Childhood Studies MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons)
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£11,250 (Total)
International fees
£24,500 (Total)

Course overview

Teacher with young students

This innovative MA in Childhood Studies offers a unique sociological focus seeking to understand the lives of children and young people in different social, cultural, participatory and geographical contexts. Drawing on the new social studies of childhood and youth, the course enables you to develop a holistic understanding of children and young people and their everyday lives.

Modules have been developed using the theory and history of Childhood Studies, the practice and research experience of staff who teach on the course and the latest research in the field. Core modules will give you a sound knowledge of concepts and approaches in the study of childhood, but you’ll also be able to choose optional modules to suit your interests and career aspirations.

Research Insight

MA Childhood Studies is taught in collaboration with the Centre for Inclusion, Childhood and Youth, bringing together researchers from across the University who have an interest in research with children and young people. We have a particular focus on participatory research methods with children and young people, which underpins all areas of our research and teaching.

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Course details

From the beginning of the course, you’ll develop your understanding of children’s everyday lives through a core module focusing on how we theorise childhood and youth and the impact this has on children, policy and practice in different contexts.

You’ll also learn more about undertaking research with children and young people, gaining the skills and knowledge to conduct research in a range of different settings.

You’ll choose one or two optional modules directly related to childhood studies from the range we offer. If you decide to take only one, you’ll choose another module from the School of Education to suit your interests and career plans.

Throughout the course, you’ll build your research skills and gain a broad base of knowledge, which will be applied in your dissertation when you complete an independent piece of research on a related topic of your choice.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Childhood Studies MA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Dissertation 60
Theorizing Childhood and Youth 30
Research with Children and Young People 30
Plus at least 30 credits from the following modules:
Child poverty and well-being 30
Children's family and personal relationships 30

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Students who are not studying 180 credits from the above may study 30 credits from the below modules:

Module Name Credits
Creative Inquiry, Communication and Learning 30
Directed Study in Education 1 30
Directed Study in Education 2 30
Digital Education in Practice 30
Designing Digital Education 30
Special Educational Needs: Inclusive Curriculum 30
Developmental Disorders II: Attention Deficit Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder 30
Teaching Languages to Young Learners 30

Learning and teaching

We use a range of learning and teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, online learning and workshops that allow you to discuss in more depth the issues arising from the course readings and content. However, independent study is also an important element of the degree, allowing you to pursue your own interests and develop your skills.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


The modules on this course are assessed through a variety of assessment formats, including but not limited to essays, individual and group presentations.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree (hons) with a 2:1 or non-UK equivalent in a relevant subject. We will consider applicants with alternative qualifications and experience on an individual basis.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

Please note that meeting the entry requirements of this course doesn't guarantee an offer of a place.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read  Language for Education (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Education (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

International – Friday 28 June 2024

UK – Friday 16 August 2024

If you intend to apply for funding, you should submit an application for a place on your chosen course at least one month before any specific scholarship deadline.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Documents and information we will need include:

  • Original or certified copies of your transcripts

  • Original or certified copies of your degree certificate

  • Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if English is not your first language)

Please note that you may need a DBS or background check for this course. While it is not an entry requirement, you will only need to have a DBS or background check if you would like to conduct research with children and young people as part of your research project in semester two. To find out more, please visit the section on administrative fees on our Additional Costs page. If you are an international applicant, please also check the process of applying for a background check in your home country before coming to Leeds.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Education

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Postgraduate Admissions



UK: £11,250 (Total)

International: £24,500 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School of Education offers a number of scholarships each year. Find out more on the School's scholarships page.

Career opportunities

The MA Childhood Studies course has been designed to meet the needs of both international and UK students of childhood and youth, including practitioners who intend to work with children in educational, social, health or Non-Governmental Organisational settings. It will also enable you to pursue an academic career: for example, future doctoral study in education, social policy or sociology.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.