Advanced Child Protection - PCert, PDip, MA

The Advanced Child Protection MA is a distance learning programme which runs on a part-time basis for two or more years. The programme is for experienced professionals and is fully accredited by the University of Kent.

Overview

The MA gives a 360-degree perspective on child protection, introducing you to the viewpoints of academics, practitioners, organisations, parents, children and young people, integrated with contemporary research theory and policy. The impact that technology has on protecting children as well as the effect of the globalisation of the abuse and exploitation of vulnerable children is considered throughout.

The MA has attracted national and international students, all with a variety of experience in child protection. The opportunity to access this diverse pool of knowledge, within an environment that allows you to question and excel, has made the Advanced Child Protection MA a success.

About the Centre for Child Protection

The Centre for Child Protection is part of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR) and is the first centre of its kind in Europe. Combining research with distance learning programmes and a range of innovative serious training games, the Centre for Child Protection is leading the way in building knowledge and training opportunities for professionals working in this area.

The Centre is led and informed by a team of experts in the field of child protection. With many years of experience in both research and practice, we are committed to improving the provision of continued professional development to enhance the skills of those involved in child protection.

The Centre’s range of serious game simulations provide research-based case studies and opportunities to explore the complex dynamics involved in making professional assessments and decisions in these contexts.

Entry requirements

Smiling female postgraduate student
You are more than your grades

For 2022, in response to the challenges caused by Covid-19 we will consider applicants either holding or projected a 2:2. This response is part of our flexible approach to admissions whereby we consider each student and their personal circumstances. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second class honours degree. In certain circumstances, the School will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path and these cases are assessed individually.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

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Course structure

Duration: 2 years part-time

Teaching is based on guided study using an online learning environment (Moodle), videoed expert lectures, online seminars, 'serious games', acted and filmed role play, as well as web-based weekly forums.

During the programme you:

  • develop innovative techniques for professional training and support
  • translate and apply the latest research and knowledge to inform best practice
  • create diverse and flexible learning programmes
  • address gaps in post-qualification training provision and opportunities
  • facilitate safe and realistic environments in which child protection professionals can develop and enhance their skills and professional practice.

We also offer a variety of 10 week online distance learning standalone MA modules. Visit the Centre's pages for more information.

The modules can be taken on their own or as a taster to Master's-level study. All the work is completed online where you participate in online forums and have access to journal articles and specialist materials. After successful completion of the assignment, the module is equivalent to 20 credits at Master’s level. For further information, see the Centre for Child Protection website.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

Compulsory modules currently include

This module introduces students to the logic and methods of social research. It aims to familiarize students with central topics in research design and the ethics of social research so that they can apply this knowledge to their understanding of fields of social and public policy. The module introduces students to both positivist and critical/interpretive approaches and the debates behind their selection for conducting research. It will invite them to consider how research questions are generated and answered. It will enable students to identify common mistakes in the social research methods used to develop sector relevant policy and how to effectively and systematically address issues. Topics will also include: ethics and informed consent; sampling for qualitative and quantitative research; methods of primary and secondary data collection, methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis. It will give them an opportunity to learn and practise introductory skills in the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.

Find out more about SOCI9261

This module will provide students with a historical and contemporary perspective of child abuse and examine child and family centred practice, and will allow students to explore definitions of abuse, nationally and internationally. A significant area of research will be drawn upon with regards to the role of men in child protection. The module will also introduce key agencies in the field. The child protection simulations created by the Centre for Child Protection around child sexual exploitation (Looking for Lottie) and radicalization (ZAK), are embedded in this module.

Find out more about SOCI9270

The aim of this module is to focus on contemporary child protection policies and practice and provide the current legal context for child protection. In particular it will discuss policy and practice following the Munro Review (2011) and it will draw upon the implications of inter-professional and interdisciplinary research, theory and practice pre- and post- Baby Peter Connelly. The module will focus upon key agencies in child protection and practitioner communication skills. Students will be introduced to the Centre's child protection simulation, 'Rosie 2', where they will have the opportunity to analyse the different skills of practitioners involved in child protection practice.

