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Participation and Children's Rights


This module is designed for those who have worked or who are working with children in their early years.  Students will critically review and develop an understanding of the meaning and purposes of participation.  Despite its widespread usage, there remains considerable lack of clarity about what is actually meant by participation in the context of children’s rights.  The students will also investigate and critically analyse the adult role with regard to enabling the effective participation of young children, families and communities. 

In this module, the term participation, in line with the UNCRC, refers to children having the right to express their opinions, and have a role in decisions that affect them, and with adults taking account of these.  Students will develop detailed and critical knowledge and understanding about participation with regard to potential purposes, benefits, barriers, risks, achievements, methods and measurement.  

By referring to practice and research evidence, students will be able to reflect on and critically analyse their own and others’ roles and responsibilities in terms of how effective participation can inform quality improvement in early years settings and services, leading to better outcomes.

This is an SCQF Level 11 module and upon successful completion, participants will be awarded 20 credits.



The module runs over a period of thirteen weeks but can be accessed and completed at any time suitable for relevant students. 

The module is designed as a distance learning module and hence students can access and complete elements each week at times that are most suitable to them.  Lecture staff communicate via weekly discussion posts and provide optional online drop-in sessions to support each topic being covered each month. 


Course presenter

This module will be delivered by Lorraine Gilmour.



This course may be available on a fully funded basis to some delegates.  Further details, including regarding eligibility, are available under Funding Support.

If you have any questions, please contact us at


NOTE: This is a university module and upon approval of your application, you will be invited to register and then supported to complete enrolment. To enrol on the university system, the first step involves security set-up using the Microsoft Authenticator app; you will need to ensure that you have a compatible smartphone.

Further information is available at the Student Information Portal.

To access this module via the CPD route, individuals should be ordinarily resident in Scotland.  If you do not meet this criteria, please enquire here.

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