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Short courses
Education, Early Childhood & Youth

Exploring Childhood and Youth in Society


Course overview

You are introduced to the debates surrounding the role of digital and social media in the lives of children and young people in contemporary society. Our children and young people no longer experience the world without the internet, and this raises questions regarding their development, understanding and interactions.In our fast-changing technological environment is it reasonable to accept electronic communication as a part of life, or should adult carers still maintain caution with regards to its influence and the potential for a ‘toxic childhood’?

This course is now full.

This course will be delivered online. Please check the entry requirements tab before making your application to ensure you meet the entry criteria and have all the minimum equipment necessary to take part.

Starts Monday 6 July, Mondays & Wednesday for four weeks, 6.00pm-9.00pm.

This course will be delivered through a combination of pre-recorded narrated lectures and live seminar sessions. Please see the 'what you study' tab for the full timings.

You can study up to 30 credits at Summer University and you can select up to three modules on the same application form. If you would like to add a module later, or change one of your choices, then please let us know by emailing

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Course details

What you study

The module content will consider childhood as studied from the perspective of the western world and will include:

Social and psychological constructions of contemporary childhood
Concepts of post-modernity and compression of time and space in globalised childhoods
Nurturing environments, attachment and the social child
Virtual engagement, methods for creating and consuming knowledge
Electronic communication and acquisition of linguistic skills,
The role of play, imagination and the cyberworld
Literacy and learning in digital format
Commercialisation of childhood
Youth transitions and the construction of identity on-line
Youth culture and the issue of celebrity.
Re-creating youth – young people as agents and actors
Young people and political activism
Equal access: matters of disability, gender, class and race in making virtual connections.
Risk and the cyber world
Legislative and policy framework governing children and young people’s access to the world wide web.
Values and ethics of social media use in education, youth and social work

How you are assessed

A tutor defined 2,000 word report outlining interaction and use of a form of digital media by children and young people; examining the contributions, benefits, disadvantages, risks and ethical considerations to a specific area of their learning or development.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

As this is an online course it is necessary that you have access to a computer and that you are comfortable learning via an online platform.

International applicants must have an IELTS overall score of 5.5 or equivalent.



2020/21 entry

  • Length: Credits: 10, Level: 4, Fees: £50.00
  • Online
  • Enrolment date: Starts Monday 6 July, Mondays & Wednesdays for four weeks, 6.00pm-9.00pm