Find out more about SOCI9280

This module provides professionals with in-depth knowledge about current assessment practice including insights into the attachment and relationship-based practice. The likelihood of maltreatment is significantly higher where a child demonstrates disorganized attachment behaviour and this thread runs throughout the module, paying special attention to the behaviour of the caregiver. The module is suitable for a wide range of professionals who work with complex family circumstances.

Find out more about SOCI9290

The aim of this module is to focus on how the individual child protection professional inner world is affected by and, in turn, effects the institutional practices embedded in the workplace in terms of working in child protection. Moreover, the module also looks at how the inner world and emotions of the individual are managed and how 'hot cognitions' involved in child protection work are addressed. Organisational and workplace features are considered from a psychosocial perspective, particularly in terms of different models of supervision, and individuals are encouraged to reflect upon their own position within organisations and how this can be optimized in circumstances where risk needs to be managed

Find out more about SOCI9310

Optional modules may include

This module aims to provide students with a chance to discuss various types of intervention used by agencies in child protection, exploring issues of diversity, anti-oppressive practice, cultural and emotional intelligence. The role of targeted interventions as well as universal services will be considered. The module will significantly consider service users' perspectives of the support which is available as well as what works and what does not work.

Find out more about SOCI9300

This module aims to provide students with a chance to develop a critical understanding of international child protection practice. It will facilitate critical discussion and expression of informed views on various types of international child protection interventions used by agencies across the world , exploring issues of diversity, anti-oppressive practice, cultural and emotional intelligence and the politics of international policies. The module will significantly consider service users' perspectives of the support, which is available as well as what works and what does not work. It will consider implications and interpretations of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Child across the world and robustly evaluate this legislation in practice. This module also aims to critique and consider partnership collaboration in working across boards in the best interest of protecting the rights of children.

Find out more about SOCI9790

Compulsory modules currently include

This module introduces students to the logic and methods of social research. It aims to familiarize students with central topics in research design and the ethics of social research so that they can apply this knowledge to their understanding of fields of social and public policy. The module introduces students to both positivist and critical/interpretive approaches and the debates behind their selection for conducting research. It will invite them to consider how research questions are generated and answered. It will enable students to identify common mistakes in the social research methods used to develop sector relevant policy and how to effectively and systematically address issues. Topics will also include: ethics and informed consent; sampling for qualitative and quantitative research; methods of primary and secondary data collection, methods of qualitative and quantitative analysis. It will give them an opportunity to learn and practise introductory skills in the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.

Find out more about SOCI9261

This module will provide students with a historical and contemporary perspective of child abuse and examine child and family centred practice, and will allow students to explore definitions of abuse, nationally and internationally. A significant area of research will be drawn upon with regards to the role of men in child protection. The module will also introduce key agencies in the field. The child protection simulations created by the Centre for Child Protection around child sexual exploitation (Looking for Lottie) and radicalization (ZAK), are embedded in this module.

Find out more about SOCI9270

The aim of this module is to focus on contemporary child protection policies and practice and provide the current legal context for child protection. In particular it will discuss policy and practice following the Munro Review (2011) and it will draw upon the implications of inter-professional and interdisciplinary research, theory and practice pre- and post- Baby Peter Connelly. The module will focus upon key agencies in child protection and practitioner communication skills. Students will be introduced to the Centre's child protection simulation, 'Rosie 2', where they will have the opportunity to analyse the different skills of practitioners involved in child protection practice.

Find out more about SOCI9280

This module provides professionals with in-depth knowledge about current assessment practice including insights into the attachment and relationship-based practice. The likelihood of maltreatment is significantly higher where a child demonstrates disorganized attachment behaviour and this thread runs throughout the module, paying special attention to the behaviour of the caregiver. The module is suitable for a wide range of professionals who work with complex family circumstances.

