The Sociology of Childhood and Children's Rights MA will introduce students to a range of contemporary social theories about childhood and children's rights, critically explore social constructions of childhood, and consider the implications these have for professional practice and research with children and young people.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £7,925 (FT) £3,930 (PT)
- £17,190 (FT) £8,470 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
A second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in social science, media or cultural studies, humanities, education or a related field. A similar qualification in another subject is also acceptable if combined with experience in child care, health, education or children's advocacy.
All applicants should preferably have experience of working with and for children.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
This programme provides students with the opportunity to gain an understanding of sociological theories and concepts of childhood and children’s rights, including a recognition of the varied childhoods experienced by children in richer and poorer contexts and how these are shifting in a globalising world. It also helps students develop their critical analytical skills and improve their theoretical understanding and professional practice when working with, and for, children.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
- Theories of Childhood and Society
- Children's Rights in Practice
- Social Theory and the Study of Contemporary Social Problems
- Researching Childhood
- Understanding Research
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 20,000 words.
Teaching and learning
Taught modules run in the evenings and/or over a one-week intensive block. Teaching is delivered face-to-face and through lectures, discussions and debates, as well as via analysis of readings, images, and films. (NB the module Social Theory and the Study of Contemporary Problems runs in the afternoon or online.) In addition there are tutorials for essays and dissertation preparation. Participants are encouraged to reflect upon their own experiences and backgrounds in teaching sessions. Each core module is assessed by 5,000-word written assignments.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as international NGO staff, children's charity workers, child advocacy workers and policy advisors. Graduates are also working as teachers and early years practitioners, while others have jobs as university and college lecturers and researchers.
Top career destinations for this degree
- Project Worker, Barnado's
- Research Advocacy Officer, Approach Ltd
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
This MA explores cutting-edge research and theorising about young people's experiences and their social status in varied global contexts. It is unique in its sociological attention to childhood, children's rights, and children and young people's participation in society.
Students are introduced to internationally-renowned academic experts and international children's organisations and have the opportunity to explore their own areas of interest or professional practice.
The MA is based in UCL Social Science which houses three prestigious, research intensive units. Together they provide a foundation for world-leading work in childhood studies, social work, social pedagogy, families and health-related studies with a strong professional dimension.
Department: Social Science
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Social Science
78% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff say
"I often attend networking events, for example the London Transition Network and Participation Works Network for England (PWNE) at City Hall, as well as events for trustees and local government workers. With lectures in the evening, I am able to fit studying around my full-time job."
Lizzie StreeterSociology of Childhood and Human Rights MA
"The imagination, ingenuity and resilience of children and young people inspire me, especially those who have experienced a challenging start to their lives. Exploring children and young people's agency and their perspectives is an interesting area of my field which focuses particularly on the context of social work practice and children in care."
Dean GoddardSociology of Childhood and Human Rights MA
"I have studied childhood before but studying it from a sociological perspective has given me new insights into how much childhood and children's rights is shaped by social, cultural, political and economic forces. The wide variety of students on the programme, in terms of ethnic backgrounds and profession, was something I really valued as it meant that I was able to capture the different perspectives on many of the issues discussed during seminars."
Mildred SiwonikuSociology of Childhood and Human Rights MA
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
This programme is suitable for all those working with children, interested in researching childhood, and/or who are interested in the field of children’s rights, both in the UK and other international contexts. It is especially relevant to those working in children’s services, such as health and education, social care and family policy, youth work, the justice system, international NGOs and advocacy work. It can also lead to doctoral-level study in a dynamic and growing field.
- All applicants
- 31 August 2017
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Sociology of Childhood and Children's Rights at graduate level
- why you want to study Sociology of Childhood and Children's Rights at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.