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International Child Rights and Development MA

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Our International Child Rights and Development MA is a multidisciplinary course that will equip you with the academic and applied skills to explore how we can protect the rights of the most vulnerable children in society.

You’ll gain a deeper insight into what the possibilities are for working with, or on behalf of, young people in national and international contexts, and scrutinize how we can address the most pressing social issues related to childhood.

This International Child Rights and Development MA is the only programme of its kind in the UK. It offers a unique blend of theory as well as being highly applied, enabling you to put the theory into practice.

You’ll enhance your academic understanding of international child rights and development, and reinforce your experience of working with vulnerable children in humanitarian aid, international development, policy and practice. You’ll also get plenty of opportunities to learn from the best in the field, build your network, and be supported with bespoke career advice.




Key benefits of the International Child Rights and Development MA:

  • Study a curriculum focused on international child rights and development that is unique in its own right
  • Study a curriculum with a unique approach that’s highly applied while covering theory in detail.
  • Explore the latest research and policy developments in issues that affect childhood globally.
  • Learn from experts in policy analysis, child protection law, social work, medicine and NGOs.
  • Learn from leading academics in sociology, anthropology, social policy, health, and education, who are actively involved in cutting-edge research.
  • Develop the rigorous academic skills needed to carry out interdisciplinary and policy-relevant research with young people
  • Enhance your critical and interdisciplinary understanding of childhood issues to work effectively with young people in national and international work settings.
  • Gain a critical understanding of childhood in relation to broader social, political and cultural contexts. Exchange ideas and experiences with students from different disciplines and backgrounds.
  • Benefit from small-class teaching in a lively and supportive environment

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Key information

Application status Open

Duration FT: One Year; Part-time: Two Years

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180-190 / ECTS 90-95

Course leaders

Further details

Course contact for further information Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department School of Education, Communication & Society



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Course detail


With this International Child Rights And Development MA, you’ll benefit from our interdisciplinary academic approach to contemporary issues of childhood internationally. We will teach you cutting-edge theories in childhood studies and children's rights, and rigorous research methods for working with young people, including participatory approaches.

By engaging with multidisciplinary teaching from child rights and development experts, you’ll develop the academic and practical skills needed for both professional practice and academic research. You’ll be able to apply this to your work with young people in complex contexts, such as conflict and displacement.

Throughout this International Child Rights And Development MA, you will learn from research-active lecturers as well as professionals and policymakers that work with children nationally and internationally. You’ll also be taught by guest lecturers, who are experts in their fields.

This combination of teaching will expose you to a wealth of experience from specialists in the worlds of policy analysis, child protection law, social work, medicine and NGOs - as well as academic expertise in sociology, anthropology and social policy.

Furthermore, by engaging with both key theories on childhood and experience from the field of practice, you will critically understand childhood in relation to broader social, political and cultural contexts. You will also be able to discuss effective strategies and policies to effectively work with them.

You can expect to draw upon a range of disciplines during this International Child Rights And Development MA, including sociology, social policy, psychology, education, health, and law, to further cement your expertise. By focusing your assignments and dissertation, you can tailor your studies to your own interest in development and child rights.

Thanks to our small class sizes, you’ll get the opportunity to really get to know teachers and other students. This creates an inspiring environment, where you’ll exchange ideas and experiences with a diverse cohort of peers, coming from a range of disciplines.

When you graduate, you’ll become part of our alumni network that includes graduates who work at UNICEF, Fordham Institute, and Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.

Further literature

Course format and assessment


We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment.  

We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the course. A significant proportion of teaching on the course is delivered by expert external lecturers, both academics and practitioners. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. 

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work, and an indicative split of how this work is divided is below.  

Per 30-credit module: The teaching contact time for each 30-credit taught  module is typically 30.5-32 hours. In addition, each will involve 1 hour of supervision/Q&A time. The typical teaching contact time for each 30 credit taught ‘Education’ optional module is 20 hours. Teaching sessions will usually include lectures, and teacher-led and student-led group discussions based on the main areas of study. You will have 267-280 hours of self-study

Dissertation: You will receive 22 hours of research methods training. You may also choose to take research methods as an optional module. You will also receive 6 to 8 hours of dissertation workshops, and you are entitled to up to 9 hours of individual dissertation supervision. You will have approximately 561-563 hours of self-study.


