The MEaCH (HONS) Early Childhood is an innovative integrated Master course for those interested in discovering how young children develop and learn. The course is delivered in a supportive, engaging environment and explores all aspects of children's wellbeing and holistiThe MEaCH (HONS) Early Childhood Integrated Master degree provides students with the knowledge and skills to understand the diverse and complex nature of young children and their families. The degree explores the links between theory and practice placing a strong emphasis on children's wellbeing and development. It explores a variety of different disciplines including: psychology; sociology; history; ethics; health; creative development and education for sustainability; and, global citizenship.
The degree reflects the values of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child with a strong emphasis on young children's rights, the importance of listening and respecting children's ideas and decisions, and the right for young children to have access to play.
During the degree students will have several opportunities to explore the importance of play for young children's development and learning. These ideas will be explored in the context of the Foundation Phase, Flying Start, the Foundation Stage and other international early childhood approaches.
The degree places a strong emphasis on practical, hands-on learning and offers several opportunities for students to undertake practical activities which support the content of lectures. Outdoor learning and creative development are also themes that feature prominently within the degree and throughout your study there will be opportunities for students to learn in the outdoors and to use their own ideas and initiative to undertake learning tasks. There are also opportunities for educational field visits and trips which are included as part of the different module content. These include: music and dance workshops; language and play workshops; visits to early childhood centres; speakers from local and national early childhood organisations and professions.
There are also opportunities for optional visits abroad.
The final year of the degree provides an opportunity to work at postgraduate level and thus students will further develop their depth of knowledge and critical analysis and evaluation skills and their expertise within the early childhood sphere.
This is an innovative programme which allows students to explore different aspects of early childhood with a focus on holistic development, well-being, children's rights, early years' education and play. The degree is a four year programme. The first three years offer equivalent study to the BA (Honours) Early Childhood. However the fourth year allows students to study at Master's level (level 7) and thus students have an opportunity to develop their research skills in depth and to evaluate the discourse in relation to children's well-being and development. The final year also allows students to undertake a research dissertation which provides the opportunity to explore a subject of particular interest to the student and to develop a specialised research expertise linked to early childhood. The Integrated Master develops the student's ability to work at postgraduate level and supports the development of important skills such as: analysis; critical evaluation; academic debate; awareness of ethical issues of researching with and for young children as well as an ability to explore issues relating to early childhood in depth. These are also important attributes relating to future employment.
Typical modules in the first year include:
- Academic Study Skills for Students;
- Human Development: The Early Years;
- Working with young children and families: principles;
- Young Children - Creative Thinkers;
- The Young Child: health and well-being in the early years; and,
- Working with young children and families: practice.
Typical modules in the second year include:
- Research for Learning;
- Come rain or shine: young children learning outdoors;
- Keeping children safe: well-being and safeguarding;
- Talking Together: adults, children and language;
- ABC or Stories? - Children's Early Literacy; and,
- Promoting Bilingualism and the use of Welsh in Early Childhood.
Typical modules in the third year include:
- The Reflective Adult;
- Social Justice and Inclusion in the Early Years;
- A Green Childhood: Sustainability in Early Childhood;
- Early Childhood: International Perspectives;
- Leadership in Early Years Provision;
- Children and the media; and,
- Extended Essay.
In the third year some modules are compulsory and some are optional, depending on the student's own interests.
Typical modules in the fourth year include:
- Making research work: researching for and with young children.
- Well-being and learning in the early years;
Students also complete a research based dissertation
The School offers opportunities for students to engage in study visits to Europe and beyond.
Students on the School's programmes will have opportunities to learn alongside international students who are studying within the School.
The School's programmes are appropriate for students from abroad who wish to develop their understanding and knowledge of young children and families.
- Ann-Marie Gealy