• Early Childhood Studies

Why study at Roehampton

  • We are ranked best modern university in London for the quality of our research (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • Roehampton’s School of Education has a historical association with Froebel College which was founded in 1892. As a result, the programme is supported by the renowned Froebel Archive for Childhood Studies, and has developed an international reputation in the field attracting students at postgraduate level from around the world.
  • Students become part of the early childhood research centre with its internationally highly respected research team.
  • Students graduate with a high level of knowledge and expertise in early childhood and strengthened confidence to contribute to, and advance in their chosen career.

Course summary

Early Childhood Studies at Roehampton is committed to babies and young children as people with agency and unique capacities, and to their overall wellbeing from the prenatal period.

The postgraduate programme draws on Froebel’s understanding of the transformative power of young children’s play on their thinking, and the crucial way that adults can either seek to assist or control young children’s intrinsic creativity. In adults’ interactions with children, however, Froebel recognised the profound influence of the community and social context.

The syllabus is underpinned by an awareness of the influence of these social, cultural and political contexts on young children’s lives, and of the roots and structures of inequality that arise from these issues. The programme will strengthen your awareness and understanding of these influences and explore how you take account of them in action. In these respects, the programme also draws inspiration from the work of Paulo Freire, the radical and pioneering educator.

The teaching is informed by active research and scholarship in early years policy and practice, as well as leading research into young children’s well-being, thinking and understanding. There is a deep commitment to working in partnership with families and communities and to the development of students’ professionalism, advocacy and leadership.

The programme is relevant, engaging and of professional and personal value for a variety of roles within the early years sector. For those working directly with young children, engagement with the course content will provide a platform for continuing professional development and career progression, while for those involved in early years policy or research, the course offers an opportunity to engage with up current thinking in a broad range of issues.

Course content

Students will first look at babies' and children’s capacity for play, how they think, and how they communicate their ideas and emotions though a variety of ‘languages’ such as talk, mark-making, drawing, construction, movement, music and dance. This is studied from a variety of theoretical perspectives, critically looking at the values and assumptions underpinning these views.

There is special focus on Froebel’s legacy in early childhood practice and other key pioneers in the child-centred tradition, which embodies advocacy and respect for children and their families. You will gain an understanding of the political nature of this work, learn advocacy skills for the well-being of young children and their families and develop effective leadership and collaboration techniques across disciplines in the field of early childhood. Alongside modules going deeper into young children’s emotions and well-being, students will learn skills for undertaking their own social and educational research. These skills will be put into practice with an extended in-depth research-based project, critically enquiring into an identified social or educational problem.

Career options

  • Careers in professional practice and leadership in early childhood, education, health and social welfare.
  • Careers in policy making, implementation and administration of early childhood provision.
  • Careers in research and developing the early years workforce in further and higher education.



Number of credits

MA: 180; PGDip: 120; PGCert: 60

Postgraduate entry requirements




1 year (full-time); 3–8 semesters (part-time).

Programme start


Tuition fees

£5,800 (2016; full-time UK/EU)
£323 per ten credits (2016; part-time UK/EU)

£13,000 (2016; full-time International)
£725 per ten credits (2016; part-time International)

For further fee information see our UK/EU or International finance pages

Scholarship Information »

Related courses

MA PGDip PGCert Education Leadership and Management »

Further information

Contact the programme administrator
+44 (0)20 8392 3146

+44 (0)20 8392 3232

Postgraduate open evening

Wednesday 16 November 2016

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