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M. A. Childhood Studies and Children's Rights

Fachbereich Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaften
Silhouetten von Menschen in bunten Farben

Childhood Studies and Children's Rights (MACR) is for anyone who wants to work in the field of children's rights. The program allows you to bring a children's rights approach to the workplace and opens up new ways of working with, for, and about children – theoretically and practically. MACR is offered both fully online and in a blended learning format with face-to-face meetings in Potsdam.

Master of Arts
Full time
Advanced Master's program
Course language:
Standard study period:
3 semesters
Start of study:
Winter semester
Application deadline:
01.02. – 30.04.
Admission requirements:
first university degree, 12 months of professional work experience after finishing your bachelor’s degree
90 ECTS-credits
Modulhandbücher & Ordnungen
The Study at a Glance

International and Interdisciplinary Degree Program

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to study childhood and children's rights in an international environment with students from all over the world and from different academic backgrounds.
The study program will enable you to bring a child rights approach to the world of work and open up new ways of working with, for and about children – theoretically and practically. All seminars, tutorials, and lectures in the Childhood Studies and Children's Rights (MACR) program are offered in English.


  • To provide the necessary competencies for child, youth, and children's rights work
  • Earning competencies for the application of scientific methods and skills as well as professional competencies in numerous fields of work relevant to children's rights (e. g. social work, social pedagogy, law, politics, media)
  • Development of good research methods
  • Increasing the theoretical basis for the work of professionals
  • Improving your academic writing skills
  • Promote the rights of migrant and refugee children and children's rights in medical treatment and urban planning, which have been marginalized in childhood and children's rights studies
  • Collaborate closely with the professional community at the national and international levels. Especially international organizations (NGOs) contribute to the implementation through guest lectures and seminars. In addition, many representatives of major organizations are members of the MACR Advisory Board

Online or Blended Learning?

The MACR is offered both fully online and in a blended-learning-format with face-to-face meetings in Potsdam, Germany. We accept a maximum of 30 students in total, who can choose to study online or in Potsdam. Students who choose to come to Potsdam have regular face-to-face meetings with our teachers and learn in a group setting in a personal environment. Students who study MACR fully online also meet our instructors, but in virtual classrooms and at shorter intervals. Please make sure your PC has an internet connection with a download speed of at least 50 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps, as well as a microphone and webcam.

Both the online students and the Potsdam students will form a group that will be provided with the same materials and content and will do group work as well as individual instruction. Because students from both tracks form one student group, several sessions of the program will be organized to provide shared group assignments and asynchronous learning for all participants. There are several benefits to both tracks. From last year's experience, we have learned that online learning and study has become very attractive, especially given the global pandemic situation. In addition, access to MACR is easier when travel is not required.

On the other hand, the traditional form of learning in a face-to-face environment creates an atmosphere of trust and learning much more easily than online. As we plan an introductory week in Potsdam for all students at the beginning of the program, there will be a group finding process that can be referred back to during the master's program. We are also planning a face-to-face meeting after the second semester, after all modules have been studied, to reflect on our learning process and to exchange ideas about the planned research for the master's thesis.



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More courses
Study program Teaching language Start of study Application deadline
M. A: Childhood Studies and Children's Rights English Winter semester
01.02. – 30.04.
Career Prospects

Career Prospects

Traditional work areas

  • Children and youth welfare
  • Social services
  • Public services
  • Welfare and youth associations (NGOs)


International Organizations

  • internationally active organizations of development cooperation, especially those working for children, youth and families, e. g. Save the Children, terre des hommes, World Vision, Plan international etc.

Conflict Management

Social work, childhood education, and educator training graduates can expand and sharpen their profile, especially with regard to:

  • Conflict management and conflict resolution
  • Mediation
  • Violence prevention
  • Promotion of migrant and refugee children

Social Work

  • in schools
  • school psychology
  • In the context of all-day care: this is particularly the case with the increasing number of all-day schools in Germany


In Germany (and Austria) there is the possibility to work as a Verfahrensbeistandes (child advocate). For law graduates, the M. A. Childhood Studies and Children's Rights provides qualifications and competencies in the field of juvenile and family justice.

