Introduction to Childhood and Youth: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (X3229)

30 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

Explore children and young people's development from an interdisciplinary perspective.

The module takes a holistic and ecological view of developmental trajectories in the context of social relationships to give you an overview of children and young people's development and the role that relationships with primary carers, significant others, family members and friends play in that development.

You reflect on key concepts in child and youth development, such as attachment, transition (with associated gains, losses, change and risks), identity, risk and resilience. Locating the child in the context of social and societal relationships, you examine key aspects of child development, and theoretical approaches to understanding childhood.

You explore the roles of:

  • attunement, self-regulation and attachment in emotional and social development
  • environmental and social factors in the development of speech, language and literacy
  • play in the development of gender and ethnic identities and moral reasoning
  • peer and family relationships and the influence of wider social institutions in the development of young identities.

You also study:

  • the problematisation of adolescence and perspectives on sexual development, risk, crisis and deviance
  • major transitions, democratic participation and civic engagement
  • the governance of children and young people's lives and spaces.

In addition you explore the impact of inequality on children and young people's development across differences such as class, race, gender, sexuality and age, Children's experiences and points of view of growing up in different social and cultural contexts will also be addressed.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 44 hours of contact time and about 256 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: