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Childhood and Youth (MSc)

1 Year (not available until 2015/16) (Full-time) / 2 Years (from 2014/15) (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)

Course Aims

Childhood and Youth is a growing field of inquiry across the social sciences. The MSc in Childhood and Youth offers a unique opportunity to study in one of the UK’s leading centres for childhood and youth based research. The programme is distinctive because it offers exciting opportunities for students to work in a truly inter-disciplinary social science environment and to benefit from a breadth of substantive, theoretical and methodological expertise with leading childhood and youth scholars. Members of the School of Social Sciences Childhood and Youth Research Group operate at the forefront of public policy debates, advising and steering at local and national levels on a range of contemporary issues (e.g. ‘sexualisation’, ‘domestic violence’, ‘adoption’) and drawing on their own world-leading research.

The programme is suitable for students wishing to work in child and youth-focused research, policy and advocacy roles in the private, public and voluntary sector, both nationally and internationally. It provides a good foundation for those wishing to go on to further training in a variety of professional fields involving work with children and young people, such as education, health and social care, family policy, youth work, justice, international development and charity work. The programme will also be attractive to individuals already working with children and young people in a range of different roles and professions.

Special Features

A distinctive feature of the MSC Childhood and Youth is that two of the modules are taught as a cluster of stand-alone, day-long workshops, each focusing on cutting-edge policy and research issues. These workshops are especially designed for practitioners and policy makers who want to enhance their substantive or methodological knowledge on key areas of childhood and youth policy and practice. They also provide the opportunity for students on the full programme to engage with contemporary issues and debates through a more focused and practical lens, with leading specialists in the field.

Course Description

This programme is aimed at practitioners, policy makers and postgraduate students who want to develop their knowledge of childhood and youth and consider what it means to conduct research with children and young people at an advanced level. It offers the opportunity to examine leading theories, methodologies and research evidence in order to understand the relationship between the conceptualisation of childhood, methodological approaches to researching with children and young people and the social impact of childhood policies and practices in a variety of social and cultural contexts and across the young life course. Graduates from this programme will have a theoretical, methodological and substantive foundation from which they can critically evaluate how contemporary social structures, institutions, media, policies and practices impact upon children and young people’s everyday lives.

Course Structure

The teaching on the MSc Childhood and Youth Programme is research-informed and led by internationally renowned researchers and scholars in one of the foremost childhood and youth studies research groups in the UK. Members of the core teaching team include Dr Peter Hemming, Dr Kate Moles, Prof Emma Renold and Dr Stuart Tannock.

The modules that comprise the programme employ a diverse range of teaching including lectures, seminars, group and individual tutorials, and independent guided study. Students have the opportunity to develop and practice advanced oral and written communication through formative tasks such as presentation of preparatory reading, group problem-based learning tasks, group presentations and substantive assessment including essay, project report and poster presentation.

The programme benefits from being located in an inter-disciplinary environment so that in parts of the course, students will come into contact with staff and students from other subject areas, and in other parts of the course with staff and students in the same substantive area.

The programme comprises the following modules:

* These modules are each taught as four discrete day-long workshops on specialist policy or research issues. Students may choose to substitute one of them for any available MSc modules offered on other programmes in the School if they so wish (see the School of Social Sciences website website for more details).

Skills Acquired

Students will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills which are discipline specific and more general ‘employability’ skills. Skills will include

  1. the ability to collect, analyse and interpret a range of complex data,
  2. a range of appropriate qualitative and quantitative research skills,
  3. the use and application of information technologies,
  4. the ability to communicate and present ideas and findings in a variety of ways, for example, in writing, and orally,
  5. ability to problem solve, and work individually and in groups.

Entry Requirements

Candidates should normally hold a first or second-class degree (upper or lower). Other applicants will also be considered if they can demonstrate, through some recent and relevant experience, that they have the ability to undertake the course.

Applicants should have completed, or be close to completing, an undergraduate degree in one of the following subject areas: Childhood and Youth Studies, Cultural Studies, Education, Human Geography, Media, Politics, Psychology or Social Sciences. Applications are also strongly encouraged from candidates with a background in other humanities and social science subjects.

In addition, applicants whose first language is not English are required to obtain a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each sub-section. Full details of Cardiff University's English Language requirements can be found here.

How to Apply

Applications should be made via the Online Application Service.

You should indicate in your application why you want to study social sciences, and why you want to undertake your studies in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences.

Tuition Fees:

  • UK & EU Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below
  • International Part Time for 2014/15 unless otherwise specified below

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Ms Gemma Robinson  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 5178 



School Website:

School Contact

Name: Dr Peter Hemming  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 70911 

Fax: +44 (0)29 208 74175 

Email: +44 (0)29 208 74175  

School Website:

More information