Master Of Science In Child Rights And Childhood Studies

About the Programme

The Department of Social Sciences at Africa University is committed to developing itself into a regional centre of excellence. As a pan African institution the university draws students from across the continent to its programmes. The challenges faced by African societies are wide ranging from poverty, mass displacement, famine and epidemic diseases. Much of the suffering that stems from these social ills falls disproportionately on children, women, and family structures.
Cases that involve violation of child rights are on the increase in Zimbabwe and in most African countries. Child marriages, child soldiers and children being forced into prostitution is becoming a common occurrence. Children are human beings and they have rights. They are protected by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). However despite this rich background and information on child rights instruments and principles in African regional organizations, worrying child rights violations continue to plague the continent and very little exists in the form of a body of literature that approaches the idea of child rights and the notion of childhood from an African perspective.
This perspective advocates for the inclusion of African values, norms and social constructions on childhood into the child rights debate. As a response to these challenges Africa University in collaboration with UNICEF is proposing to launch the Master of Science in Child Rights and Childhood Studies programme.
The main objective of the programme is to equip students with knowledge and skills in child rights and childhood studies anchored in the African perspective. Currently ‘Child Rights’ is offered as a course in the Masters in Child and Family studies programme. UNICEF is sponsoring child centered education programmes where they partner with local universities.
UNICEF has asked Africa University through the Department of Social Sciences to expand the child rights component in the MSc in Child and Family studies into a fully fledged graduate program. Given this background,the Department of Social Sciences is proposing to launch the Master of Science in Child Rights and Childhood Studies degree.

Aim

The degree programme aims to develop in students a knowledge base in child rights and social constructions on childhood from an African perspective. This knowledge would in turn inform programming in child centered programs.

Objectives

By successfully completing the MSc in Child Rights and Childhood Studies degree, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of child rights as stipulated by the UNCRC.
  2. Understand child development and social constructions on childhood from an African perspective.
  3. Use child rights based approaches in developing programmes and policies for children.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of child rights programming concepts.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of child leadership and participation strategies
  6. Understand and make use of research methodologies that are appropriate for children.

Year One Semester One

  1. HCR 511 Contextualising Child Rights in Africa 3 credit hrs
  2. HCR 512 Child Rights and Conceptions on Childhood 3 credit hrs
  3. HCR513 Foundations of Human and Child Rights 3 credit hrs
  4. HCR 514 Child rights situation analysis and programming 3 credit hrs

Year One Semester Two

  1. HCR 521 Child Rights and Psychosocial Support 3 credit hrs
  2. HCR 522 Child Rights in Practice – Participation and Leadership 3 credit hrs
  3. HCR 523 Sociology of Childhood 3 credit hrs
  4. HCR 524 Research Methods 3 credit hrs

Year Two Semester One

HCR 525 Internship 6 credit hours

Year Two Semester Two

HCR 526 Dissertation 9 credit hours

Upon completion of the programme graduates will be equipped to undertake employment in a variety of sectors including many governmental and non-governmental organisations offering child protection and family support services.
Graduates from this programme may have the opportunity to work in fields such as research, social welfare, education, child protection and advocacy services, media, religion, public and private sector.