Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Practice in Childhood and Youth
This postgraduate diploma course is designed for both those working with or for children and young people in a wide range of settings, and for those with a general interest in the study of childhood and youth. The postgraduate diploma requires you to study two compulsory 60-credit modules which cover the theoretical and practice aspects of integrated services for children and young people. While there is no work-based requirement, you will get the most out of the qualification if you have access to a child or youth setting.
This qualification will extend your knowledge and understanding of childhood and youth and encourage you to reflect critically on aspect of yours and others’ integrated practice. Theoretical frameworks address the family; the law; children’s rights; politicised childhoods; participation and voice issues; consumerist childhoods; education; ethnicity and religion; child criminology; child sexuality; and multi-cultural childhoods – examined within a global context with featured case studies linking theory to practice. Integrated practice issues explore the changing policy, organisational, personal and professional contexts in which work with children and young people takes place. Multi-agency working and inter-professional practice have a central focus. You will learn to use critical tools to analyse policy and to reflect on practice in ways that enable you to develop professionally and meet the diverse and changing needs of children and young people.
This qualification aims to develop advanced theoretical and integrated practice knowledge about children and young people. It is designed for those working with or for children and young people in a wide range of settings, and for those with a general interest in the study of childhood and youth. The aims and outcomes are to:
- develop advanced critical analysis skills relevant to integrated practice
- provide the necessary concepts, theories, knowledge and skills base to understand the lives of children and young people and how this impacts on integrated practice
- develop appropriate analytical, research and conceptual skills needed to link theory, practice and experience
- support the development of more effective and integrated services for children and young people.
Teaching, learning and assessment methods
Knowledge and understanding is taught through diverse study materials including multi media. You will develop your advanced knowledge and understanding through critical, engagement with material provided in the Readers and reflection facilitated by activities in the eLearning Guide. You will undertake a significant amount of your own enquiry-based learning, appropriate to this level of study, including an extended piece of writing. You will have a combination of face-to-face, online and telephone tutor support. A large, critically annotated literature resource bank will provide you with a source of guided independent study.
You will develop your cognitive skills through critical analysis of diverse study materials and apply this at a global level, learning to compare familiar knowledge and concepts to less familiar experiences of children in other parts of the world. Collaborative learning is assessed through a wiki activity which privileges peer experience and draws on these experiences to build a resource that can be shared with other students. Summative assessment is through TMAs and an end-of-module assessment (EMA). The EMA is linked to your chosen specialist area and draws directly on your practice or area of interest.
Face-to-face tutorials, virtual learning communities (in tutor groups) and assignment feedback are designed to build on your academic study skills over the life of the module. You will have opportunities to develop your critical analysis of policy and practice. Key to this will be a developing ability to draw good practice out of theoretical frameworks. You will undertake a significant amount of your own enquiry-based learning, appropriate to this level of study, including an extended piece of critical writing.
Teaching and learning is geared towards the development of professional skills through a critical engagement with policy, analysis of organisational structures and reflection on personal practice. Multi-agency working and inter-professional practice has a central focus. Assessment is constructed so that you can critically apply your knowledge in the context of your own practice. The EMA provides an opportunity for you to engage in an original piece of research which can be shared with professional colleagues and enhance your own and others’ practice.
This qualification offers graduate professionals working with children and young people an opportunity to advance academically and professionally. It also supports those with a related degree but not currently working with children and young people to gain an understanding of the sector in order to be able to move into the profession and will help those people considering a move between professions within the sector. In addition this qualification serves the continuing professional development needs of senior members of the workforce and those in, or aspiring to, managerial and supervisory roles. Along with the postgraduate certificate this postgraduate diploma provides an opportunity to gain a qualification as you work towards your masters degree. The content of the qualification will be relevant to graduates working in early years provision, education, social work, nursing, healthcare, youth work, youth justice or the voluntary sector.
You will require a bachelors degree (or equivalent) in any discipline relevant to children and young people to study for this qualification. Applicants who do not hold a degree (or equivalent), but have significant professional experience of at least three years in a related area may be eligible for consideration. You should include evidence of this experience in the supplementary information we ask you to provide when you register for your first module.
The research project option in Children and young people's worlds: frameworks for integrated practice (E807) is only available if you are a UK resident as you will need to have successfully obtained an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Services clearance check (or equivalent in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Students in Scotland will also need to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme. Further details can be found at www.pvgschemescotland.org. The criminal record check must be appropriate for the setting in which you intend to carry out your research. The DBS (or equivalent) must bear the same name as given in your post-registration agreement form. You also need permission from your employer to undertake this work. If these conditions cannot be fulfilled then you must choose the E807 literature review option.
You will need to be proficient in English, to an IELTS standard of 6.0. If you are unsure you will be able to take a free English test as part of the registration process.
Please note: it is a legal, rather than an Open University requirement, that you must obtain Enhanced DBS clearance in order to work with children on E807. This is the responsibility of you and your employer and not The Open University. If you are in doubt about your eligibility, or to find out more, you should contact the relevant agency in your country for more information.
You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.
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