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Postgraduate Certificate in Integrated Practice in Childhood and Youth

This postgraduate certificate course can be obtained by studying either one of the two compulsory 60-credit modules from the Masters in Childhood and Youth (F55): Children and young people's worlds: frameworks for integrated practice (E807) or Critical practice with children and young people (K802). It is designed for graduates coming from a background in childhood and youth studies, sociology, health and social care, anthropology, psychology or education, it would suit those who already work with children and young people and wish to enhance their knowledge and those that wish to enter the field.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Career relevance and employability

This qualification offers graduate professionals working with children and young people an opportunity to advance academically and professionally. It also enables those with a related degree but not currently working with children and young people 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. This postgraduate certificate course is 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.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU's Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.


For this postgraduate certificate you require:

60 credits from one of the following modules:

Postgraduate compulsory modules Credits Next start
Children and young people's worlds: frameworks for integrated practice (E807)

This course engages with a range of critical perspectives on children's lives and experiences in the contemporary world, at national and international levels.

See full description.

60 Oct
Critical practice with children and young people (K802)

If you work with children and young people, this course will encourage you to take a critical and reflective approach while examining the ideas that influence your practice.

See full description.

60 Oct

Educational aims

This qualification aims to develop advanced theoretical and integrated practice knowledge about children and young people. It is designed for those who work 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 closely linked to the Common Core for Skills and Knowledge for the Children's Workforce Development Council, which has four broad aims to:

  • support the development of more effective and integrated services
  • introduce a common language among professionals and support staff
  • begin to break down some of the cultural and practice barriers within the children's workforce
  • promote more flexible development and career progression.

In addition to these general aims, the specific aims of the qualification are to:

  • develop critical analysis skills relevant to integrated practice
  • provide the necessary knowledge and skills base to understand the lives of children and young people, and how this impacts on integrated practice
  • develop appropriate conceptual skills to be able to link theory, practice and experience.

Learning outcomes

The qualification provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • different theoretical perspectives that contribute to the study of childhood and youth, how these develop a critical understanding of changing organisational structures, how they inform effective communication with children and young people, and how they inform integrated practice
  • the way ethnicity, religion, caste/class, gender, sexuality and disability shape childhood and youth; the impact of differentiation, inequality and exclusion; strategies designed to tackle these issues including safeguarding and promoting welfare of children and young people in integrated practice
  • the policies and provisions relating to regulation/promotion of children and young people's status, welfare, health and learning, including how these impact on childhood and youth contexts, and an appreciation of the importance of multi-agency working
  • the principles underlying a rights approach to childhood and youth issues and an appreciation of links between local and global forces in children and young people's lives
  • methodologies used when working with children and young people, ethical considerations, reflective and evidence-based practice, and an appreciation of how these can inform policy and integrated practice.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification you will be able to:

  • analyse critically concepts, theories, policies and practices concerning children and young people and critically analyse the impact of social institutions such as the family, the law or the state
  • understand and comment critically on the contributions of different approaches to the study of children and young people
  • critically understand the significance and limitations of theory and research
  • identify and critically reflect on connections and discontinuities between knowledge and its application in practical contexts to children and young people.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification you will be able to:

  • learn from personal experience and apply theory to integrated practice issues and dilemmas, and learn from feedback to improve performance
  • analyse features of contemporary childhood and youth in different economic and socio-cultural contexts, within an historical and/or international framework, including multi-agency working
  • identify and reflect on own values and position, and those of others, and assess their relationships to policy and practice
  • critically evaluate approaches to enquiry, paying due regard to the importance of information-sharing
  • accommodate new principles, understandings and evidence, and begin to formulate and justify proposals for action in the light of these.

Key skills

On completion of this qualification you will be able to:

  • organise and articulate opinions and arguments, taking account of appropriate conventions of academic writing
  • communicate accurately and clearly in styles adapted to the purpose and context, including interpretation of numerical and graphical data when appropriate
  • read purposefully and critically, identifying and recording what is relevant from a range of resource material and responding sensitively and critically to diverse viewpoints
  • analyse tasks, plan and manage time
  • plan and manage time
  • learn from a variety of different media and different teaching methods.

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