The Centre for Child Protection

High Quality Child Protection Training, study & research

Distance learning Master's in Advanced Child Protection

Do you want to study child protection in a different and more effective way and study alongside a variety of child protection professionals? Our part-time distance-learning online course uses innovative and cutting edge techniques and technology, in particular the use of inter-professional simulations, expert lectures, in the form of audio and videoed podcasts, acted role plays and discussion forums.  We are proud to bring together inter-professional perspectives and focus on skills of direct work with both parents and children. The welfare of the child is paramount, and the MA provides multi-agency practitioners with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take a child-centred approach into their practice.  One of the defining features of the MA is the 360° perspective on the child protection system, integrating research, practice expertise and theoretical paradigms. Five reasons to study with us:

  1. Distance-learning online study to fit around your work commitments.
  2. Inter-professional teaching and learning promoting reflective practice and critical thinking.
  3. High quality video lectures from experts/leading academics.
  4. Online access to academic journal articles, book chapters, e-books and the University of Kent's impressive library and support services.
  5. Access to the Centre’s award-winning child protection simulations, and innovative learning tools.

Please note the application deadline of 1st December each year as the MA starts in January and this time is needed to process the applications and carry out an interview.

What our students say

Hear what some of our 2015 MA Advanced Child Protection graduates have to say about their experience:

Claire, MA Advanced Child Protection 2015


Rebekah, MA Advanced Child Protection 2015

Sarah, MA Advanced Child Protection 2015


Download our leaflet

You can download our latest leaflet here.

Please note: should you need to withdraw

In the unfortunate instance that any student should want to withdraw/intermit, you are advised of the refund calculation. to work out refunds, in that there is a 14 day cooling off period, and then credits are a pro-rata amount (underneath the postgrad table - point 7 and 8).

MA Highlights

You can download a summary of the MA highlights and see how our students learn here.

MA cost and instalment options

The cost of this two year MA is currently £4,610 per year and there is an organisational discount for 2 or more students email us to discuss this further. MA applicants are able to split the annual MA cost across 10 even monthly payments, with the first payment needing to be made at the time of registration, and then subsequent monthly payments across the two years. Applicants can negotiate which date in the month they wish to make the payment, accommodating for pay dates etc., by liaising with the income office when they attend the induction in January, or through email once they have been accepted onto the programme.

Course content

The module coverage is immense and rich, spanning all aspects of child protection policy, research, theory and practice. You will examine contemporary and significant areas of practice including:

  • Understanding social research
  • Definitions, prevalence, causes and consequences of child protection
  • Contemporary child protection practice and policies
  • New perspectives on assessment and observation
  • Support, help and intervention, what works, how and when? or Support, help and intervention in International Child Protection
  • The unconscious at work; the organisational dimensions of risk management

Students will also undertake a dissertation on a key aspect of child protection.

Study on the programme is divided into seven modules. All modules are compulsory and are worth 20 credits (with the exception of the dissertation which is worth 60 credits). Module 5 you may choose either Support, help and intervention, what works, how and when? or Support, help and intervention in International Child Protection.

To successfully complete the programme students must undertake four 20 credit modules in year one (amounting to 80 credits), and two 20 credit modules and a 60 credit dissertation module in year two (amounting to 100 credits). 

Induction for students is held usually the first week of January at Canterbury, and one or two study days per term are hosted at the campus.

PG Certificate and PG Diploma

We now offer an online, distance-learning PG Certificate in Advanced Child Protection and a PG Diploma in Advanced Child Protection.  Both of these qualifications consist of modules from the MA which are outlined under the MA section.  Please note that both of these programmes are subject to our MA entry requirements and application processes and these programmes cannot be funded through instalments. Do contact us for further information.

PG Certificate:
For the Postgraduate Certificate in Child Protection students must have successfully completed the following modules (amounting to 60 credits): SO926, SO927 and SO928 from the Year 1 MA programme.
Duration: January - November
Cost: £3,073

PG Diploma:
You are required to successfully complete all 6 of the MA modules across the two years (4 in Year 1 and 2 in Year 2).
The only element you would not be completing from the MA is the Dissertation.
Duration: Year 1: January – November Year 2: February - July
Cost: £6,146

Access to our award-winning child protection simulations

Students will have the opportunity to use the Centre's award-winning simulations to study various aspects of child protection and online grooming where the simulation is applicable to the module.

'Rosie 1' A simulation focusing on an initial assessment visit to a family.The initially benign situation rapidly develops into a case of child sexual abuse.

'Rosie 2' It is now five years on from 'Rosie 1' and the case is still active and focuses on neglect. Professionals consider and discuss a range of child protection issues throughout the 13 scenes.

'Looking out for Lottie' This training tool focuses on child sexual exploitation and online grooming with unique opportunity to consider the 'boyfriend style' groomer perspective.

