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Childhood Practice Graduate Diploma

Different course options

Online/Distance | Lanarkshire Campus | 2 years | 04-SEP-23

Study mode



2 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

Graduate Diploma

Subject areas

Childcare Skills Children / Youth (Social Work) Learning Theory

Course type


Course Summary


This programme is ideally suited for employed SSSC registered practitioners who wish to become registered as lead practitioners or managers. You will gain the skills and knowledge to deliver quality services to children and their parents in an early year setting.

You must be employed in, or have access to, an acceptable professional environment in which knowledge and understanding of childhood practice in Scotland has been developed. You must also be employed for more than 16 hours per week, have employer support and a mentor from your area of practice to support your studies.

Course Highlights

The programme is professionally recognised by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

Your studies will include learning within childhood, leadership and management and reflective practice and research.

All modules include ‘strategy projects’ undertaken in the workplace, which develop and enhance the links between theory and practice and involve critical reflection. There is also the opportunity for you to undertake research into a topic of special interest.


Assessment strategies are designed to enhance the student’s engagement with the learning process. As such, criteria for assessment will reflect the aim of enhancing learning flexibility. Reflection remains an important tool for practice in the childcare sector and most assessments include an element of student reflection.

In all modules, preparation for assessment is undertaken, success criteria are shared with students in advance of assessment and students are encouraged to engage with the criteria to inform their preparation for assessment. Feedback (oral and written) is provided by academic staff and or peers for the variety of formative tasks provided for almost all modules and summative assessments.

The assessment strategies developed for this programme aim to support the student in the process of learning and to develop the key skills of critical analysis, problem solving and synthesis. A variety of assessment methods will be utilised across the modules and will reflect the range and balance of teaching and learning e.g., exam, action research, presentation, and essay.

Career Prospects

The Standard for Childhood Practice aims to help strengthen leadership in the childcare and early years sector and improve career opportunities for early years and childcare professionals. Graduates will find opportunities as lead practitioners or managers within these areas.


This module is designed for experienced practitioners working in childcare establishments in Scotland. It will enable students to develop professional knowledge and a critical understanding of the principles, theories and concepts of local and national systems, and of policies, practices, and legal requirements relevant to a range of sectors in the children's services. Students will demonstrate a current knowledge of Scottish Government legislation, policy and practice e.g. Early Years and Early Intervention, the UNCRC, Getting It Right for Every Child and Child Protection legislation. The module will focus initially on gaining an understanding of the concept of childhood in society, applying an ecological perspective to analyse the professional roles, responsibilities, attributes and approaches to working with children, families other professionals and agencies and build the capacities of individuals, families and communities. The module will analyse practice in early childhood centres, to inform the students? practice in collaborative working and in leading the provision of environments that are safe, secure, nurturing, and inclusive and which support children's progress.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

£305 cost per 20-credit module of study.

International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

£2,570 Cost per 20-credit module of study.

Entry requirements

You must possess a relevant degree and practitioner qualification. You will also be required to be employed as a practitioner, normally over 16 hours per week and usually with two years’ experience and practitioner registration. A signed statement of support is required as part of the admission process. Applicants who do not meet the entry criteria but hold similar childcare qualifications together with relevant work experience are encouraged to contact us for advice on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).