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MA in Childhood and Youth - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

This qualification aims to develop advanced theoretical and integrated practice knowledge about children and young people. It is designed for those working with or for children and young people in a wide range of settings, and for those with a general interest in the study of childhood and youth. The aims and outcomes are to:

  • develop advanced critical analysis skills relevant to integrated practice
  • provide the necessary concepts, theories, knowledge and skills base to understand the lives of children and young people and how this impacts on integrated practice
  • develop appropriate analytical, research and conceptual skills needed to link theory, practice and experience.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • different theoretical perspectives that contribute to the study of childhood and youth, how these develop a critical understanding of changing organisational structures, how these inform effective communication with children and young people and how they inform integrated practice
  • the way ethnicity, religion, caste/class, gender, sexuality and disability shape childhood and youth; the impact of differentiation, inequality and exclusion; strategies designed to tackle these issues including safeguarding and promoting welfare of children and young people in integrated practice
  • policies and provisions relating to regulation/promotion of children and young people’s status, welfare, health and learning, including how these impact on childhood and youth contexts and an appreciation of the importance of multi-agency working
  • the principles underlying a rights approach to childhood and youth issues, and to understand and evaluate the links between local and global forces in children and young people’s lives
  • different methodologies used when working with children and young people, ethical considerations, reflective and evidence-based practice, and an appreciation of how these can inform policy and integrated practice.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • analyse critically concepts, theories, policies and practices concerning children and young people, and critically analyse the impact of social institutions such as the family, the law or the state
  • understand and comment critically on the contributions of different approaches to the study of children and young people
  • critically understand the significance and limitations of theory and research
  • undertake a small action research project or a critical review of literature relating to theory, policy and integrated practice
  • identify and critically reflect on connections and discontinuities between knowledge and its application in practical contexts, and how this might impact on effective communication and welfare promotion with and for children and young people.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • learn from personal experience and apply theory to integrated practice issues and dilemmas and learn from feedback to improve performance
  • analyse features of contemporary childhood and youth in different economic and socio-cultural contexts, within an historical and/or international framework, including multi-agency working
  • identify and reflect on own values and position, and those of others, and assess their relationships to policy and practice
  • carry out project-based work on aspects of childhood studies, critically evaluating approaches to enquiry, paying due regard to the importance of information sharing
  • accommodate new principles, understandings and evidence and formulate and justify proposals for action in the light of these.

Key skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • organise and articulate opinions and arguments, taking account of appropriate conventions of academic writing
  • Communicate accurately and clearly in styles adapted to the purpose and context, including interpretation of numerical and graphical data when appropriate
  • read purposefully and critically, identifying and recording what is relevant from a range of resource material and responding sensitively and critically to diverse viewpoints
  • analyse tasks, plan and manage time
  • learn from a variety of different media and different teaching methods.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

The teaching, learning and assessment are linked to the Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the Children’s Workforce. They are geared towards the development of professional skills through a critical engagement with policy, analysis of organisational structures and reflection on personal practice. Multi-agency working and inter-professional practice has a central focus.

Knowledge and understanding is taught through diverse study materials including multi media. You will develop your advanced knowledge and understanding through critical, engagement with material provided in the Readers and reflection facilitated by activities in the online learning guides. You undertake a significant amount of your own enquiry-based learning, appropriate to this level of study, including an extended piece of writing. Summative assessment is through TMAs and EMAs. There is the opportunity, on some parts of the qualification, for collaborative learning through the sharing of your experiences with other students. 

Online tutorials, virtual learning communities (in tutor groups) and assignment feedback are designed to build on your academic study skills over the life of the course. You will have opportunities to develop your critical analysis of policy and practice. Key to this will be a developing ability to draw good practice out of theoretical frameworks.

You will develop your cognitive skills through critical analysis of diverse study materials, which cover various aspects of children’s experiences at both local and global levels. You will analyse and critique 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. You will also learn, in some parts of the qualification, to compare familiar knowledge and concepts to less familiar experiences of children in other parts of the world.

This qualification is designed for people working with children or young people as well as those with a more theoretical interest in the subject and students without access to a practice setting will not be disadvantaged in any way and will be able to use examples from the study materials for assessment tasks.

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