This programme meets the increasing demand for a postgraduate qualification in Children's Rights, explicitly focused on interdisciplinary research and child rights-based research methods.
The programme aims to provide high-level knowledge and skills in children's rights law and practice of value to those working with and for children, including public officials and NGOs as well as educators, social workers and health care providers.
The programme will develop your expertise in two distinct but interconnected areas:
Children's Rights - using the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant international standards to evaluate the laws, policies and practices which affect children
Research with Children - evaluating the best methods of conducting research into children's lives with a particular focus on approaches which involve children actively in the research process.
The course will provide you with a thorough grounding in these two areas and the opportunity to explore a range of contexts in which these perspectives can be used to better understand children’s lives and secure improved outcomes for children.
Children's Rights highlights
Our educational research has been ranked 4th within the UK in relation to research intensity with 87% assessed as ‘internationally excellent or world leading’ (REF, 2014).
- We have extensive links with local and international NGOs and can provide some opportunities for students to undertake relevant research. This may be of particular interest if you want to gain experience in the children’s sector, perhaps to secure a job or to change position.
Internationally Renowned Experts
- This programme is linked to the Centre for Children's Rights (CCR), which has an international reputation in the area of children's rights with a focus on the implementation of children's rights, child participation, education, social care and the children with disabilities.
The CCR has a vibrant community of PhD students undertaking research in a range of issues and in several countries.
- The programme features input from leading international Children's Rights scholars at Queen's and from around the world.
- The programme has been designed to enable students to pursue individual interests and to maximise the range of modules available to students.
- The programme is designed for those working, or wishing to work with or for, children and is delivered via blended and online learning.
- Credit transfer Students who have completed other Master’s-level awards, eg PGCE, within the last 10 years are eligible to transfer credit.
This MSc is part of a suite of three programmes in childhood studies offered by the University. There are two short compulsory modules (10 CATS) which run across all three programmes and which provide students with an initial opportunity to consider these disciplinary perspectives and to work with students and staff from these areas.
The MSc is awarded to students who successfully complete 120 CATS points from the taught modules and a 15,000-20,000 word dissertation (60 CATS points).
Exit qualifications are available: students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma by successfully completing 120 CATS points from taught modules or a Postgraduate Certificate by successfully completing 60 CATS points from taught modules.
Modules 20 CATS modules generally involve 20 contact hours per semester, 10 CATS modules generally involve 10 contact hours per semester. Contact hours often include a blend of face-to-face lectures/ workshops and online sessions.
An Introduction to Research Methods - 20 CATS
The aim of the module is to provide a general research overview and to contextualise the broad range of approaches and debates that are evident within contemporary educational research. The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the theory and an appreciation of the differing perspectives that underpin quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Students will be introduced to the ethical issues relating to educational research as well as a range of methodological approaches, within which the key theoretical and practical issues will be addressed.
Childhood and Youth Research in Practice - 10 CATS
This is an introductory module brings together students and academic staff from a range of areas to showcase research, highlighting different issues and looking at a variety of projects using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The module will conclude with a workshop on research ethics and governance.
Children’s Rights in Research and Participation - 20 CATS
The module will introduce students to children’s right to participation as enshrined in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It will locate this right within the broader critical and theoretical discourse on children’s participation and the perceived extent and limits of children’s autonomy. The module will contextualise the right by drawing on children’s right to participate in decision making processes in relation to, for example, policymaking, medical decisions, and research processes. It will also explore how effective the right to participation is for different groups of children such as young children, children with disabilities.
Foundations of Children’s Rights - 20 CATS
This module will introduce students to international children's rights laws affecting children, with a particular focus on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It will locate children’s rights within the broader framework of human rights law and introduce the core provisions of international children's rights, emphasising the research skills used to identify and understand major human rights treaties and secondary documentation. It will explain the fundamental principles of children's rights and their implementation and introduce theory and ongoing debates in the field, such as the limits of children's autonomy and the potential tensions between children’s rights and parents’ rights.
Perspectives on Childhood and Youth - 10 CATS
This is an introductory module brings together students and academic staff from a range of areas to familiarise students with diverse disciplinary perspectives on children and young people. Indicative content includes: the sociology of childhood; youth studies; psychobiological approaches; children’s rights; health approaches and interventions.
Dissertation – 60 CATS (20,000 words max.)
A range of optional modules enables you to choose further research methods modules and a range of substantive children’s rights modules including issues such as social work, disability, education and philosophical perspectives. For example, students can take modules on:
Youth and Social Justice - 20 CATS
Childhood Disability and Rights - 20 CATS
Qualitative Research in Childhood and Youth - 10 CATS
Economic Impact of Childhood Interventions - 10 CATS
In addition, you may choose modules from the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the School of Psychology.
People teaching you
There is increasing demand for high-level skills in interdisciplinary research, participatory research methods and knowledge of children's rights. Professionals within children/human rights-focused NGOs, public officials, educators, social workers and health professionals who work with children should find this degree beneficial. The MSc is a good foundation for students wishing to pursue their own research through doctoral study.
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 help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
Learning and Teaching
Learning opportunities available with this course are outlined below:
Learning and Teaching Methods
A combination of face-to-face sessions and online learning formats.
Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
There are no written examinations. A variety of assessment methods will be used including assignments, online tests and participation in workshops. Students will have the option of undertaking research work for external organisations to submit as part of their dissertation.
The Graduate School
The School is located within a recently renovated building, with state of the art teaching and learning facilities, together with dedicated student space including a large student common room. The teaching facilities enable an interactive learning environment.
A 2.1 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in any subject discipline.
Applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may also be considered if they have at least two years of professional experience in an education, training or relevant context.
Closing date for applications: Friday 31st July 2020 at 4pm.
Late applications may be considered.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
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.
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.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: 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.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) £6,140 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) £6,900 Other (non-UK) EU £6,140 International £16,900
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2020-21. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Children's Rights costs
Students who choose to conduct dissertation research in Northern Ireland, involving participants under the age of 18 or vulnerable adults, will be required to undergo an Enhanced Disclosure Check with Access NI costing £33. This cost will be incurred in Year 1 for full time students and in Year 3 for part time students.
How do I fund my study?
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 £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Fees and Funding