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Master of Childhood and Youth Studies

2014 | 2015 | 2016

About this course

The Master of Childhood and Youth Studies is designed to meet the needs of people working, or intending to work, with children, young people and their families. Students can also study a Graduate Certificate (4 units) instead of the Masters degree.

The course aims to develop the knowledge and skills of professionals, enabling them to respond more effectively to the issues that impact children, young people and families across a diverse range of contexts. It incorporates the latest research and explores the ways that children, childhood and youth are conceptualised within family, community and international settings, including the theories, policies and practices that can inform professional practice. Participants benefit from the opportunity to apply their learning immediately in the workplace.

Candidates can choose to enrol in the four-unit Graduate Certificate or sixteen-unit Masters or can enrol in single units as accredited professional development. Significant advanced standing (or credit) is available for those with relevant previous learning and expertise. It is also possible to exit the course with a Graduate Diploma following completion of eight specified units (direct enrolment into the Graduate Diploma is not available).

Career opportunities

The Master of Childhood and Youth Studies is designed for professionals such as social workers, health professionals, youth workers, family dispute resolution practitioners, case workers, psychologists, welfare workers, community development personnel, teachers, policemen and women, lawyers, government policy-makers and researchers.

The qualification is suited to positions in community services, child and family health services, community-based education settings, child and youth services, family relationships centres, community development, juvenile justice, government and non-government policy-making agencies, research and consultancy requiring higher level knowledge and skills in relation to children and young people.

Major areas of study

The course includes studies in:

  • Child protection and participation
  • Children and the law
  • Children’s rights
  • Social and emotional wellbeing
  • Drugs, alcohol and sexual health
  • Program evaluation
  • Research with and for children

Assessment methods

Most units have two assessment tasks. There is a strong focus on authentic and professionally-relevant assessment. There are no written examinations.

Teaching methods

Students learn in an interactive online environment with plenty of flexibility to accommodate the competing commitments of busy professionals. There are no compulsory attendance requirements. Units are delivered by distance education. Units include innovative and appropriate use of technology to support student learning, and to ensure regular engagement with academics and fellow students. Units are offered across the University's three study sessions, enabling students to fast track their studies. Learning is facilitated by highly qualified and supportive academics.

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.
  • Recognition of informal learning
    Credit may be awarded on the basis of current informal learning (that takes place through work, social, family or leisure activities).

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. To find out more, see the Library Toolbox.

The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, assignment reviews and small group or one-on-one face-to-face, phone or Skype consultations during business hours 9am to 4.30pm. Appointments can be made via the MySCU Hub ‘Connect Now’ button or on the Academic Skills home page. Students can also book appointments online in Career Hub.

The YourTutor service provides online after-hours study support for SCU students. This service is available from 4pm to midnight Sunday to Friday via the 'Connect Now' button on MySCU Hub or from a link in nominated unit learning sites. The YourTutor service offers generic writing feedback and live online chat assistance for foundational concepts and study skills.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents


Admission requirements

  1. As an alternative to Rule 2, Section 3 of the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, applicants for admission to candidature in the Master of Childhood and Youth Studies may be selected where one or more of the following has been satisfied:
    1. have completed the Graduate Certificate of Childhood and Youth Studies; or
    2. can demonstrate academic or professional standing considered by the School Board to be equivalent to the requirements of Rule 2, Section 3 or Admission Requirement (a)(i).
  2. All applicants for admission to candidature must provide evidence of at least one year's experience in a field of employment acceptable to the School Board.

Course requirements

  1. To be eligible for the award of Master of Childhood and Youth Studies a candidate shall successfully complete not less than sixteen (16) units comprising:
    1. All units from Part A of the Schedule of Units attached to these Rules;
    2. All units from Part B of the Schedule;
    3. Six (6) units from Part C of the Schedule; and
    4. All units from Part D of the Schedule.
    5. Notwithstanding Course Requirement Rule (a)(iii), the Course Coordinator may approve the substitution of up to four (4) relevant postgraduate coursework units, from elsewhere in the University’s offerings, for those in Part C of the Schedule.
  2. To be eligible for the award of Graduate Diploma of Childhood and Youth Studies a candidate shall successfully complete not less than eight (8) units comprising:
    1. All units from Part A of the Schedule of Units attached to these Rules;
    2. Six (6) units from Part B or C of the Schedule.
    3. Notwithstanding Course Requirement Rule (b)(ii), the Course Coordinator may approve the substitution of up to two (2) relevant postgraduate coursework units, from elsewhere in the University’s offerings, for those in Part C of the Schedule.
  3. To be eligible for the award of Graduate Certificate of Childhood and Youth Studies a candidate shall successfully complete not less than four (4) units comprising:
    1. All units from Part A of the Schedule of Units attached to these Rules;
    2. Two units from Part B of the Schedule;
  4. A candidate who while enrolled for the Master of Childhood and Youth Studies has completed the requirements of the Graduate Diploma of Childhood and Youth Studies may elect to be awarded the Graduate Diploma following withdrawal from candidature for the Master’s award.
  5. A candidate who while enrolled for the Master of Childhood and Youth Studies has completed the requirements of the Graduate Certificate of Childhood and Youth Studies may elect to be awarded the Graduate Certificate following withdrawal from candidature for the Master’s award.

Advanced standing

  1. Candidates for the Master of Childhood and Youth Studies who have completed all the requirements for a Level 7 qualification in an area considered to be the same discipline will be granted advanced standing for four units.
  2. In addition to Advanced Standing Rule (a) the Head of School may grant a student advanced standing where they have completed formal, non-formal or informal learning accepted by the University and accompanied by supporting documentary evidence. 

Schedule of units

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How to apply

Domestic students

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'