Introduction to Childhood and Youth: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (X3229)

30 credits, Level 4

Autumn teaching

In this module you will 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. It provides an overview of children and young people's bio-psycho-social, cultural and emotional development. You’ll examine the role that relationships with primary carers, significant others, family members and friends play in that development.

You will have opportunities to reflect on key concepts in child and youth development, such as:

  • attachment
  • transition (with associated gains, losses, change and risks)
  • identity
  • risk
  • 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’ll also explore:

  • the role of attunement, self-regulation and attachment in emotional and social development
  • the role of environmental and social factors in the development of speech, language and literacy
  • the role of 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
  • the problematisation of adolescence and perspectives on sexual development, risk, crisis and deviance
  • major transitions, democratic participation and civic engagement and the governance of children and young people's lives and spaces.

Additionally you will look at the impact of inequality on children and young people's development across differences such as class, race, gender, sexuality and age. 

The course will draw on examples of child and youth development in the context of multi-cultural and multi-lingual family and community contexts, as well as adverse social and political contexts. Children's experiences and points of view of growing up in different social and cultural contexts will also be addressed.


100%: 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 2023/24. 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: