Child Welfare and Wellbeing (PGDip/ PGCert), M.Sc.

  • N/A
    Application Deadline
  • 12 months
  • Tuition
    Tuition (Module)
    Tuition (Module)
  • English (take IELTS)
University rank #401 , | Online
This exciting and innovative multi-professional open learning MSc in Child Welfare and Wellbeing (PGDip/ PGCert) course from Oxford Brookes University is designed for health, education and social care professionals and those with an interest in this dynamic area of work.


It aims to challenge and extend the knowledge base, skills and attitudes of those working in, or interested in the field of children, young people and family wellbeing. It critically analyses the evidence-base for such work, and examines interventions that link to positive outcomes.

The MSc in Child Welfare and Wellbeing (PGDip/ PGCert) course from Oxford Brookes University is offered as open learning only. It is open to home, EU and international students interested in child and adolescent wellbeing, and who want to interact with other graduates and professionals in an online research-based environment. It is taught by experts with a strong record of research and publications in the area.

Course length
  • Full-time: MSc: 12 months, PGDip: 8 months, PGCert: 4 months.
  • Part-time: The course may be taken on a module by module basis, or individuals may choose specific modules of interest.
Why choose this course?

You will benefit from:

  • Teaching by highly qualified staff - many of the teaching team have reputations for excellence in their research fields both nationally and internationally.
  • A course that has been designed to maximise flexibility.
  • The course can be taken part-time, including, on a module by module basis, building to the PGCert (three modules), a PGDip (six modules), or to a full MSc (nine modules including a triple dissertation module).
  • It can be studied by those in full-time or part-time employment.
  • The convenience of studying at home with regular periods of concentrated online study with other students on the course.
  • Teaching which is delivered through state-of-the-art learning technologies via our Moodle platform.
  • Excellent support in the on-line environment by lecturers who are experts in their subject areas, in the child welfare and drug and alcohol fields.
  • A lively and exciting department.
  • Excellent opportunities for shared learning, with students from many different backgrounds and locations.
  • Strong links with Oxford Brookes University’s Children and Families Research Group.
  • If you are a social worker or health care professional this course will contribute to ongoing CPD with a focus on learning and continuous improvement.

Read about how health visitor Angharad Roberts benefited from the previous version of the course: see the downloads box, right.

Programme Structure

The modules offered include:
  • Foundations in Child Welfare and Wellbeing (20 level 7 credits)
This foundation module introduces students to advanced study in child welfare and wellbeing and invites you to explore the major theoretical approaches that underpin practice with children and adolescents and their families. Beginning with an exploration of the concept of wellbeing, it then focuses on ecological and life course approaches to child welfare. It encourages students to explore the research evidence, both national and international, on parenting, child development and wellbeing, and review the ways in which such evidence underpins child welfare practice both in the UK and internationally.
  • Vulnerable Children and Young People (20 level 7 credits)
Dramatic and rapid changes in our global society have resulted in children and young people being caught in situations of vulnerability and challenge for which they and/or their parents and/or communities may have very little experience, or mechanisms for coping. Adopting a risk and resilience framework, this module will seek to explore a number of topics systematically in terms of: context, prevalence, contributory factors, short and long term consequences, and protective and resiliency factors. Some situations of vulnerability which are explored include: 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.
  • Risk and the Protection of Children (20 level 7 credits)
This module critically examines contemporary childhood from an international perspective with a particular focus on children's experiences of harm in society. The module offers students an opportunity to understand the legal and policy contexts of child protection and safeguarding work. The module explores explanatory models for understanding child maltreatment, along with evidence of the signs and symptoms of significant harm to children, including incidence and prevalence rates. Students will be required to critically appraise international research evidence on the risk factors associated with child abuse and neglect. Child protection interventions and responses to child maltreatment will be debated in relation to social and cultural contexts.
  • Substance Misuse (20 level 7 credits)
Substance misuse represents a significant burden of disease, in addition to disability and social problems, for children, young people and families. Policy makers, clinicians and health and social care workers are becoming increasingly interested in how to develop and deliver evidence based policy and practice. It is therefore crucial to strengthen the links between addiction science and alcohol and drug policy and practice. This module will cover the accumulated scientific knowledge from substance misuse research that has direct relevance to the development of substance misuse policy and practice at local, national and international levels. The two major goals of the module are to provide an objective analytical basis on which to build relevant policies, and to inform practitioners who have direct responsibility for the health and social welfare of children, young people and families where substance misuse is a significant issue.
  • Evidence – Informed Interventions in Child Welfare (20 level 7 credits)
This module explores the nature of evidence and effectiveness in child welfare practice. This module will guide you in exploring the research literature on evidence-based and developmentally appropriate psycho-social interventions with children and adolescents, and identify their strengths and limitations. Interventions studied include those suggested for emotional and behavioural dysregulation, bullying and peer-victimisation, self-harm prevention and children with chronic health conditions and disabilities. The assessment offers an opportunity to apply the appraisal skills to a personal topic area of interest.
  • Child Protection Practice (20 level 7 credits)
The module seeks to develop the knowledge and skills of a wide range of practitioners in the policy and practice of safeguarding children and young people. Students will explore policy frameworks, agency contexts and models of intervention in child protection and will draw upon their own professional practice as key tool for learning. There will be a particular focus on leadership in child protection practice. Assessment of the module will consist of a critical reflection on an aspect of a student’s own professional practice.
  • Advanced Research Design (20 level 7 credits)
You will be given an opportunity to design and conduct a small research project or dissertation. The focus is on helping you to understand the relationship between methodology and method, and to appreciate the philosophical and theoretical underpinning of research-related decisions and their practical application within a work setting. A broad range of research designs will be examined with due consideration given to ethics and rigour.
  • Triple Module Dissertation (MSc students only) (60 level 7 credits)
The triple dissertation counts as three single modules, and allows you to carry out and evaluate your own research or to submit a systematic review or literature review to further understanding and/or development of a specific area of child welfare and wellbeing. Research designs may vary considerably, but examples include:
  • The psychological wellbeing of children with HIV in Bangkok.
  • Interventions in homelessness among problem drug users: a systematic review.
  • Psychosocial interventions with girls who self-harm: a literature review.
The health and social care needs of homeless children and young people.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Full-time duration 12 months
  • Study intensity Part-time, Full-time
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Duration part-time 12 months
    • Part-time variant
  • Credits
    90 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus, Online
    • Time flexibility
      Fully structured
    • Attendance
      No Attendance
    • Teacher support
      Continuous support with feedback on request
    • Student interaction
      Online group works/assignments

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score: 6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Take IELTS test

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic 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.

This is an open 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.

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:

  • 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).
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.

Tuition Fee Per Module

  • GBP 585 International
  • GBP 585 EU/EEA
  • per single module


StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.