Find out more about SOCI9290

The aim of this module is to focus on how the individual child protection professional inner world is affected by and, in turn, effects the institutional practices embedded in the workplace in terms of working in child protection. Moreover, the module also looks at how the inner world and emotions of the individual are managed and how 'hot cognitions' involved in child protection work are addressed. Organisational and workplace features are considered from a psychosocial perspective, particularly in terms of different models of supervision, and individuals are encouraged to reflect upon their own position within organisations and how this can be optimized in circumstances where risk needs to be managed

Find out more about SOCI9310

Compulsory modules currently include

The dissertation is a major component of the MA and its content and intellectual standard should reflect this. Whilst the dissertation does not have to demonstrate the kind of originality required for theses submitted for degrees by research, it should have a wider scope, including a research element, and contain more detail and sustained argument than other coursework assignments. The overall aim of this Module is to build on the theoretical and methodological material included in the six compulsory modules studied throughout the MA course. It addresses practical questions of research and writing the dissertation and the construction of the dissertation itself. It also follows on and draws on the use of research materials (qualitative and quantitative data); using research and resources (libraries, documentation, and the internet); and drafting and writing, including the use of appropriate academic style and format. The dissertation will be library-based and not field research.

Find out more about SOCI9950

Teaching and assessment

A range of assessment methods ensure that theory and research relate to contemporary professional practice.

Fees

The 2022/23 UK fees for this course are:

Advanced Child Protection - MA at Medway

  • Home part-time £5200
  • EU part-time £5200
  • International part-time £5200

Advanced Child Protection - PCert at Medway

  • Home part-time £3467
  • EU part-time £3467
  • International part-time £3467

Advanced Child Protection - PDip - part-time at Medway

  • Home part-time £3467
  • EU part-time £3467
  • International part-time £3467

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Independent rankings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research was ranked 2nd for research power in the UK. The School was also placed 3rd for research intensity, 5th for research impact and 5th for research quality (GPA).

An impressive 94% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 99% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research, gaining the highest possible score of 100%.

Research

Careers

Our Master’s and stand-alone modules give you the opportunity to further your career and expertise in child protection. As well as benefiting from Kent’s academic excellence, you gain insight into multi-agency relationships and responsibilities. The Centre attracts students from across social work, health, education, probation and the third sector, and widens your potential learning experience. The distance learning delivery of the Master’s programme enables you to fit learning around your life and work commitments and you have the chance to apply your knowledge as you progress. Each cohort contains a unique mix of experiences and professions, providing a valuable opportunity for information exchange and networking.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

This course offers you the opportunity to study child protection through distance learning using innovative and cutting-edge techniques and technology. Teaching is delivered through the use of inter-professional serious training games, expert lectures, in the form of audio and videoed podcasts, acted role plays and discussion forums. You access materials and online forums via Moodle, the University's Virtual Learning Environment and are assigned an academic adviser to support you through the duration of the course.

Serious training games

The team at the Centre for Child Protection is leading the way in developing new and innovative ways to deliver training and opportunities for simulated role play for professional development. The serious game concept offers a safe medium to explore and reflect upon child protection assessment. It offers professionals, at all stages of their careers, a unique way to evaluate real-life situations.

The first in the series of games, Rosie 2 promotes the theme of inter-professional practice by exploring the boundaries and challenges of a joint visit to the family by a health visitor and social worker. Rosie 2 was followed by Visiting Elliot which explores a visit to a sex offender in the community. Zak, the third game in the series, focuses on an aspect of internet grooming.

The Centre for Child Protection’s series of serious game simulations provide research-based case studies and the opportunities to explore the complex dynamics involved in making professional assessments and decisions in these contexts.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Apply now

Please note: Application deadline 1 December for the upcoming January start.

Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

Once started, you can save and return to your application at any time.

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MA at Medway

PCert at Medway

PDip at Medway

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

E: information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 823684

E: sspssr-pg-admin@kent.ac.uk

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk