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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course


Early childhood continues to be a rapidly changing field in the local and global context.  Enhanced qualifications in this subject will support your career progression and employability whether you work in early childhood settings in the private, voluntary or public sectors in the United Kingdom or internationally.

At UEL we recognise that the study of early childhood needs a holistic perspective.  Early childhood practice is influenced by social, cultural, economic and political contexts.  Modules on this course will develop your knowledge of early childhood practice in a range of contexts and your research skills.  Assignments provide opportunities for you to apply advanced knowledge and research skills in practice in the context of employed or voluntary work.

We have an academic team with experience of early childhood practice, family support, early intervention, child rights services, informal education, policy development, service development and teaching in the early years.  Our team has worked in the private, voluntary and public sector in different contexts.  

Whichever direction you choose we can guide you, drawing on our national and international experience.  Like you we are passionate about early childhood.   The structure of the course enables you to follow and develop your own interests in early childhood supported by knowledge of theory and advanced research skills.   Our goal is to motivate and inspire you as an early childhood leader and practitioner. 

The local, national and global perspectives of our course mean that your student group will be diverse.  In past years we have had students on the MA from the United States of America and China. 

Please note that you will not be eligible for postgraduate loan funding if you receive APL/ACL credits.  Student Finance guidance states that eligible master's courses must be full, standalone courses worth 180 credits. The University of East London has a responsibility to notify Student Finance of any changes of circumstance, relating to student records throughout the academic year.  
For further advice and guidance relating to postgraduate loan eligibility;  please contact our SMART team on 020 8223 4444.

What makes this course different

Hands in front of a laptop

Rewarding excellence

The University of East London welcomes applications from practitioners and leaders (or aspiring leaders) in the field of early childhood. We want to hear about your undergraduate degree and your experience in early childhood. We will work with you to support your career ambitions. We welcome applications from people working in or interested in working in early childhood education and care, education, health, voluntary organisations as well as child and family support services.

Lecturer teaching students.

Experienced staff

For every aspect of the course we have Early Childhood academics with knowledge and experience in the field. Teaching is informed by the research of the team, their past experience within the sector and their knowledge of a broad range of theory (e.g. sociology of education, education, critical realism, post-colonialism, post structuralism and post-modernism). Our focus is the application of theory in early childhood practice.

Person working independently.

Intensive study

We recognise that most people who do this MA course are already working, so we offer you compressed teaching on one day a week for full-time students and half a day a week for part-time students. The teaching will take place each Monday.


This MA will enable you to apply advanced knowledge and research issues relevant to early childhood in a range of early childhood settings where you work.

All modules are core:

  • Critical Reflection on Leadership of Practice in Early Childhood
  • Early Childhood Policy Development and Implementation
  • Action Research: Leading Change in Early Childhood Leadership and Practice
  • Research Methods in Early Childhood Leadership and Practice
  • Dissertation in Early Childhood Leadership and Practice




For each module there will be weekly three hour taught sessions; tutors and students have opportunities for dialogue on areas of knowledge and understanding related to early childhood leadership and practice. Teaching and learning is guided through lectures, seminars, group work, project work and research supervision.

You will develop analytical and evaluative skills in order to develop critical perspectives about early childhood leadership and practice. 

Academic tutors will work with you throughout the module and guide you in the preparation for assignments. Students complete the course with a 14,000 word dissertation focused on a topic of interest in early childhood leadership and practice. For example, one recent student examined early childhood educators' understanding of professionalism in the context of Nigeria. Another MA student explored beliefs and practices in the use of ICT (specifically Tablets) within the pedagogy of early childhood settings in the United Kingdom. Dr Jenny Robson, the Programme Leader said, 'Students have the opportunity to follow their own interests in their research project; many undertake research linked to the context of their employment or volunteering.' Students are enabled to develop and implement ethical research practice.

The learning experience of every student on the MA Early Childhood Leadership and Practice is important to us. Academic tutors work with students to achieve excellence.


Assessment will be formative (to enable you to assess your own learning) and summative (which will be graded). You will be assessed on presentations, assignments and a final dissertation.

A portfolio of assignment tasks (e.g. written tasks or presentations) will be required for each module. For the dissertation module a 14,000 dissertation will be required.


Docklands Campus

Docklands Campus, Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD


The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Dr Jennifer Van Krieken Robson

Dr Robson joined UEL in April 2014 following 26 years of work as a practitioner, manager and leader in children's services and education.

See Jennifer's full profile

What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

I have acquired an enormous amount of knowledge relating to current issues in the field of Early Childhood from national and international perspectives. I have developed the ability to demonstrate a good level of critical discussion and critique complex issues. The lecturers are friendly, approachable and supportive. The feedback is great and constructive allowing for progressive learning and development.

Olushola Oluremi Elugbaiye

MA Early Childhood


This course will support your career progression in the leadership of practice in Early Childhood contexts whether that be a nursery, voluntary organisation or a school. Alternatively you could consider a career in a charity or work as a lecturer in Further Education.

Our assignments are linked to early childhood leadership and practice. They will enable you to build an evidence base and portfolio of the application of knowledge in practice. Your Master's in Early Childhood Leadership and Practice will significantly enhance your CV for applications for leadership and management positions in early childhood contexts.

Whatever your chosen career progression UEL's Centre for Student Success will provide you with support throughout your studies and beyond.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.