Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

MA Childhood Studies

The “new social study of childhood” is the focus of this innovative MA, which takes a global and multi-disciplinary approach to the study of childhood and youth from 0-18.

Drawing on sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, philosophy, human geography and inclusive education among others, this programme will give you an understanding of the lives of children and young people in different social, cultural and educational contexts around the world. Core modules will give you a sound knowledge of concepts and approaches in the study of childhood, but you’ll also be able to choose optional modules to suit your interests and career aspirations.

It’s also taught in collaboration with the Centre for Research on Families, Lifecourse and Generations (FLaG) in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, a forum for researchers and research users which offers a wide range of seminars, workshops and training to help you expand your knowledge for a wide range of careers.

From the beginning of the programme you’ll develop your understanding of childhood and youth through a core module focusing on academic thinking, policy and practice from a range of different perspectives. You’ll also learn more about undertaking research with children and young people, gaining the skills and knowledge to conduct research in a range of different settings.

You’ll also begin to choose from the optional modules on offer. Across the programme you’ll choose one or two modules directly related to childhood studies from the range we offer. If you decide to take only one, you’ll choose another optional module from the Faculty of Education, Social Science and Law to suit your interests and career plans – from racism and ethnicity studies to aspects of international educational management.

Throughout the year you’ll be building you research skills and gaining a broad base of knowledge. You’ll put this to the test in your critical study, when you complete an independent piece of research on a related topic of your choice by the end of the programme in September.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

You’ll take three core modules across the year, including your critical study. You’ll up to two from the optional modules below – if you only choose one, you can choose from a range of modules across the Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law.

Compulsory modulesOptional modules
- Critical Study
- Theorising Childhood and Youth
- Research with Children and Young People
- Directed Study in Education 1
- Directed Study in Education 2
- Developmental Disorders in the Early Years
- On-screen, off-screen: children's creativity and cultures
- Children and young people: citizenship, participation and social justice
- EAL, language diversity and inclusion: research and theory
- International Educational Management: Developing Leadership
- International Educational Management: Developing Financial and Material Resources
- International Educational Management: Effective Development of Policies and Plans for Change
- Teaching Children with Learning Difficulties
- Teaching Languages to Young Learners
- Contested Bodies
- Advanced Racism and Ethnicity Studies
- Evaluation Research
- From Conception to the Grave: Health in a Global Context

Learning and teaching

We use a range of teaching and learning methods, including lectures as well as seminars, tutorials and workshops that allow you to discuss in more depth the issues arising from the course reading. However, independent study is also an important element of the degree, allowing you to pursue your own interests and develop your skills.


Most of the modules on this programme are assessed by essays. However, you’ll also submit a project report for the Research with Children and Young People module.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with 2:1 (Hons) in a relevant discipline. Other qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, contact the School of Education Postgraduate Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Education (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Education (10 weeks).

How to apply

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

School of Education Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £6,000

International: £15,000

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out if you can get help at Postgraduate funding.

Career opportunities

This programme has been designed to meet the needs of graduates who plan to use the knowledge and skills they will gain in a wide range of careers involving children. We expect this to include educational, social or health settings as well as NGOs. You’ll also be prepared for further study in related areas such as education, social policy, sociology or psychology.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Placement opportunities

Tutti Frutti children's theatre company offers an exclusive one year internship to one student studying MA Childhood Studies. Tutti Frutti specialises in producing shows for children aged 3+, their families and teachers across the UK and the world. Visit their website to find out more: http://tutti-frutti.org.uk/

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