Although assessment methods may vary between modules, we will normally assess you though essays, reports, presentations, research proposals and case studies. We will assess your dissertation module through a 16,000-word piece of writing. 

King’s College London is regulated by the Office for Students. 


This course is primarily taught at the King’s College London Waterloo Campus. Our location in the heart of London gives you access to the wealth of cultural resources and institutions throughout the capital, as well as experience of life in one of the world’s most exciting and diverse cities. We encourage you to make the most of this location, and our course benefits from local connections. For example, one day of the module Child Health and Development may be taught at King’s College Hospital at the Denmark Hill Campus. Please note that locations may vary depending on the optional modules you select.

We will use a delivery method that will ensure students have a rich, exciting experience from the start. Face to face teaching will be complemented and supported with innovative technology so that students also experience elements of digital learning and assessment. 


Year 1

Required Modules
Courses are divided into modules. You will take modules totalling 180 credits. 

You are required to take the following modules: 

  • Children’s Rights (30 credits) 

  • Child Protection (30 credits) 

  • Dissertation (60 credits) 

Optional Modules
In addition, you are required to take 60 credits from a range of options that may include: 
  • Child Health & Development (30 credits) 

  • Research Methods (30 credits) 

  • Global Childhoods (30 credits) 

  • Psychology and Learning (30 credits) 

  • 30 credits from any MA Education programmes or other programme offered at King’s College London at the discretion of the Programme Director 

Please note: you may transfer across PGCE Master’s level credits if taken within 10 years of your completion date of this MA course. If you do, you will only need to take the number of credits required to bring your total for the course to 180, including transferred credits. Fees will be proportionally reduced by the number of credits accepted for transfer e.g a student transferring 60 credits into the 180 credit MA will pay 2/3 fees.  If you work for a School accepting teacher training students from King’s College London you may be entitled to a fee reduction.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates. 

Entry requirements & how to apply

International Child Rights and Development Entry Requirements
Minimum requirements 2:1

A 2:1 undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification in a subject relevant to work with children and/or substantial professional work experience in a relevant field. 

If your first degree is in a subject not related to international development or issues affecting children, you should set out what professional or other skills and experience you would bring to the programme. We can consider other backgrounds such as significant working with children, volunteering for an NGO, and teaching English overseas.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

Please submit an application form, transcripts of your previous degree(s) or results to date if the degree is yet to be completed, and two references, including at least one academic reference.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

International Child Rights and Development checklist
Personal Statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages). Your personal statement should explain why you would like to take our MA International Child Rights and Development, and how it would contribute to your career plan or development. It would be helpful to state where your particular area of interest lies, and how that specialism would be enhanced by a multi-disciplinary approach.

Previous Academic Study  Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago. In some cases, we may request an additional reference from you.
Other Optional Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application.


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 26th March 2021. After this date, the programme will remain open only if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full.

For programmes that remain open beyond this date, the final application deadlines for the following fee statuses are listed below:

  • EU or overseas (international) fee status: 30th July 2021
  • Home fee status: 27th August 2021

Please note, you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline in March, and we are unable to process more offers as places are filled before the final application deadlines above.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home fees: MA: £9,240 per year (2021/22)
  • Full time overseas fees: MA: £18,780 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time Home fees: MA: £4,620 per year (2021/22)
  • Part time overseas fees: MA; £9,390 per year (2021/22)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March, payment is due by 30th April 2021.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April and 30th June, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July and 31st July, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer from late August onwards, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.


Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • books if you choose to buy your own copies 

  • clothing for optional course related events and competitions 

  • library fees and fines 

  • personal photocopies 

  • printing course handouts 

  • society membership fees 

  • stationery 

  • travel costs for travel around London, between campuses and for project placements 

  • graduation costs. 

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

When you graduate from the International and Child Rights Development MA, you may be able to progress to PhD study. Recent graduates like you are currently using the skills and knowledge they developed over this course in organisations such as UNICEF, World Vision, Fordham Institute, Children and Families Across Borders, and Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's.

View guide

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