Skip to main content


GEO8032 : Children and Young People: Contemporary Global Challenges

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Matej Blazek
  • Lecturer: Dr Catherine Walker, Dr Raksha Pande, Professor Janice McLaughlin, Professor Alison Stenning, Professor Tracy Shildrick, Professor Anoop Nayak, Dr Karenza Moore, Dr Michael Richardson, Dr Matt Benwell
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


With 40% of the world population being younger than 25, children and young people are at the heart of many of the contemporary global challenges. Promoting children’s rights and wellbeing, understanding diverse experiences as well as common issues, and recognising children and young people as active agents at the forefront of global challenges such as climate crisis, poverty and social injustices is crucial for creating more equitable, inclusive and sustainable societies for future generations.

This module builds on interdisciplinary strength of staff from the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology (GPS) working with children and young people in diverse socio-cultural and geographical contexts. We offer an original teaching portfolio based on world-leading research and expertise and with strong applicability for future career options. The module aims are:

1) To provide students with a critical understanding of the major global issues affecting children and young people.
2) To recognize and appreciate the diverse experiences of children and young people worldwide, while also identifying common issues and concerns.
3) To emphasize the role of children and young people as active agents addressing global issues, and their importance for creating more equitable, inclusive and sustainable societies for future generations.
4) To encourage interdisciplinary and cross-cultural thinking and learning about children and young people.

Outline Of Syllabus

Specific themes addressed by the module will vary from year to year, but they may include:

Different constructions of childhood and youth in society, culture, policy and law
Children, young people, displacement and migration
Discrimination of minoritized children and young people
Children and young people’s citizenship, political agency and participation
Children, young people and public space
Children and young people’s subcultures and recreational settings
Children, young people, disability and embodiment
Children, young people, poverty and labour
Child- and play- friendly cities
Children, young people, geopolitics, conflict and peace
Children, young people and climate change/crisis
Youth and urban masculinities/femininities
Education and inequalities
Race, ethnicity, multiculturalism, nationhood and social class
Intergenerational relations, parenting and reproductive geographies
Methodologies in research with children and young people

The focus of the module is how these challenges are present and can be addressed globally.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion166:0066:00Preparation of formative and summative assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion118:0088:00Recommended materials and activities following each individual teaching session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Weekly teaching will be organised around two-hour interactive lectures with small-group teaching activities
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities112:0022:00Preparation for lectures and small group teaching based on individual instructions, including prior reading and other activities
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery40:302:00Compulsory meetings with staff as part of formative assessment
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Each week there will be a two-hour session led by one of the contributing staff members. The sessions will follow a similar format, incorporating lecture- and small-group activities. The lecture materials will introduce students to key areas of knowledge (key challenges, children and young people's experiences, key concepts), while the small-group interactive activities will focus on developing students' analytical abilities in addressing these themes.

Students will be expected to complete preparatory activities for each session (e.g. prior reading or exercise), and they will be provided with guidance on suggested activities to further enhance their learning on a specific topic, emphasising the problem-solving and analytical focus of learning.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1004,000-word essay addressing at least two module themes in connection as global challenges, drawing on relevant theories and empirical contexts.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Reflective log1MSummary of discussions of an essay plan with at least two staff members, submitted for further comments from module leader
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essay allows students to draw on their conceptual understanding of key module themes and apply it to selected empirical contexts. It will allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of key challenges and concepts as well as their skills in assessing, analysing and problem-solving relevant information while considerate of ethical and methodological issues related to work with children and young people.

The requirement to draw on at least two module themes and in connection will require students to engage in-depth with multiple teaching sessions in order to complete the assessment and to reflect on the links between individual teaching themes.

The formative assessment will ask students to discuss their summative assessment progress with multiple staff members, and to provide a reflection on the progress for further comments from the module leader, thus assisting with the development of submitted work.

Reading Lists