Monash University

Undergraduate - Area of Study

Students who commenced study in 2012 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirments; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your area of study.

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All areas of study information should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. The units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Arts component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Arts
Offered bySchool of Social Sciences
Campus(es)South Africa


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the handbook are not available for study in the current year.


Child and youth development promotes and facilitates optimum development of children and adolescents with both normal and special developmental needs, ensuring that their effectiveness within all the contexts in which they function.

The developmental-ecological perspective adopted as the theoretical model of choice for this area of study emphasises the interaction between persons and the physical and social environments, including cultural and political settings. The value of such knowledge has become increasingly important both nationally and internationally as understanding of the importance of early life experiences to the later optimal development and well-being of the child becomes more apparent. Poor early life experiences can lead to deleterious outcomes from underachievement of potential to delinquency and deviancy.

Issues of major importance for the children and youth of South Africa include mother-to child HIV transmission rates, teenage pregnancies, access to medical treatment, child-run families, orphan status, adoption, poverty and abuse. In South Africa, the mean population age is young; 43 per cent of the population is under 20 years of age and 32 per cent is under the age of 15 years. HIV prevalence rates in South Africa are currently 11 per cent of the population with mother to child infections.

This area of study makes a significant contribution to the knowledge base of child and youth care workers. Such knowledge aims to prepare such workers for professional practice, which can focus on the infant, child and adolescent within the context of the family, the community and across the life span.

Professional practitioners promote the optimal development of children, youth and their families in a variety of settings, such as early care and education, community-based child and youth development programs, parent education and family support, school-based programs, community mental health, group homes, residential centres, rehabilitation programs, paediatric health care and juvenile justice programs. Child and youth care practice includes skills in assessing client and program needs, designing and implementing programs and planned environments, integrating developmental, preventive and therapeutic requirements into the life space, contributing to the development of knowledge and professions, and participating in systems interventions through direct care, supervision, administration, teaching, research, consultation and advocacy.

Students completing this major will have knowledge vital to the future development of South Africa and its neighbouring states. Such students will be sensitised to the developmental challenges facing the region and hopefully will follow professions and occupations that contribute to the betterment of its peoples while being sensitive to local cultures and beliefs. Those who complete the major in child and youth development will be ideally positioned when the formal professional status of this discipline is accredited by the South African Council for Social Service Professions.

Studies in child and youth development complement current majors offered at the South African campus such as criminology, psychology, international studies, environmental studies, philosophy and sociology.


First-year level

Students studying a sequence in child and youth development must complete two units (12 points) from the following:

  • ATS1285 Child and youth development in South Africa: A person-in-environment perspective
  • ATS1286 Child and youth development: A five-level developmental model

Second/Third-year level

Students studying a minor or major in child and youth development must have completed the first-year sequence. In addition:

  • a minor requires completion of a further two units (12 points) from the compulsory units listed below
  • a major requires completion of a further six units (36 points) from the units listed below, including all compulsory units. A minimum of three units must be taken at third year level.


  • ATS2763 Child and youth assessment: Risk and protective factors, signs and symptoms
  • ATS2765 Child and youth interventions: Individual, group and community interventions


  • ATS2762 Health and safety guidelines for children and youth
  • ATS2764 Building support networks for children and families
  • ATS3769 Family functioning and child abuse: The child and youth care worker's role
  • ATS3770 Intermediary services in courts: Protecting the rights of the child and youth victim
  • ATS3771 Management of community projects: Working preventatively with children, youth and families
  • ATS3772 Field placements in child and youth care settings

Relevant courses


  • 0002 Bachelor of Arts
  • 3910 Bachelor of Arts (Global)
  • 4086 Bachelor of Social Science