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Unit information: Children in a Global Context in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Children in a Global Context
Unit code SPOL32008
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Twum-Danso Imoh
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit will examine childhood in an international context. It applies a child rights framework to describe and discuss the current situation of children around the world. There will be a focus on the interaction between poverty and the economic and social rights accorded to women and children.

Teaching will be topic based, considering for example

  • Perspectives on global development
  • Conceptualisation and measurement of child poverty and wellbeing
  • The rights of children to basic services (health and nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation)
  • The place of children and child rights in development programmes
  • Policies to provide social justice for children

Seminars are mandatory and will incorporate guided discussion and group exercises.


  • To present a child centred view of international development
  • To present a critical reading of theory and research of relevance to global policies for children
  • To familiarise students with the notion of children’s agency
  • To give students an informed view of the global context for childhood
  • To explain the interchanges between policy areas
  • To familiarize students with human rights-based approach as a conceptual framework.
  • To illustrate the multiple contexts for a happy childhood

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of the course students will:

  • Be familiar with the UNCRC
  • Be familiar with the impacts on children of topics covered
  • Understand debates about the conceptualisation and measurement of child poverty
  • Be aware of the scope and nature of international development programmes aimed at improving child wellbeing
  • Have experience of using indicators of child wellbeing

Teaching details

Lectures, seminars and student led study.

Assessment Details

Poster presentation + briefing (1000 words) (25%)

Essay (2000 words) (75%)

Reading and References

  • Adamson, P., Bradshaw, J., Hoelscher, P. and Richardson, D. (2007) Child Poverty in Perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries, Innocenti Report Card, vol. 7, Unicef Innocenti Research Centre, Florence, Italy. (Pamphlet HV713 CHI also online at )
  • Ben-Arieh, A. and H. Wintersberger (eds.): 1996, Monitoring and Measuring the State of Children – Beyond Survival, Eurosocial Report No. 62 (European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna, Austria). []
  • Dean, H. (2010) Understanding Human Needs. Bristol: policy Press.
  • Gordon D, Nandy S, Pantazis C, Pemberton S, Townsend P (2003), Child Poverty in the Developing World, Bristol: Policy Press. [Pamphlet HV804 CHI]
  • Johnstone, G. (ed.) (2013) A Restorative Justice Reader. 2nd edn. London: Routledge. [HV8688 RES]
  • Minujin A and Nandy S (Eds.) (2012) Global child poverty and well-being: Measurement, concepts, policy and action, Bristol: The Policy Press. (HV804 GLO, and as an e-book); also available at: