, Citizenship and youth, doctoral education, education in contexts of postcoloniality, gender, higher education, identities, researcher development

    View profile

    Prof Mairead Dunne
    Professor of Sociology of Education
    mairead.dunne@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Education

    View profile

    Dr Naureen Durrani
    Senior Lecturer in International Education and Development
    N.Durrani@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Citizenship and youth, Curriculum and textbooks, Education, Education & peacebuilding, International education & development, Pakistan, pedagogy, South Asia, Teacher Education

    View profile

    Dr Louise Gazeley
    Senior Lecturer
    L.H.Gazeley@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Educational inequalities, Exclusion from school, Fair access and widening participation, Inclusive education, Parental involvement in education, Social class and educational disadvantage, Teacher Education

    View profile

    Prof Gillian Hampden-Thompson
    Professor of Education
    G.Hampden-Thompson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Educational inequalities, Quantitative methods, Secondary Data Analysis, Social rights and social justice, Sociology of Education, Student outcomes, Teaching and Learning

    View profile

    Dr Tamsin Hinton-Smith
    Senior Lecturer In Higher Education
    J.T.Hinton-Smith@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Feminist and qualitative research methods, Feminist theory, Gender Studies, higher education, Sociology of Education, Widening participation

    View profile

    Prof Brian Hudson
    Professor of Education
    B.G.Hudson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Education, ICT in Education, Initial Teacher Education, Joint Action in Didactics, Mathematics Education, Teacher Education, Teacher Education Policy

    View profile

    Prof Louise Morley
    Professor of Education
    L.Morley@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Women and leadership

    View profile

    Dr Linda Morrice
    Senior Lecturer In Education
    L.M.Morrice@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: citizenship, Education, Gender and Sexuality, Learning, Migration, refugees, Social cohesion, Social exclusion, Social identities

    View profile

    Prof Mario Novelli
    Professor Of The Political Economy Of Education
    M.Novelli@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Education

    View profile

    Dr John Parry
    Teaching Fellow
    J.Parry@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: environmental education, Social inclusion, Sustainable development

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    Prof John Pryor
    Professor of Education & Social Research
    J.B.Pryor@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: doctoral education, Education, formative assessment, higher education, International education & development, Learning, pedagogy, professional development, Social rights and social justice

    View profile

    Dr Robert Rosenthal
    Senior Teaching Fellow in Education
    R.D.Rosenthal@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Education

    View profile

    Prof Yusuf Sayed
    Professor of International Education and Development Policy
    Y.Sayed@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Education

    View profile

    Dr Julia Sutherland
    Senior Lecturer in Education
    J.C.Sutherland@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Education

    View profile

    Dr Simon Thompson
    Senior Lecturer
    S.J.Thompson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Education

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    Prof Rachel Thomson
    Professor of Childhood & Youth Studies
    R.Thomson@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Social behaviour, Sociology

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    Dr Rebecca Webb
    Lecturer in Early Years and Primary Education
    R.C.Webb@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: action research, Anthropology and ethnography, Feminist and qualitative research methods, participatory methods

    View profile

    Dr Jo Westbrook
    Senior Lecturer in Education
    jlw24@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: adolescence in literature, Ethnographic Methods, International education & development, pedagogy, qualitative research methods, reading comprehension, Teacher Education, Teacher Education Policy

    View profile

Careers

Graduate destinations

100% of students from the Department of Education were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our graduates are employed as educators all over the world, and recent graduates have gone on to jobs including:

  • advisory teacher, East Sussex County Council
  • teaching, Turbrook Primary School
  • programme manager, United Nations Children fund UNICEF.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

This MA with Early Years Teachers Status (EYTS) offers the opportunity to combine Masters-level study with practical experience of teaching and researching in the Early Years Foundation Stage. You deepen your knowledge and understanding of educational theory and practice, and develop your skills in:

  • research and analysis
  • presentation and communication
  • critical reflection.

With these skills you’ll have a wide range of educational careers open to you – nationally and internationally.

If you’re a professional in employment, this course gives you excellent opportunities for career development and progression into Early Years leadership in a range of private and state-maintained settings.

If you’re a new graduate, it provides a springboard into Early Years teaching in both the public and private sector. 

As a qualified Early Years Teacher with EYTS, you can teach within private nursery and day-care settings. Free Schools and Academies can employ you to teach Reception children as a full class teacher, while in state-maintained nurseries or Reception classes, you will be qualified to teach with the support of a member of staff with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

The terrain of Early Years educational provision is fast changing. This Masters course has been designed to equip you with all the necessary skills and dispositions to lead in this sector. 

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Contact us