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Childhood Practice (GradDip)

Course Description

University of the West of Scotland's (UWS) Graduate Diploma is Childhood Practice is professionally recognised by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). This programme is ideally suited for employed SSSC registered practitioners who wish to become registered as lead practitioners/managers.

About the programme

This Graduate Diploma will give you the skills and knowledge to deliver quality services to children and their parents in an early years setting. Your studies will include learning within childhood; leadership and management; and reflective practice and research.

Learning approaches are based on extending your knowledge to support and enhance practice through analysis of critical incidents using problem-based learning. Learning and assessment is embedded in work-related practice and builds upon your prior learning and existing knowledge to meet the regulatory requirements for lead practitioner employment. You must be employed in, or have access to, an acceptable professional environment in which knowledge and understanding of childhood practice in Scotland has been developed.

Practical experience

Work-based learning forms part of the assessment so employment for more than 16 hours per week is necessary. You must also have employer support and a mentor from your area of practice to support your studies. You will be assigned a personal tutor and online tutoring support is available. You will also use Personal Development Planning to track your progress, plan your future development and enhance your future employability.

Your learning

The course consists of six modules at SCQF Level 9. All modules will include ‘strategy projects’ undertaken in the workplace, which develop and enhance the links between theory and practice and involve critical reflection. There is also the opportunity to undertake research into a topic of special interest.

Modules include:

- Reflective Planning
- Leading Learning
- Leadership and Management
- Promoting Learning
- Developing Integrated Working
- Qualitative Research Methods

Our Careers Adviser says

The Standard for Childhood Practice aims to help strengthen leadership in the childcare and early years sector and improve career opportunities for early years and childcare professionals. Graduates will find opportunities as lead practitioners/managers within these areas.

Professional recognition

This course is approved by the SSSC and is recognised as a lead practitioner qualification.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG)

Applicants will be required to join the PVG Scheme, managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. For more information on the PVG Scheme please refer to http://www.scotland.gov.uk

New from 2015/16

The School introduced an Early Years Masters pathway as part of the MEd in Enhanced Educational Practice in 2015/16. Learning includes responsive pedagogies, supporting bilingual children, children’s rights and participation, and early years intervention and evaluation. This pathway is suitable for early years teachers and childhood practice graduates. See our website for updates or contact

First-class facilities

You’ll have access to a wide range of technology to facilitate your learning. Our libraries are stocked with a vast range of specialist resources to help you in your studies, and you’ll also have access to our extensive electronic library collection (including e-books and academic journals) and the virtual learning environment, Moodle.

Visit the Childhood Practice (GradDip) page on the University of the West of Scotland website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Relevant degree and practitioner qualification.You will be required to be employed as a practitioner, normally over 16 hours per week and usually with 2 years' experience and practitioner registration.A signed statement of support as part of the admission process.Recognition of Prior Learning – contact the University for advice on Recognition of Prior Learning.

Course Fees

Scottish/EU Students: £3,400, Rest of UK Students: £3,400, International Students £11,000

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Recipient: University of the West of Scotland
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