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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EDUC1203 Children, Young People, Families and the State

20 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Delyth Edwards

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module adopts a sociological and social policy perspective to understanding childhood. It provides you with a theoretical grounding for the exploration of key issues relating to childhood studies. You will explore the emergence of contemporary understandings of childhood and family, and the role of the state in supporting children, young people and their families. Both UK and international perspectives are reflected through an examination of the different welfare systems, the organisation of children and young people's services and the different approaches to working with such groups.


This module provides an introduction to sociology and social policy in relation to childhood, family and the state.

It aims to:
- Explore the notion of child-family and State relationships including demonstrating, with examples, how the State can be seen to intervene (or not) in the private sphere
- Explore key debates, including: the delineation of boundaries between public and private spheres; the authority of the state and the family in relation to children; different models of welfare provision and child and family support services; perspectives on safeguarding
- Explore the ways in which children and young people's services are configured in the UK, covering aspects of key legislation and policy
- Examine international perspectives of children and young people's services, including different models of welfare

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:

- Draw on a range of theoretical perspectives and empirical studies from within the fields of sociology, education, health and social policy in order to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of basic concepts, paradigms, practices related to childhood and youth, families and the state
- Understand the impact of a variety of other variables such as class, gender, race and sexuality
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding about the organisation of welfare and children's services in contemporary societies across the globe
- Demonstrate an awareness of professional and disciplinary approaches in providing services for children, youth and families


Week 1: Children and families from a sociological and cultural perspective
(Recap for some students and a background for others)
Weeks 2 & 3: Theoretical perspectives on the family (including the emergence of the construct of family)
Week 4: The state, children and young people; differing versions of the welfare state
Week 5: Families and social policy
Week 6: Safeguarding and child protection
Week 7: Children and the Law
Week 8: Meeting children welfare needs: the role of the different social institutions
Week 9: Configuring children's services: international perspectives
Week 10: Student presentations linked to the theme of dilemmas between, children, family and the state.
Week 11: Overview of module and recap of themes

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours175.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be provided with key readings to discuss each week. Additionally students will be expected to research their own case studies and conduct wider reading around children and family policy and children's services.

In groups students will be expected to prepare for their presentation in week 10.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The module is structured to enable maximum opportunities for formative assessment. As a discussion based approach will be employed, students will have the opportunity to contribute their responses and ideas related to specific topics. This will provide an opportunity for tutor feedback.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Open Book exam2 hr 100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

The exam will incorporate a case study.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 01/12/2021


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