Early Years – Master of Education

With Massey’s Master of Education (Early Years) you’ll develop the skills and knowledge to be a leader in early years education.

Where you can study

Distance and online

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students studying online from outside New Zealand

Specialise in Early Years for your Master of Education at Massey

The Master of Education (Early Years) is of particular value for early childhood educators and early years teachers. It will also be valuable for:

  • facilitators of early childhood professional development
  • tertiary teachers in early childhood education/early years qualifications
  • other professionals involved in the education of young children from birth to eight.

This qualification builds upon prior knowledge and experience in early years educational settings. It also supports you to develop your understandings and teaching practices through engagement with research, theory and other professionals.

Why study with us?

Join us to take your learning to the next level and achieve your goals in education.

You will:

  • challenge and build your knowledge
  • enjoy extensive networking opportunities with other early years educators
  • focus on children from birth to eight, including the transition to school
  • have the opportunity to conduct, participate in and access current and relevant research in a supportive environment
  • choose from specialist and specific topics designed for your context
  • benefit from Massey University’s extensive experience in online, blended and distance qualifications
  • collaborate with our outstanding staff to advance your interests and engage in active research
  • contribute to the New Zealand knowledge base in early years education.

Your qualification options

The Master of Education does not qualify you to be a teacher in New Zealand. If you want to be a teacher, you will also need to take a postgraduate teaching qualification. Explore your options in our education pathways tool.

Further study

If you want to be a teacher, you will also need to take a postgraduate teaching qualification.

A Master of Education in Early Years is a good fit if you:

  • want to engage with other teachers and professionals
  • are passionate about early years teaching and children’s learning
  • want to access current and relevant research and thinking in early years.

Planning information

The Master of Education is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part, before moving to the second.

The maximum completion timeframe for the 180 credit Master of Education is five years.

Course work (professional inquiry) pathway

It is strongly recommended that all subject courses are completed first. The research methods courses should then be completed.

To progress to Part Two you will need a minimum B grade average in the first 120 credits of courses.

Research (thesis) pathway

It is strongly recommended that all subject courses are completed first. The research methods courses must then be completed.

To progress to Part Two you will need a minimum B+ grade average in the first 90 credits of courses.

Advanced entry

If you have completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Education you may may apply for credit towards Part One of the qualification.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Subject courses: Coursework Pathway (At least 90 credits) or Research Pathway (60 credits)

Course code: 265736 Quality in Early Years Education 30 credits

A critical study of research and theory which has shaped beliefs about quality in education from infancy through to early school years. Students are assisted to consider different viewpoints on quality and different approaches to quality assurance and management. Opportunity is provided for students to explore issues and implications for policy and professional practice.

View full course details
Course code: 265737 Young Children and Their Families 30 credits

This course provides a critical analysis of contemporary theory and research relating to young children and their families. The implications for working with young children and their families will be considered in relation to early education.

View full course details
Course code: 265738 Children's Play and Learning in an Intentional Teaching Practice 30 credits

This course examines the concepts of play and learning and the integration of these concepts with content knowledge in an intentional teaching practice with children from 0-8 years.

View full course details
Course code: 265740 Advanced Studies on Learning in the Early Years 30 credits

An advanced study of contemporary cognitive research and theory on young children's learning (birth to eight years of age). Considers implications for educational practice in early childhood centres and junior primary classes, including teaching strategies, curriculum implementation and culturally-responsive practice.

View full course details

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

To enter the Master of Education (Early Years) you will have been awarded or qualified for:

  • the Bachelor of Education with a grade average in the highest level courses of at least a B, or equivalent, or
  • any other bachelor’s degree with a grade average in the highest level courses of at least a B, or equivalent, and hold a professional qualification in teaching, or
  • any other bachelor’s degree with a grade average in the highest level courses of at least a B, or equivalent, and have professional experience relevant to the intended postgraduate subject, or
  • a Postgraduate Diploma in Education, or equivalent, with a grade average across all courses of at least B (coursework pathway) or at least a B+ (research pathway).

If you do not have a Bachelor of Education or equivalent, you will need to supply a copy of your curriculum vitae (CV). Your CV should show some leadership/management experience in an educational environment (e.g. Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO), Syndicate Leader, Nursing Programme Leader at a Polytechnic, Training Manager in a Hospital, Private Training Organisation (PTO) Team Leader, Head of Human Resources in an educational environment, etc).

If you have a Postgraduate Diploma in Education as outlined above, you may apply for credit towards Part One of the qualification in accordance with the limits specified in the Recognition of Prior Learning regulations.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

Research and coursework pathway

When you apply, you will choose either a research pathway or a coursework pathway

If you intend to do the research pathway (thesis) you will need to provide a short summary of your research interests (200 words or less) with your application.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

The Master of Education (Early Years) can lead to numerous opportunities, professionally and in voluntary positions in the community. You may be enhancing your career or broadening your knowledge. Your skills and teaching knowledge will always be highly valued by yourself and others, as well as being applicable to your day-to-day work.

Where will Master of Education (Early Years) take you?

Use your skills to directly benefit your early years students. Master of Education (Early Years) graduates work in many educational areas such as:

  • early childhood settings – leadership and management
  • resource teacher – learning and behaviour
  • ministry roles
  • facilitation roles
  • professional development and in-service teacher education
  • social work
  • educational psychology
  • early intervention specialists
  • initial teacher education
  • deputy principals
  • curriculum or syndicate leaders in junior primary schools
  • initial teacher education provider.

Accreditations and rankings

QS Ranking - Education

Massey is ranked in the world's top 200 universities for education in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.

Learn more

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