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Course Structure & Content

Postgraduate Diploma Child Protection and Welfare

The Postgraduate Diploma runs for one academic year, from late October to May. Students attend the university full-time for one week per month over nine consecutive months. It is also expected that the equivalent of one day per week in the participant's agency is spent on course-related work.

The programme consists of the following modules:

              • Child Protection Perspectives and Practices
              • Child Law
              • Child Development
              • Interventions with Children and Families
              • Research Methods
              • Contemporary Issues

In addition, seminars and workshops are held on areas of relevant and topical interest.

Competence is assessed on the basis of full attendance and four written assignments which include a practice based project. The project is the most important single element of the course in terms of student learning. The exercise is designed to serve as a bridge between the college-based element of the course and the student's work. The student is required to carry innovative piece of work within their organisation, which can be either an evaluation of an existing service or development or a small piece of exploratory research on a topic relevant to the agency. It is hoped that this process may assist not only the learning of the student but also that of their colleagues, - thus the title 'demonstration practice'. This project is designed to exemplify the course's commitment to making a difference in the work place, that is, not risking the possibility of merely being an interesting academic course which fails to impinge on the 'real world'.

The Demonstration Practice exercise has a number of objectives:

  • to extend the professional repertoire of the student
  • to extend the capacity of the student's work team/organisation to respond to needs in the area of child protection and welfare
  • to promote the processes of innovation and evaluation in the work of the student and that of his/her colleagues
  • to familiarise the student with the practical steps involved in research and evaluation
  • to encourage the writing up good work / practice
  • to encourage the active dissemination of information about good practice within the student's organisation and more widely

M.Sc. Child Protection and Welfare (online)

The M.Sc. in Child Protection and Welfare is delivered wholly online. Masters students take an online module in research methods. This module aims to introduce students to the principles and methods of both quantitative and qualitative social research. The focus throughout is on providing students with the tools neccesary to conduct their own research and to critically evaluate the work of others. Students learn how to formulate research questions and design a research project. They are introduced to the importance of ethical considerations when conducting research. A range of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods are discussed and students learn how to appropriately analyse data. Finally, students are taught how to present their own research findings in the form of a research report. This module is assessed through a dissertation.

Students will be assigned an individual dissertation supervisor who provides support and guidance in planning and implementing the dissertation.