DSCY10040 Childhood

Academic Year 2023/2024

Childhood is viewed in conflicting ways in the 21st century – as a time of great opportunity but also a time of significant vulnerability. Educators, philosophers, sociologists, psychologists and medical practitioners all regard childhood and the experiences of children as significant for their respective fields of study. This module will consider many of the questions that are central to modern day enquiry into childhood and the lives of children: How are children affected by changing family forms? What are the benefits and risks associated with technology for children? What do we know about the changing brain and how it affects and is affected by children’s behaviour and experiences? What role does nutrition play in children’s development? How is childhood affected by adversity (e.g. disability, refugee status)? Do children have different rights from adults, and if so why?

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students will: 1. understand and be able to describe the importance of context (e.g. culture, family) for the study of childhood; 2. be able to describe the nature of the physical, social and psychological changes that are taking place over the course of childhood; 3. be able to identify and analyse the nature of the common challenges faced by children in the modern-day; 4. be able to critically analyse significant issues in relation to children’s rights and autonomy

Indicative Module Content:

The lectures for this module are organised within four broad themes: context; growth; and challenges. There are several lectures for each theme and these vary from year to year but have included topics such as the developing brain; bullying and learning; child refugees; childhood nutrition and rights.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
A variety of different approaches to teaching and learning are used including lectures, class discussion, small group discussion, classes with blended technology and peer collaboration. All lectures are in person and not recorded, offered in two blocks of 45 minutes. Eventually, recorded lectures may be adopted under exceptional circumstances. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Multiple Choice Questionnaire: 20 question MCQ online via Brightspace Week 8 n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: 20 question MCQ online via Brightspace. Week 12 n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Group Project: Group project [1200 words] + two suggested readings with rationale [300 words]. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% Yes


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: 20 question MCQ online via Brightspace Week 4 n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will get automatic feedback on their score in Brightspace after each MCQ that is the percentage of correct responses. As for the Group project feedback written feedback (positive aspects and aspects to improve) via Brightspace will be provided.

For each lecture, two scientific articles (PDF) will be uploaded to Brightpace. Lecturers may also recommend additional readings. Books on Developmental Psychology could support the learning process, especially for students from diverse disciplines.
Name Role
Professor Karen Anderson Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Amanda Fitzgerald Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Muireann Ní Raghallaigh Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Aifric O'Sullivan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Flavia Santos Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Christina Seery Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 31, 32, 33 Mon 14:00 - 15:50