master's degree programme, 2 years

Master of Philosophy in Childhood Studies

– Career prospects

MPhil in Childhood Studies will be relevant for building a career related to children and childhood in different public sectors in governmental organizations. This may include policy and planning for children’s living conditions in ministries and institutions which concern children, both locally and internationally. Another important area is Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), such as Save the Children and the Red Cross. In addition, the master’s programme qualifies for work related to research, consultancy, teaching and supervision in the field of children, welfare and development.


Jonnathan Mtonga

Photo of student.

Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at iSchool Zambia.

Jonnathan Mtonga

Photo of student.

Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at iSchool Zambia.

"Before starting my M.Phil. in Childhood Studies at NOSEB, I had a Bachelors of Art in Development Studies from the University of Zambia. At the time I was applying for the MPhil in Childhood Studies, I had considerable experience in working with vulnerable children from low-income communities and street children. It was from my work with children that I developed an interest in knowing more about children and this prompted me to apply for an M.Phil. in Childhood Studies at NOSEB.

The main focus of my  thesis whose research I conducted in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia was to investigate the reasons why institutionalized street children escaped institutional care in preference for the streets and the challenges they face on the streets. I further looked at gender deference's in how boys and girls experience life on the street and how they build and utilize social capital for survival.

Upon completing my studies at NTNU, I returned to Zambia and took up a job as a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at iSchool Zambia, a social enterprise developing interactive e-Learning lessons built around the Zambian school curriculum written and voiced in English and 8 local languages. As a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, my duties include among others, evaluating the impact of interactive lessons developed by iSchool have on the performance of children. I also supervise the assessment of children's performance using Tangerine; an electronic web-based data collection software for tablet computers to assess performance in numeracy and literacy using the USAID developed Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA). At the moment, I'm also overseeing the monitoring and evaluation of a UNICEF funded pilot project investigating the use and impact of e-learning and the use of tablet computers in rural government and community schools in Lukulu district in the Western province.

My work also requires me to design different monitoring and evaluation tools such classroom observations tools, Classroom map surveys; pupil, parent, teacher and head teacher surveys and I also conduct and facilitate focus group discussions for children, teachers, head teachers and parents. The knowledge I acquired at NOSEB has made me better equipped for my position at iSchool and it has enabled me to gather data from both children and adults. Without the knowledge I acquired at NTNU, I would have found my job challenging especially in cases where I work with children. The research skills I acquired at NOSEB are invaluable in my career as a researcher and evaluator working with children.

Apart from my work at iSchool, I'm a co-founder and board member for Action for children Zambia, an NGO that helps street children and trains them life skills then later reintegrates them into society. The knowledge I attained at NOSEB plays an important role in my work with street children and has given me a vantage point when advocating for vulnerable children like street children in different forums."


Ashenafi Kassahun

Lecturer at Debre Markos University, Department of Psychology, Ethiopia.

Lecturer at Debre Markos University, Department of Psychology, Ethiopia.

 

"I had bachelor degree in psychology from Addis Ababa University before I joined the Masters of Philosophy program in Childhood Studies. My exposure to the Norwegian Center for Child Research was a turning point for a theoretical and methodological shift in my academic life as well as my understand of childhood and mankind in general. The debates in the class with students from different countries diverse cultural backgrounds were first hand information to construct my own view who are the "Childhoods". It enlighten me to uncover the social life and mobility perspectives of "Yekolo-Temari" children in Ethiopia, which has been practiced for decades before the introduction of modern education in the country.

The application of the learning experiences from the program is tremendous in my career as a lecturer. The concept of childhood is focal point in the department of psychology where I currently work as home base instructor . The in-depth and research based knowledge and skill acquired from the center pushed me to introduce a new perspective in the department of psychology different from the traditional understanding of childhood. I am also able to teach my students contemporary paradigms in all courses that touches children such as, child right and protection, psychology of childhood, and counseling because of my indispensable experiences in the Masters of Philosophy program in Childhoods. As culture has important role in shaping peoples life in Ethiopia, the knowledge I gained game me strong theoretical ground to make my students understand all practices and interventions contextually.

In addition to these and other unmentioned benefits, I also give short-term training on child right and protection for law enforcers, and community based policing officers based on the knowledge learned from the center. Furthermore, the program provided me practical skill on doing research with children with their own right.

Last but not least, the financial assistance of the Quota Scheme scholarship made all educational and field work activities easy and pleasurable."


Achan Jackline Bwire

Lecturer at Uganda Christian University, Department of Child Development and Children's Ministry.

Lecturer at Uganda Christian University, Department of Child Development and Children's Ministry.

"I have always loved and had strong interest in working with children and in giving knowledge to persons who with the same ambition. It is for this reason that I decided to do the master's in childhood programme at NOSEB. I am now lecturing at Uganda Christian University in the department of Child development and Children's ministry. Thanks to the academic staff at NOSEB who gave me the skills, and knowledge required to be able to perform this teaching task. I like my current job because it is a direct platform for me to put the knowledge I acquired from the international masters study into practice. I currently teach research methods, early childhood intervention, child development and dissertation writing. Without the knowledge I got from the taught and research courses at NOSEB, I would have not been able to manage this teaching position. May the living God bless you all. "Tusentek" academic and administrative staff at NOSEB."


