Doctor of Philosophy in Child Rights and Childhood Studies

Doctor of Philosophy in Child Rights and Childhood Studies


College: School of Law

Programme Level: Postgraduate

Duration: 3 year(s)

Department: Department of Public Law

Learning Mode: Full Time

Location: Main Campus

The degree programme aims to develop a knowledge base in child rights and social constructions on childhood and family from African perspectives and create a steady flow of national and international experts who are committed to the realisation of the rights of children in the design and implementation of research, policies and programmes.

The programme is designed for professionals who work with children’s rights issues including: lawyers, psychologists, sociologists, judges, law enforcement officers, social workers, teachers, government officials, and staff from non-governmental organisations, academics and journalists.




  1. To equip students with knowledge and skills in child rights and childhood studies anchored in the African perspectives.
  2. Provide participants with opportunities to acquire advanced, extended and specialised knowledge in children’s rights and child focused policies in their theoretical as well as in their practical dimensions through the introduction of different concepts and approaches;
  3. Foster both an international and an interdisciplinary approach to the study of children’s rights and produce knowledge, innovative methodology and tools for policies and strategies.
  4. Stimulate the development of experts in the field of child protection research, with transferable intellectual, policy analysis and research skills in child centred policy and programme design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation, who can make a socially responsible contribution to the field of child protection globally
  5. To introduce, develop and foster an Afrocentric conceptualisation and policy framework in childhood studies and child rights


Entry Requirements


  1. A candidate applying for admission into a Doctoral Degree programme at Africa University must possess a Master’s degree in the relevant field of study. In addition, the candidate must provide official transcripts as evidence of the following:
  2. coursework in a relevant field of study at the Masters level AND
  3. A minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.0 (B) or equivalent at the Masters level.
  4. As part of the application process, all doctoral degree applicants must provide a copy of their Master’s degree dissertation as evidence of their research accomplishments.
  5. The CSSTHE Board will recommend for admission to the GSC, applicants who obtained a Master’s degree by research.
  6. Applicants should submit with their applications a Motivation Statement written in English.
  7. As part of the application process, applicants will be required to have an interview with the CSSTHE. If so, the interview will be conducted in English

A good Master’s degree in any child related discipline.

No program costs found.

Jobs You Could Have

This programme is tailor-made for those who want to work in commissioning, conducting or applying research; as well as those working (or aspiring) to shape policy and practice.  This will enable them to address pressing issues in relation to children and those who work in close contact with children. Students can go on to get jobs in the following sectors:

  1. Child welfare
  2. Health
  3. Criminal Justice
  4. Education
  5. Political science
  6. Law enforcement
  7. Social sciences including social policy
  8. International development
  9. Voluntary and private sector
  10. Academia, government and non-government organisations.

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