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MA Childhood Studies

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RS2725 Open Day (5) (2)
Institution code: 

Full-time: One year

Part-time: Two or Three years

This course starts in September.

Typical Offer: 

Qualifications and management experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Please see Entry Requirements below.


MA Childhood Studies is a taught Masters programme which takes an informed and critical approach to the academic study of childhood studies and is underpinned by a children’s rights approach. This programme would be of interest to undergraduates looking to progress to the postgraduate level and professionals interested in specialised or advanced study of childhood. 

The MA Childhood Studies is an interdisciplinary course with a strong emphasis in the social sciences, including perspectives drawn from sociology, history, English, social policy and anthropology. The course is informed by the United National Rights of the Child (UNCRC) framework and is committed to a child-centred philosophy. Modules will reflect on the principles of protecting the rights and interests of children and young people, and the increasing importance of their participation in these discussions. This curriculum is continually updated and developed to reflect the changing landscape of childhood studies. 

Career Opportunities

The curriculum encourages students to develop their own interests and professional practice through the dynamic study of childhood. This postgraduate programme supplements a BA (Hons) degree and provides an advanced understanding of current, and challenging issues facing practitioners, including good practices for diversity and inclusion, body image issues, trauma and risk, and social justice. In the current move towards evidence-based practices, the research skills gained through this degree will help to enhance your career prospects and give you the leading edge on current practice. A postgraduate degree can help you advance to work on an international level for governmental agencies and public bodies or to take up a leadership position within your current workplace. A postgraduate degree also gives you advanced research methods training needed for further study, such as a PhD or other advanced training programmes, including counselling and social work.

Whether you want develop niche expertise or refine analytical or research skills, this course will give you the ability to demonstrate self-direction, autonomy, and it will provide an up-to-date, in-depth knowledge of social policies affecting children and families. 


Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This degree uses a flexible, blended approach, so face-to-face lectures, seminars, and tutorial support are complemented by online resources, interactive learning tools, and self-study materials. All modules are designed to offer students a shared learning experience with other students and module tutors while remaining flexible to demands of everyday life. Additionally, the course team incorporate a wide variety of assessment strategies, which may include formats such as essays and reports, critical reviews and commentaries, informed discussion and debate, analytical exercises, individual or group presentations, and project-based or work-experience reflections. In the final stages of your degree, you also have the opportunity to conduct a small-scale final project with the support and guidance of experienced supervisors who are experts in their field. All taught sessions take place at our main campus in Ipswich and online materials are made available through the online learning environment, Brightspace. 


Course Aims

  • To offer an innovative, dynamic and flexible programme that critically considers developments in the academic study of childhood and the changing contexts of childhood in a globalised world.  

  • To critically explore the cultural and social constructions of childhood and the implications that they have had and continue to have on children's everyday lives. 

  • To advance students knowledge of the complexity of understanding the relationship between children's rights, the ideologies and responsibilities for welfare and the lived realities of children's diverse experiences. 

  • To provide a robust theoretical framework for students to develop an integrated and critically aware understanding of childhood studies and to cultivate a critical and analytical approach to contemporary methodological advances in childhood research. 

  • To develop in students a range of intellectual skills reflecting both the ethos of lifelong learning and the rigour required at Masters level, a high level of student autonomy and self-direction in order to facilitate the student to demonstrate initiative, originality alongside integrity and ethical judgement in their advanced scholarship and to become influential and effective specialists in the field of childhood studies.

Funding Opportunities

1. Alumni Postgraduate Loyalty Scheme

If you are a University of Suffolk alumni, you can apply to receive a loyalty discount. For more information about eligibility criteria, please see our webpages.

2. Government Loan Scheme

The government offers a loan scheme which supplies up to £10,000 for eligible students. For more information about the loan, see our webpages.

 3. Alternative Guide to Funding online

The University of Suffolk subscribes to the Alternative Guide to postgraduate Funding Online which is all about alternative sources of funding especially charities which can make awards (fees, maintenance, research costs) to any student regardless of subject or nationality. This is free for all students and staff to use. If you are a prospective student who has applied to us, please email the Graduate School at to get a Prospective student Access PIN. 

4. Research Council Funding and Societies

The main investors in UK postgraduate study, research councils support students in a range of disciplines. Made up of seven grant awarding bodies, Research Councils UK invests £3 billion into research each year. The seven grant-awarding research councils are:

5. Professional and Career Development loans
A professional and Career Development Loan is a commercial bank loan that you can use to help pay for work-related learning. The University of Suffolk is a professional and career development loans registered learning provider, registration number 20055. For further information on financial assistance to support your learning, contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.

6. Prospects
This database contains information on funding opportunities available through outside organisations.

7. Scholarship Search
This database contains information on funding opportunities available through outside organisations.

8. Postgrad Solutions Bursaries
Postgrad Solutions Ltd is offering Postgraduate Study bursaries. Each bursary is worth £500 and they are open to students from anywhere in the world. 

Course modules

Taught modules run from September to June, and the summer is used for independent study and research. Taught sessions take place on Saturdays at University of Suffolk main campus in Ipswich, leaving the rest of the week for independent study and work experience. To attain the full MA, you will need 180 credits, for the PgDip 120 credits, and for the PgCert 60 credits.

The course has three essential, core modules and a number of optional modules. Core modules include:

  • Making Children: The Social Construction of Childhood since 1870 (20 credits)
  • Critical Perspectives in Childhood Studies (20 credits)
  • Research Methods (20 credits) 
  • Dissertation (60 credits) 

You then can select three optional modules. The following is a list of our optional modules for the 2021-2022 academic year:

  • Empowering Looked After Children (20 credits)
  • Globalisation, Social Justice and Children’s Rights (20 credits)
  • Children’s Literature: Through the Looking Glass (20 credits)
  • The Time of their Lives? Childhood and Risk in the British Empire since 1800 (20 credits)
  • Creative Arts in Childhood Studies (20 credits)
  • Systematic Review Methodology (20 credits)

A full-time student can expect to study 120 credits from September to June and undertake their dissertation in the summer term. A part-time student will take either 40, 60, or 80 credits per year as taught modules, and finish their dissertation after all taught modules are completed.

If you have further questions about the content of modules or would like to see a draft timetable, please get in touch with the course leader, Maureen Haaker. 

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record


Fees and finance


    • UK full-time tuition fee: £8,496 p.a.
    • UK part-time tuition fee: £944 per 20 credits (please contact the Student Centre for further information)
    • International tuition fee: £12,996 p.a.

    Further Information

    At the University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for.

    * 2022-23 tuition fees are subject to change in line with inflation, or a government change in the fee cap.

    Entry requirements




    Course Leader in MA Childhood Studies and Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies

    Associate Professor

    Head of the Graduate School and Associate Professor of Social Policy specialising in childhood studies

    Visiting Senior Fellow in Childhood Studies

    Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies (Sociology)

    Visiting Senior Fellow in Childhood Studies