Academic research concerning children, youth and international development has advanced considerably in recent years, particularly since the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1989. This research has not, however, been widely disseminated through postgraduate taught courses in the UK. There are also a growing number of professionals working in the field of children, youth and international development, particularly within non-governmental organisations and donor agencies, as well as in government and para-statal organisations in the global South.
This programme is unique within the UK in catering specifically for hose working, or interested in working, in the field of children, youth and international development. Among Masters programmes focusing on children and youth, it is also unusual in its interdisciplinary basis.The course will equip you with the conceptual understanding and breadth of empirical knowledge that will enable you to critically evaluate policy and practice in the area of children, youth and development and give you the skills necessary to design and undertake research relating to children, youth and development.
* International Development, Children and Youth
* Global Agendas on Young People, Rights and Participation
* Researching Children, Childhood and Youth
* Anthropology of Childhood and Youth
* Sociology of Youth and Youth Work
* Contemporary Issues in Youth and Community Work
* Placement Module
The programme combines three core taught modules (accounting for 75 credits) with 45 credits worth of options. The core modules focus on key issues relating to international development, children and youth, and in particular the rights and participation of young people. They also prepare students in research design and practice, in preparation for the dissertation. The core modules also introduce briefly a range of disciplinary perspectives on childhood and youth, and also the concept of interdiciplinarity. The option modules offer a unique opportunity to appreciate in depth how children and youth-related issues are addressed from alternative disciplinary perspectives.
The programme is intended to relate to the needs of organisations working in the field of children, youth and international development. Students will have the opportunity, should they wish, to undertake a sustained project with an external organisation as part of a placement module. This may be an organisation with which they already have links, such as a current of former employer. They may also choose to apply their 60 credit dissertation to the needs of an identified community or organisation.
A range of teaching and learning techniques are employed on the programme, most of which stress the active involvement of students in discussion and debate. The programme also emphasises reflective, independent learning, both by individuals and groups, and students are well supported to achieve this through, for instance, tutorials, workshops and seminar discussions.
Staff place a strong emphasis on tutorial support and monthly tutorials are integrated into core modules. Tutorials focus on the development of study skills (critical reading and writing), careers support, exam and assignment preparation, feedback on assessments and help in developing research proposals.
The programme is also innovative in its interdisciplinarity. Unlike other childhood studies programmes, which are almost exclusively located in a single department and taught from a single disciplinary perspective, the proposed programme draws upon expertise and modules from a range of disciplinary traditions.
The programme is based in the School of Sport and Education, with the core modules delivered primarily, but not exclusively, by members of the Human Geography Research Centre within that School. This Research Centre specialises in geographies of children and young people. However, the MA programme is also a core activity of Brunelís Interdisciplinary Centre for Child and Youth Focused Research, which represents a concentration of over thirty academic staff from across the University whose research interests lie in the broad field of children and youth. Many of the Centreís members conduct research with young people in the global South, from a range of disciplinary perspectives including geography, sociology, anthropology, psychology, health sciences, social work and sport sciences. In both core and specialist option modules, therefore, students will be explicitly exposed to innovative high profile research that relates to the fields of children, youth and international development.
The form of assessment used depends upon the aims of particular modules, but includes essays, exams, oral presentations, debates, poster presentations and reports. Care has been taken to balance the variety of assessment strategies across the degree and to employ methods that will enable students to develop and practise a range of transferable skills.
The course prepares graduates for work in international development NGOs or in government ministries and agencies in developing countries.