Early Learning



Name of study programme:


Type of study programme:

Master's study programme, second cycle


2 years

Number of Credit Points (ECTS):


Mode of study:

Full-time/ part-time

Place of study:Koper

Professional title awarded:

Magister/magistrica profesor/ profesorica zgodnjega učenja



The basic aims of the study programme are:

  • To educate a widely qualified professional who will be able to recognise and consider individual differences in development and education, diversity of children and their rights;
  • To develop empathy and positive expectations in relation to the development potentials of children in different environments;
  • To raise awareness of and respect for different cultures of children, to identify common and different values;
  • To maintain sensitiveness towards arts and to strengthen the significance of children’s experiencing, communicating, cognition and creativity in arts;
  • To train the professional who will be proficient in applying comprehensive approaches, strategies and methods of work with children in early age and who will be familiar with the advantages of partnership relations with families and other participants;
  • To develop the competence of communicating with children and adults;
  • To develop the competences of acquiring data with the help of in-depth theoretical studies and independent empirical research and systematic analysis as well as of critical judgement of one’s own experiential practice;
  • To develop the capability of reflecting on one’s personal pedagogical theories and beliefs;
  • To raise students’ awareness of the importance of lifelong learning, of permanent professional and personal development through relating and reflecting theoretical knowledge and practical experiences;
  • To develop insight into the social position of education;
  • To develop the abilities of constructive advocacy in the function of providing access to qualitaty practice of early learning and teaching to all children.


General competences acquired in the programme:

General and generic competences include different areas, as for example: communication and relationships, efficient teaching, organisation and leadership, cooperation with working and social environment as well as professional development.

Within the studies students acquire or develop:

  • The competence of understanding basic social processes, scientific platforms and contemporary achievements, which guide the student towards analysing and solving the challenges and problems in the scientific area;
  • The competence of expressing oneself precisely and clearly and of using the academic language in a sovereign way;
  • The competence of developing and understanding basic pedagogical concepts and the regularities of their development and functioning;
  • The competence to critically judge the existing practice, policy and research in early learning;
  • The competence of understanding the role of environment factors for children’s development and education;
  • The competence of mastering communication theoretically and in practice;
  • The competence of cooperating with all subjects involved in the processes of early learning;
  • The competence of finding, selecting and using relevant data and information offered by written sources and modern technology;
  • The competence of creating and of expressing positive attitude and responsibility towards various arts and cultures;
  • The competence of reception, perception and production in different artistic languages in relation to the provision of stimulating learning environment;
  • The competence of choosing and applying different strategies, approaches and methods of work with different children;
  • The competence of cooperation and of leadership in a team and in individual work;
  • The competence of planning and performing projects as well as presenting one’s own achievements and findings in various forms;
  • -        The competence of maintaining the culture of living and of transmitting the knowledge about it further on with the emphasis on awareness and significance of nature and ecology for a human as well as for her or his psychophysical health.


Subject specific competences acquired in the programme:

Graduates are able to:

  • Recognise diversity and the needs of children;
  • Contribute to the system of quality assurance;
  • Cooperate with colleagues in order to improve their own learning and teaching as well as to share experiences with others;
  • Understand and explain contemporary pedagogical practice;
  • Understand and critically judge the official and the implemented curriculum;
  • Recognise and to integrate applicatively all elements of curriculum;
  • Take account of and respect cultural specificities of families and of local communities;
  • Evaluate, critically select and perform music for children;
  • Be engaged in artistic production and to develop positive relationship to musical;
  • Develop new knowledge and to understand the significance of performing arts;
  • Understand fine art’s theoretical and communicational concepts as well as the rules of fine art’s language;
  • Understand modern approaches and strategies in leading and performing fine arts activities;
  • Apply different concepts of childhood and education to planning, implementing and evaluating the work with individuals or with a group;
  • Provide children with emotional safety;
  • Encourage the children’s independence in relation to their maturity;
  • Redirect attention to positive features of one’s own personality and of personalities of others;
  • Understand and consider relations between educational institution and its environment;
  • Recognise and understand diversity across disciplines in educational space;
  • Encourage children’s curiosity in the area of natural sciences;
  • Connect and generalise the basic concepts in natural science and adjust them to the cognition abilities of children;
  • Act responsibly in the environment;
  • Provide children with different forms of support in the development of logic-mathematical thinking and concepts;
  • Develop the strategies of solving simple mathematical problems and with the help of cognitive conflict to motivate children to get insight into problem situation and to solving the related problem;
  • Carry out empirical, primarily qualitative research in the area of early learning and teaching;
  • Respect ethical principles in the research processes;
  • Select adequate linguistic signs and codes according to the speaking situation as well as to the intentionality of communication;
  • Produce a scientific text;
  • Master communication theoretically and practically;
  • Verify and apply the acquired knowledge in practice;
  • Encourage early linguistic development of children and other forms of symbol communication;
  • Understand the impact of environment factors on children’s development and learning.

