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Child & Youth Research - Structured

Course Overview

The PhD in Child and Youth Research is a four year full-time or six year part-time structured PhD programme delivered as part of a collaboration between the School of Psychology and the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre (CFRC) at the School of Political Science and Sociology.

This interdisciplinary programme responds to an identified need for researchers with the requisite, high-level and wide-ranging experience and skills to undertake the kind of work that is needed in an evidence-informed policy environment.

Programme aims

* To prepare programme participants to conduct high quality policy and practice-relevant research and programme evaluation with children and young people

* To develop programme participants' knowledge and skills in key theoretical, methodological, policy and practice areas relating to children

* To provide graduates with the set of generic work-skills to facilitate their successful entry into the full range of employment settings

Entry requirements

Entrants will be expected to have an upper Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) in a social science. If applicants do not have a degree of that kind, they must have demonstrated high ability by some other means (e.g. through publications or achievement in a higher degree). Applications are welcome from individuals with strong policy and practice experience in relation to children and young people. Garda vetting is required for students participating in this programme.


4 years full-time
6 years part-time

Further enquiries

Dr. Caroline Heary Dr. John Canavan
T +353 91 495 059 +353 91 495 397


Subjects taught

Course structure

The programme combines thesis and taught modules. All students must complete a major dissertation (c.80,000 words). The taught modules which are delivered in years one and two provide course participants with the opportunity to widen their knowledge and skill base as well as feeding into the development of their thesis work. A wide range of topics are covered including:

Children's rights
Child protection
Working with Commissioners
Randomised controlled trials in applied social settings
Social context of child development (role of family, peers, culture)
Pro-social behaviour and risk-taking in young people
Masculinity and emerging adulthood
Theories of child development
Early years provision
Spaces and places of childhood
Political Theory, Children, and Young People
Participatory Research Methods with young people
Sociological perspectives on childhood


Programmes available
Structured PhD (Child and Youth Research), full-time
Structured PhD (Child and Youth Research), part-time

Application Process
Applicants must include the following:

A personal statement (300 words)
A curriculum vitae
Two letters of references from academic referees. Referees are asked to place their reference into a signed sealed envelope
A research proposal (1000 words)

Research areas

Areas of interest

Programme Modules
The Social World of the Child
Research Ethics and Pragmatics
Qualitative Research Methods
Quantitative Research Methods
Global Policy and Research
Youth and Society

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake on the Programme is September 2019

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