Course Description

Masters in Childhood Studies

Masters in Childhood Studies is a course run by Irish College of Humanities & Applied Sciences, Limerick. It is a Blended Learning - Mix of Classroom & Online course with a duration of 1 Year (Full Time) 2 Years ( Part Time). Masters in Childhood Studies gives a Course Qualification of Masters Degree, awarded by QQI. For more information about Masters in Childhood Studies at Irish College of Humanities & Applied Sciences, please review the details below.

We are delighted to offer you this  Master’s programme in Childhood Studies which is primarily designed for graduates in health, human and social sciences related programmes including such disciplines as social care, social work, nursing, psychology, counselling, psychotherapy, and programmes in cognate areas who wish to study at postgraduate level on either a full-time (over 1 Year) or part-time basis (over 2 Years) who seek to gain specialist knowledge of childhood and youth with a view to expanding their knowledge and understanding of children and young people under the age of 18.

There is little doubt that the care, education and support of young people have been understood and delivered within a reductionist ethos both in Ireland and internationally. Murphy (2015) noted that until fairly recent times that the care and education for children of pre-school age have by and large been seen by the Irish state as a private matter, and the responsibility of parents.

While there has been an improvement in the integration of relevant services in recent years, children of primary and post-primary school age are dealt with by discreet education structures generally and while the state has improved its support for children ( persons under 18) the history of such support has been mired in controversy historically and still remains somewhat disjointed. For example, the care provided to vulnerable young people has been divided between different state departments and agencies, with little integration of services until more recent times.

Despite policy level commitments to the primacy of the family and parents, there is evidence of increased numbers of children and adolescents in state-provided or funded care. Tusla (2019) for example reported that there were 5,985 children in the Agency’s care at the end of 2019, with 91% of those in Foster Care. While that shows a decrease from 2014, Foster Care is only one aspect of Tusla’s support structures. The Agency also reported 56,561 referrals to child protection and welfare services in 2019; 3% (1,425) more than in 2018 (55,136). More poignantly, it reported a total of 92,000 children living in consistent poverty and a further 190,000 children at risk of poverty.

The provision of care by the state has undoubtedly undergone reform in recent years and greater streamlining and accountability, perhaps most obviously when a distinct Government Department was formed for Children and Youth Affairs. While this is welcome, there remains a plethora of agencies, disciplines and personnel involved in the care, education and support of children and young people – frequently coming with diverse and divergent perspectives, training and education. This is perhaps most obvious in the case of children and young people who come into contact with the justice or mental health systems.

There is a strong correlation between young persons who manifest mental health challenges, who engage in substance use/misuse and those who come to the attention of the Gardai or Justice System, especially among those who are within care systems (Tarren- Sweeney, 2008), a finding that finds resonance in international jurisdictions.

The education and training needs for those engaged in supporting children and adolescents has been equally disjointed. This may be related somewhat to divisions regarding the definition of children, adolescents and elements of ‘turf claiming’ among professionals as well as ideological differences regarding whether or not child care and adolescent support should or should not be professionalised.

Irrespective of the number and range of professionals across disciplinary areas and professions working with children, it is noteworthy that in 2016, the Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended that the Irish state should strengthen its efforts to provide adequate and systematic training and/or sensitization of professionals working with and for children (persons under 18 years).

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Training ProviderIrish College of Humanities & Applied Sciences
Course LocationCastletroy, Limerick
Course TypeBlended Learning - Mix of Classroom & Online
Course QualificationMasters Degree
Awarding BodyQQI
Awarding Body DetailsM.A. in Childhood Studies
Course Start Date01/09/2023
Course End Date30/04/2025
Course Duration1 Year (Full Time) 2 Years ( Part Time)
Course TimeOn acceptance of their place on the course, learners would be required to attend an induction day. This covers all aspects of the programme content, delivery, assessment, and requirements. Induction provides the learner with an opportunity to become familiar with the environment, peers, and faculty members. Learners can complete this course on a full-time basis over 1 year and on a part-time basis over 2 years. Attendance would normally require attendance in person (either in class or on Zoom) on 1 evening per week (6 pm to 9 pm) and Saturdays (9.30 am to 4.30 pm) in the academic year from September to July. The timetable has been structured to optimise the utilisation of online learning via Zoom where this allows, but skills-based components do require a certain amount of in-person attendance and it is taught using a combination of classroom-based and blended learning techniques via Zoom. This allows the learner to access classes in person or using on-line facilities. In certain skill-based modules, attendance will be a mandatory requirement.
Course FeeBursary Reduction Full-Time (1 year) Tuition Costs reduced from €6,200 to €3,100 Part-Time (2 years) Tuition Costs reduced from €7,200 to €3,600
Entry RequirementsThe knowledge, skills, and competence required to successfully participate in and complete this Level 9 programme will normally require applicants to have successfully achieved a Level 2:2 award in a relevant Level 8 degree. Those who have completed other relevant educational programmes or have relevant professional experience etc., where Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Acquired Prior Learning (APL) can be applied to the programme by submission of programme content, qualification, and assignments equivalent to an appropriate Level 8 award at an Honours 2:2 standard, can also be considered. Candidates over 23 years of age who hold significant professional qualifications and or can demonstrate appropriate learning from experiential or other sources of learning may apply through a Recognition of Prior Learning route (RPL). For non-native speakers of English, an IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) is required. Candidates may study on either a full-time or part-time basis. All applicants will be required to attend for interview to ascertain their suitability for the programme. In the case of overseas applications, whose first language is not English, applicants will have to provide either certification of completion of a primary degree through the medium of English or submit the official results of English Language competency demonstrated through the completion of English language proficiency tests indicating a minimum score of to B2+ in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). Certification may be evidenced through the production of a certificate of IELTS Level 6.5 or equivalent) or equivalent competency tests, if applicable. All international applicants must meet the visa requirements for study in Ireland. Successful applicants would be required to complete Garda Vetting at the College. If you have any queries in relation to this course then please contact the college on 061 216288 or email us at A member of the Admissions team will be happy to assist you.
Carear PathThis programme addresses the needs of practitioners and graduates who wish to develop their knowledge and professional competence in areas focusing on professionally supporting childhood development and should be of particular relevance to existing Level 8 graduates of programmes in areas such as Early Learning & Care; Primary & Post Primary Education, nursing, social care, psychology, sociology, social science, youth work and community studies and related disciplines
Phone061 216 288
Course CodePG24542
For more information about Irish College of Humanities & Applied Sciences, please visit our College page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Irish College of Humanities & Applied Sciences

Walton House, National Technology Park,, Castletroy, Limerick, Republic of Ireland. Eircode: V94 T2XT

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Irish College of Humanities & Applied Sciences
Walton House, National Technology Park,
Castletroy, Limerick
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