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Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Practice in Childhood and Youth


This postgraduate diploma is designed for graduates from any discipline who have either a professional or personal interest in the area of childhood and youth studies. It would suit both those who already work with children and young people and who wish to enhance their knowledge as well as those who wish to enter this field. 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.

Planning your studies

Please note: When planning your studies, please make sure you check the final start date of the modules so that you can be certain of completing within the available timeframe.

The two compulsory modules have limited availability in their current versions.  Children and young people’s worlds: frameworks for integrated practice (E807) has a final start date of October 2016 and Critical practice with children and young people (K802) has a final start date of October 2017.  We therefore recommend you study E807 before K802.

You should be prepared for study at postgraduate level and have the minimum of a bachelors degree (in any subject) from a UK University (or equivalent). 

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 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.

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.

Career relevance and employability

This postgraduate diploma will be attractive to anyone with a personal or professional interest in exploring different aspects of children and young people’s worlds. It is aimed at those who are graduates and seeking to advance academically and professionally, as well as those with a related degree but not currently working with children and young people  who are looking to move into the profession, and people considering moving between professions within the sector.

Along with the postgraduate certificate this postgraduate diploma provides an opportunity to gain a qualification as you work towards your masters qualification. The content of the qualification will be particularly relevant to graduates working with children or young people, for example 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 120-credit postgraduate diploma, you require:

120 credits from the following compulsory modules:

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

This module 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 2015
Critical practice in work with children and young people (K802)

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

See full description

60 Oct 2015

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

Credit for previous study elsewhere

For this qualification, we do not allow you to count credit for study you have already done elsewhere although it is allowed toward the MA in Childhood and Youth (F55). If you intend to apply for credit transfer towards the MA, please note that due to the unique study rule you cannot claim both this postgraduate diploma and the MA. Please see our Credit Transfer site for details.

On completion

On successful completion of 120 credits' worth of required modules you can be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Practice in Childhood and Youth entitling you to use the letters PG Dip IPCY (Open) after your name. Your postgraduate diploma will be classified with distinction if you achieve this classification on both compulsory modules (E807 and K802).

You may continue your studies and add a further 60 credits to your postgraduate diploma to gain an MA in Childhood and Youth (F55).

You may also claim the Postgraduate Certificate in Integrated Practice in Childhood and Youth (C97) if you wish to do so. To claim all three qualifications you must study them in sequence (postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma and then the MA) and you can only gain all three if you do not use credit transfer towards the MA.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.

How to register

If you want to study for this qualification, read the description and check you meet any specific requirements (for example, some of our qualifications, require you to be working in a particular environment, or be sponsored by your employer). Then select the module you wish to study first and ensure it is suitable for you before following the registration procedure for that module. During the registration procedure you will be asked to declare which qualification you are studying towards.

See a full list of modules available for this qualification

About this Diploma
Code E78
Level Postgraduate
Made up of 120 credits

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