Master of Arts

Childhood Studies and Children's Rights

The M.A. Childhood Studies and Children's Rights (MACR) aims at changing attitudes to promote social change. Join today to become a beacon of light in the
Children's Rights Community.

Apply by 15.05.2021!


What our students and alumni say

“Education is a tool to non-discrimination and it' s worth fighting for it! My name is Sabina, I work as a school mediator in RAA Berlin and a lecturer in the MACR. This master was a door opener for me and my future. Not only I found an internship and work but also gained so much knowledge about children's rights, made beautiful everlasting friendships and gained experience in implementing the theory into practice, especially in schools. On daily bases I am supporting the equal access to education and development of Roma, refugee, migrant and underprivileged children in schools and transmit my knowledge about children's right to them. I am very happy to have the opportunity to be part of the "children's rights bubble" The gain is more than you can imagine ! Go for it ;)”

Sabina Salimovska

“This life-changing and empowering Master's program has not only been instrumental in broadening my academic qualifications, but has also made me critically examine, re-evaluate, and expand my personal values. The program has allowed me to grow beyond myself and develop in ways that amaze even myself. It really brings out the best in you if you go for it and are willing to make a great transformation.”

Tabea Klawisch

“For me, the MACR was a chance to become part of a movement whose vision I identify with: the analysis and deconstruction of social hierarchies and the promotion of children's rights. In this same spirit, my master thesis on intersectional discrimination against girls has a strong focus on empowerment by acknowledging girls' agency and their right to claim human rights. Overall, I believe that the MACR prepared me to contribute to the scientific discourse.”

Pauline Richter

“In 2015 I was researching graduate programs in Berlin and was trying to determine which was the right fit for my career and my professional aspirations. What I really wanted was a master’s degree that would enrich my everyday work with a broader understanding of children's rights theory and research, and also an academic credential that would help me advance my career. I found exactly what I was looking for at the M.A. Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights. I took courses led by well-known experts in their fields who challenged my thinking and deepened my understanding of childhood studies and critical children's rights issues. I was part of a student body that was diverse in age, race, religion, professional experience, geography, and citizenship. This diversity enabled me to see each topic we studied from multiple perspectives, making me into a more open-minded and thoughtful researcher. The study program itself consolidated the theoretical basis of my professional work and equipped me with the relevant skills and competencies to become a more empathetic and inclusive practitioner. More importantly, I developed a professional and personal network that now includes colleagues all across the country. All of the above are signature elements of the M.A. Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights. Now, years after making that initial choice to attend this visionary program, I know that it was the best investment for my academic and professional future.”

Ina Lekka

“I was enjoying a lot the students from different countries, to see how they have studied in different educational systems than mine? So the way they are participating the way they are thinking- I was impressed by some of the inputs and comments. And there I decided yeah I have a lot to share because I am from the field but then when I just listened to the comments, I said no they have more, I need to listen to gain more and then I can really collaborate or share the knowledge that I have.”


“I'm working with Children's Rights Information Center, an NGO from Moldova and I'm currently a board member of Child Rights Connect - a global network of NGOs active for children's rights. I finished my master studies 10 years ago :) It was wonderful! A lot of learning and good exchanges with students from many countries and different educational and professional backgrounds. Perhaps, the best part of the program was the commitment and openness of the MACR team and especially Manfred to learn together with us students. They offered us a lot of space to explore our own interest and supported us in many ways. This is how I started learning about children's participation in the CRC monitoring and reporting process. Back then, this was not very much known, it was not considered very important... I had all support needed to examine this concept and practice critically. And I am still engaged with this fascinating topic in different ways - for example by supporting children in Moldova to take part, documenting and learning from this practice.”

