Structure and content
The course is part-time and modular, comprising six taught modules with related study and practice assignments. Successful completion of 60 credits can lead to a Postgraduate Certificate, and 120 credits to a Postgraduate Diploma. Candidates for the Master’s degree additionally undertake a dissertation (60 credits), based on an empirical study which is submitted after completion of the taught modules.
Students who have previously studied Child Welfare and Protection to Graduate level and who wish to further their studies towards Master's can undertake a Professional Portfolio which together with RPL recognition of 30 credits at level 10 from their previous study will allow entry in to Year 2. The Professional Portfolio is studied over six months and requires students to attend University three days during this period. For more information about the Professional Portfolio please contact Veronica Collins (Course Director) or email@example.com
The curriculum covers:
- Understanding children’s needs: context and frameworks (20 credits)
In this module, students are oriented to the course, study resources and the historical, political and theoretical background to the current context for child welfare and protection. Direct teaching by experienced practitioner academics covers essential learning in areas of child development and parenting capacity. Law tutors provide direct teaching on key legislation.
- Understanding Children’s Experiences: Assessment and Decision-making (20 credits)
Assessment of risk and need have received significant attention in practice and academia in recent years. Set within an ecological framework this module helps students make sense of current assessment models and practice by examining the components of accurate and empathic assessments of the impact of adversity on children and young people. Students will gain an improved understanding of the processes of analysis, judgement and decision making. Psychological, sociological and practice-specific research will be used to help students explore their own practice and consider how individual and agency practice can be further developed.
- Improving Outcomes for Children and Young People (20 credits)
This module focuses on multi-disciplinary plans to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people. With a solution-focused approach and drawing on the concept of resilience the module will enhance and promote interventions that are focused on the needs of the children. Consideration of outcomes for children and young people will be at the heart of planning, implementation and review of care plans. The module will facilitate a better understanding of the student’s own role and the roles of others, including the wider community, within the widening agenda for child welfare and protection.
- Risk and Decision Making (15 credits): Explores theoretical frameworks for understanding and working with risk. Students will consider how risk is managed in their own organisations and explore current debates about the political and social context of risk and risk aversion and consider the impact in practice. You will be encouraged to explore contemporary literature and research which seeks to learn from past experience
- Research Methods and Application (15 credits): Prepares you to become more research ‘minded’. Students will explore the nature of evidence and develop a critical approach to the understanding of research and data collection. These two modules will provide a foundation for the undertaking of your dissertation.
- Developing Practitioner and Organisational Capacity (30 credits): Explores current debates in theoretical approaches to, and models of, assessment and theory which informs practice in working toward change. Consideration will be given to the development of critical thinking skills and the development of reflective and reflexive practitioners. There will be an exploration of the organisational context of your work with consideration of the impact of organisational culture and structure, and the management of change within organisations
From September 2014 students may alternatively complete a new course developed in partnership with NSPCC (Scotland). Please contact Veronica Collins (Course Director) or firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
From September to February students will complete a dissertation based on empirical research.
This course is delivered by staff in the Social Work Section of the School of Applied Social Science. This is a large interdisciplinary unit, combining teaching and research interests in sociology, social policy and criminology, social work, dementia and housing studies and a number of specialist centres. It has a strong research and academic reputation in all these areas.
Delivery and assessment
Students attend eight teaching days per semester which will comprise of lectures, seminars and workshops. Teaching is delivered over full days with a seminar approach and use of small group discussions and other participative activities which are linked to the lectures. Each of the modules is assessed by an assignment which is designed to test the student’s learning by application to practice.
Comprehensive reading lists are provided for each module.