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What makes Leading Culture Change in Safeguarding* at Worcester special?

This new and exciting course breaks new ground. Its purpose is to find innovative ways to safeguard people’s wellbeing from childhood to adulthood. It brings together students working in health, education, social care, housing, sports and community organisations and across people’s life course, from antenatal care to the care of our older populations, and those keen to be change-makers in these fields.

The course encourages students to consider the implications for their organisation’s learning and service delivery. It develops students’ leadership of culture change by supporting them to integrate research, by pooling expertise, real-life experience and reflection.

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • The course is made up of two mandatory modules and takes two years. You will take one module each year. The course’s flexible-and-distributed delivery enables you to learn while also striking a manageable work, life and study balance. It is designed with the busy professional in mind.
  • You do not necessarily need an undergraduate degree to apply successfully. Details about admissions and applications are provided below.
  • Independent online learning is blended with twilight discussion and debate. This allows you the independence of managing your own time and energy while also developing professional and social networks through our regular face-to-face discussions.
Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

The course seeks to recruit practitioners, professionals, volunteers or those with significant interest in current safeguarding protection practices and challenges, reflecting the needs of a diverse student group. There is no requirement for applicants to be in relevant work or to have the support of their employer. Nor is there a need to have an undergraduate BA (hons) degree to apply successfully for this postgraduate certificate. Instead, applications will be assessed based on the application form and essay that is detailed here.

Applications are submitted directly to the University using the online application process below. Applicants are also required to submit a critical reflective essay as part of the application process.

When completing the application form and reflective essay applicants should demonstrate their ability to:

  • critically reflect on academic, professional or personal experience of safeguarding, with particular emphasis placed on work with children and adults;
  • articulate commitment, motivation and the reasons for applying to the course;
  • demonstrate understanding of the child protection system and challenges facing adult care and family support;
  • commit to learning and leading on safeguarding practices.

Recognition of experience

The critically reflective essay should be no more than 1500 words and satisfy the following criteria for an applicant to receive an offer onto the course:

  • competence in written English;
  • initiative with reference to learning, including use of information, research and communication methods;
  • systematic understanding of safeguarding (either safeguarding of children or safeguarding of adults or both)
  • an ability to highlight current challenges to effective safeguarding practice, its ambiguous nature and limits to our current knowledge.
Course content

What will you study?

Leading Culture Change in Safeguarding comprises two 30-credit modules. On each module, tutors will assess 3000 words of your reflective and reflexive writing within an online portfolio. These 3000 words will be made up of five separate 600-word reflections written across the year and assessed at the end of each module.

Year 1

Module 1 – Learning Cultures in Safeguarding: Reflective Organisations

This module engages critically with theories of professional learning in order to reflect on safeguarding cultures. You will learn how to adapt them, showing how organisational learning may characterise effective safeguarding work. We critique compliance culture and build reflective organisations in children’s and adult services.  

 

 

Year 2

Module 2 – Cultures of Vigilance: Reflexive Leaders

This module supports you to lead the development of cultures of vigilance within children’s and adult services. You learn how to sustain them by engaging reflexively with inspection and regulatory frameworks. You identify opportunities to lead change and examine at least one critical development in your own practice that moves you from reflective practice to reflexive leadership.

Modules

Learning Cultures in Safeguarding: Reflective Organisations (module PCSC4001)

Organisational learning characterises effective safeguarding work. This module engages critically with theories of professional learning in order to reflect on safeguarding cultures and to learn how to adapt them. We critique compliance culture and build reflective organisations in children's and adult services.

Cultures of Vigilance: Reflexive Leaders (module PCSC4002)

This module supports you to lead the development of cultures of vigilance within children’s and adult services. You learn how to sustain them by engaging reflexively with inspection and regulatory frameworks. You identify opportunities to lead change and examine at least one critical development in your own practice that moves you from reflective practice to reflexive leadership.

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

This course’s teaching team are experts whose knowledge and research is closely matched to the focus of leadership and safeguarding. It includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience in children’s and adult services across a range of sectors. The team is realistic about the challenge of culture change and also excited at the prospect of working with you.

Rather than attending lectures, this course is designed to ensure we are always attending to learning activities and specific tasks.

