Taught course

Childhood Studies

University of Suffolk · Children, Young People and Education

Entry requirements

In order to satisfy the minimum general requirements for admission, candidates should have a Bachelors Honours degree 2:2 or equivalent.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

MA Childhood Studies is based on an informed and critical approach to the academic study of childhood and youth and is intended to reflect both the desires and ambitions of postgraduate students and the philosophical traditions and current developments in the social studies of childhood.

This taught Masters course has been developed for postgraduate students or senior professionals interested in specialised or advanced study of childhood. It will, therefore, be of particular interest to those wishing to be or already employed in the children and young people’s workforce. In line with recent international developments in social studies of childhood, the MA Childhood Studies is transdisciplinary in approach but has a strong emphasis on perspectives drawn from sociology, social policy, geography, anthropology and history. The course is informed by the United Nations Rights of the Child (UNCRC) framework and draws on current methodological standpoints in childhood and youth research that emphasis participation. It is committed to adopting a ‘child/young person-centred’ philosophy throughout, and reflects the principles of protecting the rights and interests of children and young people and the increasing importance of participation. The changing conditions of childhood and youth and the ways in which children and young people themselves experience and understand their everyday lives is emphasised.

Course Aim

The aims of the MA (including PG Dip/PG Cert) Childhood Studies are:

  • To offer an innovative, dynamic and flexible programme that critically considers developments in the academic study of childhood and youth and the changing contexts of childhood and youth in a globalised world.
  • To critically explore the cultural and social constructions of childhood and youth and the implications that they have had and continue to have on children and young people’s everyday lives.
  • To advance students’ knowledge of the complexity of understanding the relationship between children’s rights, the ideologies and responsibilities for welfare and the lived realities of children’s and young people’s diverse experiences.
  • To provide a robust theoretical framework for students to develop an integrated and critically aware understanding of childhood and youth studies and to cultivate a critical and analytical approach to contemporary methodological advances in childhood and youth research.
  • To develop in students a range of intellectual skills reflecting both the ethos of lifelong learning and the rigour required at M level, a high level of student autonomy and self-direction in order to facilitate the student to demonstrate initiative, originality alongside integrity and ethical judgement in their advanced scholarship and to become influential and effective specialists in the field of childhood and youth studies.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 - 36 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

+44 (0)1473 338833