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Child Welfare and Social Pedagogy

Who is it for?

This course is designed for social workers and other professionals who are interested in the use of social pedagogic approaches in all child welfare contexts.  It is relevant for people who have existing experience of using this model of practice, as well as practitioners who are seeking an introduction to the topic. 

The course is accessible for people who are studying part-time and for people across the UK who are able to travel to Lancaster for two separate days during the course.

Course details

Social pedagogy has a long tradition in children's social care in European and North American contexts and there has been increasing interest in this model of practice in UK in recent years.  This course explores how social pedagogy can occur in a range of child welfare contexts including children's safeguarding, work with children and young people 'on the edge of care' and work with looked after children and young people.  The course examines

  • The knowledge, skills and value base of social pedagogy
  • Evidence about how social pedagogical approaches are currently being implemented in practice in the UK and opportunities for further developments
  • Knowledge and skills for engaging with social pedagogy in students' own practice

Students are supported to further develop their practice skills in relation to direct work with young people or through developing the use of social pedagogy more generally in their agency. 
The course is delivered through two intensive, day-long workshops and a series of learning activities, virtual seminars and online discussion forums over the course of ten weeks.  Course participants are facilitated to work as a small group of experienced practitioners, engaging in exercises which enable them to share detailed, anonymised accounts of their practice for critical analysis in a supportive environment.  There is an emphasis on engaging with and employing current knowledge in order to develop practice throughout the course.  Participants will also be able to access a number of master classes by leaders in child welfare research and practice.


This course carries 20 Higher Education credits at level 7.  Successful completion leads to a Lancaster University Postgraduate Certificate of Achievement.  Academic credits can also be used towards a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MA in Advanced Social Work.


The course is assessed via a written assignment of 4000 words, where students use current knowledge to critically analyse practice.  Students have access to face to face and e-tutorials in relation to their assessed work.  There are no exams.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have at least a lower second class honours degree in social work or a social science subject, or a degree level qualification in a related profession, or a Masters degree in Social Work.

Social workers taking this course should have practised for at least one year following qualification.






If you have any questions or require further information on any of our degree programmes please contact Dharman Jeyasingham



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