Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Education

Postgraduate Course: Global Childhoods and Human Rights (EDUA11408)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryChildhood studies is a vibrant, interdisciplinary area. Children are no longer seen as simply passive recipients of services and care but as active participants in their own lives and the lives of others. This change is underpinned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is the most ratified human rights convention in the world. This course explores complementary and contrasting conceptualisations of 'childhood', developed historically and co-currently, in a range of academic disciplines. It asks students to apply such theoretical insights to relevant policies and practices, encouraging students to gain skills in policy analysis and critical reflections on practice.
Course description This course critically considers a range of disciplinary approaches to the study of childhood, in-depth discussion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and opportunities for group discussions and group work on applying these theoretical and policy ideas to policy and practice.

Teaching styles differ from session to session but all emphasise student participation and initiative. Some sessions tend towards a seminar-style; others have a mix of lecturer-led and student-led sessions. During weeks 1-7, the students have facilitated sessions. At the end of week 7, students form into groups to prepare for their group presentations. Weeks 8 to 9 are dedicated to developing the group presentations, which are given in week 10.

Students are expected to prepare for weeks 1-7 individually and in groups, through reading and associated tasks on Learn (7x2 hours= 14). It is expected that students participate in at least 5 hours observation or participation in an external policy opportunity, such as attending a Scottish Parliamentary debate or a relevant webinar. The course convenor passes on notice of such opportunities to students. 159 hours are for students-directed and independent learning.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  41
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Two formally assessed pieces of work are required:
1. Group presentation. Small working groups will work together to prepare a short 10-15 minute presentation for the final week of the course. Groups will select a policy focus (e.g. within youth justice, poverty, child protection, health or participation), within a particular country or regional context. The group will be asked to present a critical analysis of the particular policy , for its conceptualisations of childhood and its adherence (or not) to children's rights. A PowerPoint presentation will be required, or equivalent, and this will be submitted as part of the assessment.
The presentation will be 20% of the overall mark for the course.
Provision will be made for students who unavoidably miss the working groups or presentations, due to special circumstances. A short written assignment will be an alternative.
The group presentation has the potential to assist students in preparing for the subsequent assessment, the policy analysis. However, students can choose a different policy focus for this second assessment.

2. Policy analysis. This will be an independent assignment written by each student, in essay form. Students will be asked to present a critical analysis of a particular policy , for its adherence (or not) to children's rights and its conceptualisations of childhood. Students will be required to address learning outcomes 1-5 (see above) in their assignment. The essay will be 4000 words, excluding bibliography. The assignment will be 80% of the overall mark for the course.
Feedback Peer and staff feedback is provided on the group presentation, to inform the essay. Students are encouraged to undertake their own, individual essay on the basis of the group presentation, so as to maximise the benefits of working together and from both peer and student feedback.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have advanced understandings of different theories of childhood
  2. Be able to apply such theories to assess relevant policies, with a critical evaluation of both the theories and the policies
  3. Be at the forefront of knowledge of children's human rights and their implications for policies
  4. Be able to critique and know how to apply relevant cross-national and international perspectives to theories of childhood and policies
  5. Be able to communicate the above effectively to others, in writing and verbally
Learning Resources
Visual and audio resources for the course are available on the course's Learn page.

Indicative reading for the course:
Alanen, L. and Mayall, B. (eds.) (2001) Conceptualizing Child-Adult Relations, Abingdon: Routledge/ Falmer Press.
Alderson, P. (2013) Childhoods, Real and Imagined: An Introduction to Critical Realism and Childhood Studies, Abingdon: Routledge.
Archard, D. (2013) Children: Rights and Childhood,3rd Edition, Abingdon: Routledge.
Freeman, M.A. (ed.) (2004) Children's Rights, Volumes I and II, Aldershot: Ashgate.
General Assembly of the United Nations (1989) The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 20 November 1989.
James, A. and James, A. (2008) Key Concepts in Childhood Studies, London: Sage.
James, A., Jenks, C. and Prout, A. (1998) Theorizing Childhood, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Prout, A. (2005) The Future of Childhood, Abingdon: Routledge/ Falmer.
Qvortrup, J., Bardy, M., Sgritta, G. and Wintersberger, H. (eds.) (1994) Childhood Matters. Social Theory, Practice and Politics, European Centre, Vienna. Aldershot: Avebury.
Qvortrup, J., Corsaro, W. and Michael-Sebastine, H. (eds.) (2009) The Palgrave Handbook of Childhood Studies, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Smith, P.K., Cowie, H. and Blades, M. (2015) Understanding Children┐s Development, 6th Edition, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Spyrou, S. (2017) Disclosing Childhoods: research and knowledge production for a critical childhood studies, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Vandenhole, W., Desmet, E., Reynaert, D. and Lembrechts, S. (eds.) (2015) Routledge International Handbook of Children┐s Rights Studies, Abingdon: Routledge.
Wells, K. (2015) Childhood in a Global Perspective, 2nd Edition, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Wyness, M. (2015) Childhood, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Advanced knowledge and critical understanding of childhood studies and children's right studies theories
2. Advanced knowledge and critical understanding of children's human rights, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
3. Ability to apply such knowledge and understandings to policies and practices, in order to develop a critical analysis
4. Ability to do so with independence of thought, creativity and originality
5. Demonstrating leadership and group work skills, in being part of autonomous working groups with set outcomes
6. Advanced academic skills in locating and assessing relevant resources, including evidence, research findings, and policies
7. Thinking independently, exercising personal judgement and taking initiative
8. Community accurately and critically in oral presentations and in writing
9. Ability to work with people from a range of cultures, backgrounds and experiences

Keywordschildhood,children,youth,rights,human rights,children's rights
Course organiserProf Kay Tisdall
Tel: (0131 6)51 6415
Course secretaryMrs Alta Mene
Tel: (0131 6)51 6381
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information