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Course content

This masters programme in Advanced Child Protection Studies is designed to develop students’ specialist knowledge within the field of child protection and safeguarding. It will interest those who are currently employed, involved, or interested in the field, whether in a leadership, practice, or support role.

It is taught by experienced practitioners and experts in the field and provides students with the opportunity to focus on specific areas of interest. There are four 30-credit modules over two years (two each year) and a dissertation in year three to achieve the MSc.

This child protection masters course is an online and distance learning programme, which combines innovative learning and teaching techniques with interaction with the tutor and fellow students. Students are provided with the same level of teaching as received by those on campus with the additional benefit of having the flexibility to study anywhere at any time.

No specialist knowledge in technology is required, students just need to have access to the internet and know how to use it. Learning activities are structured to provide simplicity and students are supported throughout the programme. 

The course will start in September and candidates will be invited to a one day event at the University to meet the tutors and other candidates as well as to be briefed on the programme.

Course details

This programme aims to equip students with advanced knowledge that will enable them to work effectively in the field of child protection, whether this is in the area of practice, management, research, or service development. The programme aims to facilitate the development of higher-level critical analysis skills, and to develop students’ capacity for knowledge-informed practice and more original thinking in relation to the complex issues that arise in the contested field of child protection.

The programme is designed to appeal to the more experienced professional already engaged in this area of activity – for example in social work, policing, law, education, nursing and health. However, those with an academic interest in the area (for example social policy, law or criminology graduates) are also encouraged to apply, subject to being able to satisfy the requirements of the various modules. If you would like further information about these requirements please contact Mark Chesterman or Matthew Gibson.

More specifically, the programme aims to help students develop:

  • a theoretical and practical understanding of the complexities of child protection practice, including interagency working
  • a critical awareness of the familial, social, cultural and political contexts in which child protection practice is located - both nationally and internationally
  • a critical perspective in the assessment and evaluation of research, law, policy and practice relevant to child protection work
  • skills in promoting more effective responses to child protection concerns at both front line practice and strategic levels

The programme emphasises the relevance of systems thinking and emotional processes, and includes attention to international perspectives and extra-familial as well as intra-familial child protection issues. Additionally, the programme gives the opportunity to look at some of the critical debates in this area of work (for example, the tensions between medical and social models of child protection, the relationship between non-consensual adoption and child protection, and family preservation orientations in the context of child protection).

Learning and Teaching

Our modules are structured to provide easily accessible learning resources, tasks, and assessments that engage you in flexible and streamlined learning. Support is provided throughout the programme directly by the tutor in group and individual sessions. Furthermore, some activities are organised to encourage peer support and develop peer learning within the cohort to enhance the learning experience. A variety of learning and teaching methods are used throughout, including:

  • Online learning: our online learning environment is powerful, reliable and refreshingly easy to use, enabling you to access all information and materials at any time on any device
  • Video lectures: experts in the field provide short videos on specific topics to develop analytical and critical thinking
  • Interactive learning tasks: learning is organised and integrated into the teaching topic, actively engaging students in the learning exercises
  • Work-centred learning: learning is integrated into real-time child protection practice to compliment and tailor your workplace and personal interests in specialist areas
  • Social interaction: online and face to face interaction is provided through discussion forums, learning sets and one-to-one tutorials, ensuring you feel connected and supported

Employability

The course particularly offers successful candidates the potential to:

  • enhance their careers through developing an expert or specialist child protection role in the work place
  • develop a research or development role within child protection or safeguarding organisations
  • further develop their academic studies in the field of child protection, safeguarding and child welfare

Please note that the programme does not lead to a professional qualification.


Visit the Advanced Child Protection Studies - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

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