Child Youth & Family Studies

This MA course in Child, Youth and Family Studies provides learners with a range of critical and analytical tools to enable them to manage and lead services that develop the potential of children, youth and families and envision new possibilities for better service provision in the sector.

The course aims to educate learners to high levels of contemporary and comparative theoretical awareness in fields central to services provision (transitions across the life span, cultural diversity, youth and families) and to create an atmosphere of rigorous academic enquiry and writing.

Potential employers include: community-based voluntary and statutory organisations, human rights focused organisations and advisory groups, family support services, advisory and research bodies.

Exit Award - Yes.

Entry requirements

Course participants are required to hold a Level 8 degree (with a minimum of 2nd Class Honours) in the following areas:

• Early Childhood Education & Care
• Applied Social Studies
• Social & Community Studies
• Youth & Community

or a primary Level 8 degree in Social Sciences or cognate area (minimum 2nd class honours). Candidates with significant experience in the social sciences (as determined by IT Carlow's Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) policy), in addition to an honours primary degree in another discipline area may also be considered for entry. Applicants applying for entry via routes other than those listed above will be considered on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with IT Carlow's Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) policy.

All Non-EU applicants should refer to the International section of the IT Carlow website for further information.


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

Careers or further progression

Study & Career Opportunities
Graduates of the programme may progress to a PhD programme of study in the discipline areas, in Ireland or abroad. Graduates of the programme may also be eligible to progress to a professional doctorate in the field of Child, Youth and Family Studies in both Irish and international Institutions.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Child, Youth and Family Studies is an embedded exit award (Level 9 - 60 credits).

Graduates of this programme may find employment in some of the following areas;

• Community based organisations and projects whether voluntary or statutory
• National rights focused organisations and advisory groups
• Family support services
• Services catering for the care, education and advocacy of children and families in society

Graduates may also adopt research and advisory roles in relation to the development and planning of services. Graduates will be in a position to critically evaluate existing services and programmes and to visualise future possibilities for better service provision.

Further enquiries

Full-time applicants may contact:
Dr Eileen Doyle-Walsh BA, MLitt, PhD
Head of Department- Humanities
P: 059 917 5347

Part-time applicants may contact:
Faculty of Lifelong Learning
P: 059 917 5280

International (Non-EU) applicants may contact:
P: 00353- 59-9175205

Subjects taught

What subjects will I study?
Contemporary issues in Childhood and Youth Studies
Applied Psychology
Perspectives on Family and Society
Leadership, Strategy and Governance
Research Methods and Dissertation

Elective Subjects
Addiction Studies
Adult and Community Education
Youth Justice
Child and Family Rights


Postgraduate Opportunities - Institute of Technology Carlow. Institute of Technology Carlow has a range of high-quality courses that offer suitably qualified primary degree holders (NFQ Level 8) exciting opportunities to progress to higher awards (Masters and Doctoral degrees). These opportunities are by research and thesis or taught courses, with many available on a full-time or part-time basis across our three campuses in Carlow, Wicklow and Wexford.

Higher Degrees by research are normally obtained by undertaking a research project, guided by an experienced supervisor. The average duration of a research Masters degree (NFQ Level 9) is 2 years full-time study. A PhD (NFQ Level 10) should take from 3 to 4 years (full-time) to complete.

Taught courses are available at three levels: Higher Diploma (NFQ Level 8); Postgraduate Diploma - NFQ Level 9 (60 credits); and Masters - NFQ Level 9 (90 credits). Individual full-time postgraduate courses are described in the forthcoming sections. Details of part-time taught courses are available in the Lifelong Learning prospectus.

Research Masters and Doctoral Degrees
Institute of Technology Carlow offers postgraduate research supervision for both Research Masters and Doctoral Degree candidates (NFQ Levels 9 and 10). Research supervision is closely tied to the priorities and expertise of staff attached to specialist research centres at Institute of Technology Carlow. Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) is an integral part of Institute of Technology Carlow's activities and a vital aspect of its interaction with industry and other research centres, both nationally and internationally.

Application date

How to apply
1. Research & choose your course from our wide range of postgraduate offerings on our website or in our prospectus.

2. Check out all of the relevant entry requirements, course code and closing dates, taking time to read IT Carlows FAQs and application instructions on the Admissions section of the website.

3. Get started on your postgraduate journey at IT Carlow!

For admissions queries from Irish or European applicants, please email:

All Non-EU international applicants may refer to the International section of the website for further details or email:

Course fee

This course is not eligible for Free Fees. Programme Fees 2017/18 €5,500. Fees under review for 2018/19.

Enrolment and start dates

Postgraduate application procedure
Postgraduate applicants should refer to the Study/Postgraduate section of the website for more information:

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!