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University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Health & Welfare

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This online programme in Advanced Child Protection Studies is designed to develop students’ specialist knowledge within the field of child protection. Read more

About our programme

This online programme in Advanced Child Protection Studies is designed to develop students’ specialist knowledge within the field of child protection. 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 (see modules below) and a dissertation in year three to achieve the MSc.

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 experienced professionals 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.

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).

Modules

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.

• Law, Policy and Inter-agency Working (30 credits)
• Risk, Analysis and Decision Making (30 credits)
• Help, Advice and Direct Work (30 credits)
• Organizations, Systems and Leadership (30 credits)

Online and distance learning

Above all else, we aim to provide a fulfilling, stimulating, and supportive learning experience. Online and distance learning programmes are well suited to those with busy personal and work lives, and we believe that online technologies have now reached the point where it’s possible to deliver an online child protection programme that surpasses on-campus courses.
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
The technology we use is simple to use and provides students with convenient access to all programme materials and connects them with the tutors and other students. And as importantly, this can all be accessed from wherever the student is, on whatever device they want to use.

A tailored programme

Our programme allows you to focus on those areas of child protection that are of interest, enabling students to specialise. The learning tasks as designed to be relevant to real-life child protection work and some learning tasks are integrated into real-time practice, providing a streamlined learning approach to developing specialist knowledge.

The taught modules enable you to develop skills in three key areas:

• Reviewing and using the research evidence
• Understanding the dynamics that occur within child protection work
• Developing evidence informed ideas on how to improve practice and services

The workload is broken down into units carefully designed with the busy professional in mind and we ensure you are supported throughout. Similarly, the assessments are structured to avoid having to submit lengthy essays.
The programme includes contributions from leading researchers and commentators in the field.

If you would like further information about these requirements please contact Mark Chesterman or Matthew Gibson.

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