Duration & study mode
Variable duration, typically 3 years part-time
Education & Social Sciences
Course starting dates
The MEd Early Years is primarily aimed at professionals working in the Early Learning and Childcare sector in its widest definition , including practitioners, teachers, leaders of educational settings, and those working in healthcare and social work. The programme is currently offered online using the University’s virtual learning environment, Moodle.
The current national and international priorities focus on tackling inequality through raising attainment and reducing poverty. Current policy frameworks are underpinned by UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and tackle inequality through supporting families, early years intervention, raising attainment in literacy, and developing responsive pedagogical practice. These approaches are core to this qualification.
The MEd equips participants with knowledge, understanding and skills that will support them to pursue positions of responsibility in the areas of Early Learning and Childcare.
There is also the possibility for students to study other modules within the wider CPL portfolio that are aligned with the GTCS Standard for Career-long Professional Learning, and teachers can use modules studied as part of the MEd towards their GTCS Professional Update portfolio.
We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.
Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience
If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Postgraduate Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.
Applications from interested professionals will be considered on the basis of a first degree in a relevant discipline and normally having had two years’ practical experience of working in an early learning and childcare context e.g. setting, service or school.
The following are considered to be relevant degree disciplines: Early Learning and Childcare; Teaching; Psychology; Social Work; Community Learning and Development; Speech and Language Therapy; and Occupational Therapy.
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.
General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS or Occupational English Test (OET)*.
For such courses, the IELTS score is as follows:
* Note that the Occupational English Test (OET) will now be accepted in addition to IELTS as proof of a Nurse's English Language Competence (Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2019).
For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:
TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:
* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.
West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*
*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:
There are three stages to the programme.
To achieve the MEd in Early Years you must complete 6 (20 credit) taught modules, plus a final, dissertation (60 credit); a programme total of 180 credits as follows:
Postgraduate Certificate (3 modules, 60 Credits)
Postgraduate Diploma (3 modules, 60 credits)
Masters dissertation (1 module, final 60 Credits)
The PgCert comprises the following core modules:
To complete the PgCert, you will select a further two, 20 credit modules from the following option list:
Successful completion of the PgCert allows you to proceed to the PgDip consists of the additional following core modules:
To complete the PgDip stage, you will select a further two, 20 credit modules from the option list above.
Successful completion of the PgDip allows you to proceed to the master's module:
There is no requirement to attend ‘face-to-face’ sessions on this innovative course as it is offered online, using the UWS virtual learning environment. However, online combined with face-to-face delivery may also be an option for some cohorts.
Materials are supplied online and the system allows access to both electronic journals and e-books. Participants are required to contribute to online discussion threads on themes relevant to the modules.
The approach taken to the learning and assessment is that of reflection on and in practice thus making the theory and practice links necessary to enhance future practice.
Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.
This course also gives you the option of taking a language module, which is studied as an 'extra' module and doesn’t count towards your degree. These modules cover multiple languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level. The cost of your language module is not included in the tuition fees (£100 for 20 credit module and £50 for 10 credit module). Find out more
£560 per module (20 credits)
£560 per module (20 credits)
£560 per module (20 credits)
£1,350 per module (20 credits)
£6,500 total cost of study
£6,500 total cost of study
£6,500 total cost of study
£13,000 total cost of study
The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.
In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.
Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:
The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.
You can also find additional information in our Postgraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.
Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.
For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.
Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.
Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.
Scottish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.
English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.
EU students studying at postgraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.
There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at postgraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.
UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.
Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.
If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.
Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.
All students should apply directly to the University through our online application system. Before you apply, you should check that you meet our entry requirements and you should have all your supporting documents ready.
The first stage of the process is to create a profile; you don't have to complete the application in one session - you can complete it in stages by saving each section and return to complete it at a later date.
You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.
Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.
Before you begin your application, it is important to read the Postgraduate & Post-Experience application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.
An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.
Do you have a question about applying for this course? Get in touch. We are here to help!
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