Smilijana Frick

“Such passionate teachers with high quality experience in the field of childhood and children's rights, Friendly to the students and open to questions while being precise about giving answers. They are teaching from the heart with real life examples on every aspect of different childhoods around the world. It's like being in a time machine, they take you to travel the world through different times to be introduced to all childhoods around the world from different sciences perspectives”


“Maybe the most important impact the MA had on my professional and also personal life is a shift and change in how I perceive the world. I have gained a new perspective which is looking at social, economical and cultural issues from a child rights perspective. A perspective which I never had before or never thought of and which has now become a constant point of view when looking, analysing and acting in life.”


“This is a Master that I can recommend and put at the heart without any limitations. It places the child und its needs/and interests in the centre (and not its later usefulness for society). The Master is visionary in many aspects and has been formed by people who are passionate, inspirational and highly idealistic about standing up for the rights of children.”


“When I started the program I realized it was not only about law- and I thought- wow, that’s actually great that is what I like- from that point of view I was really satisfied with the topics of the modules we had because it was very bright and different- it wasn’t one way but you could tackle children’s rights from different perspectives- that was interesting for me on the one hand and on the other hand the group itself the people - I think that was an extra beneficial adding to the modules that we studied”


“In the master’s programme I dealt with a large number of international and interdisciplinary perspectives on childhood and children’s rights. This has widened my horizon enormously and it has helped me to re-assess my own concept of interacting with children. In my work, I now aim at including the themes that were discussed and conveyed in the master’s when offering further training to pedagogues with the objective to design educational processes more child-friendly”


“As a student, I can state that it is the best designed program - suitable for different people with different backgrounds and different ways of perception.”

Marine Fidanyan
Class of 2018-2020


Overview of the MACR


Master of Arts (M.A.)

Course length
3 semesters (1,5 years)
7 modules and M.A. thesis

Total credit points:
90 ECTS =
10 ECTS x 7 modules +
20 ECTS for M.A. Thesis

Type of programme
- On Campus/Blended/Online

Advanced Master’s Course

Administrative Fee
To find out more,
click here (per semester)

Tuition fee
~ €7600 for the entire course
For more information, contact

Links to information -
Module Handbook
MACR Study Structure



Language of instruction
English - All seminars, tutorials, lectures in the MACR are held in English. However, we encourage considering and using sources in other languages, particularly from the regions students come from.

Blended learning/Online
In each module, there are 40-45 contact hours with professors. The schedule can be found here
We use Moodle and MS Teams as learning platforms. In order to facilitate consultation of up-to-date scientific and professional literature, students have access to a set of reading material with relevant articles and book chapters pertaining to the themes discussed during the modules. In addition to reading, individual or group tasks are assigned in relation to the themes discussed during the modules. Examples include: writing brief essays, exchange your findings with fellow students, work on a mind map in groups, enter contributions to forums/wikis and more.

Other learning activities that are facilitated include participation in a seminar or conference or doing an internship or creating a practical project related to the content of the programme.


  • To convey you the required competences for children, youth and children’s rights work
  • Attaining competencies to use scientific methods and skills, as well as professional capacities in numerous children’s rights relevant work fields (e.g. Social Work, Social Pedagogy, Law, Politics, Media).
  • Developing good research methods. You can find examples for possible M.A. topics here.
  • Consolidating the theoretical basis of professionals’ work.
  • Enhancing academic writing skills.
  • The promotion of, inter alia, rights of immigrant and refugee children as well as children’s rights in medical treatment and in urban planning, which as of yet have only been treated marginally in childhood and children’s rights studies.
  • Close collaboration with the professional world both nationally and internationally. International Organizations (NGOs) in particular play a role in the implementation of the MACR by sending guest lectures and offering seminars. In addition, many representatives of large organisation are members of the MACR advisory committee.
Need more information? Please contact us.

