MA Sociology of Childhood and Children's Rights

This masters degree will:

  • Introduce you to a range of current theories about childhood and the practical issues of promoting children's rights
  • Critically explore social constructions of childhood, and the implications these have for professional practice with children
  • Enable you to take account of children's interests, views and rights, and understand the complex relations between the protection, provision and participation rights defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This masters degree provides the opportunity to:

  • Develop your critical analytical skills, to improve your professional practice
  • Gain an understanding of sociological, socio-legal and political theories and concepts of childhood and children's rights, including a recognition of the varied childhoods experienced by children in the richer minority and poorer majority worlds
  • Understand the rights and responsibilities of people concerned with the care, education, health, welfare, advocacy or control of children and young people
  • Increase your awareness of the importance of including children's own views when planning and providing for them.

Who is this programme for?

All those working with and for children and interested in the field of children's rights, especially those working in children's services such as health and education, social care and family policy, youth work, the justice system and advocacy work for children and young people.


The course can be taken over one year full time, or two to four years part time.

You will take three core modules, and will choose one more module from the range offered by the Institute. The three core modules are:

1. Theories of Childhood and Children’s Rights Explores key concepts in the sociology of childhood, and the implications of viewing children as active participants in society, and childhood as a cultural construct. Addresses theories of children’s rights.

2. Children’s Rights in Practice Applies theoretical concepts to the work of professionals with children and young people. Considers the practicalities and problems of working with children in ways that afford them protection and promotes their participation.

3. Researching Childhood Introduces current research about children and childhood, and practical and ethical issues of researching aspects of children’s lives. Uses research-led teaching and prepares you for the dissertation which completes your degree.


More information available here.



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