Child Care Law and Practice - MA, PgDip
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Start date
- October 2021
- Duration of Study
- 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
- Subject Area
- FEES (2021/22 academic year)
- UK - FT £6,000 / PT £6,000 (YR 1 £4,200 - YR 2 £1,800)
- International - £16,000
The MA in Childcare Law and Practice (CCLP) is a popular and successful course. It is a truly unique program, and one of the only courses of its kind currently available in the UK. Interdisciplinary in nature, and predominately taught by staff from within the Law School, the programme draws upon expertise from colleagues within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, in addition to featuring several guest lecturers.
"I have wanted to do this masters course for a long time. So I have stayed interested really from the first time I heard about it. What I have really enjoyed is being back in learning were I feel I got the opportunity to really immerse myself in material that I wouldn't be able to access otherwise."
About the course
The course offers you the opportunity to delve into the complexities of law and social policy regarding children, predominately focusing upon the legal jurisdictions of the United Kingdom. However, you will also gain insights into both international and regional law and the legal and policy frameworks adopted to address children, the role of families, their rights and the global challenges connected thereto.
Our MA is suitable for those who wish to pursue a postgraduate qualification after the completion of their undergraduate studies and to a range of professionals working with either children or adults who wish to improve their skills and knowledge base or wish to study for continuing professional development. The teaching takes places in blocks of study, providing the flexibility for those in employment to study for the MA on a full or part time basis.
The aims of this programme are to introduce key principles of interdisciplinary socio-legal research methods and scholarship, facilitate the development of higher-level critical analysis, and develop the students’ capacity for original thinking in relation to the complex issues arising in socio-legal scholarship. It also aims to promote anti-discriminatory practice, inter-agency understanding and interdisciplinary working.
More specifically, the programme aims to:
- Develop a practical and theoretical understanding of childcare law, policy and practice.
- Encourage interdisciplinarity through the student experience – utilising the expertise of staff to provide a critical and collegiate learning and teaching environment.
- Develop a critical perspective in the assessment and evaluation of research, law scholarship, policy, and practice in childcare law.
- Develop the ability of our students to work independently in a coherent, efficient, and focused manner.
- Provide an opportunity for practitioners to further develop and critically reflect upon their skills as applied to a variety of areas and settings in work with children.
Prospective applicants are very welcome to contact the Programme Director Dr Elizabeth A. Faulkner to discuss the course.
How the Course is taught
The Keele MA in Childcare Law & Practice requires the completion of at least 180 credits, made up of 4 taught modules namely;
- Foundations & Principles of Childcare Law and Practice
- Looked After Children
- Children and Medicine
- Contemporary Issues in Childcare Law and Practice
Each of the modules is worth 30 credits (120 credits) with the option of completing a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words (60 credits) for the MA. Alternatively, students may finish their studies after obtaining the 120 taught credits and obtain a Postgraduate Diploma. Each student is provided with a personal tutor to assist with their studies. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach, exploring childcare law and practice through the lens of law, sociology, socio-legal and children’s rights perspectives.
The programme starts with a two-day induction course, including an MA Training Day prior to the commencement of the programme. The teaching of modules takes place over four intensive three-day blocks between September and May. This structure particularly benefits part-time students who appreciate ‘time out’ in an accessible academic environment. If required, the modules can be undertaken over a period of up to four years for further flexibility. During the research year, students wishing to complete the MA attend one, two-day block, and a further day later in the year followed by supervision of work towards a dissertation. The full course duration is between two and five years. Any student wishing to study one or two modules should contact the School directly.
Core Taught Modules
Module 1 - LAW-40001 - Foundations & Principles of Childcare Law and Practice
Module 2 - LAW-40004 - Contemporary Issues in Childcare Law and Practice
Each module has taught sessions comprised of law, practice, sociology and social policy.
You will choose a further two modules, totalling 60 credits, from those currently being offered. A typical range of modules is:
- Module 3 - LAW-40003 - Children & Medicine
Module 4 - LAW-40003 - Looked After Children
The availability of these and other cross-programme options is dependent upon appropriate staff resources and student demand. There are also individual and group tutorials, occasional seminars and special study days.
Dissertation - 60 credits
You will take additional training on Research Methods and Evaluation to support work on your dissertation. This includes seminars at which you will present your research project. Individual supervision is provided throughout the dissertation year.
