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MA in Childhood and Youth

Course Description

MA in Childhood and Youth

This MA course offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of childhood and youth underpinned by a commitment to integrated practice. This qualification is designed for graduates with a background in childhood and youth studies, sociology, health and social care, anthropology, psychology or education. It would suit those already working with children and young people and wish to enhance their knowledge as well as those who wish to enter this field.

You study two compulsory 60-credit modules and gain the final 60 credits either from appropriate credit transfer or by taking 60 credits from a choice of optional modules. Children and young people’s worlds: frameworks for integrated practice (E807) is a compulsory module within the qualification. This module is in two parts, a theoretically based exploration of aspects of children and young people’s worlds - the family; the law; children’s rights; politicised childhoods; participation and voice issues; consumerist childhoods; education; ethnicity and religion; child criminology; child sexuality; and multi-cultural childhoods – examined within a worldwide context where each topic has a featured case study linking theory to practice. The second part of the module is an extended piece of writing (7000 words) and you will choose either a small research project around a topic relevant to the module or a literature review. Critical practice with children and young people (K802) is another compulsory module. In this module you will explore the changing policy, organisational, personal and professional contexts in which work with children and young people takes place. Multi-agency working and inter-professional practice will have a central focus. The module aims to equip you with the critical tools to analyse policy and to reflect on your own practice, in ways that enable you to develop professionally and meet the diverse and changing needs of children and young people.

Compulsory modules

Children and young people's worlds: frameworks for integrated practice

This is an interdisciplinary module about children’s experiences in the contemporary world, at national and international levels. The module provides a theoretical framework from which integrated practice issues are drawn out and critically addressed. The two equal elements to the module feature guided study based around a specially commissioned Reader, and a project which can either be an extended literature review or a small, original research project. You must be a UK resident and hold current Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance (or equivalent in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) for your practice setting if choosing the research project.

Critical practice with children and young people

If you work with children or young people and want to progress professionally and academically, then this module is for you. This masters-level module will help you to gain a deeper understanding of the ideas that influence current practice, analyse recent changes in the organisation of services, especially moves towards greater integration, and explore what it means to be a critical, reflective practitioner. The module is relevant to people working in a wide range of services with children and young people, including social work, education, healthcare and youth work, and covers the whole age range from early years to youth.

Career relevance

The MA course will be attractive to professionals working with children and young people who are graduates and seeking to advance academically and professionally, as well as those with a related degree but not currently working with children and young people who are looking to move into the profession, and people considering moving between professions within the sector. It should also be of interest to people in a managerial or supervisory role, to senior members of the workforce, and those seeking to move into senior or managerial positions. This MA in Childhood and Youth will have a strong appeal for students who have completed the BA (Hons) in Childhood and Youth Studies or the BA/BSc (Hons) in Health and Social Care. The content of the qualification will be relevant to graduates working in early years provision, education, social work, nursing, healthcare, youth work, youth justice or the voluntary sector. You should ensure that you check entry requirements for specific professional areas before embarking on study. Case studies in Children and young people’s worlds: frameworks for integrated practice (E807) are drawn from worldwide content and therefore this module is very suitable if you are based in any of our four nation states or beyond. The themes covered by Critical practice in work with children and young people (K802) are relevant to policy and practice worldwide, but you need to be aware that most of the examples in the study materials are drawn from the UK context.

Visit the MA in Childhood and Youth page on the Open University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Yvonne Quantrell

3175.jpg Reputation had a lot to do with why I chose the OU. I’d watched my dad study with the OU and he always encouraged me to think about it.
We’d moved to Manchester from Belfast so I had a very disruptive time at secondary school where I also experienced some bullying. I didn't do very well and left school to do my A levels at Sixth Form College. I didn't enjoy that so I dropped out. Then about five years later when I had my son I did an A level and then a childcare qualification. I started a degree with another college doing it in the evenings. By then I’d divorced and become a single mum. I had to be at the college by 5.30 and really struggled to get babysitters for that time so couldn’t continue. All this time my dad kept saying why not join the OU? So I did.
I funded my course using OUSBA, which meant I could pay for it in monthly instalments and didn't have to pay upfront or take out a student loan and end up in debt.
I was surprised at the amount of resources and guidance with Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs) that you get. By the time I came to enrol with the OU I’d previously started a degree somewhere else so I knew that you didn't get as much support at other places. The tutors were friendly and approachable and responded very quickly to emails. We made arrangements to discuss matters over the phone when necessary.
When I was part way through my degree I married my second husband. He was really supportive and already had a degree in psychology. Seeing me study and how flexible it was, inspired him to sign up with the OU to do his Masters.
I teach on the childhood studies and early years course at college. I’m also part of the staff providing psychological resources for the rest of the team and have also taught psychology. Now I have my Masters I teach on the foundation degree too.
Taking my degree with the OU has given me more options of what I can teach. It’s easy to see why it can become addictive. It’s so flexible and fits so easily around your life.
Three of us in one family have now done degrees with the OU. It’s a family affair.


Entry Requirements

You will require a bachelors degree (or equivalent) in any discipline relevant to children and young people to study for this qualification. Applicants who do not hold a degree (or equivalent), but have significant professional experience of at least three years in a related area may be eligible for consideration. You should include evidence of this experience in the supplementary information we ask you to provide when you register for your first module. The research project option in E807 is only available if you have successfully obtained an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance check or equivalent.

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