Master of Arts in Contemporary Family Studies

Master of Arts in Contemporary Family Studies

Start date:

Course information

Course title Master of Arts in Contemporary Family Studies
Course code PMACFAPET9
Postnominal M.A.(Melit.)
Level of qualification Second Cycle
National Qualifications Framework level Level 7
Duration 6 Semesters
Mode of attendance Part-time Evening
Total ECTS credits 90
Coordinator Claire Casha
Delivered by Faculty for Social Wellbeing
The course in Contemporary Family Studies seeks to attract potential researchers and policy makers in the area of contemporary family issues with a special focus on policy and practice. Given the dearth of research on family related issues on our islands, the Department of Family Studies aims to train a critical mass of researchers in this important area of study. Masters graduates in family studies would be a valuable asset for policy makers who seek an empirical base for their work. Through the course, graduates would also contribute to a body of knowledge in this cross disciplinary area of study through their research and scientific publications.

Request more information

The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of a Bachelor’s degree from this University, or another higher education institution recognized by Senate for the purpose, obtained with at least Second Class Honours in Psychology, Social Work and/or Education, or in an area of study related to a caring profession including Nursing or Midwifery, or in any other area related to Social Sciences, deemed relevant by the Board.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2021.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.

UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.

Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.

You can compare your national qualifications to the local requirements by visiting our qualifications comparability webpage.

Access more information about our admission process and English language requirements.

After you receive an offer from us, our International Office will assist you with visas, accommodation and other related issues.

Local/EU/EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 4,800
Fee per semester: Eur 800

Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 10,800
Yr 1: Eur 5,400 - Yr 2: Eur 5,400 - Yr 3: NIL
Learning Outcomes for Post Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Family Studies students (30 ECTS credits, completion of Year 1 of programme of study)

By the end of the Certificate part of the course, students will be able to:

1. Recognise and appraise the major theoretical and conceptual frameworks underpinning the interdisciplinary study of families
2. Recognise and review the key issues faced by families in the local and international context
3. Distinguish how different countries deal with the key family issues from a policy perspective
4. Show competence in the major quantitative and qualitative research methods relevant to family policy, demonstrating their knowledge through course work
5. Identify what is best practice in terms of how evidence-based family policy is formulated

Learning Outcomes for Post Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Family Studies students (60 ECTS credits, completion of Year 2 of programme of study)

By the end of the Diploma part of the course, students will be able to:

1. Recognise and appraise the major theoretical and conceptual frameworks underpinning the interdisciplinary study of families
2. Recognise and review the key issues faced by families in the local and international context
3. Distinguish how different countries deal with the key family issues from a policy perspective
4. Show competence in the major quantitative and qualitative research methods relevant to family policy, demonstrating their knowledge through course work and through their practicum
5. Identify what is best practice in terms of how evidence-based family policy is formulated and monitored
6. Assess and evaluate local and international family policy initiatives
7. Assess research designs that monitor policies pre- and post and/or over time, depending on the aims and objections of the evaluation exercise
8. Describe and assess instruments that measure client satisfaction and performance

Learning Outcomes for Master of Arts in Contemporary Family Studies students (90 ECTS credits, completion of Year 3 of programme of study)

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1. Recognise and appraise the major theoretical and conceptual frameworks underpinning the interdisciplinary study of families
2. Recognise and review the key issues faced by families in the local and international context
3. Distinguish how different countries deal with the key family issues from a policy perspective
4. Show competence in the major quantitative and qualitative research methods relevant to family policy, demonstrating their knowledge through course work, through their practicum and through a dissertation
5. Identify what is best practice in terms of how evidence-based family policy is formulated and monitored
6. Assess and evaluate local and international family policy initiatives
7. Assess research designs that monitor policies pre- and post and/or over time, depending on the aims and objections of the evaluation exercise
8. Describe and assess instruments that measure client satisfaction and performance

In addition, by the end of the course, students will also be able to:

9. Formulate research designs to carry out family -policy based research including reviews of the impact of new policies on service users.
10. Carry out impact assessments of policy initiatives intended to help and support families
11. Audit services, assessing their benefits and shortcomings and suggest ways of how these services can be improved


Students will demonstrate their knowledge and understanding through the various course assignments including case studies, small research projects and a dissertation.

The assigned readings, the guided class discussions and student coursework are all aimed to encourage critical thinking, and to foster the students’ intellectual development in the area of family studies .The increased emphasis on the teaching and practice of research methods will further enhance the students’ ability to be valuable resource persons for policy makers who seek to base their decisions on evidence-based policies and their intellectual development to enable them to critically review extant family policies. The practicum experience will give students the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learnt and will also enhance their employability in research and family policy development within Government, NGO or private sectors both locally and internationally.
The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of a Bachelor’s degree from this University, or another higher education institution recognized by Senate for the purpose, obtained with at least Second Class Honours or Category II, in an area of study deemed relevant by the Board of Studies.
Graduates of the programme may be employed in family-practice related areas such LEAP centres. Equally, they may be employed as researchers in various research centres and policy units in academia. They will also be welcome in policy units of various Ministries, and other agencies such as Sedqa. NGOs with an interest in research on issues related to the family, may be also interested in recruiting highly-skilled graduates particularly if they are in a position to bid for EU-funded projects.

Students may go on to apply for a PhD course with the Department upon successful completion of this course.
Click here to access the Programme of Study applicable from 2021/2.

Last Updated: 4 May 2021

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.

https://www.um.edu.mt/_templates/overviewtemplatenogetqualified