The course has three interconnected learning environments. Below are examples of activities associated with each environment:

Online learning activities

  • Independent
  • Online
  • Reading
  • Evaluation

Twilight debate

  • Social
  • Collective
  • Face-to-face
  • Speaking and listening
  • Debate
  • Analysis

Online portfolio

  • Independent
  • Online
  • Writing
  • Visual recording
  • Synthesis
  • Reflection

Online learning activities are posted in pairs to a virtual learning environment. You manage your own time and energy to engage with each online learning activity in the initial two weeks so that you are fully prepared to make a positive contribution to the face-to-face twilight teaching session that takes place in the third week.

In the fourth week, you reflect on what you have learned, personally and professionally, by integrating what you have learned from online learning activites, face-to-face debates and any independent research undertaken. Your reflective and reflexive writing is recorded in your online portfolio.

You will also receive personal academic tutorial support to ensure you meet course expectations of critical reflection and reflexivity so that you are prepared for assessment.

An illustration of the learning environments and how you will engage with them can be seen in this diagram and sample timetable.

Contact time

In a typical month, you will have around 25 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study. Typically contact time will be structured around:

  • 6 hours of interaction with online learning activities in virtual learning environment 1
  • 6 hours of working on this material to prepare for face-to-face'twilight teaching
  • 3-4 hours of face-to-face'twilight teaching including discussion and debate within small and large groups
  • 10 hours of personal reflexive learning

Independent self-study

Students are expected to engage independently with the online learning activities posted to virtual learning environment. This requires intelligent use of time and energy. The activities normally comprise reading and viewing material and a corresponding provocation that directs students to current controversies associated with the material. Students must use their time to engage in the material and provocations provided in a way that prepares them to engage productively with the face-to-face discussions and debates that follow the online learning activities but precede their personal reflexive learning.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the focus of leadership and safeguarding and who are realistic about the challenge of culture change. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience in Children's Services and adult services.

Assessment

Both modules are assessed using the same model. Summative assessment is comprised of two parts. First, students submit a final online portfolio of 3000 words that demonstrates their critical engagement with the module. This compiles five pieces of personal reflexive learning portfolio writing of roughly 600 words each. Second, students critically discuss (but not simply repeat) key aspects of the online portfolio in detail during a 20-minute individual presentation to tutors, critically reflecting on their learning and delving deeply into key issues of professional significance to them. For PCSC4001, students discuss the difference reflection on learning has made to their understanding of safeguarding practice. For PCSC4002, students discuss reflexively the difference they can make as leaders to culture change in safeguarding and cultures of vigilance in particular.

Both parts are assessed together as a whole and in each module, all five intended learning outcomes are assessed.

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of formative assignments. Module tutors will offer prompt feedback to draft personal reflexive learning writing that students post to the online portfolio throughout the course. This feedback enables students to review, edit and improve their writing prior to submission for summative assessment.

None of the assessment is anonymous although all work is anonymous during second marking and moderation of marking.

Year 1 (PCSC4001)

5 x 600-word personal reflexive learning writing = 3000-word online portfolio
20-minute audiovisual presentation of critical reflection on individual learning

Year 2 (PCSC4002)

5 x 600-word personal reflexive learning writing = 3000-word online portfolio
20-minute audiovisual presentation of critical reflection on individual learning

Feedback

You will receive feedback on personal reflexive learning as well as personal academic tutor support. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate. We aim to provide feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Careers

Where could it take you?

You graduate from this course with an online portfolio that demonstrates your critical leadership and learning in cross-disciplinary safeguarding and protection work. You will have successfully demonstrated your ability to lead culture change in safeguarding. You will be characterised by safe reflective and reflexive practice. You have constructive and practicable proposals to make to human welfare organisations concerned with regulatory inspection frameworks.

You would be expected to be in a position to apply for positions of leadership and responsibility for safeguarding and protection work in a range of practice fields and/or assume additional responsibility and accountability in current employment.

 

Academic pathways

Students could progress towards full MA qualification by registering on other MA modules. It would be expected that these additional modules would include Research Methods and a dissertation.

 

Costs

How much will it cost?

Fees

The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Apply online as your first step.

Once this application has been received, the course leader will contact you directly to discuss the 1500-word (max.) critically reflective essay that must be submitted as part of the process. The essay will be sent by email to the course leader and a deadline for its return will be agreed.

When both the online application form and essay have been submitted, your application will be considered in full against the course’s entry requirements.

Any offers will be made formally through the University of Worcester Admissions team.

You can apply for postgraduate taught courses and PG Certs at any time, but preferably as early as possible before the start of the academic year, which begins in September.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.