• Child Protection Practice.jpg

Child Protection Practice


Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

The Postgraduate Certificate in Child Protection Practice is an exciting and innovative new distance learning course which will run for the first time from September 2016.  

This course challenges and extends the knowledge base, skills and attitudes of those working in the multi-professional field of child protection and safeguarding. It has been developed to meet the demands of a changing landscape of child protection and safeguarding practice both within the UK, and internationally. 

Over one year, you will take three 20 credit modules:

  • Risk and the Protection of Children
  • Vulnerable Children and Young People
  • Child Protection Practice

There is particular focus on developing your ability and approach to the evidence base for working with children, young people and their families in a critical way, supporting them to identify social interventions that are rooted in the evidence base, and to confidently evaluate theory, policy and practice in this field.  

Available start dates

September 2018 / September 2019

Teaching location

Distance learning

Course length

  • Part time: 1 year

UCAS Postgraduate code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • This is a fully distance learning, part-time course running over one year, and you can study while you are in full-time or part-time employment.
  • For social workers and other health and care professionals, this course contributes to regulatory continuous professional development (CPD) requirements.
  • It combines the convenience of studying at home, at a time to suit you, with the opportunity of regular periods of concentrated online study with other students on the course.
  • You will be well supported in the online environment by researchers and lecturers who are experts in their subject areas, including social work, health care, and the field of substance misuse. Many of the teaching team are known both nationally and internationally in their chosen fields of research.
  • The multi-professional nature of the student group offers excellent opportunities for shared learning, and networking across disciplines and locations.
  • The course is designed to be supportive of the current demands on children and families social workers who are working within the requirements of national professional CPD structures, particularly in England.

To complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Child Protection Practice you will undertake three 20 credit Level 7 modules:

1. Risk and the Protection of Children 

This single module critically examines contemporary childhood from an international perspective including children's rights, child welfare and wellbeing, and children's experiences of harm in society. It looks at the current evidence on the signs and symptoms of child maltreatment, including incidence and prevalence rates and the risk factors associated with child abuse and neglect. Child protection prevention strategies, interventions and responses to child maltreatment are debated in relation to social and cultural contexts.

2. Vulnerable Children and Young People

Adopting a risk and resiliency framework, this single module explores children and young people caught in situations of vulnerability and challenge. These may be situations which they, their parents and their communities have little experience of, and few mechanisms for coping with (children in conflicted families, children as carers, children in war zones, children in modern society, children in cultural crossfire, children with challenges, children who are exploited).

3. Child Protection Practice 

The module develops the knowledge and skills of a wide range of practitioners in the policy and practice of safeguarding children and young people. You explore policy frameworks, agency contexts and models of intervention in child protection and will draw upon your own professional practice as key tool for learning. There is particular focus on providing a leading role in multi-professional child protection practice settings. 

Teaching and learning

The Postgraduate Certificate in Child Protection Practice by distance learning offers exciting opportunities to those of you who may be unable to attend university, but who want to study in a stimulating and dynamic online environment.

The teaching, learning and assessment strategy of the programme reflects its inter-professional, student-centred, child and family-centred and practice-oriented approach. The programme is delivered by way of a structured programme of varied learning activities, delivered on a weekly basis, through the University’s virtual learning environment.

You will benefit from a variety of online teaching methods, both traditional and innovative, which are designed to support the needs of distance learners. The coursework-based assessments are varied in style and include (but are not limited to) essays, critical reviews, case studies and critical reflections on professional practice.

Web-based distance learning materials are provided to guide you through your studies.

Approach to assessment

A broad range of assessment approaches are used on the course, including essays, critical reviews, case studies, virtual presentations and critical reflections on professional practice. Formative assessment is used extensively (each module has formative opportunities) to enable you to develop the required level of skill and knowledge in order to confidently undertake the summative assignments.

Specialist facilities

Fully distance learning and highly flexible mode of study in the University’s virtual learning environment.  

Teaching is delivered through state-of-the-art learning technologies via our Moodle platform. 

