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Diploma of Higher Education in Childhood and Youth Studies - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

The diploma will provide the necessary concepts, theories, knowledge and skills base to understand the lives of children and young people. It is designed for students working with or for children and young people, in a wide range of settings, and for students with a general interest in the study of childhood and youth.

The diploma aims to:

  • encourage both critical reflection on and critical analysis of practices affecting children and young people
  • give you the opportunity to examine your own value base in relation to wider views on childhood and youth
  • develop appropriate analytical, research and conceptual skills needed to link theory, practice and experience
  • develop your knowledge and understanding of children's rights
  • deepen your appreciation of the diversity of children's experiences.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

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

  • different theoretical perspectives that contribute to the study of childhood and youth, including anthropological, psychological, sociological, legal, cultural and historical accounts
  • how childhood and youth is shaped by ethnicity, religion, caste/class, gender, sexuality and disability in a range of national and international situations and contexts, and the impact of differentiation, inequality and exclusion
  • the principles underlying a rights approach to childhood and youth issues and how these may be applied to a variety of situations within international and national contexts including how these can support transitions
  • a range of approaches and methods used in research with children and young people
  • the theories behind possible interventions in children’s lives and the implications these theories can have on children’s experiences
  • how to critically evaluate information from a range of sources.

Cognitive skills

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

  • analyse critically and systematically concepts, theories, policies and practices concerning children and young people
  • understand and comment critically on the contributions of different approaches to the study of childhood and youth
  • critically understand the significance and limitations of theory and research
  • formulate questions that can be answered through research, identify appropriate methods, analyse evidence and assess its significance
  • 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 diploma, you will be able to:

  • analyse features of contemporary childhood (and the cultural representation of childhood in different economic and socio-cultural contexts) in historical and international frameworks
  • reflect on the links between theory and practice and assess their relationship
  • critically evaluate approaches to enquiry, drawing on appropriate methodologies and disciplinary perspectives.

Key skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • organise and articulate opinions and argument, taking account of appropriate conventions of academic writing
  • communicate accurately and clearly in styles adapted to the purpose and context
  • 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

Knowledge and understanding is taught through diverse study materials, including multimedia. You will develop your knowledge and understanding through critical engagement with the material. Audio-visual materials offer opportunities to observe and hear from children and young people and to hear service users, practitioners and researchers. You will work independently with the study materials but are encouraged to form self-help groups with other students communicating by telephone, email, etc. Tutors support your learning in online tutorials.

The assessment process requires you to demonstrate your understanding of key concepts and theories, to present arguments, to develop and evaluate ideas and to show how they apply these to practice. You are encouraged to assess your own progress frequently through activities in the study material.

Key skills are developed through study guide activities and tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) that offer opportunities to practice and improve. Assessment is through TMAs and an end-of-module assessment (EMA).

Professional and practice skills are developed as part of an increased understanding and awareness of the experiences of children and young people, and what constitutes good practice.