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PGCert Education – Challenging Behaviour


School of Education

Postgraduate Certificates

This is a three module course that will give you an overview of individual and contextual factors which may influence children and young people's behaviour. You will explore challenging behaviour from a variety of perspectives.

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Harcourt Hill Campus / Distance learning

Course length

  • Part time: 12 months

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

  • This course has been specifically designed for those working with children and young people who exhibit challenging behaviour.
  • You will explore a variety of alternative perspectives for understanding challenging behaviour and associated social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
  • Alongside Oxford Brookes academics you will be taught by professionals working in a variety of roles in settings within Oxfordshire Local Authority.
  • You will be able to network with other practitioners and access information about local jobs specialising in work with children and young people who exhibit challenging behaviour.
  • The School of Education at Oxford Brookes combines high quality teaching and significant research and consultancy activity.
  • The School is a focal point for lively, informed debate on education through close partnership with local schools and colleges and our open seminar and lecture programmes.
Module structure
Challenging Behaviour
This module explores challenging behaviour from a variety of perspectives and provides you with an overview of individual and contextual factors which may influence children and young people's behaviour. During seminar workshops you will discuss theoretical perspectives in relation to problematising children and young people's social, emotional and mental health. Particular attention will be paid to 'causes' of challenging behaviour, individual and whole school approaches to managing behaviour and the importance of recognising pupil voice and increasing pupil participation. You will be encouraged to reflect on, and critique, alternative educational provisions.

Action Research (double module)
You will determine the content of the sessions by focusing on the inquiries selected by both yourself and others, adopting a 'learning set' approach. Group seminars and workshops will provide a structured introduction to action research followed by the development of small working groups to support the stages of individual projects and provide peer group support. Your tutor will signpost you to relevant academic theory and research and support material from the MA in Education online resources.

Teaching and learning

The first module, 'Challenging Behaviour', requires regular evening attendance (seven evening sessions) in the Autumn and this is followed by a double action research module in which you will complete a research project in your own school based on work with children / young people with behaviour difficulties.

This research project will be supported by six workshops between January and June, and individual tutorial support based around your particular project.

Attendance pattern

Workshops take place on Wednesday evenings 17:00 – 20:00 on the Harcourt Hill Campus.

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 - part time fee: 2019/20 £1860.00

Home/EU - cost per module: 2019/20: £620

International - part time fee: 2019/20: £1,500 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

Students should normally have a first degree.

English language requirements

Please see the university's standard English language requirements

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements. Find out more about 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

Please contact pgeducation@brookes.ac.uk

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.

How this course helps you develop

The PGCert: Challenging Behaviour aims to develop reflective practitioners at master's level. The three module certificate is equivalent to one third of a full MA Education and many students continue with their studies to complete the full MA.


Your learning on the course may lead to better prospects for career advancement and students may change role / direction as a function of developing new understandings and skills from their work on the course.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

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.

Research highlights

Sustained excellence in research and publication has ensured that a significant proportion of our School of Education staff were entered for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 (UoA 25). Almost 90% of our research was deemed to be of international merit, with around one half either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Contributions to the REF were spread across all of our research groups.

Our research aims to create impact on contemporary educational issues - supporting knowledge creation and developing innovative approaches to researching pedagogic practices. The School’s research strategy functions at all spatial scales, from local to global. We publish our highest quality research in leading peer-reviewed journals. Emeritus, Honorary and Visiting Research Fellows contribute to our research programmes and outputs.

The School holds two major research conferences each year - the School of Education Research Conference and the EdD Colloquium. Our Research Seminar Series (which attracts both internal and external speakers) runs annually - all students are invited to attend. We also organise a number of conferences, lectures, seminars and debates, some of which have an international reach.

Members of the School are engaged in a variety of funded and unfunded research projects; we have previously enjoyed prestigious funded scholarships (such as the Fulbright – Peabody scholarship) and, when feasible, offer funded Research Studentships to doctoral applicants. Our Centre for Educational Consultancy and Development (CECD) regularly secures consultancy and research money.

As might be expected in such a research active school, many staff are engaged as editors, editorial board members, or reviewers for various peer reviewed academic and professional journals, as well as online journals.

Research areas and clusters

The School of Education at Oxford Brookes University is a thriving centre for educational research and teacher professional development. Students on master's level programmes therefore join a large research community comprising researchers at all levels of higher education study.

The School’s six research groups reflect a thriving research community of academics, scholars and students. They exist to encourage engagement in research, publication, conference presentations, seminars and workshops. These focus on:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Policy, Partnership and Leadership
  • STEAM pedagogy and learning
  • Humanistic Perspectives on Education
  • Early Years
  • Applied Linguistics

View all staff profiles for School of Education

Course downloads

  • Working with Children with Behaviour Difficulties
  • Related courses

  • MA History