Taught course

Child Welfare and Wellbeing

Oxford Brookes University · Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health

Entry requirements

Applicants for this postgraduate course must have an honours degree OR equivalent experience, plus fluent writing skills. Applicants may, in addition, be asked to submit evidence of their ability to study at postgraduate level. Evidence requested may include a comprehensive portfolio of relevant prior work experience or a reflection in essay format of 1,500 words on previous work undertaken. This is an open learning course, so you will need to have reliable access to the internet, preferably through a broadband connection. You will need good IT skills and be proficient in the use of the internet and online communication.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

This is an internationally-focused course, which invites professionals and students worldwide to study in an online, research-based environment that challenges how work with children, young people and families is conceptualised and conducted.

The course aims to develop your:

  • ability to critically evaluate contemporary evidence and issues in the promotion of child welfare and wellbeing;
  • knowledge of theories about children's cognitive, affective, social and cultural development;
  • understanding of the multiple factors that correlate with outcomes for children and young people;
  • awareness of the political, policy and statutory paradigms within which interventions are based;
  • understanding of psychosocial interventions and their effectiveness;
  • skills in working with others in a national and international online community;
  • professional practice by enhancing your ability to apply a critical and evidence based approach to your work with service users.

MSc students are required to complete 180 level 7 credits). PGDip students are required to complete 120 level 7 credits and PGCert students are required to complete 60 level 7 credits.

Modules include:

Foundations in Child Welfare and Wellbeing (20 level 7 credits)

This foundation module introduces students to advanced study in child welfare and wellbeing and invites you to explore the major theoretical approaches that underpin practice with children and adolescents and their families.

Vulnerable Children and Young People (20 level 7 credits)

Dramatic and rapid changes in our global society have resulted in children and young people being caught in situations of vulnerability and challenge. Adopting a risk and resilience framework, this module will seek to explore a number of topics systematically in terms of: context, prevalence, contributory factors, short and long term consequences, and protective and resiliency factors.

Risk and the Protection of Children (20 level 7 credits)

This module critically examines contemporary childhood from an international perspective with a particular focus on children's experiences of harm in society. The module offers students an opportunity to understand the legal and policy contexts of child protection and safeguarding work.

Substance Misuse (20 level 7 credits)

This module will cover the accumulated scientific knowledge from substance misuse research that has direct relevance to the development of substance misuse policy and practice at local, national and international levels.

Evidence: Informed Interventions in Child Welfare (20 level 7 credits)

This module explores the nature of evidence and effectiveness in child welfare practice.

Child Protection Practice (20 level 7 credits)

The module seeks to develop the knowledge and skills of a wide range of practitioners in the policy and practice of safeguarding children and young people.

Advanced Research Design (20 level 7 credits)

You will be given an opportunity to design and conduct a small research project or dissertation.

Triple Module Dissertation (MSc students only) (60 level 7 credits)

The triple dissertation counts as three single modules, and allows you to carry out and evaluate your own research or to submit a systematic review or literature review to further understanding and/or development of a specific area of child welfare and wellbeing.

Information for international students

You must have one of the following or equivalent: IELTS: level 6.5 or above (with 6 in written English); Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: grade A or B; GCE O-level or GCSE English Language: grade A or B; Oxford Brookes University English Language Entrance Level 4 - pass.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
12 months


distance learning
8 months


distance learning
4 months

Course contact details

Programme Administrator
+44 (0)1865 448120