Child and youth studies

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
PhD or Professional doctorate PhD:
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Professional doctorate:
Part time: 4–8 years
October November to January
PhD or Professional doctorate
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Professional doctorate:
Part time: 4–8 years
Start dates
Application period
November to January

Child and youth studies is located in the School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport. We draw on a range of approaches and methodologies including those from developmental psychology, childhood and youth studies, sociology, anthropology and cultural studies. Childhood and youth studies researchers have good contacts with pre-school institutions, schools, young people and families. We are an active inter-disciplinary group in various research clusters and centres.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) and an MA or research methods training at MA level (or equivalent). If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English.

Potential research projects

We are interested in research topics related in some way to the themes noted below:

  • children and young people: experiences, identities, spaces, voice and agency
  • young people: gender relations, masculinities and femininities
  • the impacts of social and cultural change on children and young people
  • learning, education, disability and technology
  • the development of thinking, social relationships and representations
  • international perspectives on childhood and youth
  • child and young person-led research projects, including rights-based work, learning and support for families experiencing a serious illness
  • children's health and wellbeing in body, mind and media

Current/recent research projects

  • The scientific resilience of KS3 students
  • The relationships between teachers’ pedagogical stance and their uses of ICT in teaching practices
  • The impact of the primary national curriculum on the progress of disadvantaged pupils
  • Experiences of outdoor play and learning by pre-school children with a disability
  • Mindfulness programmes in primary schools
  • Learning from children's perspectives in the search for fun
  • Inclusive practice in Early Years settings
  • The role of humour in children's books
  • Young migrant children's 'funds of knowledge'
  • Parents' perspectives and practices around the schooling of their children
  • Supporting pupils with Asperger's syndrome
  • Co-teaching in a bi-lingual school
  • Inclusion and exclusion in early years settings
  • Self-reported and enacted multi-age practice in early childhood
  • Peer coaching and peer observation in secondary schools
  • The assessment of progress for students with severe learning difficulties
  • Childhood bilingualism
  • Collaborative learning in early years

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

PhD fees

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,786 per year Full time: £12,146 per year
Part time: £2,393 per year Part time: £6,073 per year

Professional doctorate fees

UK fee International fee
Part time: £3,643 per year Part time: £9,250 per year

Some of our research students are funded via The Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership; others are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


Group of school friends

How to apply

Get in touch

If you have an enquiry specific to this research topic, please contact:

Dr Natalie Canning, PGR Convenor for Childhood, Youth and Sport

Phone: +44 (0)1908 858268

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.