About the Childhood and Youth Studies Top Up programme
Over the last five years there has been a significant shift in policy, practice and funding for services supporting children, young people and families. Services have had to restructure and rethink the support strategies and establish new ways of working to ensure relevant services are available. When exploring this with employers from children’s services they were clear that the impact of this was the move towards practitioners working across the whole of the 0-19 agenda. This has led to a skills gap across sectors where age specific support workers are now having to work with groups of young people that they do not feel equipped to deal with. The aim of the programme is to offer learning opportunities which will develop skills to bridge the gap of working with 5 -12 years and youth support for young people up to 19 years.
Applicants wishing to gain direct entry onto the top-up at level 6, must have at least 240 CATS points gained through study at levels 4 and 5 in a relevant field such as children, young people and families. The average grade at level 5 must be 50% or above.
Accreditation of Prior Learning
Applicants may be admitted with credit for prior certificated learning (APcL) or work/life experience or other uncertificated learning (APcL).
Students who have successfully completed another relevant programme of study at least at the equivalent level may be eligible to apply for APcL. Claim forms must be supported by the official transcript or certificate of the awarding body of the original qualification and any guidance explaining the allocation of credit and grading scheme used to enable module comparison.
Students may also be eligible to apply for life or work experience or other uncertificated learning in which the acquisition of skills or knowledge at the equivalent level to the higher education programme has been gained. These APeL claim forms must be supported by a portfolio of evidence including supporting letters or statements from third parties (i.e. employers) to validate any claims made within the portfolio by the applicant. Further, a letter or statement of support from the programme leader identifying any interviews or discussions that have taken place with particular attention being paid to ensure that should the accreditation be granted, the applicant or enrolled student would be able to cope with the demands of the programme.
What you will learn
Level 6 – Honours Stage
- Leading Change in Organisations
- Action Research Project
- Solution Focused Practice
- Childhood and Youth Support
Learning & Teaching Methods
Approaches to teaching and learning for work in the field of childhood and youth focuses on all aspects of the informal and formal education continuum which provides opportunities for learning through dialogue, debate, peer learning and reflection. For wider areas of the programme where social work practice underpins the knowledge that students are expected to understand, the programme will follow the four interrelated themes set out in the benchmark statements which are:
- Awareness raising, skills and knowledge acquisition;
- Conceptual understanding;
- Practice skills and experience
- Reflection on performance.
The programme aims to facilitate critical thinking and reflection by questioning and critically discussing beliefs, discourses and attitudes.
As this is a level 6 programme the use of self-directed learning will be prevalent as the blended learning mode of study requires students to complete online activities which develop their digital literacy alongside more traditional methods of lectures, workshops and seminars. There will be opportunities for self-directed group work and projects allowing for peer discussion and learning as well as individual and collective problem solving and action learning. (1, 2, 4)
A key element of the programme is the practice learning experience in which students undertake 120 hours within a relevant setting. In collaboration with employers, students will undertake an action research project to enable them to effect change within their setting. Students have access to additional training programmes provided by employers in relation to safeguarding and family support work enriching the students’ learning experience and developing current methods of working required within the sector. (1, 2, 3 & 4)
As this programme sits across a number of disciplines within the children and young people sector the teaching and learning will align itself to the approaches set out within QAA subject benchmarks statements for Community and Youth Work and Social Work as mapped to the programme learning outcomes in box 29. The process of learning values personal and professional experiences where the theoretical underpinning informs practice development.
The outcomes of the programme are strongly linked to skills and knowledge required for multi-disciplinary work within the childhood and youth sector.
The programme has been designed and developed in conjunction with employers from across statutory and Social Enterprise organisations. Practice Managers from the Family Resource Service, Family Hubs and alternative education provider for primary school age children were ask to consult on the purpose and module design and assessment. This was crucial to ensure the content was fit for purpose within the sector at level 6.
Graduates of this programme may be able to work in roles in schools, Family Hubs/Children’s Centres, family support service, Youth Support Services and Youth Justice.