How the course is taught
- Foundations & principles of childcare law and practice
This module will introduce you to the foundations to CCLP covering childhood, children’s rights, law, social policy, and families to skill focused sessions upon library resources, academic research, and writing. Asking questions such as are children just little adults to be treated by the law in the same way as adults? Consider the approach of criminal law for example. Or to quote Baroness Hale ‘Are children something else, having some rights peculiar to childhood and some of the rights which all human beings have?’
- Looked After Children
This module builds upon the foundations of knowledge built in the previous module, focusing upon issues such as the legal framework, the public private crossover and special guardianship, fostering, and removal at birth. This module is supported by academics and practitioners who support students to engage and explore the public element of child law and local authority care of Looked after Children. The subject is delivered through tutor-led seminars and discussions, small group exercises, and case studies on the practice-based features of assessing and supporting children looked after. The landscape of this interesting subject is navigated through the lens of social policy, social work practice and theory and the subject matter outlines significant legal features that students can revisit during their study of later modules. The experience of looked after children in education and the criminal justice system are surveyed in conjunction with life chances and social outcomes.
- Children and Medicine
Draws upon the strengths of the Law School, addressing a diverse range of issues from pregnancy, childbirth & negligence, to medical experimentation & children and children & mental health law. In this module we examine the intersections of childhood, medicine, and law from pregnancy up to 18 years. We will explore topics such as how the law safeguards choice and autonomy during pregnancy, children’s decision making and confidentiality, innovative therapies in the treatment of young children, children’s mental health, and the rights of children with disabilities under the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The module is taught through several interactive and discursive sessions, and we encourage students to debate and discuss experiences in a safe and supportive environment.
- Contemporary Issues in Childcare law and practice
Drawing upon the depth of expertise within the Law School, this section of the program is a truly exciting one covering a range of topical issues such as youth justice, international perspectives on exploited children, forced marriage, asylum and “modern slavery” or child trafficking.
How you'll be assessed
As part of the programme, you will have the opportunity to study a particular area of personal or professional interest within the parameters of Childcare Law and Practice. For the dissertation, the emphasis is on independent research on a topic of academic or professional interest. During the dissertation year you will complete an initial planner, an annotated table of contents, and a final dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words, as well as having the support of a dedicated supervisor.
The School has a wealth of expertise with the option to undertake a dissertation upon issues such as child trafficking, child protection, adoption, children and mental health, child carers, the sexual exploitation of children, children and consent, innovative treatments, pregnancy and negligence to name but a few. You will have the support of the programme director and teaching team to develop your interest in a particular issue into a dissertation.
Applicants should normally have a first degree with first or second-class honours or equivalent and/or relevant professional qualifications. Candidates who do not meet the standard criteria will, however, be considered. Applications are welcomed from appropriately qualified and experienced professionals from areas including, but not limited to, social welfare, law, criminal justice and healthcare.
English Language Entry Requirement for International Students
Applicants for whom English is not a first language must provide evidence of a qualification in English language, unless they hold a previous degree that was taught and examined in English. The minimum score for entry to the LL.M. is academic IELTS 6.5 (with no subtest below 5.5) or equivalent.
The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.
If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.
During your degree programme you can study additional English language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Scholarships and Funding
We are committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Please visit our scholarships and bursaries webpage for more information
Keele School of Law has a distinctive profile in UK legal education. We are known internationally for our critical and inter-disciplinary approach to law and social justice. Our research-driven programmes combine academic excellence with a wide range of career and employability opportunities.
Academics in Law have wide ranging expertise in children, with expertise in children’s rights, children and medicine, the exploitation of children, youth justice, “children on the move”, international child law and harms perpetrated against children. The School of Law has a long-standing reputation for excellence in research that draws on socio-legal perspectives and that makes a difference in society. In REF2014, 53% of the School’s impact work was world-leading which places us 15 nationally for world-leading impact work. You will be taught by leading researchers in a supportive learning environment on the beautiful Keele University campus.
For further information please visit: Law School Staff
Block taught dates
LAW-40015 MA Training day
Monday 18 October 2021
Tuesday 26 October 2021
Module 1 - LAW-40001 - Foundations & Principles
Monday 11 October 2021 - Wednesday 13 October 2021
Module 2 - 40003 - Looked After Children
Monday 6 December 2021 - Wednesday 8 December 2021
Module 3 - 40004 - Children & Medicine
Monday 7 February 2022- Wednesday 9 February 2022
Module 4 - 40002 - Contemporary Issues
Monday 4 April 2022 – Monday 6 April 2022