Doctorate in Childhood Studies (DChild)

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Key Programme Information

Entry Year


Programme length *

4 year(s)

Places available





Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

* Normally 4-8 years


The Doctorate in Childhood Studies (DChild) aims to enable experienced professionals working with children and/or young people to build on their professional expertise by developing skills in critical analysis, writing, research, evaluation and evidence-informed practice.

Why Queen's?

The Professional Doctorate in Childhood Studies is part-time and is tailored to the needs of a diverse range of professionals and is delivered through interactive and innovative methods including electronic resources, online discussion forums and, in the near future, podcasts.

The modules are delivered in the University's Postgraduate Centre at the Graduate School. It is possible for students to undertake pathways through taught modules that have an emphasis on child care/child protection; children and education; and children/young people and youth justice.

Students can avail of additional specialist training courses and opportunities for networking that are offered by the postgraduate centre and other events run at Queen’s University Belfast.

Course Details

Students are required to take eight taught modules, five of which are core and three of which are chosen from a menu of options, plus a research thesis.

The five core modules are:

  • SOC9031: Psychological Approaches to Researching Childhood (30 CATS) 1 x 5,000 word assignment
  • SOC9030: Sociological Approaches to Understanding Children and Childhood (30 CATS) 1x 5,000 word assignment
  • EDD9029: Quantitative Research: Methods, Data and Theory (30 CATS) 1 x 5,000 research project
  • EDD9030: Qualitative Research: Methods, Data and Theory (30 CATS) 1 x 5,000 assignment
  • EDD9064: Children’s Rights: Research and Practice (30 CATS) 1 x 5,000 assignment

The optional modules include:

  • SOC9035: Childhood, Rights and Justice (30 CATS) 1 x 5,000 word assignment
  • EDD9058: Researching Children and Young People in Educational Settings (30 CATS) 1 x 5,000 word assignment
  • SOC9044: Youth and Social Justice (20 CATS) commentary 500 words, 1 x 3,500 assignment
  • SOC9045: Youth Justice: Theory, Law and Practice (20 CATS)commentary 500 words, 1 x 3, 500 assignment
  • EDD9031: The Professional as Researcher (30 CATS) 1 x5,000 word assignment
  • EDD9065: Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood (30 CATS) 1 x 5,000 word assignment

This programme involves cross-School collaboration and a multi-disciplinary suite of optional modules. The modules are designed to ensure that students acquire interdisciplinary, theoretical and methodological research knowledge within the field of Childhood Studies. Different options are available in each year. The above list is indicative and not prescriptive.

Assessment & Feedback

Comprises a mixure of assignments, completion of on line commentaries and audits of professional practice.

Learning and Teaching

Morning and Afternoon

Additional Teaching Information

You will complete the programme on a part-time basis using our e-learning suite of materials which includes access to an on line discussion forum. The teaching per module is delivered intensively over a two and half day period from Thursday morning to Saturday lunchtime inclusive.

Modules are delivered in Spring and Autumn each year. Each module is taught in the splendid surroundings of the newly renovated Graduate School which provides world-class graduate education.

Contact Teaching Hours per Week

3 hours per week x 10 weeks = 30 contact hours for 30 CATS module plus additional sefl directed study

Indicative Number of Modules per Semester

2 modules

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold a primary degree (normally 2.1 Honours or above) or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University and a Masters degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Evidence of these qualifications must be presented at the time of application.

Performance profiles (grades etc) may also be required to ensure suitability of the applicant for Doctoral study. Applicants will be asked to attend for interview. Applicants will normally be expected to have at least five years' full-time professional experience at a senior level in a field of work related to children, young people and their families. Participants who have been accepted on to the DChild programme will be required to enrol and attend an induction session prior to their first module.

Please note: The closing date for applications to this programme is Tuesday 1st August 2017 at 4pm. Applications received after the closing date will be regarded as LATE and will be considered only if vacancies exist when all applications received by the closing date have been processed.

International Qualifications
For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

Additional Information for International Students

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offer a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this programme. Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English



How To Apply

Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

School Postgraduate Office
School of Social Sciences, education and social work
Tel: 028 9097 3082
Email: pgsoc@qub.ac.uk
WWW: https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ssesw/

How To Apply

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

Students who register on the professional doctorate programme are employed in senior management positions in the fields of social work, social care, social science research, education and youth justice in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the UK and internationally.

Obtaining the professional doctorate has enabled candidates to secure addional repsonsbiliities in existing posts and to move to new posts. For others the doctorate has been instrumental in securing their permanent postion and/or enhancing their promotion within their organisation

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

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Fees & Funding

There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

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For tuition fee information see www.qub.ac.uk/Study/PostgraduateStudy/TuitionFees/

Postgraduate loans
From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

For fees and funding information please see the University's Graduate School website.


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