MSc Advanced Residential Child Care

Sign up to hear about upcoming events, news and scholarships related to this programme.

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Accreditation: meets management aspect for registration with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
  • Application deadline: now closed for 2024 entry
  • Study mode and duration: 24 months part-time

Study with us

  • only course in the UK devoted entirely to residential child care
  • develop knowledge and abilities for optimal practice
  • the MSC/PgDip meet the management requirement for registration with the Scottish Social Services Council
Back to course

Why this course?

The course is unique in the UK in offering a Masters-level award specifically in residential child care. It has been developed to support the development of direct practice and leadership in the residential child care sector in Scotland and beyond.

Consensus is growing that residential child care practice is complex, challenging and requires requisite knowledge, skills and capacities of the workforce. If children and young people are to have positive care experiences which improve their life chances, then those who care for them, and those who support those who care for them, must be supported in developing and maintaining that knowledge.

The MSc in Advanced Residential Child Care has been developed within the School of Social Work and Social Policy alongside the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care & Protection to support the development of direct practice and leadership in the residential child care sector in Scotland and beyond.

By taking this course, you can expect to experience development in your knowledge, skills and relational capacities in practice. You can also expect to contribute to professional leadership, practice development and research and evaluation in your own agency and possibly beyond.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you’ll study

The course comprises six modules, plus dissertation. You'll attend the University for six days per module.

You’re expected to complete the six taught modules over a 17-month period. A further six months is allowed for completion of a practice-based dissertation.


Both the MSc and the Postgraduate Diploma meet the management part of the requirement for registration with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) for managers in residential child care.

Teaching Staff

Core teaching team:

Learning & teaching

You'll be encouraged to explore, challenge and build upon your existing knowledge and experience.

Classes may involve some lecture-style content, but will be mostly dialogical. Discussions will often be based on interrogating relevant research, theory and social policy as it relates to your practice. One module will also involve the use of video recording to enhance your communication skills and reflective capacities.


Assessment is made up of group or individual presentations and essays, both of which apply research, theory and social policy to your practice and the practices in your place of work.

In one module, assessment will involve your reflections on a video you’ve made of your communication in practice. You need sufficient access to practice in residential child care settings through which you’ll evidence practice requirements. However, these requirements are broad enough to allow those in external management, training or other relevant positions to meet the requirements of the assessments.

Interested in postgraduate study?

At the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, our friendly and knowledgeable team will be available to provide you with all the information you need to kick-start your postgraduate journey at the University of Strathclyde. Register for upcoming events below:

Go back

Course content


  • Critical perspectives on residential child care
  • Understanding and assessing in children's life-spaces
  • Ethical leadership and management in residential child care
  • Skilled and reflective use of self in residential child care
  • Intervening effectively in residential child care
  • Methods: ethical and effective research in residential child care
  • Professional enquiry in residential child care: dissertation
Back to course

Entry requirements

Academic requirements/experience

Degree (minimum 360 SCQF credit points) or equivalent qualifications and experience.

Applicants with HNC/SVQ3/SVQ4 qualifications will be asked to provide a supporting written assignment.

Those with professional or academic qualifications other than social work will be considered.

Applicants must be working full time in residential child care or a closely related area, as all of the coursework requires students to apply their learning to their practice and the practices in their employing organisation.

For some years now, there have been considerably more suitably qualified applicants than there are places on the course. Our decisions about who to offer places to are based on all the information in your application, including your current and previous work experience and your educational and training qualifications, but also the content of your personal statement and your attention to detail in the application overall.

Back to course

Fees & funding

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

Go back

Fees for this programme are paid through a Scottish Government grant award (subject to continued funding) to the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care & Protection. No charges apply to students employed in residential child care settings in Scotland.

Additional costs

Course materials:

  • all assigned reading available electronically
  • all supplementary reading available in text and/or electronic version from the library
  • students may choose to purchase some reading materials, but this is not a requirement

Please note: The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

What our students think

Elaine Hamilton Advanced Residential Child Care student

Elaine Hamilton

The conversations, observations and sharing of insight amongst my classmates really made the course for me. I found myself surrounded by people who really got it...This gave me a real sense of community within the sector and opened my eyes to the realisation that other's shared my passions and desires.
Neil McMillan, MSc Advanced Residential Childcare student

Neil McMillan

I knew that completing the MSc in Advanced Residential Child Care would qualify me for registration. Also, the qualification had such a good reputation in the residential child care sector because of the curriculum content and the quality of teaching on the programme.

Chat to a student ambassador

If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Humanities & Social Sciences student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

Chat to a student ambassador
Back to course


Please note that we are now closed for applications for 2024 entry.

Back to course

Contact us

Prospective student enquiries

Contact a member of our team on LiveChat between 10am and 4pm (GMT)

Telephone: +44 (0) 141 444 8600

Have you considered?

We've a range of postgraduate taught and Masters courses similar to this one which may also be of interest.