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Join our interdisciplinary Childhood and Early Years Studies MA. Gain a deeper understanding of the internal and external factors affecting children and early years and specialise in this area of expertise to really make a difference to young people's lives. 

 

Why should I study MA Childhood and Early Years Studies?

The socio-cultural, economic and political contexts in which we live shape who we are. It is often argued that childhood is a social construction, but the role of space and place in shaping children’s everyday lives is not always understood. This course will provide a deep understanding and knowledge of children's rights and the lived realities of children's diverse experiences. You will explore ideologies and examine how today's society impacts children to help discover ways to change their experiences for the better. 

Is this course for me?

The course is aimed at those from any undergraduate background with an interest or specialist need to advance their knowledge in Childhood and Early Years. This MA provides a robust theoretical framework enabling you to develop an integrated understanding of study in this area. Whether you are a lawyer working with children, an architect designing a children's space - this course covers a variety of internal and external factors that affect children from political and social contexts to how children use media and culture.

 

What can I expect to learn?

Our interdisciplinary course has a strong emphasis on social sciences and humanities and includes perspectives drawn from sociology, developmental psychology, social policy, geography, cultural studies, literature and anthropology. The course encourages reflection on the principles of promoting the rights and interests of all children and young people globally; understanding the diversity of experiences in childhood and youth; and the importance of encouraging children and young people's participation in decisions and debates about their lives.The course also encourages an understanding and application of a range of pedagogical theories and practice and how they experience social differences and inequalities or develop a sense of belonging.

Course Information

Level of Study
Postgraduate

Mode of Study
1 year full time

Department
Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Location
Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2024

Fees
Fee Information

Modules
Module Information

Funding and Scholarships

Discover the funding options available to you.

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Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree in any subject, or a postgraduate or professional qualification.

International qualifications:

If you have studied a non-UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English language requirements:

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 6 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

Full UK Fee: £9,250

Full EU Fee: £18,250

Full International Fee: £18,250



Scholarships and Discounts

Discover More about Fees, Scholarships and other Funding options for UK, EU and International applicants.

ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

PP7005 -

Critical Childhoods (Core,30 Credits)

Critical Childhoods will look at the conceptual, political, and social contexts children and young people experience. You will be encouraged to take a critical and reflective approach to analyse the ways in which these broader contexts shape childhoods. The module is interdisciplinary drawing from Social Sciences, Humanities and Law. Specifically, by the end of the module you will be able to:

1. Critically analyse and demonstrate an understanding of childhood and young people in a range of contexts.
2. Demonstrate a theoretical understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of childhood in different social, cultural educational contexts around the world.
3. Apply the relevant theory to current policy and practice within organisations working with children and young people.
4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of childhood as a social construction and children and young people as social actors.

More information

PP7006 -

Diverse Childhoods: Identities and Inequalities (Core,30 Credits)

Diverse Childhoods: Identities and Inequalities will explore the lives of children and their experiences in relation to disability, sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, socio economic status. Diversity matters as it may have an impact upon how groups and individual children are understood by society, contributing to dominant and emergent discourses about youth and childhood. Further, the module will look at the ways in which children are marginalised and discriminated against in society. The module will also look at institutions where some of these issues are encountered. The module, for instance, will draw open theories of feminism, critical disability studies, critical race theory and critical childhood studies theory. Equally, it will focus on oppressive and anti-oppressive practice. This module aims to introduce and critically reflect on theories of inequalities in the wider context of childhood studies. You will critical policy and practice focused on enabling the inclusion of all children and young people. You will also consider the lived experiences of children drawn from empirical work and the way the gap between rhetoric and experience is negotiated.

More information

PP7007 -

Research Methods, Approaches and Skills (Core,30 Credits)

This module provides the underpinning skills and knowledge necessary to undertake independent research in Childhood and Early Years Studies at Level 7. It will give you the opportunity to develop practical and theoretical skills in the use and understanding of different research paradigms, methodological approaches and their associated research methods. You will also develop an in-depth understanding of related issues, including but not restricted to, research ethics, data management and analysis, the use conceptual frameworks and how to engage critically with the literature.

This will provide you with a framework to critique and question research, policy and practice and their impact on children and young people. Drawing on this, you will be able to develop a research proposal which addresses contemporary issues in Childhood and Early Years Studies, drawing on relevant research literature in order to analyse and justify your methodological approach. You will also be supported to explore subject based literature in order to support your identification and exploration of a research question.

More information

PP7008 -

Children and Culture (Optional,30 Credits)

Children and Culture looks across a range of media and different forms of narrative, including film, television, and print cultures, both fictional and factual, analysing representations of children and young adults. Representations matter as they have an impact upon how groups and individual children are understood by society, contributing to dominant and emergent discourses about youth and childhood. Further, the module will look at the ways in which young people’s use of media, including platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, are discussed and understood. The module will also look at institutions where some of these representations appear, such as museums. The module will challenge preconceptions of diverse groups of children and young people by examining television documentaries, museums, exhibitions and images. Equally, it will look at the shifting patterns in publishing for young people and children in response to the need for more diversity in terms of representation, looking, for instance, at novels, picture books, graphic novels and comics.

