MA Child Studies King’s College London

MA Child Studies King’s College London

 Background to the programme

Established in 1997, the Child Studies MA programme was in part a response to calls for greater interdisciplinary training for professionals working with children and young people. The coherent and multidisciplinary curriculum recognises children’s rights and the complexity and inter-dependence of issues confronting modern child and family policy. The programme promotes an academically rigorous approach to policy and practice in this fast developing area.

 Programme aims and objectives

The programme aims to enable its students to develop a multidisciplinary and holistic approach to work with children and young people. Students will develop a core knowledge of childhood issues from a variety of perspectives. The programme brings together students from a variety of disciplines in order to:

  • consider a broad spectrum of childhood issues together, within the context of current and recent policy developments
  • acquire an understanding of different disciplines, including medicine, education, law, psychology and social work
  • consider current law, policy and practice in relation to children from a children’s rights perspective
  • promote multi-agency and interdisciplinary practice in child protection.


The programme is based at the Waterloo Campus, close to the amenities of Covent Garden and the West End. Students have the opportunity to develop their knowledge through field trips to a baby unit and family and youth court settings.

 Programme structure

The programme may be taken part-time (over two years) or full-time (over one year).

The taught element

There are currently three taught modules covering the following areas:

  • Children’s Rights, including in relation to medical treatment, youth justice, education and immigration.
  • Child Health and Development including emotional and psychological development, mental health and education.
  • Child Protection, including poverty and social exclusion, domestic violence, child maltreatment, child protection proceedings and permanency planning.
  • In addition, in 2011-12 we intend to offer the module Global Childhoods which would include global social, cultural and political constructions of childhood, child well-being and inequalities and issues affecting children internationally.

 Each taught module is assessed by an essay from a choice of titles, enabling students to focus on an area of particular interest or relevance whilst still benefiting from the breadth of the curriculum. An open book examination covers material from the taught modules in a format of particular relevance to direct work with children and young people. Students may be able to substitute credits from other M-level programmes for the examination  in certain circumstances. Students who have gained 120 credits or 60 credits may exit the programme with a PG Diploma or PG Certificate respectively.


Speakers include senior policy makers, academics, practitioners and service users. Speakers come from a variety of disciplines including social policy, law, medicine, education and sociology. Students gain the opportunity to explore areas of possible overlap and tension between the different disciplines and perspectives covered.

 The dissertation element

Students may choose their own topic for the dissertation, provided it is concerned with the welfare of children and adopts a multidisciplinary approach.

 Who should apply

Students are commonly professionals or academics involved in social work, child care law, child health and education, children’s advocacy, youth justice, psychology and social

policy. The course is also suitable for graduates who wish to pursue a specialism in these areas. Students should be graduates in a relevant discipline and/or have a substantial professional experience in a related field. With the exception of Global Childhoods, the programme has as its context UK law and policy. Overseas students, however, will be able to apply much of the expertise gained on the programme in their own country.


The course attracts Law Society CPD points and is also approved under the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health CPD scheme.

 Programme Director

Jenny Driscoll BA (Cantab), MA (London), MSc (Surrey) Barrister

 Dr Chris Abbott

Reader in e-inclusion

 Dr Ann Lorek FRCPCH,

MSc (London)

Consultant Community Paediatrician

 Professor Meg Maguire

Professor of Sociology of Education

 Course Consultants

Professor Jane Fortin LLB

Professor of Law, University of Sussex

 Emeritus Professor Euan Ross MD


 For further information

Ben Day

Senior Teaching Programme Officer

Department of Education &

Professional Studies

King’s College London

Room 1/15

Franklin-Wilkins Building

(Waterloo Bridge Wing)

Waterloo Road

London SE1 9NH

Tel 020 7848 3725

Fax 020 7848 3182

To apply visit:

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