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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Education

Undergraduate Course: Children's Rights: Policy and Practice (EDUA10204)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will examine critically a range of UK (and particularly Scottish) legislation, policies and services affecting children, through the concepts of childhood, rights and children's rights and the articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The course covers a range of policy areas within the class sessions and a critical overview of how well the UK (and particularly Scotland) meets the requirements of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Students have the opportunity to explore a policy of their choice, within the final essay for the course. The course is highly participative, requiring regular contributions from all students. Students are invited to attend relevant external events, such as international webinars or Scottish Parliament meetings.
Course description Academic Description:
This course examines critically a range of UK (and particularly Scottish) legislation, policies and services affecting children, through the concepts of childhood, rights and children's rights and the articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The UK Government ratified the UN Convention) in 1991, and is now legally bound to translate the articles of the Convention into all appropriate legal, administrative and other measures (Article 4). Children's rights are now one of the strongest influences on children's services in the UK, and have required substantive changes in legislation, policy and practice.

Outline Content:
Part 1: Introduces and critically analyses the concepts of 'childhood', 'rights' and 'children's rights', and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to be continued throughout the course.

Part 2: Explores, evaluates and critiques a range of UK (and particularly Scottish) legislation, policy and practice, by the CRC and through the concepts of 'childhood' and 'children's rights'.

Part 3: Evaluates whether the UK Government has met its obligations under the CRC, and to reflect critically on the concepts of 'childhood', 'children's rights' and the CRC.
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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  60
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students submit an essay of 4000 words, worth 100% of the mark.
Feedback This course is highly interactive with many opportunities for formative feedback. Students are invited to prepare individually for weekly activities and tasks, e.g. set tasks that encourage skills development (e.g. identification of relevant policy documents and statistics, arguments for and against, evaluation of available evidence, persuasive writing for the media). Interactive group sessions and activities address additional skills (such as short group presentations, chairing a group, building collective counter arguments, summarising discussions) with peer and facilitator feedback. Students have the option of submitting group exercises and to receive short individualised feedback and the whole group has feedback on common issues, both in terms of knowledge and skills for future learning.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A critical understanding of the conceptual frameworks of childhood, rights and children┬┐s rights
  2. Be able to evaluate the congruence between the UK (and particularly Scottish) legislation, policy and practice and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  3. Have developed skills in accessing, using and critically analysing key policy resources (e.g. legislation, Government reports and guidance, research and statistics)
  4. Offer insights and solutions to current policy and practice dilemmas for implementing children┬┐s rights
  5. Work with others in active group learning, to critically review and consolidate knowledge and develop new thinking
Reading List
Bragg, S. and Kehily, M. (eds) (2013) Children and young people's cultural worlds, 2nd Edition, Bristol: Policy Press/ Open University.
Clark, A. (ed) (2013) Childhoods in Context, 2nd Edition, Bristol: Policy Press/ Open University.
Cleland, A. and Sutherland, E. (2009) Children's Rights in Scotland, 3rd Edition, Edinburgh: W. Greens.
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. UN Convention
James, A. and James, A. (2008) Key Concepts in Childhood Studies, London: Sage.
Kehily, M. (ed) (2013) Understanding childhood: a cross-disciplinary approach, 2nd Edition, Bristol: Policy Press/ Open University.
Montgomery, H. (ed) (2013) Local childhoods, global issues, 2nd Edition, Bristol: Policy Press/ Open University.
Vanderhole, W., Desmet, E., Reynaert, D. and Lembrechts, S. (eds) (2015) Routledge International Handbook for Children's Rights Studies, London: Routledge
Wells, K. (2015) Childhood in a Global Perspective, 2nd Edition, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and Enquiry

- be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them
- be ready to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
- be able to critically assess existing understanding and the limitations of their own knowledge and recognise the need to regularly challenge all knowledge
- search for, evaluate and use information to develop their knowledge and understanding
- have an informed respect for the principles, methods, standards, values and boundaries of their discipline(s) and the capacity to question these
- understand economic, legal, social, cultural and environmental issues in the use of information

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy

- be open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
- be creative and imaginative thinkers
- be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
- be able to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought, taking into account ethical and professional issues
- be able to use collaboration and debate effectively to test, modify and strengthen their own views


- make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding
- use communication as a tool for collaborating and relating to others
- further their own learning through effective use of the full range of communication approaches

Personal Effectiveness

- be able to manage risk while initiating and managing change
- be responsive to their changing surroundings, being both flexible and proactive
- have the confidence to make decisions based on their understandings and their personal and intellectual autonomy
- be able to flexibly transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from one context to another
- understand social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities and issues
- work with, manage, and lead others in ways that value their diversity and equality and that encourage their contribution to the organisation and the wider community
Keywordschildren's rights,concepts of childhood,UNCRC
Course organiserMs Laura Wright
Course secretaryMiss Gabriella Szel
Tel: (0131 6)51 4906
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