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Integrated Practice in Childhood & Youth

This certificate is designed for graduates from any discipline with a professional or personal interest in childhood and youth studies. There are two modules to choose from. If you work with children and young people, you could opt to reflect critically on the ideas that influence your practice and undertake a research project or literature review (E807). Or you might prefer to explore critical perspectives on children's lives today, at national and international levels (K802). Either choice will deepen your understanding of children's lives and develop critical analysis skills relevant to integrated practice.

Key features of the course
• Suitable if you already work with children and young people, or hope to do so
• Explores diverse perspectives on childhood and youth and strategies designed to promote their welfare
• Examines the links between theory and practice, with a strong emphasis on your own context.

This certificate is the first stage of a study programme that progresses to a postgraduate diploma and finally a masters degree. You can step off at any point, or study the whole programme.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
• Knowledge and understanding
• Cognitive skills
• Practical and professional skills
• Key skills

Entry requirements

You must have a bachelors degree from a UK University (or equivalent) to study this course. Your degree can be in any subject, although childhood and youth studies, sociology, health and social care, anthropology, psychology or education are particularly relevant.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 7 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance check
The research project option in Children and young people's worlds: frameworks for integrated practice (E807) is only available if you are a UK resident as you will need to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check (or equivalent in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Students in Scotland will also need to meet the requirements of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme (visit for more details). The criminal record check must be appropriate for the setting in which you intend to carry out your research. The DBS (or equivalent) must bear the same name as given in your post-registration agreement form. You also need permission from your employer to undertake this work. If you're live unable to meet these conditions, you should choose the literature review option in E807.

Please note: it is a legal, rather than an Open University requirement, that you must obtain Enhanced DBS clearance in order to work with children on E807. This is the responsibility of you and your employer and not The Open University. If you are in doubt about your eligibility, or to find out more, you should contact the relevant agency in your country for more information.


Minimum - 1 year.

The minimum time to complete this qualification is one year.

Number of credits

60 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
This qualification will be attractive to anyone with a personal or professional interest in exploring different aspects of children and young people's worlds. It is aimed at those who are graduates and seeking to advance academically and professionally, as well as those with a related degree but not currently working with children and young people. It also enables those with a related degree but not currently working with children and young people to move into the profession and will help those people considering a move between professions within the sector. The content of the qualification will be particularly relevant to graduates working with children or young people, for example in early years provision, education, social work, nursing, healthcare, youth work, youth justice or the voluntary sector.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

Further enquiries

Tel: (01) 678 5399
Fax: (01) 678 5442

Subjects taught

To gain this qualification, you need 60 credits from either:
Compulsory module
Children and young people's worlds: frameworks for integrated practice (E807)
Critical practice with children and young people (K802)

You should note that the University's unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 20 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.


On completion
On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Integrated Practice in Childhood and Youth entitling you to use the letters PG Cert IPCY (Open) after your name. Your postgraduate certificate will be awarded with distinction if you achieve this classification on your module (E807 or K802).

You may continue your studies to gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Practice in Childhood and Youth (E78) (with a further 60 credits) or an MA in Childhood and Youth (F55) (with a further 120 credits).

To claim all three qualifications you must study them in sequence (postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma and then the MA) and you can only gain all three if you do not use credit transfer towards the MA.

Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Credit transfer
Credit transfer is not available for this qualification.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!