Postgraduate Diploma in Childhood and Youth Studies - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

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.

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 be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • different theoretical perspectives that contribute to the study of childhood and youth, how these 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.
  • 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 to understand and evaluate the links between local and global forces in children and young people’s lives.
  • action research methodology, 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 and systematically 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
  • interpret, assess and deploy research methodologies and their evidence.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • learn from personal experience and apply theory to 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
  • plan, analyse, develop and produce an extended proposal or plan, conduct, analyse and report a small-scale investigation within a professional setting to develop or enhance the understanding of practice 
  • accommodate new principles, understandings and evidence and 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
  • learn from a variety of different media and different teaching methods

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding is taught through diverse study materials including multi media. If you have a learning difficulty or disability that could impact on studying online please do speak with us and your tutor so that where possible reasonable adjustments can be made to facilitate your participation.

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 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. Optional 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.

We do encourage a sharing of ideas and experiences with your peers through asynchronous forums and there may be some activities that recommend working with other students as this is an important way in which you can broaden your knowledge and understanding of children and young people across different contexts. However, alternative ways of working can be facilitated.

Online 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.

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