More information

PP7009 -

Learning and Playful Pedagogies (Optional,30 Credits)

Learning and Playful Pedagogies will introduce you to and develop your understanding and application of a range of pedagogical theories and practice. You will critically examine the five major pedagogical approaches: (i) Constructivist; (ii) Collaborative; (iii) Integrative; (iv) Reflective; (v) Inquiry Based Learning. Building on these you will explore and reflect upon social and critical pedagogies within the context of professional practice and organisations where we find children including education (primary, secondary, further and higher education), social care, community development and health. The module aim is to explore how to actively engage children and young people in their learning to promote values of participation, autonomy, interdependency and inclusion.

More information

PP7010 -

Spaces and Places of Childhood (Optional,30 Credits)

The socio-cultural, economic and political contexts in which we live shape who we are. It is often argued that childhood is a social construction, but the role of space and place in shaping children’s everyday lives is not always understood. Paying attention to how social constructions of childhood are simultaneously spatial constructions is central to critically understanding how certain processes and phenomena contribute to children and young people’s marginalisation and exclusion or facilitate their inclusion and wellbeing in society. In this module you will explore diverse socio-spatial processes across a range of environments and contexts. Through your enhanced understanding of children and young people’s relationship to place, this module will enable you to analyse how they experience social differences and inequalities or develop a sense of belonging. Alongside this there is an aspect of the module that enables you to acquire and become proficient in creative methodologies to critically analyse the diverse socio-spatial contexts of children and young’s people everyday lives, presenting their voices in unique and important ways to key policy actors and practitioners. There are a number of key socio-spatial issues of childhood that will be examined throughout the module, such as health inequalities, therapeutic landscapes, place and wellbeing, gentrification and social exclusion. On completion of the module, you will have the capacity to articulate creative enquiry around the role of space and place in the everyday lives of children and young people.

More information

PP7011 -

Childhood and Early Years Studies Dissertation Project (Core,60 Credits)

Building on the Research Methods Approaches and Skills Module this module will increase your understanding and skills. This module will build on your knowledge, understanding and application of key ideas, perspectives and activities in social research relevant to Childhood and Early Years. You will develop further knowledge and understanding about what and how things can be ‘known’ (epistemology), ways of seeing the world (paradigms), approaches and traditions in research (methodology), collecting or generating data (methods) and analysing or interpreting findings (analysis). You will develop a critical understanding of how to relate each of these elements to enable you to carry out independent research and write your dissertation project. You will also learn about research ethics and protocols.

Indeed, the focus of this module is a small-scale independent research project which students undertake with the support of an experienced academic research supervisor. You will be supported to develop an appropriate project which may be based on empirical data (quantitative or qualitative or mixed methods), work-based reflections, evaluations, case study or literature based. Peer support is also encouraged through student led seminars.

More information

RW7001 -

Academic Language Skills (ALS) for PG Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing Students (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.
• Discussing ethical issues in research, and analysing results.
• Describing bias and limitations of research.

More information

Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

PP7005 -

Critical Childhoods (Core,30 Credits)

Critical Childhoods will look at the conceptual, political, and social contexts children and young people experience. You will be encouraged to take a critical and reflective approach to analyse the ways in which these broader contexts shape childhoods. The module is interdisciplinary drawing from Social Sciences, Humanities and Law. Specifically, by the end of the module you will be able to:

1. Critically analyse and demonstrate an understanding of childhood and young people in a range of contexts.
2. Demonstrate a theoretical understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of childhood in different social, cultural educational contexts around the world.
3. Apply the relevant theory to current policy and practice within organisations working with children and young people.
4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of childhood as a social construction and children and young people as social actors.

More information

PP7006 -

Diverse Childhoods: Identities and Inequalities (Core,30 Credits)

Diverse Childhoods: Identities and Inequalities will explore the lives of children and their experiences in relation to disability, sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, socio economic status. Diversity matters as it may have an impact upon how groups and individual children are understood by society, contributing to dominant and emergent discourses about youth and childhood. Further, the module will look at the ways in which children are marginalised and discriminated against in society. The module will also look at institutions where some of these issues are encountered. The module, for instance, will draw open theories of feminism, critical disability studies, critical race theory and critical childhood studies theory. Equally, it will focus on oppressive and anti-oppressive practice. This module aims to introduce and critically reflect on theories of inequalities in the wider context of childhood studies. You will critical policy and practice focused on enabling the inclusion of all children and young people. You will also consider the lived experiences of children drawn from empirical work and the way the gap between rhetoric and experience is negotiated.

More information

PP7007 -

Research Methods, Approaches and Skills (Core,30 Credits)

This module provides the underpinning skills and knowledge necessary to undertake independent research in Childhood and Early Years Studies at Level 7. It will give you the opportunity to develop practical and theoretical skills in the use and understanding of different research paradigms, methodological approaches and their associated research methods. You will also develop an in-depth understanding of related issues, including but not restricted to, research ethics, data management and analysis, the use conceptual frameworks and how to engage critically with the literature.