Ombudsperson for Children

By anchoring children's rights in different and diverse environments and areas, new professions and fields of work are opening up. First and foremost, the position of children's ombudsperson should be mentioned here. Children's ombudspersons are very rare in Germany – only a few municipalities and one federal state (Saxony-Anhalt) have such a position. The Master Childhood Studies and Children's Rights contributes to the establishment of child ombudspersons in all municipalities and regions in Germany (other countries are already better positioned in this area, but not only the positions, but also the equipment of the ombudspersons is the goal of MACR.

  • I am currently a qualitative research consultant at UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti and I am managing my own company – Articolo12 – providing other organizations with support in Project Cycle Management, training design and delivery, research, etc. focusing on children's rights.

  • This is a master that I can unreservedly recommend and focus on. It focuses on the child and their needs and interests (rather than their later usefulness to society). The Master is visionary in many ways and was designed by people who are passionate, inspiring, and idealistic about children's rights.

  • I am PhD researcher at the Migration Law Research Group at Ghent University, Belgium. I study children's rights in appellate asylum proceedings in Belgium, using a multidisciplinary approach of legal ethnography. My research is supervised by Prof. Dr. Ellen Desmet and embedded in the interfaculty Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR) and the Human Rights Centre (HRC). Before starting my PhD, I worked as a researcher and policy advisor for the Children's Rights Knowledge Centre (KeKi, 2012-2020). In addition, I was involved in several research projects about children's rights and child abduction (University of Antwerp, 2016-2020).

  • In the master's program, I engaged with a variety of international and interdisciplinary perspectives on childhood and children's rights. This has broadened my horizons enormously and helped me to rethink my own concept of dealing with children. In my work, I would now like to incorporate the topics that were discussed and taught in the master's program into the further training of educators with the goal of making educational processes more child-centered.


These degree programs might also interest you

More courses
Study program Teaching language Start of study Application deadline
M. A: Childhood Studies and Children's Rights English Winter semester
01.02. – 30.04.
Study Contents

Course of Studies

The standard period of study for the fee-based master's program Childhood Studies and Children's Rights (MACR) is three semesters and concludes with a master's thesis. The exact procedure can be found you in the course schedule.


1st – 2nd semester 3rd semester
Compulsory modules Compulsory elective modules, master thesis, colloquium

Study Contents

Teaching Formats

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Colloquia
  • Guest lectures

All teaching and learning formats are generally held on Mondays and Fridays.

Mandatory Modules

  • Childhood Studies
  • Understanding Children's Rights
  • Methods and Techniques of Childhood and Children's Rights Research
  • Work and Education of Children in an International and Intercultural Comparison
  • Children Out of Place and Child Rights Oriented Practice
  • Children and Media

Elective Modules

  • Internship
  • Research
  • Practical Project 

Guest Lectures

Our seminar program is enriched by expert guest lectures. For this purpose, we regularly invite international researchers and practitioners to give lectures at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Academic writing

To improve academic writing skills, we offer an academic writing course each winter semester.

Practice Day

To open up various opportunities for internships and employment after graduation, each spring we organize an internship day with NGOs in the field of childhood studies and children's rights.


  • Master's thesis
  • Oral presentation on the master's thesis

Module Manuals & Regulations

For a detailed description of the course content, study plans and descriptions of individual modules in the Childhood Studies and Children's Rights program, please refer to the module handbook and the subject-specific study and examination regulations.



