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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school

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Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching and Learning Approach

Most courses on the MSc in Childhood Studies are taught in the form of seminars. There is no standard format but seminars usually include an introduction to the topic, structured discussion and student involvement. Options will generally be taught over 2 or 3 hours each week throughout the semester.

The core courses take a similar approach, with additional methods such as observation and/or participation in policy activities (e.g. attending and analysing a Scottish Parliament debate on a child-related issue) and use of video and media materials. The exception is Core Quantitative Data Analysis for Social Research, which is offered as a computer-based e-learning course with supporting tutorials.

The range of students' experiences is extremely valuable in these courses, with the benefits to all of being willing both to listen and to contribute.

You will be expected to undertake independent study, including preparation for taught sessions, attendance at relevant Subject Group and College seminars, and are encouraged to attend relevant external events relating to children's issues (e.g. public debates and conferences).

The dissertation is a less structured and more independent form of study, with the supervisor to guide you through key decisions.

Assessment and progression

Methods of assessment may vary from course to course and include essays and policy analyses, practical exercises and research proposals.

Details of progression from course work to dissertation are given in the Graduate School's Taught MSc Handbook.