The programme is delivered by distance learning but runs within the University's standard calendar of semesters so there will be specific activities to do each week during the semester and deadlines to meet for coursework submission. During the module you can interact with course tutors and fellow students, enabling for instance, discussion of topics of current interest in child welfare and wellbeing. 

Teaching team

The teaching team includes:

Attendance pattern

This is a fully distance online course, so attendance at the University is not required. It is a highly flexible mode of study and as a course participant you can study at a time and place that suits your individual needs.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - distance learning fee: 2017/18: £595 per single module 2018/19: £605 per single module

International - distance learning fee : 2017/18: £595 per single module 2018/19: £605 per single module

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

Entry requirements

You can enter on the basis of your undergraduate degree and/or previous appropriate knowledge and experience. A framework is available for the Accreditation of Prior (Experience and) Learning (APEL and APL), which awards credit appropriate to your background, qualifications and experience. The nature of this course and its emphasis on interprofessional training means that students from a range of backgrounds will be accepted on the course.

Applicants for this postgraduate course must have an honours degree or equivalent experience, plus fluent writing skills.

On occasion, applicants may, in addition, be asked to submit evidence of their ability to study at postgraduate level. Evidence requested may include a comprehensive portfolio of relevant prior work experience or a reflection in essay format of 1,500 words on previous work undertaken or on a selected essay title..

This is a distance learning course, so you will need to have reliable access to the internet, preferably through a broadband connection. You will need good IT skills and be proficient in the use of the internet and online communication.

Please also see the university's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, you must demonstrate that your level of English is appropriate for study at postgraduate level. You must have one of the following or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the university (see our list of English language qualifications):

  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: grade A or B
  • GCE O-level or GCSE English Language: grade A or B
  • Oxford Brookes University English Language Entrance Level 4 - pass.
  • British Council IELTS: level 6.5 or above (with 6 in written English).

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

International applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS Postgraduate.

Through UCAS Postgraduate, you should use the UKPASS portal to make your application, which will then be forwarded directly to our Admissions Office. You should send supporting documentation to us directly using the email addresses on the UKPASS application form.

Applications received electronically through UKPASS will be forwarded directly to the Admissions Office. Supporting documentation should be forwarded using the email addresses indicated on the UKPASS application form.

Applications are dealt with on a first come, first served basis, so please act early to avoid disappointment.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

This distance learning  course adopts a student-centred approach to teaching and learning and it is strongly focused on encouraging you to attain your full potential as a lifelong learner. 

There is a range of support mechanisms for students, such as academic advisers, who will facilitate your academic development, and student support co-ordinators, who provide a contact point for queries, covering both academic and personal welfare.

Our support services include Upgrade which is available by email, which provides advice on study skills such as planning and writing essays, assignments and dissertations, research, or preparing for an exam. They also give advice on statistics and maths. There is a dedicated Student Disability and Dyslexia Service, which provides support for students with disabilities including sensory and mobility impairments, dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties, mental health problems and medical conditions. Here, staff offer advice and support on a range of issues, including physical access, funding, alternative assessment arrangements and liaison with teaching staff to ensure that they are aware of your requirements.

Recognising the special needs of open learners from many different countries, the module leaders, e-learning technologists, subject librarians and course administrator use multiple communication methods (ie email, phone, podcast, skype) to ensure that students are fully supported as they develop their comfort and competence in the virtual learning environment.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Research highlights

The course is taught by academics with a rich track record in research and publication in the children and families and drug and alcohol fields.

Our Children and Families Research Group brings together researchers, MSc and PhD students, lecturers, practitioners and external researchers and speakers who have an interest in child welfare and wellbeing and who wish to develop research in this area.

Members of the group also contribute to the development of national and international policy guidance.

We are also a strategic collaborator with Action for Children and Work closely with BASPCAN (the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) and the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR).

Our group also has collaborative research links with colleagues in Psychology and Nutrition at Oxford Brookes University, with colleagues from a number of NHS Trusts and Local Authorities and externally with several universities throughout the UK and internationally with universities in Finland, Japan, Australia and Canada.