This course offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of childhood and youth covering aspects of theory, policy and practice. It is ideal if you want to enhance your knowledge of this area, whether you’re already working in the field or planning to do so.
You’ll begin by exploring the family; law; children’s rights; politicised childhoods; participation and voice issues; consumerist childhoods; education; ethnicity and religion; child criminology; child sexuality; and multi-cultural childhoods – within a worldwide context, using case studies linking theory to practice.
Finally, an extended piece of writing will help you examine the changing policy, organisational, personal and professional contexts of work with children and young people.
Key features of the course
- Equips you with the critical tools to analyse policy and to reflect on your own practice
- Designed to help you develop professionally and meet the diverse and changing needs of children and young people
- A strong focus on multi-agency working and inter-professional practice
- Offers a choice between a short research project or literature review.
Children and young people’s worlds (E808) forms the introductory part of this route. It focuses both on interdisciplinary and international aspects of childhood and youth as well as on the postgraduate study skills needed to succeed at this level. This module introduces you to the ‘big ideas’ in childhood and youth and some of the contemporary debates in the field. The specialist elements of the module are addressed through additional content knowledge, choice of academic papers that inform discussion points and assessment tasks.
Credit transfer is permitted but will be assessed by the qualification team. To ensure a smooth transition to Stage 2 for students transferring from other institutions, some generic material is available (via a Badged Open Course on OpenLearn) to support students that will benefit from this additional material.
The compulsory Stage 2 module will extend your knowledge of interdisciplinary aspects of childhood and youth and will have a particular focus on policy and practice as they relate to children and young people’s lives. You will explore the implications of research in current practice and develop an understanding of the role and limitations of research for informing professional practice with children and young people.
In this final stage you will be required to demonstrate the knowledge and understanding gained from your earlier studies and to further develop your knowledge and research skills. This involves writing a proposal and obtaining approval to conduct a piece of enquiry or applied research in your organisational setting (or chosen area of work where appropriate). You will be expected to write to standard protocols including full ethical clearance and other permissions as appropriate. You will be required to submit a 12,000 word dissertation at the end. The chosen area for the research will be situated in your practice and contribute to organisational development and/or effectiveness.
You will need to have DBS clearance to undertake this research. If such research is impractical, you don’t work in a practice setting, or are overseas, you will be able to complete an extended critical review of a body of literature on a subject of your choice relevant to the qualification themes.
You must study these modules in the order shown below and you must successfully complete one module before you can progress to the next.
You must have a bachelors degree from a UK university (or equivalent) to study this course. Your degree can be in any subject, although childhood and youth studies, sociology, health and social care, anthropology, psychology or education are particularly relevant.
Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check
The research project option in E807 and E810 are only available if you are a UK resident as you will need to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check (or equivalent in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Students in Scotland will also need to meet the requirements of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme.
The criminal record check must be appropriate for the setting in which you intend to carry out your research. The DBS (or equivalent) must bear the same name as given in your post-registration agreement form. You also need permission from your employer to undertake this work. If these conditions cannot be fulfilled then you should choose the literature review option for E807 or E810.
Please note: It is a legal, rather than an Open University requirement, that you must obtain Enhanced DBS clearance in order to work with children on E807 and E810. This is the responsibility of you and your employer and not The Open University. If you are in doubt about your eligibility, or to find out more, you should contact the relevant agency in your country for more information.
Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 7 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
This 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, BA (Hons) Early Years or Early Childhood, BA (Hons) Education Studies (Primary) 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 and the voluntary sector including charities and NGOs. You should ensure that you check entry requirements for specific professional areas before embarking on study.
This course will be attractive to professionals working with children and young people in areas such as early years provision, education, social work, nursing, healthcare, youth work, youth justice or the voluntary sector. It should also be of interest if you’re seeking to advance academically and professionally, move into the profession or within the sector, and if you have (or want to move into) a senior, managerial or supervisory role.
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Last updated January 16, 2018