Early Childhood Studies


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Postgraduate On-Campus Open Day
Sunday 1 August 2021, 9am–1pm

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Postgraduate and Doctoral open evening
Wednesday 3 November 2021, 5–7.30pm

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  • Roehampton’s School of Education is housed within Froebel College,  founded in 1892.
  • This programme is supported by the renowned Froebel Archive for Childhood Studies and attracts postgraduate students from around the world.
  • Students become part of the Early Childhood Research Centre with its internationally 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.


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.

NB: Scholarship funding from the Froebel Trust is available for 2021 - see the tab lower down this page.

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.

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.


Compulsory modules

Social and Educational Research
Play, Thinking and Communication

Optional modules
Early Childhood Pedagogy and Practice
Exploring the Froebelian Legacy in Early Childhood Practice
Professionalism, Leadership and Advocacy
Emotion and the Roots of Wellbeing
Current Perspectives on Child Development
Representing Childhoods


Compulsory and Required modules
Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.

Optional modules
Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.

  • 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.

MA Early Childhood Studies Froebel Trust Scholarship Award

The Froebel Trust, which is committed to the development of theory and practice in Froebelian education and to increasing the numbers of Froebelian-trained educators, has agreed to fund a Scholarship Award to enable suitably qualified students to undertake the MA in Early Childhood Studies at the University of Roehampton. The Award will be explicitly linked to Froebelian principles, and successful applicants will be expected to be able to demonstrate familiarity with these in their prior professional experience and/or academic study.

Amount of Scholarship Award funding
The Froebel Trust will award up to £5,000 towards your fees and these may be held full-time or part-time. Each Scholarship will be calculated in one of the following ways:

a) For UK and EU students, up to £5,000 to the value of the UK and EU tuition fee. (Should the successful applicant be a graduate of The University of Roehampton, the student will be eligible for a 20% discount and the award will be reduced pro rata).


b) If the student is classified as paying International Fees, then the Award will be up to £5,000.

Selection and requirements for Students
The aims of the Scholarship are as follows:

• to enable exceptional students with a record of knowledge of and commitment to Froebelian principles to continue their studies at post-graduate level

• to promote Froebelian scholarship and the production of high quality work, with potential for publication, including on the Froebel Trust website

• to support the continued development of educationalists with knowledge of and an interest in Froebelian education.

With these aims in mind, Scholarship students will be expected to demonstrate a commitment to deepening and developing their understanding of Froebelian principles and their relevance to contemporary policy and practice in all of the modules of study they undertake, including the Dissertation.

Scholarship applicants would be asked to complete an application including a statement of 1,000 words, which would:

a) describe their understanding of Froebelian principles and their relevance to contemporary early years policy and practice
b) and also outline their ambition / aspiration as to how they could use their MA ECS Award to further promote Froebelian principles.

Selection will be based on:

a) Applicants who are on track to achieve (or have already achieved) a minimum of a class 2:1 first degree, and ideally a first class degree.
b) The ability to demonstrate prior experience which reflects Froebelian principles or a clear plan to demonstrate how the Froebelian principles may inform their practice in the future.
c) Assessment of the 1000-word statement for rigour / detail of description / arguments, conviction and use of standard English. Criteria used in the university evaluation of ‘outstanding’ academic work will be used in the assessment of the statement.

Payment of the Award
On approval of a Scholarship Award, where it is being paid in the form of fees, these will be remitted by The Froebel Trust directly to the Finance Department of the University. Where the Award is being paid towards maintenance, it will be paid to the student in three termly amounts at the beginning of each term.


Advertising the Scholarship
From 18 June 2021

Deadline to receive applications
29 July 2021 by 5pm

Panel review August, and publication of results
24 August 2021

To apply for the award please download the application form here and submit it to the email address given by 29 July.

Life at Roehampton

At Roehampton, we can offer all new students the opportunity to live in accommodation on our beautiful parkland campus, including affordable and high-end options.

We offer scholarships, provide hardship funding and help you find advice on managing your finances while you study.

We provide plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, through volunteering, playing sport or music, or joining one of our many active student societies.

Chat to one of our advisers online