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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

EDUC5866M Child poverty and well-being

30 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Gill Main

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is mutually exclusive with

EDUC5865MChildren and young people: citizenship, participation and so

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module will introduce you to the concepts of child poverty and child well-being. Child poverty and well-being will be examined in national and international perspectives. You will explore different, and sometimes competing, theories around what child poverty is and why some children experience poverty while others do not. The importance of theories in determining how poverty is conceptualised, measured, and addressed through policy will be covered. You will investigate the links between child poverty and child well-being, and how the inclusion of children’s perspectives in how we define and measure both concepts can help to further our understanding of these links. You will critically engage with literature from academic, policy, and civil society sources, and develop an understanding of how different theories and measures of poverty and well-being inform the thinking and agendas of these different actors.


This module investigates child poverty and well-being, and the links between the two. It aims to:
- Explore multiple competing conceptions, definitions and measures of poverty and well-being
- Encourage students to engage with varied understandings of what child poverty and child well-being mean, for children’s lives in the present and for their development
- Consider the role of children themselves in shaping our understanding of child poverty and well-being
- Consider child poverty and well-being in national and international contexts, and across diverse cultures
- Examine the position of child poverty and well-being in national and international policy
- Explore the role of children, families, and the state in reducing children’s exposure to poverty and enhancing their well-being

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of different conceptions and definitions of child poverty and well-being
- Demonstrate an awareness of different approaches to studying child poverty and well-being, and how these link to issues of conceptualisation and definition
- Explain the importance of cultural and national contexts to children’s experiences of poverty and to their well-being
- Devise appropriate research strategies to explore child poverty and well-being
- Critically analyse research literature to evaluate different approaches to conceptualising, defining and measuring child poverty and child well-being


This module will introduce students to the highly policy-relevant topics of child poverty and children’s well-being. Different conceptions of poverty and well-being will be explored, and links between how the topics are conceptualised, defined and measured will be examined. Children’s role(s) in shaping understandings of child poverty and well-being will be examined. Methodological approaches to the study of poverty and well-being, and how these relate to different kinds of research questions and conceptions, will be explored.

Indicative content:
Introductions and arrangements; introduction to key concepts
Child poverty: concepts, definitions and measurement
Child poverty: a UK case study
Child poverty in global contexts
Locating children in child poverty studies
Child well-being: concepts, definitions and measurement
Group presentations
Child well-being: objective well-being
Child well-being: subjective well-being in the UK
Child subjective well-being in international context
Child poverty and well-being: exploring the links
Assessment workshop

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours280.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students will engage in private study for three purposes:
- To inform themselves about the topics covered in weekly lectures, so that they are prepared to engage in interactive discussions and debates within the lecture setting
- To develop their poster presentations which will take place in the seminars, and to engage in an informed manner with other students’ presentations
- To develop a piece of work for their final assessment which will take the form of a critical review of three articles which focus on a topic relating to child poverty, child well-being, or the links between the two, in a context or on a sub-topic to be negotiated between the student and the module leader
A reading list with key and optional texts will be provided for each week of the module, and students will be expected beyond this to locate resources within the University of Leeds library and through electronic journals, in line with their specific interests.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative assessment is conducted during the activities and discussion conducted in the weekly sessions. These will enable students to ask questions, clarify issues and the tutor to monitor student progress. Specific support for the assessment assignment will be provided in the final seminar, and students will have the opportunity to seek support on the assignment through 1-1 contact with the module leader and through the submission of a draft of their essay no later than three weeks before the assignment deadline.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay6000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/09/2021


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