 (The subject specific competences are presented more in detail in the corresponding subject syllabi.)


The second cycle study programme Early Learning  has been conceived as a two year master’s study. In order to complete it successfully students have to accumulate 120 CP (ECTS). Each year students can accumulate 60 CP.

The study basis in the first year is pedagogic and psychological cognizance of learning and development in early childhood and findings about contemporary education concepts, which also take account of informal ways of learning. It is upgraded with special didactics that sheds light on the specificity of development from the perspectives of developmental, school and social contexts. Students broaden and deepen their knowledge within the framework of their elective subjects.

In the second year the significance of monitoring and assuring quality as well as development and professional vision and partnership with all stakeholders comes to the forefront. Broadening and deepening knowledge is made possible in the framework of elective subjects. The results of vertical and horizontal subject integration are also reflected in the master’s thesis, which through successful defence leads to the acquisition of the title of magister/magistrica profesor/profesorica zgodnjega učenja.



Course Syllabus

 Access requirements:

The first year of the second cycle master’s study programme Early Learning can be entered by the candidates who have completed:

a)         A first cycle study programme in adequate scientific areas (pre-school teaching, primary school teaching, pedagogics, psychology, defectology, educational sciences);

b)         A first cycle study programme in other scientific areas if prior to entry into the master’s study programme the candidate has completed the studying requirements essential for the continuation of the studies that correspond to 30 credit points in the subject areas of Slovenian language, pedagogics, developmental psychology, pedagogical psychology and special pedagogics, whether the candidate has completed them in the course of first cycle studies, within further training programmes or by passing exams; exceptionally – subject to decision by the responsible commission of the Senate of UP PEF, on the basis of the candidate’s application – candidates can be allowed  to conclude the above mentioned requirements after the entry, but no later than before entering the second year of master’s studies;

c)         The undergraduate professional study programme of Pre-school teaching, adopted before 11 June 2004;

d)         Another undergraduate professional or academic study programme, adopted before 11 June 2004, if prior to entry the candidate has completed study requirements essential for the continuation of the study that correspond to 30 credit points in the subject areas of Slovenian language, pedagogics, developmental psychology, pedagogical psychology and special pedagogics, whether the candidate has completed them during in the course of first cycle studies, within further training programmes or by passing exams before entering the master’s study programme; exceptionally – subject to decision by the responsible commission of the  Senate, of the UP PEF, on the basis of the candidate’s application – candidates can be allowed to conclude the above mentioned requirements after the entry, but no later than before entering the second year of master’s studies.


In case of limited entry precedence is given to candidates who in the course  of first cycle/undergraduate studies have achieved higher grades, (average grade, graduation thesis grade).


Enrolment according to criteria for transfer:

General conditions for transfers are provided in the Criteria for Transfers among Study Programmes determined by the Council of The Republic of Slovenia for Higher Education. Treated as transfer between study programmes is giving up education in a study programme enrolled into by a student and continuing education in a new programme when part of the study requirements or all the requirements the student has satisfied in the first programme are recognized as satisfied in the second programme.

The following criteria apply in case of transfer between programmes:

  • Meeting the requirements for enrolment into the new study programme;
  • The number of study places available;
  • The number of study years or semesters in the previous study programme for which the student has satisfied all the requirements and can be recognized partly or as a whole.

Transfer between study programmes is possible if the transfer takes place between study programmes of the same degree of education, i.e. between second cycle study programmes. 

Individual requests for transfer are dealt with by the authorized commission of the Senate of UP PEF, which in determining any additional study requirements takes the candidate's previously concluded into account.

As a rule to graduates from similar ‘pre-Bologna programmes’ (study programmes approved before 11 June 2004) study requirements in the extent of up to 60 CP are granted at enrolling the study programme Early Learning.



Graduates can get employment in all institutions/organisations dealing with early learning and teaching as well as in organisations which indirectly deal with children or with stimulating environment for children in early age. Graduates can find employment in pre-school organisations and in primary schools. Due to their broad professional profile, they can also get employed and perform:  

  • The tasks of providing professional support in work with children in different public institutions and in those organisations that are engaged in activities for children; 
  • Various forms of support to children with different needs;
  • New, innovative forms of work with children in leisure time, after school classes, clubs and associations, centres, etc.;
  • Expert tasks in mobile special pedagogical service;
  • The tasks of assistants in the study programmes whose contents are related to early learning and teaching – after acquiring additional and adequate habilitation;
  • Organisational and leadership work in the animation programmes for children;
  • The tasks professional counsellors in preparing  programmes for children on radio or TV;
  • Participate in editorial and expert commissions of printed and electronic media for children;
  • Cooperate with producers of equipment, teaching aids and toys for younger children.


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