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

We bring together practitioners, volunteers, academics and others – change-makers who combine learning with leadership within children’s services and adult services.

This course challenges you to envision new approaches to safeguarding people’s wellbeing throughout their life and to propose how we ourselves can make change happen, individually, collectively and culturally. We share ideas and expertise to generate the energy to lead culture change.

*Subject to approval

Key features

  • We welcome applications from people working in social care, health, justice, education, sport and community sectors and all who share an interest in leading culture change in safeguarding.
  • The course blends online learning with twilight discussion and debate at The Hive in Worcester. This flexible and distributed learning approach enables us to balance professional, academic and personal development in busy lives.
  • You will push at the edges of safeguarding practice, looking beyond regulation and inspection frameworks and towards professional effectiveness, consistency of safeguarding cultures across people’s life-course and inclusivity of diverse needs.
  • Chosen as part of a full Education MA, you may be eligible to apply for a tuition fee loan.
male teacher talking to pupils in a classroom

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

  • BA (Hons) degree in a relevant field (minimum 2:2 classification)
  • A range of relevant experience

The IELTS score for international applicants is 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in each component). Other English Language qualifications will be considered.

Recognition of experience

Given this course's specialist nature and close relationship to practice, we also offer an entry route which recognises prior experiential learning (RPEL).

Admission is weighted in favour of applicants who can demonstrate a disposition to reflect on their safeguarding practice and a reflexive perspective on their role within that practice and in addition to evidence of specific criteria. The following are examples:

  • Competence in written and spoken English.
  • At least six months prior but continuous practice experience within children’s services and/or adult services (i.e., at least six months of unbroken service experience).
  • A systematic understanding of safeguarding (either safeguarding of children or safeguarding of adults or both) characterised by an ability to highlight current challenges to effective safeguarding practice, its ambiguous nature and limits to our current knowledge.

 

What if you are already employed in a safeguarding role?

sports training sessions with coaches and young adultsIt may be the case that some employers wish to sponsor their employees to work towards this Leading Culture Change in Safeguarding. In such cases, it is advised that the applicant, their employer and course leader establish a learning agreement before the course commences and which is reviewed each semester.

This agreement clarifies the course’s purpose as a safe learning environment to critique current practice and to support learners and leaders to take responsibility to move beyond critique into proposals for alternatives which reflect the applicants’ integration of information, experience and motivation primarily rather than their employer’s strategic goals.

The confidentiality of the employer’s workplace practices and the contribution of the applicant’s learning journey to their employer’s strategic goals will be clarified in the agreement also.

Course content

What will you study?

The course comprises two 30-credit modules. You will take one in each year of the two year programme.

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

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

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:

Outside The Hive our gold clad libraryOnline 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 they have learned, personally and professionally, by integrating what they 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.

Who will teach you?

You will be taught by a 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 and adult services.

Assessment

On each module, tutors will assess 3,000 words of your reflective and reflexive writing within an online portfolio as well as your own audiovisual presentation of your learning and leadership of change in your own safeguarding practice culture.

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 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?

For more information, please visit our Course Fees and Postgraduate Loans pages.

Apply

How do you apply?

For all taught postgraduate and PG Cert programmes, please apply directly to University of Worcester. You can download an application form. Once completed, please send your application form by email to the CPD Office.

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.

CPD Education

01905 542064
or  01905 855257
cpdeducation@worc.ac.uk

Course leader

Stuart Gallagher
01905 855052
s.gallagher@worc.ac.uk