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Integrated Practice in Childhood & Youth

If you work with children and young people and wish to enhance your knowledge or would like to move into this field, this postgraduate diploma will deepen your understanding and develop your practice. While there is no work-based requirement, you will get the most out of the qualification if you have access to an appropriate setting. You will explore a wide range of issues within a global context, with featured case studies linking theory to practice, including: the family; the law; children’s rights; politicised childhoods; participation and voice issues; consumerist childhoods; education; ethnicity and religion; child criminology; child sexuality; and multi-cultural childhoods. There is a strong focus on multi-agency working and inter-professional practice, and you will learn to use critical tools to analyse policy and to reflect on practice in ways that enable you to develop professionally and meet the diverse and changing needs of children and young people.

Key features of the course
• Covers the theoretical and practice aspects of integrated services for children and young people
• Explores the changing policy, organisational, personal and professional contexts in which work with children and young people takes place
• Encourages you to reflect critically on your own and others’ integrated practice.

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 (DBS) clearance check
The research project option in 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 these conditions cannot be fulfilled then you should choose the literature review option for 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.


Maximum 2 years.

The maximum time to complete this qualification is two years as the modules counting towards this qualification are now only available for two more years with module starts in October 2016 (E807 and K802) and October 2017 (K802 only).

Number of credits

120 credits

Careers or further progression

Career relevance
This postgraduate diploma 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 who are looking to move into the profession, and people considering moving 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.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also look at our OU study and your career pages to find out about potential career opportunities related to OU subject areas.

Further enquiries

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

Subjects taught

To gain this qualification you need 120 credits as follows:

Compulsory modules

Credits Next start
Children and young people’s worlds: frameworks for integrated practice (E807) 60 07 Oct 2017
Critical practice in work with children and young people (K802) 60 07 Oct 2017

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.


On completion
On successful completion of 120 credits' worth of required modules you can be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Practice in Childhood and Youth entitling you to use the letters PG Dip IPCY (Open) after your name.

You may also claim the Postgraduate Certificate in Integrated Practice in Childhood and Youth (C97) if you wish to do so.

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