This masters programme in Advanced Child Protection Studies is designed to develop students’ specialist knowledge within the field of child protection and safeguarding.


It will interest those who are currently employed, involved, or interested in the field, whether in a leadership, practice, or support role.

It is taught by experienced practitioners and experts in the field and provides students with the opportunity to focus on specific areas of interest. There are four 30-credit modules over two years (two each year) and a dissertation in year three to achieve the MSc.

This child protection masters course is an online and distance learning programme, which combines innovative learning and teaching techniques with interaction with the tutor and fellow students. Students are provided with the same level of teaching as received by those on campus with the additional benefit of having the flexibility to study anywhere at any time.

No specialist knowledge in technology is required, students just need to have access to the internet and know how to use it. Learning activities are structured to provide simplicity and students are supported throughout the programme. 

This programme aims to equip students with advanced knowledge that will enable them to work effectively in the field of child protection, whether this is in the area of practice, management, research, or service development. The programme aims to facilitate the development of higher-level critical analysis skills, and to develop students’ capacity for knowledge-informed practice and more original thinking in relation to the complex issues that arise in the contested field of child protection.

The programme is designed to appeal to the more experienced professional already engaged in this area of activity – for example in social work, policing, law, education, nursing and health. However, those with an academic interest in the area (for example social policy, law or criminology graduates) are also encouraged to apply, subject to being able to satisfy the requirements of the various modules. 

More specifically, the programme aims to help students develop:

  • a theoretical and practical understanding of the complexities of child protection practice, including interagency working
  • a critical awareness of the familial, social, cultural and political contexts in which child protection practice is located – both nationally and internationally
  • a critical perspective in the assessment and evaluation of research, law, policy and practice relevant to child protection work
  • skills in promoting more effective responses to child protection concerns at both front line practice and strategic levels

The programme emphasises the relevance of systems thinking and emotional processes, and includes attention to international perspectives and extra-familial as well as intra-familial child protection issues. Additionally, the programme gives the opportunity to look at some of the critical debates in this area of work (for example, the tensions between medical and social models of child protection, the relationship between non-consensual adoption and child protection, and family preservation orientations in the context of child protection).


Why Study this Course?


Online and distance learning

Above all else, we aim to provide a fulfilling, stimulating, and supportive learning experience. Online and distance learning programmes are well suited to those with busy personal and work lives, and we believe that online technologies have now reached the point where it’s possible to deliver an online child protection programme that surpasses on-campus courses.

The technology we use is simple to use and provides students with convenient access to all programme materials and connects them with the tutors and other students. And as importantly, this can all be accessed from wherever the student is, on whatever device they want to use.


A tailored programme

Our programme allows you to focus on those areas of child protection that are of interest, enabling students to specialise. The learning tasks as designed to be relevant to real-life child protection work and some learning tasks are integrated into real-time practice, providing a streamlined learning approach to developing specialist knowledge.

The taught modules enable you to develop skills in three key areas:

  • Reviewing and using the research evidence
  • Understanding the dynamics that occur within child protection work
  • Developing evidence informed ideas on how to improve practice and services

The workload is broken down into units carefully designed with the busy professional in mind and we ensure you are supported throughout. Similarly, the assessments are structured to avoid having to submit lengthy essays.

The programme includes contributions from leading researchers and commentators in the field.

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

MSc/PGDip/PGCert Advanced Child Protection Studies

Course Level:

Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Distance learning, Taught





How long it takes:

Part time programme – PGCert one year, PGDip two years, MSc 30 months. Full time programme – M.Sc 18 month

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$22,500

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

To obtain the MSc students will complete four 30 credit modules and a 60 credit dissertation.

  • Part time students take 2 modules in years 1 and 2 and the dissertation module in year 3. 
  • Full time students take 4 modules in year one and complete the dissertation component in year 2


Law, Policy and Inter-agency Working (30 credits)

Year one, semester one part time and full time students

Child protection work necessarily takes place within a defined but often contested – and indeed ever changing – legal and policy context. Understanding this context is essential if we are to a) understand how child protection services are organised and delivered, and b) ensure that the delivery of these services is ethical, humane and, ultimately, lawful. This module thus aims to equip you with the necessary up-to-date legal and policy knowledge in order to effectively critique service delivery at all levels within the ‘child protection system’.


Risk, Analysis and Decision Making (30 credits)

Year one semester 2 part time and full time students

Everyone involved with safeguarding or child protection work, be they practitioners, managers, and policy makers will be concerned with the analysis of risk and the decision making that stems from this. This module therefore develops your ability to critically analyse the current processes, methods, and frameworks utilised in contemporary child protection practice, while critically reflecting on your own practice and the practice within the systems that you work in.


Help, Support and Direct Work (30 credits)

Year two semester 1, part time students. Year one semester 1, full time students

Good child protection practice results in children being safe and well cared for. How to achieve this, however, is far from straightforward; and everyone involved in child protection work need to be able to identify, support, and promote practice that keeps children safe, while adhering to ethical standards of practice. This module therefore explores the evidence and practice base of, and for, direct practice so that you can develop greater knowledge about how to engage, motivate, and assist (when necessary) people to change, to ensure that children and young people are kept safe.


Organizations, Systems and Leadership (30 credits)

Year two semester 2, part time students. Year one semester 2, full time students.

Child protection practice operates within and across a range of complex organisations and systems. However, we continue to see very similar failures in quality and safety within a range of professional cultures. This module takes a systems view of the child protection field to critically consider the assumptions that underlie many of these policy responses that provide the foundation for contemporary child protection practice. It will critically interrogate how these systems have been designed and look at how we might design safer systems around a more sophisticated understanding of the relational dynamics within and between different professional groups.


Dissertation (60 credits)

Year three semester 1, part time students. Year two semester 1, full time students

The dissertation module is a key component of the programme which aims to facilitate the development of higher-level critical analysis, and to develop your capacities for knowledge-informed practice and more original thinking in relation to the complex issues that arise in the field of child protection.

All the modules are compulsory

Considering postgraduate study, but unsure whether you meet the entry requirements for a Masters-level degree? Postgraduate admissions guidelines vary by course and university, but can be quite flexible.

Your existing qualifications will be important, but you don’t necessarily need a great Bachelors degree to apply for a Masters. Your personal circumstances and experience may also be considered during the admissions process.

This guide explains the typical entry requirements for a Masters, which include:

      • An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject – Depending on the programme and institution, you may need a 2.1 in your Bachelors, but this isn’t always the case
      • Language proficiency – If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to display a certain ability level, usually through a language test
      • Professional experience – Some postgraduate programmes may require you to have some professional experience (this is usually the case for PGCEs and Masters in Social Work)
      • Entrance exams – These are only required in certain subject areas and qualifications, including some MBAs

Tuition fees for UK/EU students 2020/21

MSc:  Full-time £9,900. Part-time £4,950
Postgraduate Diploma:  Full-time £6,660. Part-time £3,300


Tuition fees for International students 2020/21

MSc: Full time £23,310
Postgraduate Diploma: Full-time £15,540


You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

The course particularly offers successful candidates the potential to:

  • enhance their careers through developing an expert or specialist child protection role in the work place
  • develop a research or development role within child protection or safeguarding organisations
  • further develop their academic studies in the field of child protection, safeguarding and child welfare

Please note that the programme does not lead to a professional qualification.