Carina Vedvik Hansen

Programme Assistant in the East and Southern Africa Section, Norwegian Refugee Council.
First job after completion of the master's degree: Youth Delegate for the Red Cross in Rwanda.

Carina Vedvik Hansen

Programme Assistant in the East and Southern Africa Section, Norwegian Refugee Council.
First job after completion of the master's degree: Youth Delegate for the Red Cross in Rwanda.


Carina worked one year as Youth Delegate for the Red Cross in Rwanda after completing her studies. In September 2008 she wrote:

"I have a Bachelor's degree consisting of psychology and subjects within the field of sociology and Africa studies. This degree together with several exchanges abroad, made it even more interesting for me to pursue an international Master's degree. In that respect, MPhil in Childhood Studies was interesting in many ways, both for acquiring more knowledge of the new sociology of childhood and human rights, in addition to international exchange of ideas with my fellow students in the program. English as a working language has made me confident in pursuing work outside of purely Norwegian speaking organizations or companies, something I see as very positive. The subjects covered in the Master's program have proven relevant for working both inside Norway and outside, something I weighed heavily when making my decision on which Master's degree I applied to.

The topic of my final thesis was children and education, more specifically children's participation in children's councils in Zambian basic schools. As part of this work I received a scholarship from Save the Children Norway's research fund, which made it possible for me to go to Zambia to undertake interviews and gathering of information, essential for the thesis to be successful. This was a worthwhile experience and I learned much about research methods and fieldwork. I gained more insight into the complex world of research and development. The Master's program, together with the opportunity to do fieldwork and do my own research, has encouraged and inspired me to work abroad for children's rights within the scope of development work.

Today I work as a youth delegate for the Norwegian Red Cross with the Rwanda Red Cross. My work assignments are to support the youth structures already existing within the Rwanda Red Cross. Work consists of supporting the youth sections in schools as well as supporting the units in making their own plans of action, for instance within projects concerning HIV/aids, international humanitarian law and hygiene and sanitation. In addition to this work, I will be involved with some OVC (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) programs, where I will support and monitor activities, as well as document the work being done and being part of the social and cultural activities. A part of the work description as a youth delegate is to write reports in addition to inform about work related to the different projects that the Rwanda Red Cross and the Norwegian Red Cross have. This is an incredibly exciting job in which I feel my knowledge and experiences grow every day, in every way.

In addition to the new and challenging work tasks, I get to experience some of the challenges occurring while working within a different country; with different working languages (French and Kinyarwanda to mention two), cultural diversity and differences in how to organise the working day. My Master's degree in Childhood Studies has made me confident that I have something to offer within my working field, and I want to develop my competence within this sector both inside Norway and outside."

Hildur Björk Sigbjörnsdóttir

Project manager, Health Information Management, Directorate of Health in Iceland

Hildur Björk Sigbjörnsdóttir

Project manager, Health Information Management, Directorate of Health in Iceland


"I had a bachelor degree in social anthropology from the University of Iceland and several years of working experience from within the public sector in Iceland when I got accepted into MPhil in Childhood studies. It was my sincere interest in children's daily lives and their position within the family that encouraged me to apply.

The main focus of my master's thesis was on Icelandic children growing up in post-divorce families where their parents have joint custody and live in two separate households. My aim was to explore and achieve an understanding of how these children both manage and experience their post-divorce family life, particularly their own residential arrangements.

I was offered a job at the Directorate of Health in Iceland, as a project manager in the division of health statistics, already before I finished the study. The Directorate of Health is a government agency headed by the Medical Director of Health. One of the main functions of the Directorate is to collect and process data on health and health care services with the aim of monitoring the health of the nation and to promote quality improvements in the health care services.

Although children and youngsters are not the main focus of my daily work at the Directorate of Health, the master's programme has without doubt proved very useful. During the study period my competence in dealing with complex and challenging projects developed and I have become better capable of organizing myself and to prioritize tasks. Furthermore, the programme increased my ability to put myself in the position of others and made me aware of the importance of listening to all parties involved. Last but not least, I learned Norwegian while living in Norway and my English, both written and spoken, improved immensely during the stay. Good language skills should not be underestimated in a global world where international cooperation keeps getting more extensive and important."

Contact information

Visiting address:
Norwegian Centre for Child Research
Department of Education and Lifelong Learning
Pavilion A Dragvoll
Loholt allé 85
Dragvoll Campus
NTNU

Student advisor
Telephone:
+ 47 73 59 19 37
E-mail: kontakt@ipl.ntnu.no

Postal address:
Department of Education and Lifelong Learning
Norwegian Centre for Child Research
NTNU
NO-7491 Trondheim
NORWAY