To register for this module you should be prepared for study at postgraduate level and have the minimum of a bachelor's degree (in any subject) from a UK University (or equivalent).
The module is partially assessed by an extended piece of writing on a topic of your choice related to the themes of the module. There are two options for this: a small scale research project or an extended literature review. Each option is equally weighted and valued and this is designed to give you flexibility and to pursue your own interests. However if you wish to undertake the research project and work directly with children you must have an Enhanced disclosure check (see below).
If you are overseas, do not have this clearance, or do not wish to do a research project then you should choose the extended literature review. This will give you the opportunity to explore in depth any aspect of policy, practice or theory relevant to children and young people’s lives. Previous research projects have included a review of bullying policies in schools, government attempts to cut obesity, the role of playgrounds in children’s lives and the impacts of advertising on children. Students undertaking the research project have, in the past, used a variety of methods to understand children’s experiences including participant observation, interviews, questionnaires, focus group discussions and formal and informal observation in order to understand children’s views of the playground, their peer groups and even their pets. The important point is that the topics for both options are flexible and valued equally so you can choose which one suits you and your circumstances best.
Enhanced disclosure checks for working with children and young people
The research project option in this module is only available if you are a UK resident as you will need to hold the appropriate clearance for your nation and practice setting, such as Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check in England and Wales. an Enhanced AccessNI check in Northern Ireland or be a PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) scheme member in Scotland. The check must be appropriate for the setting in which you intend to carry out your research and must bear the same name as given in your post-registration agreement form. You also need permission from your employer to undertake this work. If these conditions cannot be fulfilled then you must choose the literature review option.
Please note: it is a legal, rather than an Open University requirement, that you must obtain these enhanced disclosure checks in order to work with children. This is the responsibility of you and your employer and not The Open University. If you are in doubt about your eligibility, or to find out more, you should contact the relevant agency in your country for more information.
Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you seek assessment under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.
Outside the UK
There is much emphasis in this module on an international, global perspective. Case studies are sufficiently mixed and international students will find much of interest.
If you wish to undertake original research with children and/or young people you must be resident in the UK as you must have Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance (or equivalent in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). As this can take time to obtain you are recommended to begin the process well before the module starts. Failure to obtain DBS clearance will restrict you to the extended literature option in the second part of the module.