Portobello InstituteMA Early Childhood Studies

MA Early Childhood Studies

€ 4315 per academic year
2 years
Masters, Postgraduate
Start date: Continuous Intake

Course description

Delivered through blended learning, you can work full-time and study this MA in Early Childhood Care & Education. As with any other profession holding a Masters Degree elevates your knowledge, qualifications and career opportunities offering you the opportunity to build further on the strong foundation you have acquired from your undergraduate studies.

This contemporary MA in Early Childhood Care & Education is designed for professional early years practitioners working within the early childhood workforce, including those who may not be working directly with children.

Currently there is an emphasis on continual professional development within the Education and Health sector, and this master’s programme provides opportunities for students who have successfully completed, a degree in Early Childhood Studies or a relevant discipline to progress into management positions or follow more varied career pathways.

Build on your undergraduate knowledge

This Masters programme builds upon knowledge gained during undergraduate studies and experiential learning in the workplace. The blended learning delivery mode is a flexible study option for those seeking to fit learning around work and family. This course has been designed to reflect contemporary approaches and understanding of family life, childhood, pedagogy, and contemporary aspects of early education, from a psychological and sociological perspectives.

Advance your professional practice

The MA in Early Childhood Care & Education offers you an opportunity to advance your knowledge, understanding and professional practice through engagement with current research and thinking in early childhood. It also involves a reflection on, and analysis of, your own professional practice, supporting your personal development as well as putting you in a strong position for career progression in this sector. Additionally, staff holding post-graduate qualifications will be instrumental in upskilling the workforce to meet the government targets under First Five of 50% graduates working ELC sector by 2028.


Here are some reasons to choose to study with Portobello:

Career focused qualifications – our courses lead to awards that offer you the opportunity to immediately advance your career.
Individualised support – we fit your learning model with support available when you need it throughout your learning journey.
Industry expert tutors – our tutors are all experienced in the field of early years care and education connecting research and theory with practice throughout their lectures.
Condensed scheduling – we value your time by ensuring your timetable is optimised for delivery, helping you maintain a work/life/study balance.
Flexible delivery – we deliver theory sessions online whilst also recording the session simultaneously offering you a choice of when and how you learn.
Affordable payment options – all our courses offer you the option to choose an easy payment plan supporting you to spread the cost out over your learning journey.
Why should I study this course?
Portobello Institute’s MA in Early Childhood Care & Education gives you the opportunity to attain a level 9 Masters qualification through a flexible mode of delivery designed to fit learning around your busy working and home life.

Focus on leadership in early years care and education

Earning a Masters in Early Childhood Care & Education will help you foster a deeper understanding of child learning and child psychology. As part of the programme you will focus on learning theory and child development, leadership and curriculum design, making you an expert in early years. You can take that knowledge with you into whichever profession you determine suits you after graduation.

Develop the early years sector

The Masters Degree will strengthen and develop knowledge you have already gained, exposing you to new, ground breaking ideas on how children learn and develop and the diversities we might be working with daily.  You will be encouraged to communicate your ideas and learning, disseminating those with others, parents, stakeholders, practitioner, students etc, but even further with other professionals and researchers at conferences and seminars where your ideas can help develop the sector.

Who will recognise my qualification?
Upon successful completion of this programme, you will be awarded an MA in Early Childhood Care & Education. This is awarded by University of Essex and is aligned with a level 9 Masters on the National Framework of Qualifications.

Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK

The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement.



Contemporary Childhoods in a sociological context
Pedagogical Approaches to Early Education
Psychology of Development and Emotional Wellbeing
Critical Professionalism In Inclusive Environments
An Introduction to Research with Children and Young People

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