Emotional Care for the Hospitalized Child: The Child Life Model



The Master's Degree in Child Life, a care model centred on the child, adolescent and family, is designed to train professionals in the area of clinical and psychosocial pediatric care, so that they can implement this model.

The master's degree is organized by the Teaching Campus Sant Joan de Déu and the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, and the qualification is issued by the University of Barcelona. The teaching campus has over twenty years of experience in the organization of its own and UB postgraduate and master's degree courses.
Child Life programmes have become standard in most of the main pediatric hospitals in the USA, and even in some pediatric units in general hospitals, to face situations in which diseases and treatments produce suffering and anxiety. Child Life specialists focus on children's strengths and feeling of well-being, and on promoting their optimum development. They aim to keep to a minimum any adverse effects of children's experiences in environments that are potentially stressful (particularly hospitalisation, but also other cases).

This master's degree focuses on both professional specialisation and research. The focus on professional specialisation is justified by the need for healthcare and psychosocial professionals in pediatrics, particularly in a hospital environment, who are specialists in a care model that is centred on children, adolescents and the family. At the same time, the aim of the master's degree is to train professionals who have the skills to carry out research in the context of disease and pediatric care.

Currently, the Spanish state does not have a programme of university training at bachelor's degree, postgraduate or master's level in this field. In contrast, in the USA, there is a long tradition of teaching in this field at a range of universities and higher education institutions. Clearly, over time, European hospitals, and specifically Spanish hospitals, will need to regulate academic qualifications in Child Life.

Basic information

Mode of deliveryPresencial
Bridging coursesYes
Faculty or schoolSant Joan de Déu Teaching Campus - Private Foundation (affiliated centre)
Number of places available40
Language(s) of instructionCatalan and Spanish