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Sociology of Childhood and Children's Rights (MA)

Course Description

The Sociology of Childhood and Children's Rights MA will introduce students to a range of contemporary social theories about childhood and children's rights, critically explore social constructions of childhood, and consider the implications these have for professional practice and research with children and young people.

See the website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/degrees/sociology-childhood-childrens-rights-ma

Key Information

- Application dates
All applicants:
Open: 19 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Special. Only the IELTS is accepted. Applicants must obtain an overall grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in the reading subtest and 6.0 in the writing subtest.
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/life/international/english-requirements .

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/international .

Degree Information

This programme provides students with the opportunity to 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 richer and poorer contexts. It also helps students develop their critical analytical skills and improve their theoretical understanding and professional practice when working with and for children.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, two core modules (60 credits) and two optional modules (120 credits), is also offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate, two core modules (60 credits), is offered.

- Core Modules
Children's Rights in Practice
Theories of Childhood and Society
Social Theory

- Options
Students choose one optional modules from a range including:
Researching Childhood
Understanding Research

- Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 20,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

Taught modules run in the evenings and/or over a one-week intensive block. Teaching is delivered face-to-face and through lectures, discussions and debates, and analysis of readings, images, and films. In addition there are tutorials for essays and dissertation preparation. Participants are encouraged to reflect upon their own experiences and backgrounds in teaching sessions. Easch core module is assessed by 5,000-word written assignments.


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships .

- IOE Centenary Masters Scholarships
Eligibility: Overseas students

- IOE Centenary Research Scholarships
Eligibility: EU students

- IOE COLFUTURO Fee Partnership
Value: UCL provides a 50% contribution towards tuition fees. (1 year)
Eligibility: Overseas students
Criteria: Based on academic merit

IOE Commonwealth Distance Scholars
Value: Fees and some expenses
Eligibility: Overseas students

- IOE CONICyT Fee Partnership
Value: IoE provides a 20% contribution towards tuition fees. (1 year)
Eligibility: Overseas students

- IOE Erasmus Bursary
Value: £350/month (1)
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas students

- IOE Fulbright
Eligibility: Overseas students

- IOE International Master's Student Bursaries
Eligibility: Overseas students

- IOE Vietnam International Education Development Scholarships - PGT
Eligibility: Overseas students

- IOE Windle Trust Scholarship
Eligibility: Overseas students

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships


Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as international NGO staff, children's charity workers, child advocacy workers and policy advisors. Graduates are also working as teachers and early years practitioners, while others have jobs as university and college lecturers and researchers.

Top career destinations for this degree:
- Secondary School Teacher, Cumberland School (2012)
- Nursery Manager, Grasshoppers in The Park (2012)
- Lecturer, University Centre Croydon (2012)
- Research Officer, Child-to-Child (2013)
- Head of Nursery, Abercorn School (2013)

Why study this degree at UCL?

This MA explores cutting-edge research and theorising about young people's experiences and their social status in varied global contexts. It is unique in its sociological attention to childhood, children's rights, and children and young people's participation in society.

Students are introduced to internationally-renowned academic experts and international children's organisations and have the opportunity to explore their own areas of interest or professional practice.

The MA is based in the Department of Social Science which houses three prestigious, research intensive units. Together they provide a foundation for world-leading work in childhood studies, social work, social pedagogy, families and health-related studies with a strong professional dimension.

Application and next steps

- Applications
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

- Who can apply?
This programme is suitable for all those working with and for children and interested in the field of children’s rights, both in the UK and other international contexts. It is especially relevant to those working in children’s services, such as health and education, social care and family policy, youth work, the justice system, international NGOs and advocacy work for children and young people.

What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Sociology of Childhood and Children's Rights at graduate level
- why you want to study Sociology of Childhood and Children's Rights at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

For more information see the Applications page http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply .

Visit the Sociology of Childhood and Children's Rights (MA) page on the University College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

W'Ayendjina Antchandie

"UCL recognises the importance of networking as a necessary step towards helping students with their career. The programme offered many opportunities to meet with professionals from a number of fields in childhood and children's rights. We had seminars, talks, and research symposium with academics, practitioners from NGOs, and with alumni now working in children's rights organisations for instance. Due to the quality of the programme, tutors and researchers receive job and internship advertisements, which are subsequently passed on to students. "

(Student Profile)

Clara Freixes Ramoneda

"This programme helped me find a research placement and a job in a community trust with young people, evaluating the impact of activities and improving the service's outcomes for the young people participating. Overall my experience at UCL was really great. The programme was dynamic and well organised, and the support from teachers was simply fantastic."

(Student Profile)

Lizzie Streeter

"I often attend networking events, for example the London Transition Network and Participation Works Network for England (PWNE) at City Hall, as well as events for trustees and local government workers. With lectures in the evening, I am able to fit studying around my full-time job."


Entry Requirements

A second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in social science, media or cultural studies, humanities, education or a related field. A similar qualification in another subject is also acceptable if combined with experience in child care, health, education or children's advocacy. All applicants should preferably have experience of working with and for children.

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