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MScChild & Youth Care Studies (distance learning)

Why this course?

This programme is aimed at students with an interest in developing positive strategies for affirming and developing the professional identity of child and youth care practice. Developed in partnership with the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS), it has a fresh, engaging curriculum that draws from a variety of disciplines and approaches including child and youth care, social pedagogy, sociology, psychology, health, education, social work and social policy.

Students will develop a theoretically informed, practice-based understanding of issues related to the social, political and cultural contexts of children and youth.

The programme considers and examines theoretical and policy contexts, child development in the lifespace, critical reflection, relational practice, management and leadership, intervention methods and research methods.

The role of the state, non-governmental agencies and private organisations in the provision of child welfare services will be examined along with the internationalisation of child welfare policy through developments such as the UNCRC. A range of approaches and traditions of child care practice will be considered, including child and youth care, social pedagogy, residential child care and social work.

How is the course delivered?

The programme is delivered entirely online with no physical attendance requirement. Classes involve a range of individual tasks – directed reading, podcasts, forum boards – in addition to one live online session per week where the student group participate in an online seminar.

What you'll study

The course is made up of different modules and you’re expected to complete the six taught modules followed by a practice-based dissertation.

Core modules include:

  • Theoretical & Policy Contexts
  • Child Development in the Lifespace
  • Critical Reflection & Relational Practice
  • Management & Leadership
  • Interventions
  • Research Methods

There are specific learning outcomes for each module. On successful completion of the programme, students will be able to demonstrate the following overall learning outcomes:

  • critically analyse a body of knowledge and literature on child and youth care and other related disciplines, incorporating a variety of international perspectives
  • demonstrate a critical awareness of diverse international and ideological perspectives to child care and models of service delivery and to critique these accordingly
  • demonstrate a critical awareness of both the positive contributions and limitations of these international and ideological perspectives whilst still demonstrating an understanding of the distinctive elements of child and youth care practice
  • begin to develop strategies for affirming and seeking to develop the professional identity of child and youth care
  • locate child care and development with an ecological framework which takes into account individual, systemic and cultural influences
  • consider the ‘lifespace’ (the living environment as experienced by children and youth) as an arena for therapeutic intervention
  • demonstrate research mindedness and critical thinking as well as an ability to critique literature, research and social policy developments
  • draw upon practice knowledge in a critical and theoretically informed manner in order to generate academic knowledge

Research project

You’ll carry out a research dissertation in a subject area of your choice. We'll allocate a supervisor for one-to-one support whilst you carry out and report your dissertation.

Professional recognition

We are members of The Child & Youth Care Accreditation Board of Canada (CYCEAB) and sit on the CYCEAB Research Committee and the CYCEAB Education Committee.

Computer & software access

You will require regular access to a reliable computer with sufficient processing capability and an excellent broadband connection. Your computer must have a recent version of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office or Open Office. It should also be enabled for pop-ups.

We’ll communicate with you by e-mail and via the University's Virtual Learning Environment. Please make sure you can use the following programs:

  • Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint or a compatible program, eg OpenOffice
  • an e-mail program compatible with Microsoft software. We recommend Outlook
  • Adobe Connect
  • WinZip or the ability to un-zip files and folders
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Windows Media Player

Teaching staff

Course content

Compulsory classes

Globalised Childhood: Theoretical & Policy Contexts

The aim of this class is for you to be able to develop an understanding of the approaches underpinning child and youth care.  You'll be able to critically review the historical and current discourses which influence the nature of child and youth care services in their own country and elsewhere.

In charting the development of child and youth care, you should be able to draw links between the nature of provision and prevailing socio-political and cultural factors including, where relevant, legislation and social policy. The global adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) will be examined and its influence on child care practice globally critically analysed.

Child Development in the Lifespace

The aim of this class is for you to critically analyse how your understanding of child development helps you to understand children and inform their practice. You'll explore and critique key research and theories of child development and childhood to support a developmental orientation that informs your understanding and assessment of children and youth.

