M.Sc. Child and Adolescent Studies

Bucks New University | High Wycombe , United Kingdom
The course will explore childhood and youth from multiple theoretical perspectives drawn from the social sciences including: psychology, sociology, social policy and health. This course is of interest to anyone working with children and young people across health, education and social care services.



This course explores childhood and youth from multiple theoretical perspectives drawn from the social sciences. It is relevant for anyone working with children and young people, looking to extend their skills.

Is this course for me?

This course is of interest to anyone working with children and young people across health, education and social care services.

Specifically it will appeal to:

  • school nurses
  • health visitors
  • children's nurses
  • teachers
  • social workers
  • early years practitioners
  • youth workers
  • volunteers working with children and young people
  • children's centre staff
  • public health practitioners
  • working in local authority services for children and young people.

This programme will benefit those who are looking to extend their academic skills and will contribute to continuing professional development.

What will this course cover?

Our MSc in Child and Adolescent Studies will explore childhood and youth from multiple theoretical perspectives drawn from the social sciences including: psychology, sociology, social policy and health.

The current government is committed to children and young people evidenced by its commitment to Early Years, Education and Health Visiting in the recent public spending review.

Therefore, the topics explored in the course will be pertinent to practice and will allow students to develop their research skills in their particular area of work or interest.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline You are advised to apply as early as possible
Tuition fee
  • EUR 12933 Year (Non-EEA)
  • EUR 5091 Year (EEA)

Home and EU students: £3700 per year.

International: £9400 per year.

Start date
Credits 180
Duration full-time 24 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Intensity Flexible
Duration part-time 24 months

Course Content

What are the modules?

Stage one - Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

  • Perspectives of Childhood (30 credits)

This module will cover areas such as:

  • exploring concepts and theories around childhood from different perspectives
  • the child in society
  • social construction of childhood and adolescence
  • historical perspectives
  • anthropology of childhood
  • psychology child developmental theories and concepts
  • loss and bereavement
  • family systems
  • sociology of childhood
  • gender/culture/sexuality/ethnicity
  • cross-cultural issues.
  • Challenges in Childhood (30 credits)

This module will cover areas such as:

  • child protection
  • consent
  • confidentiality
  • childrens rights
  • teenage pregnancy
  • poverty
  • inequality
  • social policy
  • inclusion/exclusion
  • discrimination
  • risk
  • family circumstances.

Stage two - Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)

  • Contemporary Issues in Childhood (30 credits)

This module will cover areas such as:

  • youth culture
  • crime
  • substance misuse
  • communication and language
  • behaviour and behaviour change
  • health needs of adolescents
  • education
  • leadership and management
  • influences of media
  • public health
  • family structure
  • disability
  • loss, separation and divorce.
  • Comparative Safeguarding Studies or Nutrition for Health and Wellbeing (30 credits)

Stage three - MSc (180 credits):

  • Research Methods
  • Dissertation.

The MSc in Child and Adolescent Studies will be awarded on successful completion of the requirements for the postgraduate diploma above and a 60 credit dissertation.

Contemporary Issues in Childhood and Youth

This module will help extend your knowledge of the range of current issues affecting children and adolescents in todays society.

It will draw on the disciplines of sociology, social science and psychology, as well as issues from professional practice.

Challenges in Childhood

This module aims to explore the impact of different challenges on children and adolescents with regard to their development and future achievements.

The intention is to explore childhood and youth within a context of child protection, confidentiality and childrens rights.

It will explore the theoretical underpinning of supporting children and young peoples transitions throughout the lifespan.

Perspectives of Childhood

The aim of this module is to contextualise the concepts and theories of childhood and adolescence from both an historical and current perspective.

It will include a range of ideologies including sociology, anthropology and psychology.

The module will include exploration and analysis of research methodologies relating to children and adolescents.
Research Methods

This module aims to enable you to develop a critically evaluative and conceptual understanding of research methods and approaches.

The indicative content will include

What will I gain?

On completion of this course you should:

  • be able to demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems
  • be able to exhibit independent thinking in making recommendations for practice
  • be able to show conceptual understanding of the historical perspectives of childhood, including the social construction of childhood and how this impacts on the understanding of todays youth
  • have developed a critical understanding of the challenges that exist for children and young people in todays society, including issues around child protection, sexual exploitation, loss, bereavement and vulnerability.

Other areas of study will include contemporary issues that affect childrens health and social wellbeing, such as current health, education and social policy, crime, anti-social behaviour, risky behaviours and sexual health.

Start date and attendance

Start date: September

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time

Attendance: There will be a combination of face to face contact and distance learning opportunities.

English Language Requirements


IMPORTANT NOTE: The UK government confirmed new requirements for secure English language testing for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more


Applicants do not need to be in work while undertaking this course.

Applicants will normally hold a good (2.1 or above) related first degree in the social sciences or be able to demonstrate appropriate experience in working with children and young people.

Consideration will be given to applicants who do not hold a full degree but that can demonstrate academic competence through the demonstration of their critical writing ability at the interview stage, considerable experience in working with children and young people and/or exceptional academic work at undergraduate level (for example a module undertaken at Level 6).

Candidates with professional qualifications and directly relevant work experience may be considered.

If English is not your first language, you will be required to hold an overall total band score of IELTS 6.5 or higher for postgraduate study, or equivalent.

Applicants will be invited to attend an interview for entry onto the programme.

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

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United Kingdom Our vision at Bucks New University is to be a leading professional and creative influence, shaping higher education for the benefit of people and employers. Within a caring and supportive environment, we deliver high-quality scholarship, as well as focused research and professional practice.

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