Children's Rights, 7.5 credits

Barns rättigheter, 7.5 hp


Main field of study

Child Studies

Course level

Second cycle

Course type

Programme course


Jonathan Josefsson

Course coordinator

Jonathan Josefsson

Director of studies or equivalent

Mats Andrén
ECV = Elective / Compulsory / Voluntary
Course offered for Semester Weeks Language Campus ECV
F7MCH Child Studies, Master´s Programme 2 (Spring 2023) 202309-202313 English Linköping C

Main field of study

Child Studies

Course level

Second cycle

Advancement level


Course offered for

  • Master´s Programme in Child Studies

Entry requirements

  • Bachelor's degree equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen within the humanities, social sciences or the behavioral sciences with a major relevant to the programme. 
    Examples of fields:
    - anthropology
    - education
    - history
    - communication studies
    - media studies
    - language studies
    - psychology
    - social work
    - sociology
    - political science
    or equivalent
  • English corresponding to the level of English in Swedish upper secondary education (English 6/B)
    (Exemption from Swedish)

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course, the student should on an advanced level be able to:

  • compare various categories of children’s rights;
  • account for different philosophical arguments in relation to children’s rights;
  • critically review children’s rights in relation to perspectives universality, cultural relativism or sustainable development;
  • analyse the ways in which children’s rights may be at conflict with the interests of other groups;
  • analyse the ways in which children’s rights can be assigned varying meanings by different groups and in various contexts.

Course content

The introduction to the course will give a historical background to today’s international agreements on children’s rights, as well as identify and elaborate on the differences between various categories of children’s rights. Furthermore, the course provides a survey of various theories on rights and the philosophical arguments in favour of and against the special rights of children. The course comprises a thorough discussion of how children’s rights are related to other closely related concepts such as children’s needs, the best interest of the child, children’s participation and children’s perspectives. All this is dealt with in relation to specific contexts such as education, the family, migration, sustainable development and from the perspective of specific articles in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Furthermore, the course will relate the existence of international conventions on children’s rights to a broader discussion on universalism and cultural relativism, and thus touch upon the criticism that can be levied upon a universal definition of children’s rights and how such criticism may be dealt with. Finally, the course addresses the question of in what ways the best interests of the child may be at conflict with the interests of other groups as well as the ways in which various groups can define “the best interests of the child” in different ways.

Teaching and working methods

The teaching in this course is carried out online and consists of lectures, seminars and group work. In addition, the student will engage in independent studies.

Language of instruction and examination: English.


The examinations consist of:

  • Active participation in seminars, grading scale: Fail/Pass 
  • Written individual assignment, grading scale: EC

A passing grade (E) in the course requires grade E in the written individual assignment as well as a passing grade in the other examinations in the course. Higher grades are based on the written individual assignment.

Detailed information on the examinations can be found in the study guide.

If special circumstances prevail, and if it is possible with consideration of the nature of the compulsory component, the examiner may decide to replace the compulsory component with another equivalent component.

If the LiU coordinator for students with disabilities has granted a student the right to an adapted examination for a written examination in an examination hall, the student has the right to it.

If the coordinator has recommended for the student an adapted examination or alternative form of examination, the examiner may grant this if the examiner assesses that it is possible, based on consideration of the course objectives.

An examiner may also decide that an adapted examination or alternative form of examination if the examiner assessed that special circumstances prevail, and the examiner assesses that it is possible while maintaining the objectives of the course.

Students failing an exam covering either the entire course or part of the course twice are entitled to have a new examiner appointed for the reexamination.

Students who have passed an examination may not retake it in order to improve their grades.



Other information

Planning and implementation of a course must take its starting point in the wording of the syllabus. The course evaluation included in each course must therefore take up the question how well the course agrees with the syllabus. 

The course is carried out in such a way that both men´s and women´s experience and knowledge is made visible and developed.

If special circumstances prevail, the vice-chancellor may in a special decision specify the preconditions for temporary deviations from this course syllabus, and delegate the right to take such decisions.


Institutionen för Tema
Code Name Scope Grading scale
OBL1 Mandatory Part 1.5 credits U, G
EXAM Examination 6 credits EC


Reading list

Reading list with compulsory literature can be found under the tab “Additional documents”. A complete Reading list including reference literature will be available in LISAM (LiU:s e-learning platform) at the start of the course.

This tab contains public material from the course room in Lisam. The information published here is not legally binding, such material can be found under the other tabs on this page.

There are no files available for this course.