Reach out to the MACR Team

We look forward to hearing from you


For questions and inquiries

MACR coordination team

phone number

Telephone number

+49 331 580-1121



Office on campus:
Fachhochschule Potsdam
House 5/ Room 016
Kiepenheuerallee 5,
14469 Potsdam

About Us

Meet the people at MACR

Lecturers & Committee

Prof. Dr. Manfred Liebel
Founder and Director of the M.A. Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights; Professor of Sociology, TU Berlin emer., chairperson MACR

Prof. Dr. Beatrice Hungerland
Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal

Dr. Urszula Markowska-Manista
University of Warsaw/University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

Prof. Dr. Jörg Maywald
Deutsche Liga für das Kind; FH Potsdam; Speaker National Coalition for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Germany

Karina Piersig
Manager Digital Learning, Technische Universität München)

Judit Costa
Kinderrechte Netzwerkarbeit)

Prof. Dr. Claudia Maier-Höfer
University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt

Iven Saadi
Political scientist

M.A.Sabina Salimovska
(MACR) (School Mediator/RAA)

Philip Meade
Dipl. Soz.-Päd, M.A. (EMCR); (Kinderrechtsbeauftragter bei Kompaxx e.V.; Direktor ProNats)

Mohammed Jouni
Jugendliche ohne Grenzen

Dr. Ingrid Stapf
University Thübingen

Dr. Rebecca Budde
University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

Elena Frense
Research assistant, Digital Opportunities Foundation

Other Lecturers

Introductory workshop
'Power relations between children and adults. A critical (self-) reflection on adultism'
Anne Sophie Winkelmann
Katerina Varella , EMCR

Guest lecturers of partner universities
Dr. Olga Nieuwenhuys
(Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Prof. Dr. Maria Roth
(Universitatea Babes-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca,  Romania)
Prof. Dr. Wouter Vandenhole
(UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Antwerp)
Prof. Dr. Karl Hanson
(Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch, Sion, Switzerland)

Other Guest lecturers
(non-extensive list)
Nigel Cantwell
(independent researcher on children's rights, UK/Switzerland)
Prof. Dr. Erica Burman
(School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester, UK)
Prof. Dr. Jens Qvortrup
(Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Prof. Dr. Maureen Maisha Auma
(Diversity Studies, Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal)
Prof. Dr. Anna Holzscheiter
(Freie Universität Berlin, Otto-Suhr Institut)
Dr. Reinald Eichholz|
(former Children’s Rights Commissioner North Rhein Westfalia)
and MACR graduates...

Advisory Committee of the MACR

In June 2011 an advisory committee to the MACR was established. The committee advises the staff of the master programme in terms of basic conceptional and theoretical questions. Click here to know more


The MACR timeline

The M.A. Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights (MACR) aims at changing attitudes to promote social change.
“The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child systematically recommends States parties to the CRC to organize and/or support training of professionals on the content and the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. A European Masters Programme on Children’s Rights will be an important contribution to this training. The Committee encourages the European States parties to the CRC to provide the necessary support for the establishment of and the participation to this Masters Programme.” Jaap van Doek, Chair of the UN-Committee on the Rights of the Child (2007)

The MACR was developed in the frame of a project co-funded by the European Commission and Save the Children Sweden to establish the European Network of Masters in Children’s Rights (ENMCR) in the years 2005-2008: An independent expert commented on the project during its development: “The (..) ENMCR program has a very innovative approach. It closes a gap of professional education in the field of Children’s Rights. With its European Partners it represents not only a European dimension, but with its theme and its objectives it has also a global dimension. The (..) curriculum is a good combination between theoretical knowledge, practical training and input from third parties (NGOs).” (Expert, 2006)Since then, approx. 250 students have graduated from the MACR. In 2015, the ENMCR was renamed to better reflect the activities of the approximately 30 member institutions and is now the Children’s Rights European Academic Network, CREAN

The core element of the MACR is children’s active and effective participation in societal processes. Interdisciplinarity of the programme: The MACR is delivered through various different subject areas: intercultural education, sociology, economics, political science, international development studies, social and behavioural sciences, childhood culture studies, law, philosophy, social anthropology. This makes it highly interdisciplinary in nature contrasting the traditional singular disciplinary approach to children’s rights. Students who themselves have heterogeneous disciplinary backgrounds are asked to combine these disciplinary approaches and become interdisciplinary learners. This is seen as a great asset of the MACR to broaden perspectives and learn to take new/other approaches seriously and grasp what the opportunity for a new interdisciplinary learning experience means.


