Institution / Athlone Institute of Technology
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Child & Youth Care

The MA in Child and Youth Care aims to equip highly competent and motivated child and youth care workers and graduates of cognate disciplines with the knowledge and skills necessary to become leaders in the profession and to advance the field to internationally accepted standards of best practice. The programme has both a theoretical and practice-based focus.

Graduates of the programme will:

•have a specialised knowledge of child development and risk and resilience

•have advanced knowledge of the legislative framework affecting children and youth

•appreciate and advocate the rights approach to the practice of child and youth work

•have specific training in management of child and youth settings

•be prepared to conduct, and to evaluate, research in relation to children and youth

Entry requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements:
Students are expected to have a minimum of an honours Bachelor degree (level 8) at grade 2.2 in child/youth studies, social care or cognate discipline. Candidates with qualifications in social disciplines and relevant work experience will be eligible for the programme.


2 years: 24 weeks per year Tuesday 9.30am to 5.30pm.

Careers or further progression

Graduates of the programme can reasonably expect to rise to advanced positions within the child and youth sector and to be in a position to consider a more diverse range of career opportunities than those available to Bachelor degree level graduates. For example, in addition to the traditional roles of child and youth workers, graduates of the programme will be well equipped to take on professional roles in child and youth advocacy, in developing intervention based programmes, in conducting research and evaluating the effectiveness of programmes and in managerial, advisory and policy-development roles within the sector.

It is expected that graduates of the programme will be at the forefront of the development of the child and youth sector, in particular, in the context of its increasingly rights-based, legislative and research-based framework

Subjects taught


Research Methods
Students will gain a comprehensive knowledge of research methods appropriate for children and young people.

Models of Care
Students will critically evaluate current models of care affecting children and young people.

Child and Youth Law
Students will gain advanced knowledge of, and critically evaluate, the legislative framework affecting children and young people.

Resilience and Interventions
Students will examine best practice models in interventions with children and young people.

Children’s Rights
Students will gain a thorough and critical understanding of the rights-based approach to children and young people.

Management in Child and Youth Care
Students will assess the development of management practices within a multidisciplinary environment.

Research Dissertation
Students will complete a research dissertation on a specialised topic relating to children and/or young people. Where possible, students will be encouraged to relate their research to their own work environment.


Course Award: Master of Arts/Post Graduate Diploma
Course NFQ Level: Level 9

Course fee

€2,950 per annum.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2016.

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