The programme can be taken as a one-year master’s degree (60 credits) or a two‑year master’s degree (120 credits). A core focus of the programme is how to apply the latest research findings in order to critically review, develop and improve policies and practices related to children and childhood. The programme further provides the theoretical and methodological tools that prepare students for designing, planning and conducting research in topics that concern children, childhood and families.

The programme is hosted by the internationally renowned research department in Cchild Sstudies at Linköping University, which has conducted research in child and childhood studies since 1988. The teachers on the programme are active researchers, which guarantees that cutting-edge knowledge is presented in all courses.

Broaden and deepen your knowledge

The programme comprises one year (60 credits option) or two years (120 credits option) of full-time study. Both years include a research methods course and a master’s thesis course. This means that you can either finish your studies with a one-year master’s degree or continue to take the second year and obtain a two-year master’s degree.

During the first term, you will be introduced to the interdisciplinary field of child studies with a special focus on historical, anthropological and sociological perspectives. Each of the three courses introduces you to a methodological approach to child studies. You will learn more about how to design and conduct a research study in child studies during the two courses on methodology (terms 2 and 4), which will prepare you for your master’s theses – one in year one and one in year two. For each thesis you will have an individually appointed thesis supervisor.

The remaining courses of the programme are dedicated to various areas in child studies including: children’s rights, parents and the family, education and school, migration, culture, the media, and health. These courses will give you a broad knowledge of questions that concern the lives of children, and they will deepen your knowledge of methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives in child studies.

Meet the world

The Master’s Programme in Child Studies is an international study programme and students on the programme usually have experiences from many different national and cultural contexts. Throughout the programme, students are encouraged to draw on their experiences in discussions and seminars. This will give you the opportunity to exchange ideas about children, childhood and the family in an international forum.

Online and on-campus training

Most of the courses are taught online with the aid of a digital learning platform. Most of the course literature is also accessible on-line through the electronic resources of the LiU library. This allows for some flexibility as to where and when you conduct your studies. The programme has high academic standards, however, and requires full-time study.

In addition to online tuition, the programme comprises five on-campus periods of durations between 2 and 5 days, which are mandatory for all students. The on-campus periods comprise both academic seminars and social activities, during which students get to know each other and the teachers on the programme. This will facilitate online communication throughout the rest of the programme.

The dates for the on-campus periods for students admitted to the programme in 2018 are:

  • August 27-31 2018
  • February 25-28 2019
  • One day for thesis presentations in late May 2018 (date to be announced)
  • February 24-27 2020 (Preliminary dates)
  • One day for thesis presentations in late May 2020 (date to be announced)

Syllabus and course details

The master’s programme in Child Studies is a one/two-year, full-time study programme. Instruction will take place in the form of distance learning online combined with shorter periods of campus-based instruction. Students who wish to complete only one year of the programme will receive a Master’s Degree in Child Studies (60 credits) after having successfully completed all courses of the first and second terms. Successful completion of all courses of the programme’s four semesters gives a student the right to apply for a Master’s Degree in Child Studies (120 credits).

Course details

Semester 1

  • Introduction to Child Studies 7,5 hp
  • Historical Perspectives on Children and Childhood 7,5 hp
  • Anthropological Perspectives on Children and Childhood 7,5 hp
  • Sociological Perspectives on Children and Childhood 7,5 hp

Semester 2

  • Research Methods in Child Studies 7,5 hp
  • Children´s Rights 7,5 hp
  • Master’s Thesis (one year) 15 hp

Semester 3

  • Children, Parenthood, and Family Life 7,5 hp
  • Children, School and Education 7,5 hp
  • Children, Migration and Transnational Childhoods 7,5 hp
  • Children, Gender, and Sexuality 7,5 hp

Semester 4

  • Research Methods and Epistemology in Child Studies 7,5 hp
  • Children’s Health and Development in a Global World 7,5 hp
  • Master’s Thesis (two year) 15 hp

Career opportunities

Students who complete the master’s programme in Child Studies will be prepared for a career within governmental authorities and companies, or within local organisations, both governmental and non-governmental, whose activities affect children and their living conditions.

Graduates will be equipped with cutting-edge knowledge in issues dealing with children and their living conditions in the fields of, for example, education, politics, and social work and care. They may also follow a career in research or continue their studies towards a doctoral degree.

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Last updated February 25, 2019
This course is Online & Campus Combined
Start Date
Sep 2019
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160,000 SEK
Applies only to students from outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland
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