Moray House School of Education and Sport

MSc Education: Early Childhood Practice and Froebel pathway

This pathway is for those who have an interest in early childhood education and want to gain an advanced and critical understanding of Froebelian principles and other contemporary early years pedagogies.

This pathway celebrates and responds to an international trend of recognising the importance of the early years, an increased focus on policy and research in this field, and a growing professionalisation of the practice sector globally.

Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives from childhood practice, pedagogy, sociology, education, social policy and law, you will address questions such as:

  • What does a Froebelian principled approach to working with young children entail?
  • How can early years practice and policy recognize the integrity of childhood and the holistic nature of children’s development?
  • What does effective leadership and management in the early years look like?
  • How can early childhood education promote social justice and inclusion?
  • What is the role of play and creativity in early childhood education?
  • How do we promote the human rights of young children?

If you are interested in early childhood practice, in particular, the work of Friedrich Froebel and other contemporary early years pedagogies and social justice approaches, this pathway is for you. Froebelian pedagogy promotes a principled approach to working with young children, which resonates strongly with the field of childhood studies and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

The pathway has been designed to help students think about current developments in early childhood education.  It will appeal to those who want to make a positive contribution to practice, policy and research on children’s learning, development and rights, play, outdoor learning, equitable practices, participation and integrated working.

Pathway structure

You will take a number of compulsory courses and option courses and complete a dissertation in order to complete this MSc programme. 

Compulsory courses

Option courses

In addition, you will complete two option courses, selected from a broad range on offer within the School and the wider University. Option courses change each year, but in the past have included:

Course Descriptions (2024-25) 

The course is really eye-opening and exciting for students who are adjusting to MSc Education study in the first semester. Dr Lee has devoted a lot to engage as much as possible to help students study effectively during this challenging time.

Education Policy and the Politics of Education - nominated for Outstanding Course in the EUSA Teaching Awards 2021


Over the course of studies in semesters one and two, our staff will support you to gradually become more independent in your studies. This helps prepare you for your dissertation project. On successful completion of the core and option courses, and should you wish to progress to the MSc, you will complete a dissertation project which is a piece of independent, original research of 12,000 words.

Once you reach the dissertation stage, you will have a series of small group and one-to-one meetings with your allocated supervisor, who will work closely with you during the dissertation project. One of the benefits of being in a large department is that there is a wide range of staff skills to draw upon so dissertation supervisors are more likely to be specialists in your chosen area of research.

Pathway-specific career opportunities

Graduates of this pathway will: 

  • Develop a critical understanding of Froebelian principles and adopt a holistic approach to working with young children through research, practice and policy in the field of early years.
  • Gain a critical understanding of a variety of contrasting academic writings on childhood including Scottish, European and international ideas.
  • Analyse and reflect on social justice practices and approaches in early childhood, including children’s rights and anti-discriminatory approaches.
  • Be reflexive about their own practice and/or their understanding of early childhood.

Contact us

For more information contact Pathway Co-ordinator Dr Lynn McNair OBE.

Dr Lynn McNair OBE

Apply now

Find detailed entry requirements, fees and costs, and apply for this pathway via the Degree Finder.  

Apply now