Certificate in Adult Services, Support and Protection

The Certificate in Adult Services, Support and Protection a Graduate (SCQF Level 10) award. It comprises two modules, each of which can be taken as a standalone option. The modules can be studied in either order:

  • Citizenship, self-determination and support services (20 credits)
  • Supporting and protecting adults at risk from harm (40 credits)

The Certificate programme is suitable for frontline staff working in adult services across health and social care who need to understand and work with the array of policy and legislation aimed at supporting people to lead full and independent lives while also - protecting adults who are at risk of harm. The programme may also be relevant for first-line managers or those with responsibility for staff training and development in adult services.

  • Duration Two modules over a year
  • Days on campus 15
  • Credit value SCQF 10 60
  • Fees £2,100


The module has two modules over a period of year. Each module has an assignment that gives the student the opportunity to develop and apply their knowledge to their own practice and management role. Interaction between class room days is continued online through discussion boards and specific study tasks.

Practitioners and managers are required to deliver support and protection services to a varied population, in imaginative ways and within a challenging wider context. The pace of change in law, policy and service structure adds to this complexity.

Our courses offer a valuable space where health and social care practitioners and managers from across Scotland will:

  • Bring their knowledge around law and policy right up to date.
  • Explore and develop their theoretical, ethical and practical understanding of delivering individual support and contributing to service delivery
  • Engage with leading researchers and practice experts
  • Exchange and debate varying approaches to policy and practice with professionals from across Scotland
  • Reflect and refresh their own framework for thinking about adult services, support and protection that they can then share with their team and agency

Structure and Content

Citizenship, self-determination and support services 


To explore key issues of personalisation and citizenship, choice and equity, autonomy and self-directed support.

Content includes:

Legal and policy context of adult health and social care in Scotland and the UK; concepts of citizenship, choice and co-production; conceptualisation and critical review of the strengths and weaknesses of the personalisation agenda; self- directed support and outcomes-focused practice.

Supporting and protecting adults at risk from harm 


To explore the process and context adult support and protection through consideration of key concepts: harm, abuse and risk, vulnerability and resilience, multidisciplinary working, institutional harm, and power and participation.

Content includes:

Social, legal and political context of adult support and protection; critical analysis of the impact of harm and abuse on people’s lives; decision- making theory and its application; critical review of the concepts of risk, resilience, vulnerability, consent, capacity and choice;
service user and carer participation in support and protection processes; partnership working and collaborative relationships in supporting and protecting adults.

Module Co-ordinator(s)

Kathryn Mackay

Our Staff

The Faculty of Social Sciences includes academics and researchers actively involved in the areas of personalisation and adult support and protection addressed within this Certificate programme. Their contribution enhances the contemporary relevance of the modules and brings a critical perspective to the topics covered. 

Application Procedure

Applied Professional Studies UG Application Form and return by email to cpdsocialwork@stir.ac.uk


Taking the learning further

This Certificate is now part of the newly University approved MSc. in Applied Professional Studies (Adult Services, Support and Protection). This means those who complete the Certificate (at level 11) will be now be able to progress onto a Diploma and then an MSc. It is possible for those
who studied at level ten to undertake a portfolio (at level 11) if they wish to progress onto the Diploma.

Diploma (one year)

Students will join with those from other pathways such as Child Welfare and Protection to undertake two modules: Working with Risk and Uncertainty and Leading in Partnership and Collaboration.

MSc Applied Professional Studies (normally six months)

Students will receive online and seminar teaching on research methods. They will be allocated a supervisor to support them to undertake an empirical study on a topic of the student’s choosing and to submit a 15,000 word dissertation.

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