primary school children with raised hands

MEdEarly Years Pedagogue

Why this course?

The MEd in Early Years Pedagogue is suitable for students looking to pursue part-time study in this area. It's ideal for those seeking a qualification whilst working that will enhance professional practice.

The Early Years Pedagogue (replacing the Early Years Teacher Specialism) is recognised by the Scottish Government, and many local authorities, as a qualification that provides the opportunity for the early years workforce to develop/strengthen their specialist knowledge of the early years.

Its blended approach to learning helps to support professional training and networking across local authorities, alongside practice-based assessments.

The course develops opportunities for you to view your work in nursery and early primary settings in Scotland, in line with contemporary research and international perspectives of what makes effective early years pedagogy.

The Early Years Pedagogue incorporates the need for teachers and practitioners to critically reflect on the adult’s role in developing and understanding young children’s learning journeys and narratives alongside recognising the vital role that the environment has to play in developing health, well-being and achievement.

You’ll study

Our MEd programmes are part-time over three years. Students are expected to attain 60 credits per year resulting in 180 credits.

You’ll attend a two-day induction course on campus, followed by an introductory week which will be online.

The course is delivered through the web, using Myplace, the University’s virtual learning environment.

Year 1

Students undertake three compulsory classes each worth 20 credits. This will be one class per semester. It will involve participating in weekly online seminars delivered via My Place. The seminars are scheduled in the evening to accommodate working professionals. In total each class should take 200 hours including self-study.

Students who decide to complete their studies after one year will graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate.

Year 2

Students undertake three classes each worth 20 credits. This will usually consist of two optional classes and a compulsory class Research Methods & Reasoning. The compulsory class equips students with the necessary basis for undertaking a dissertation at Masters level.

Research Methods & Reasoning is delivered entirely online via Myplace during semester one.

As per year one, students will undertake one class per semester. The expected study time is the same as in year one.

Students who decide to complete their studies at the end of year two will graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma.

Year 3

You’ll carry out a research dissertation in a subject area of your choice worth 60 credits. We'll allocate a supervisor for one-to-one support while you carry out and report your dissertation. We endeavour to match you with the best fit for your specialist area.

You can complete your final dissertation by distance learning. This provides our students with the flexibility to complete their studies around work commitments.

Programme leader

Course content

This course offers teachers and high achieving BACP graduates the chance to specialise further in their field and best meet the needs of children in nursery and early primary school.

The first year explores contemporary and historical perspectives in relation to what matters in early education and how these relate to early years practice.

The second year looks in depth at how children learn from pre-birth and ways that teachers can use their knowledge of children as learners, the wider life of families and communities to lead pedagogy and work alongside stakeholders to develop learning.

Year 1

Taking Action: Child, Family & Community Efficacy
Currently, the shaping of childhood is strongly influenced by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It has potential tensions between child protection and empowerment or efficacy as exemplified in ‘a risk-averse society’. This class asks you to critically analyse the perceptions around childhood including the changing historical perceptions.
Creating Stimulating Learning Environments: Indoors & Out
Children's learning environments need to stimulate and engage them and provide the challenges and opportunities to explore their own learning possibilities. You'll be asked to analyse and reflect on your current practice, the importance of play and the role of adults in supporting a child’s use of play.
Listening to Children & Hearing their Voices

This class will provide opportunities for you to explore and discuss current international examples of practice. This includes Reggio Emilia and Te Whariki and will consider the ways in which children communicate their interests and thinking through gestures, expressions, actions, interactions and play activities.

It will promote your understanding of the importance of listening to children and the concept of children as active agents in their own learning and development.

Year 2

The Connected Child: Early Child Development

You'll consider ways to promote children's social and emotional well-being and the strategies they must develop to implement evidence based interventions which provide universal and targeted support.

In addition, you'll be required to relate theory to practice and critically evaluate and assess current approaches which address the social context of children’s development.

Leading in a Time of Change
The quality of leadership in childhood and care services determines the quality of care children experience and can significantly affect their development and learning. This class takes into account your needs and different levels of experience. It encourages you to explore the links between the key theories of management and leadership and your own professional development.
Child-Centred & Child-Focused Approaches to Practitioner Research

This class offers you the opportunity to pursue relevant and specific interests through a detailed proposal for a small-scale independent research project, and to work with child-centred and child focused methodologies.

The Early Years practitioner must be able to apply these skills and consider, evaluate and weigh various pieces of data and information to make informed judgement about changes in their practice. It aims to develop your inquiring mind in order to support effective child-centred and child-focused practitioner research.

Year 3


This class represents the application of the skills and knowledge you've gained throughout your study. You'll carry out and report on a research project in an area relevant to your MEd study up to this point. This class will provide support for the planning, implementation and writing up of a research project in a professionally and academically relevant area.

Learning & teaching

You'll attend a two-day induction course on campus, followed by a trial week before the first class.

The rest of the course is delivered through the web using the University’s online learning platform. You’ll have a weekly student-tutor chat session. You’ll also have the opportunity to work collaboratively on weekly tasks within a virtual learning environment. The course will have a password-protected site accessible to tutors and students and our web developer only.

For our distance learning delivery the student group will participate in online seminars.

You’ll require:

  • access to a reliable computer with sufficient processing capability
  • an excellent broadband connection
  • the ability to run applications such as Adobe Connect, Adobe Reader, Flash Player, Java and Windows Media Player


The course is assessed through written coursework that draws on academic study and reflection on practical experiences in education.

Entry requirements

The Early Years Pedagogue is a specialist postgraduate route for General Teaching Council for Scotland registered teachers and Bachelor of Arts in Childhood Practice Honours graduates working in the early years 3 to 8.

Applicants should hold a post with an appropriate age group, or have sufficient guaranteed access to such a position in order to fulfil the assessment requirements of the class.

Fees & funding


All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU/Rest of UK

  • £2,083

Rest of UK

  • £2,083


  • £4,683

Fees for this programme can be paid each year of study and split into instalments.

Find out more information about payments. 

How can I fund my course?

Scholarship search

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

Contact us


Early Years Pedagogue

Qualification: MEd, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: distance learning, part-time

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