This will provide you with a framework to critique and question research, policy and practice and their impact on children and young people. Drawing on this, you will be able to develop a research proposal which addresses contemporary issues in Childhood and Early Years Studies, drawing on relevant research literature in order to analyse and justify your methodological approach. You will also be supported to explore subject based literature in order to support your identification and exploration of a research question.

More information

PP7008 -

Children and Culture (Optional,30 Credits)

Children and Culture looks across a range of media and different forms of narrative, including film, television, and print cultures, both fictional and factual, analysing representations of children and young adults. Representations matter as they have an impact upon how groups and individual children are understood by society, contributing to dominant and emergent discourses about youth and childhood. Further, the module will look at the ways in which young people’s use of media, including platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, are discussed and understood. The module will also look at institutions where some of these representations appear, such as museums. The module will challenge preconceptions of diverse groups of children and young people by examining television documentaries, museums, exhibitions and images. Equally, it will look at the shifting patterns in publishing for young people and children in response to the need for more diversity in terms of representation, looking, for instance, at novels, picture books, graphic novels and comics.

More information

PP7009 -

Learning and Playful Pedagogies (Optional,30 Credits)

Learning and Playful Pedagogies will introduce you to and develop your understanding and application of a range of pedagogical theories and practice. You will critically examine the five major pedagogical approaches: (i) Constructivist; (ii) Collaborative; (iii) Integrative; (iv) Reflective; (v) Inquiry Based Learning. Building on these you will explore and reflect upon social and critical pedagogies within the context of professional practice and organisations where we find children including education (primary, secondary, further and higher education), social care, community development and health. The module aim is to explore how to actively engage children and young people in their learning to promote values of participation, autonomy, interdependency and inclusion.

More information

PP7010 -

Spaces and Places of Childhood (Optional,30 Credits)

The socio-cultural, economic and political contexts in which we live shape who we are. It is often argued that childhood is a social construction, but the role of space and place in shaping children’s everyday lives is not always understood. Paying attention to how social constructions of childhood are simultaneously spatial constructions is central to critically understanding how certain processes and phenomena contribute to children and young people’s marginalisation and exclusion or facilitate their inclusion and wellbeing in society. In this module you will explore diverse socio-spatial processes across a range of environments and contexts. Through your enhanced understanding of children and young people’s relationship to place, this module will enable you to analyse how they experience social differences and inequalities or develop a sense of belonging. Alongside this there is an aspect of the module that enables you to acquire and become proficient in creative methodologies to critically analyse the diverse socio-spatial contexts of children and young’s people everyday lives, presenting their voices in unique and important ways to key policy actors and practitioners. There are a number of key socio-spatial issues of childhood that will be examined throughout the module, such as health inequalities, therapeutic landscapes, place and wellbeing, gentrification and social exclusion. On completion of the module, you will have the capacity to articulate creative enquiry around the role of space and place in the everyday lives of children and young people.

More information

PP7011 -

Childhood and Early Years Studies Dissertation Project (Core,60 Credits)

Building on the Research Methods Approaches and Skills Module this module will increase your understanding and skills. This module will build on your knowledge, understanding and application of key ideas, perspectives and activities in social research relevant to Childhood and Early Years. You will develop further knowledge and understanding about what and how things can be ‘known’ (epistemology), ways of seeing the world (paradigms), approaches and traditions in research (methodology), collecting or generating data (methods) and analysing or interpreting findings (analysis). You will develop a critical understanding of how to relate each of these elements to enable you to carry out independent research and write your dissertation project. You will also learn about research ethics and protocols.

Indeed, the focus of this module is a small-scale independent research project which students undertake with the support of an experienced academic research supervisor. You will be supported to develop an appropriate project which may be based on empirical data (quantitative or qualitative or mixed methods), work-based reflections, evaluations, case study or literature based. Peer support is also encouraged through student led seminars.

More information

RW7001 -

Academic Language Skills (ALS) for PG Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing Students (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.
• Discussing ethical issues in research, and analysing results.
• Describing bias and limitations of research.

More information

Any Questions?

Our Applicant Services team will be happy to help.  They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901 or by using our Contact Form.



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Northumbria University is committed to developing an inclusive, diverse and accessible campus and wider University community and are determined to ensure that opportunities we provide are open to all.

We are proud to work in partnership with AccessAble to provide Detailed Access Guides to our buildings and facilities across our City, Coach Lane and London Campuses. A Detailed Access Guide lets you know what access will be like when you visit somewhere. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. All guides have Accessibility Symbols that give you a quick overview of what is available, and photographs to show you what to expect. The guides are produced by trained surveyors who visit our campuses annually to ensure you have trusted and accurate information.

You can use Northumbria’s AccessAble Guides anytime to check the accessibility of a building or facility and to plan your routes and journeys. Search by location, building or accessibility feature to find the information you need. 

We are dedicated to helping students who may require additional support during their student journey and offer 1-1 advice and guidance appropriate to individual requirements. If you feel you may need additional support you can find out more about what we offer here where you can also contact us with any questions you may have:

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All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

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