'Zak' An innovative social media style simulation for use with young people focusing on online grooming and the radicalisation process.

'myCourtroom: Rosie's family go to court' an interactive and immersive simulation based on realistic scenarios to trigger discussions and decisions around court skills.

'Visiting Elliot' Developed in collaboration with Kent Police and KSS CRC, Elliot is designed to train professionals who visit sex offenders on licence in the community.

'Maryam and Joe: Behind Closed Doors' Funded by the home Office, this simulation explores how two young people are groomed on multiple social media platforms, as well as face to face, for radicalisation by a far right extremist group and by so-called IS (Daesh) extremists.

Proud winners of the Guardian University Award 2016 for Digital Innovation: 'The award  was in recognition of the ‘Lottie’ project, ground-breaking work from the Centre for Child Protection providing an interactive simulation tool to help young people become more aware of the dangers of sexual grooming.' Guardian University, 2016 read more...

Course benefits

The MA is responsive to the realities of busy practice and the format offers flexible mobile learning.  We have created an environment where you can access varied and relevant resources on the move or at home.  Our forums add another dimension to the study of child protection, encouraging engagement and sharing of expertise and ideas. Discussions within the online forums demonstrate that this medium is viewed as a safe place within which to explore, reflect upon and change practice.

You will be given one-to-one support by your tutor throughout your studies. Contact is flexible and can be facilitated face-to face, via email, Skype or phone.  You are offered the chance to meet your fellow students at the face-to-face induction and study days and to take advantage of enhancing these multi-agency networking opportunities.  The 4-day induction is hosted at the start of both Years 1 and 2 and study days are held on a termly basis. 

With focus on the welfare of the child as being paramount, the MA provides multi-agency practitioners with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take a child-centred approach into their practice.  One of the defining features of the MA is the 360° perspective on the child protection system, integrating research, practice expertise and theoretical paradigms:

  • Providing flexibility in how you study.
  • Inter-professional teaching and learning.
  • High quality video lectures from experts/leading academics.
  • Thought-provoking activities promoting reflective practice and critical thinking.
  • Online access to academic journal articles, book chapters and e-books.
  • Access to the Centre’s award-winning child protection simulations, and innovative learning tools.
  • Academic and professional support from staff in a Centre of excellence and innovation in child protection.
  • The opportunity to study in a School with a long established tradition of research
  • Supportive, student-centred teaching and learning; provision for a diverse student population
  • The development of knowledge on child protection and safeguarding
  • Innovative methods of teaching and learning suited to flexible learning
  • Teaching by a range of specialists with national and international reputations
  • The opportunity to study and access this expertise through distance learning.
  • Outstanding teaching, research and support facilities including access to extensive online resources, national and cross national data-bases and books and journal.

Postgraduate funding

Information on funding options for your postgraduate qualification is available on our University Finance pages.

Details of the Postgraduate Loan is also available at this site.

Entry requirements

Please check that you meet the entry requirements, more details available on our university pages

Apply online

PLEASE NOTE: Our MA begins in January so applicants need to have submitted before the end of the day on 1st December.

Apply online and please call us to discuss group discounts or to speak to a lecturer on 01227 827546 or email us.

Contact us

Please complete our contact form and we will be in touch to answer your questions. If you would like to speak to a lecturer please call 01227 827546 or email us.

Jane Reeves


"I found this course fantastic. As a lawyer it has given me a much deeper insight into the everyday practice of child protection by other professions. A real joy has been the intellectual rigour of the course ... allowing one to truly engage with wider policy debates from a UK and global perspective." 
Barrister (2019)

“I have solely chosen the MA course at Kent because it provides up to date information in terms of how technology and globalisation effect child abuse; simulations that provide a safe medium for practical experience; skills in research, data collection and analysis; policies and practice; intervention methods; professional training and an opportunity to work with others on tasks."
MA Applicant


“The modules enabled me to reflect on previous ‘failings’ regarding abuse of children…course tutors were extremely knowledgeable, sharing that knowledge in creative and interactive ways that inspired and motivated me”.
Managing Director, Voluntary Sector


“Lots to read but very thought provoking and relevant to practice. All this has helped with training delivery and development of my knowledge base.”
Senior Practitioner


“Moodle I found really easy to navigate, the resources exceeded my expectations. The international support I have been offered as a late starter has been amazing especially the offer of a mentor.”
International Student


“As the designated officer in a small team it gave me the opportunity to reflect in a safe environment and discuss sensitive issues.”
Team Manager, Voluntary Sector


“The course has improved my understanding of and empathy with the social worker profession …. It has bolstered my theoretical and research knowledge, introduced me to authors – and people –  who I often quote in my work, and  who inform my assessments.”
Social Care Team Manager


Centre for Child Protection - © University of Kent

Centre for Child Protection, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ

Last Updated: 18/02/2020