  • Master's degree programmes on children's rights
  • An extended network of universities and organisations (CREAN- Children's Rights European Academic Network)

Joint activities of the network over the past 10 years:

  • Conferences on specific child rights themes
    - Child Rights Research: From Theory to Practice
    (Madrid, 2012)
    - Children’s Rights to Non-Discrimination
    (Vilnius, 2014)
    - The impact of children’s rights education and research on policy development (Geneva, 2018)
    planned Children's Right's Conference (CREAN) with the topic: "Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Challenges in Childhood Studies and Children's Rights" (that will be held after the covid-19 pandemic)
  • Development of common teaching material
    - Intensive courses and summer schools on specific child rights themes
    - The networking of theory and practice in the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in European and non-European countries, exchange of experience and results: There is close cooperation and involvement of already existing non-university structures dedicated to the promotion of the rights of the child at both national and international level. The relevant organisations and institutions have a special role to play in the further development and implementation of the MA, in so far as the study programme is also geared to their needs and their requirements for such a qualification programme, and in so far as they participate in the implementation of the programme (e.g. through guest lectures or the introduction of modules).
  • Internships
    In order to bring the participants as close as possible to the professional world during their studies and to increase their career opportunities after completion of their studies, internships are offered in organisations and institutions.
  • Co-operation
    The MACR also cooperates with the Latin American Network of Masters in Children’s Rights   (Red Latinoamericana de Maestrías de Infancia) which unites several master programs at five Latin American Universities offering single and joint study programs.


Your career after the MACR

The perspectives and possibilities for work in the area of children and young people’s rights is manifold and diverse

  • Traditional working areas are child and youth welfare, social services, urban planning, public services as well as welfare and youth associations (NGOs).
  • Graduates of social work, early childhood education as well as teacher’s education can extend and prime their profile, in particular in view of conflict management and resolution, mediation, prevention of violence, promotion of migrant- and refugee children etc.  Another work field is social work at school as well as school psychology and in the frame of day care- this in particular with the increasing number of whole day schools (Ganztagsschulen) in Germany.
  • A large range of working fields are offered by international organizations such as UNICEF, UNESCO, UNHCR as well as internationally working organizations in development cooperation in particular those promoting children, young people and families, e.g. Save the Children; terre des hommes; World Vision, Plan international etc.
  • Due to the mainstreaming of children’s rights in various and diverse surroundings and areas, new professions and work fields are opening up. Firstly, the position of children’s ombudsperson should be named. Children ombudspersons are very scarce in Germany- only few local communities and one Bundesland (Sachsen-Anhalt) have such a position. The M.A. Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights is contributing to the establishment of children’s ombudspersons in all municipalities and regions in Germany (other countries are better situated in this area already, however it is not only the positions but also the equipment and facilities available to the ombudspersons which the MACR is aiming at contributing to.
  • Another German (and Austrian) field of work is the position of the “Verfahrensbeistand” (guardian in juridical procedures- child lawyer). For graduates of law the M.A. Childhood Studies and Children’s Rights imparts qualification and competencies in the realm of youth and family courts.
  • Journalists obtain qualifications to sharpen their profile and extend their professional offers. It can be observed that- e.g. in independent associations- there are increasing numbers of jobs for communication tasks in the field of human and children’s rights protection.

Child Rights Advocacy
There is a shortage of professionals with advocacy skills in Europe and around the globe as concerns children’s rights. In government documentation e.g. children’s rights issues are found only marginally. The MACR aims at counteracting this reality by providing students and professionals with advocacy and lobbying skills.

Need more information? Please contact us.