The impact of disability, adversity, disadvantage, discrimination, abuse, separation, grief and loss will all be considered as well as the skills involved in observing, assessing and understanding children and youth in their lifespaces.

Management & Leadership

The aim of this class is provide you with a critical understanding of the key concepts of management and leadership and their importance in creating and maintaining effective therapeutic child and youth care environments.

The importance of organisational culture will be explored alongside an analysis of the key managerial and leadership qualities, emotional intelligence and empathy, which are necessary to promote the growth and development of individuals and teams.

Critical Reflection & Relational Practice

The aim of this class is to encourage you to critically evaluate your interactions with children and youth with a view to developing and enhancing skills in the area of relational practice.

You'll engage with Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) and Video Enhanced Reflective Practice (VERP) as a means to develop your ability to critically reflect upon your communication skills and use of self in addition to improving your self-awareness and practice in a manner where you model and demonstrate reflexivity.

Interventions

The aim of this class is to encourage you to evaluate interventions with children and youth across a range of child and youth practice areas with a view to you developing effective practice and programmes of intervention.

There will be an examination of the components of effective therapeutic milieu and programmes, and you'll be encouraged to consider a specific intervention or change that you implement in the workplace.

Research Methods

The aim of this class is to encourage you to be research minded, and provide you with an understanding of the nature, characteristics and ethical considerations involved in research in child and youth care.

In doing this, you'll develop a critical understanding of the philosophical and methodological aspects of carrying out research with children and youth.

Masters Research Project

This is a substantial independent study class which forms the final, compulsory, element in the MSc in Child and Youth Care Studies by Distance Learning programme.

It involves carrying out an investigative and developmental programme of work which is of professional relevance to you. This will be assessed on the basis of a dissertation of approximately 15,000 words. The work enables and obliges you to draw on the skills and insights acquired in the taught element of the Masters programme.

Learning & teaching

The programme is delivered entirely online with no attendance required.

Modules involve a range of individual and group tasks in addition to live online sessions where the student group will participate in online seminars.

You’ll require:

  • access to a reliable computer with sufficient processing capability
  • an excellent broadband connection
  • the ability to run applications such as Adobe Connect, Adobe Reader, Flash Player, Java and Windows Media Player

Entry requirements

To be eligible for this course you require a first degree or relevant professional qualification, or a combination of qualifications and experience demonstrating capacity for postgraduate study.

You’ll also require sufficient access to child care settings through which you can evidence programme and practice requirements. This will involve you working or volunteering in a child care setting either part or full-time throughout the duration of the programme.

The course assessments will require you to:

  • analyse and reflect upon agency policy of your workplace/employer
  • undertake a case study assessment of a child or youth you are working with or have worked with
  • analyse and reflect upon issues of leadership and management in your agency
  • video yourself in practice with a child or youth and/or work colleague for the purpose of reflecting upon your communication skills and relational practice
  • plan and implement a possible intervention modification within your agency
  • plan and undertake a research project relevant to your agency/workplace

These requirements are designed in a way that makes the course accessible to everyone working in a child care setting. They are also broad enough to allow those in external management, supervisory and training/education positions to do so.

The course is not suitable for anyone not currently working, volunteering or connected to a child care setting. Evidencing this requirement will form part of the application process. 

International students

English language requirements

You're required to have a suitable minimum level of competency in the English language if your first language is not English or if you have not been educated wholly or mainly in the medium of English.

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (no individual test score below 6.0) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigrations (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Visa and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English requirements before making your application.

Fees & funding

2019/20

The tuition fee is for the entire programme and not a yearly payment.

Scotland/EU

  • £6,500

Rest of UK

  • £6,500

International

  • £6,500

How can I fund my course?

Check our Scholarship Search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England can apply for Postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Postgraduate students starting in 2017 who are ordinarily resident in Wales can apply for support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. We are waiting on further information being released about this support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students starting in 2017 who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland can apply for support from Student Finance NI. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. We are waiting on further information being released about this support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

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Child and Youth Care Studies

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Aug 2020, Mode of delivery: distance learning, part-time

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