Postgraduate Course

MA Childhood Studies

MA Childhood Studies

Overview

The details
Childhood Studies
October 2021
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

Our MA Childhood Studies offers a unique psychosocial focus, seeking to understand not only the outer social experience of children but also their complex inner, emotional worlds.

Building upon our existing expertise in postgraduate courses like refugee care, psychoanalytic studies and psychodynamic counselling, this programme offers much more than you would find in other MA Childhood Studies courses.

Our inherently interdisciplinary programme is rooted in psychosocial, sociological and psychodynamic approaches. Drawing on the history of Childhood Studies and the best contemporary research, including the excellent research and practice experience of our academics, modules will explore a variety of subjects, including:

  • Families and peer relationships
  • Emotions and the inner worlds of children
  • Education
  • The role of play and leisure
  • Generation and intergenerational relationships
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Cross-cultural experiences of childhood
  • Children, popular culture and literature,
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children and the state
  • Ethical research with children and young people
  • Spaces and places of children’s lives
  • Intersectionality

Our MA Childhood Studies programme will equip you for a career in sectors including education, health, international fields such as the charitable sector and NGOs, social care including children’s homes, therapeutic communities and supporting children and their families. This course also acts as a stepping stone to further qualifications in specific professions such as social work or counselling as well as PhD study.

If you’re committed to understanding the child as a whole, incorporating their complex emotional worlds, and want to use this knowledge to improve the experience of children in a variety of settings, welcome home.

Why we're great.
  • Our unique interdisciplinary approach combines psychosocial, sociological and psychodynamic approaches
  • You’ll be taught by lecturers who bring both academic and practical knowledge from years of working with children
  • Close links with health, education and social care services ensures our courses are highly credible
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

Within Childhood Studies, our faculty are specialists in some key research areas, including: childhood geographies; relational and psychosocial approaches to childhood; childhood and popular culture; postcolonial and decolonial theory; critical methodologies for research with children; children's learning and education; feminist and queer theory; child psychoanalysis; YA literature and film; the social history of childhood; and critical race studies. As active writers and researchers, we are on the cutting edge of current trends in our field and publish regularly in leading academic journals like: Children and Society, History of the Human Sciences, Sexualities, Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society, Sociological Research Online, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, and Psychoanalysis and History. Check out three of our recent publications here, here and here.

Our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies is internationally recognised as one of the leading departments for work that focuses on the role of the unconscious mind in mental health, as well as in culture and society generally. Our research and teaching is deeply grounded in the highest standards of academic thinking and derived from clinical practice.

The Department consistently achieves top ten rankings in the UK's research assessments, most recently in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Being located within the UK’s leading university of the study of social sciences means you are surrounded by strong departments that fully support and enhance our work. This allows you to gain the opportunity to work with and be taught by senior clinicians and world-class scholars in their fields.

Specialist facilities

If you are studying within our Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, you will have access to our extensive facilities to aid your learning and research. In particular, our Albert Sloman Library is well stocked with books, journals, electronic resources and major archives relevant to our work and, in addition, we have our own library of specialist books and journals.

Our Centre for Childhood Studies will offer a unique, international experience for students and staff, developing a collegiate research culture that is based on theoretically-applied research, relevant for child-focused academics, clinicians and policymakers. With regular internationally acclaimed speakers, postgraduate students will enhance their theoretical understanding, knowledge, and practical experience with children and young people, being a part of a learning community that is dedicated to the development of cutting edge research.

We hold free evening Open Seminars, which are open to students, staff and members of the public.

Your future

You will develop key employability skills including thinking analytically, evaluation, essay-writing, research methods in psychoanalysis and an understanding of psychoanalytic thinking, applicable to clinical and academic work. Our MA Childhood Studies will equip you for a career in sectors including education, health, international fields such as the charitable sector and NGOs, social care including children’s homes, therapeutic communities and supporting children and their families. This course also acts as a stepping stone to further qualifications in specific professions such as social work or counselling as well as PhD study.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 degree or equivalent.

With your online application you must submit a personal statement; this should detail the reasons for wanting to study the course, including any relevant experience (work or voluntary) that may support your application.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Course structure

Our MA Childhood Studies example course structure is still being finalised. We will update this information when the course and its modules have final approval.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Critical Debates in Childhood and Childhood Studies
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Research with Children and Young People
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Children’s Emotional Worlds
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Geographies of Childhood and Youth
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

The Queer Child
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Relational Childhoods
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 07: CORE

Dissertation - Childhood Studies
(60 CREDITS)

Teaching

  • Teaching takes place in relatively small seminars and fora, with a focus on group discussion
  • You also have a personal tutor who advises you about your work on an individual basis

Assessment

  • For most modules, assessment is by coursework only, typically an essay of between 3,000-5,000 words

Dissertation

  • You develop a dissertation of 12,000 words, in which you define and research into an area of special interest to you
  • We provide you with advice and guidance on researching and writing your dissertation
  • Your dissertation is submitted mid-September in your final year of study

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£8,760

International fee

£18,800

EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2021 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 18, 2021
  • Saturday, October 23, 2021

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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