M.Sc. Children, Young People and Family Wellbeing

Oxford Brookes University

Application deadline: as early as possible
Tuition fee: Not specified
Start date: September  2014, January  2015
Credits: 90 ECTS
  • English
Delivery mode: Blended
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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This exciting and innovative multiprofessional distance learning course is designed for health and social work/care professionals and those with an interest in this important and dynamic area of work.

Its aim is 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 will focus in particular on a critical analysis of the evidence-base for working with children and families, and will identify interventions and strategies that are linked with positive outcomes.

For those students who wish to obtain the MSc, your dissertation will give you the opportunity to conduct a piece of investigative research that will further understanding and/or facilitate the development of a specific area of study.

The course has been designed to maximise flexibility and can be taken either as a one year full-time masters degree, or 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).

Why Brookes?
* Our courses are open to a wide range of health and social care professionals providing highly-flexible continuing professional development (CPD) study opportunities with part-time, full-time and mixed-mode options (including opportunities for e-learning, blended and distance learning).
* We support multi and interprofessional learning and teaching, and many of our courses are either fully multiprofessional or offer excellent opportunities for shared learning.
* Our lecturers are experienced in their specialist practice area and maintain excellent practice links with those areas locally or across the region.
* Many of our lecturers have reputations for excellence and have established links with colleagues, organisations and institutions at national and international level.
* We have a strong research profile, with experienced researchers working in established areas of cancer care, children and families, drug and alcohol, physical rehabilitation and enablement and interprofessional education & collaborative practice.
* Oxford Brookes is rated internationally excellent across a broad range of subjects in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). 70% of our research in Allied Health Professions and Studies was rated as being of international significance, of which 10% was rated as world-leading.
* Oxford Brookes is a student centred institution that is fully committed to each individual achieving their potential. To support this, we offer a broad range of student support schemes to facilitate learning and development
* We have an excellent track record of high levels of student satisfaction, low student attrition rates and high employability.


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.

This is an internationally-focused course, which invites professionals and students from the UK, EU and overseas to study in an online, research-based environment that challenges how work with children, young people and families is conceptualised and conducted.

The course aims to develop your:

* ability to critically evaluate contemporary evidence and issues in the promotion of child and family wellbeing
* knowledge of theories about children's cognitive, affective, social and cultural development
* understanding of psychosocial interventions and their effectiveness
* understanding of the multiple factors that correlate with outcomes for children and young people
* awareness of the political, policy and statutory paradigms within which interventions are based
* skills in working with others in a national and international online community.

To complete the MSc, you will undertake nine modules:

1. Children and Families: Building the Evidence

This single module explores the theories and research that underpin work with children and adolescents. Taking as its starting point an introduction to critical appraisal and building the evidence, this module will encourage you to explore the research and policy evidence, both national and international, on parenting, child development and contexts of being, and to challenge current theories and debates.

2. Vulnerable Children and Young People

Adopting a risk and resiliency framework, this single module will seek to explore children and young people caught in situations of vulnerability and challenge. These may be situations which they, their parents and their communities have little experience of, and few mechanisms for coping with (ie 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).

3. Risk and the Protection of Children

This single module critically examines contemporary childhood from an international perspective including children's rights, child welfare and wellbeing, and children's experiences of harm in society. The module looks at the current evidence on the signs and symptoms of child maltreatment, including incidence and prevalence rates and the risk factors associated with child abuse and neglect. Child protection prevention strategies, interventions and responses to child maltreatment are debated in relation to social and cultural contexts.

4. Substance Misuse

This single module will explore how substance misuse can be understood in a historical and societal context, including the extent of substance misuse. It will examine and critically assess evidence on what works in preventing and intervening with young people and families in the context of substance misuse.

5. Children and Families: Evidence-Based Social Interventions

This single module will guide you in exploring and critically appraising the strengths and limitations of the research literature on evidence-based and developmentally-appropriate psycho-social interventions with children and adolescents. 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.

6. Advanced Research Design

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.

7 - 9. Dissertation (MSc students only)

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 study in children, young people and family 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.

Please note: as courses are reviewed regularly, the list of modules may vary from that shown here


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 the 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 a distance 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.

Note: The university offers a pre-master's programme which has been designed to fully prepare you for your future master's course if:

* your undergraduate qualifications do not meet the level required for postgraduate study
* you wish to take a master's in a subject that is different from your undergraduate degree
* you need to improve your study skills and use of academic English.

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 (see our list of English language qualifications).

* Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: grade A or B
* 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)
* TOEFL score of 100 or above for the internet-based test

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

75 (Grade B)
TOEFL iBT® test: 100

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