  • Dr. Rebecca Budde - Modules: Children's Rights, Focus Topics (Potsdam University of Applied Sciences)
  • Judit Costa - Modules: Children's Rights, Focus Topics (Children's Rights Networking)
  • M. A. Elena Frense - Module: Children and Media (Research Associate, Digital Opportunities Foundation)
  • Prof. Dr. Beatrice Hungerland - Module: Childhood Research (Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences)
  • Mohammed Jouni - Module: key issues (Youth without borders)
  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Liebel - Modules: Childhood Studies, Children's Rights, Key Themes (Founder and Director of the M.A. Childhood Studies and Children's Rights; Professor of Sociology, TU Berlin emeritus; Chair MACR)
  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Maier-Höfer - Module: Key Themes (University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt)
  • Dr. Urszula Markowska-Manista - Modules: Children's rights, research, priority topics (University of Warsaw; Potsdam University of Applied Sciences)
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Maywald - Module: Children's Rights (German League for the Child; FH Potsdam; Spokesperson of the National Coalition for the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Germany)
  • M. A. Philip Meade - Modules: Children's rights, focus topics (Dipl. Soz.-Päd, M.A.; EMCR; Children's Rights Officer at Kompaxx e.V.; Director ProNats)
  • Karina Piersig - Modules: Research, Children and Media (Head of Digital Learning, Technical University of Munich)
  • Iven Saadi - Module: focus topics (political scientist, M.A.)
  • Sabina Salimovska (MACR; School Mediator/RAA)
  • Prof. Dr. Anne Wihstutz - Modules: Childhood Studies; Protestant University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Chair of Sociology, Elementary Education program

  • Katerina Varella, EMCR
  • Anne Sophie Winkelmann (Anti Bias Workshop)

  • Prof. Dr. Erica Burman (School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester, UK)
  • Nigel Cantwell (independent researcher on children's rights, UK/Switzerland)
  • Dr. Reinald Eichholz (former child rights commissioner North Rhine-Westphalia)
  • Dr. Natália Fernandes (Universidade do Minho, Portugal)
  • Prof. Dr. Anna Holzscheiter (Free University of Berlin, Otto Suhr Institute)
  • Prof. Dr. Maureen Maisha Auma (Diversity Studies, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences)
  • Prof. Dr. Jens Qvortrup (Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • MACR alumni
Application & Enrollment

Application & Enrollment

Required Documents

The following application documents are to be sent in a PDF document by April 30 by e-mail ( to the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam:

  • Completed application form (english or deutsch)
  • Resume (tabular)
  • Letter of motivation (700-900 words), please write in English
  • University degree (single copy)
  • Proof of ECTS/Credit Points
  • Inclusive transcript of records
  • Proof of qualified professional practical activity after completion of the first university degree (one year)
  • Proof of English language skills (level C1, verifiable by certificates - or informally by, for example former teachers*, confirmation of study or work abroad in an English-speaking country)

Admission Criteria

  • First academic degree (Bachelor)
  • Professional experience after completion of first university degree (twelve months)
  • Knowledge of English (level C1)

Important note:If you obtained your first university degree at a university outside of Germany, you must apply to uni-assist at the same time as you apply to the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

For further questions, please contact uni.assist.

Admission and Enrollment

The following aspects of your application will be considered in the selection process:

  • Grade of the first university degree (60 %)
  • Letter of motivation (40 %)

After admission, the admission letter and enrollment certificate will be sent to you by email.


For the Childhood Studies and Children's Rights degree program, a semester contribution as well as fees amounting to 7.600 Euros (total). The fees can be paid in three installments


General Information on Application and Enrollment Procedures

There are various application procedures at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. General information on application and enrollment procedures as well as information on part-time studies, guest auditorships, and second degree studies can be found on the general application pages.

General Information about the Application

International Applicants

You would like to apply for studies from the first or a apply for a higher semester and have obtained your school and/or university degree abroad? If so, you can have degrees and achievements obtained abroad recognized and study with us.

International Applicants



Program Director

Prof. Dr. phil. Friederike Lorenz-Sinai

Prof. Dr. Friederike Lorenz-Sinai

Professur für Methoden der Sozialen Arbeit und Sozialarbeitsforschung

Program Coordinator

Korinna McRobert

Korinna McRobert, M. A.

Akademische Koordination M. A. Childhood Studies and Children's Rights (MACR)

Administrative Coordination

Nicol Tobar Salazar

Nicol Tobar Salazar, Bachelor of Laws

Administrative Koordination M. A. Childhood Studies and Children's Rights (MACR)

Founder and Patron

Prof. Dr. Manfred Liebel

Prof. Dr. Manfred Liebel

Schirmherr des Studiengangs Childhood Studies and Children's Rights (M. A.)

Student Assistant

Social Media