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MSc Advanced Residential Child Care

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Accreditation: meets management aspect for registration with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
  • Application deadline: 15 April 2022
  • 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

How could the Covid-19 pandemic affect my studies?

Covid-19: information & FAQs
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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.

Two students studying together

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.

Check out our upcoming monthly postgraduate taught and Professional Graduate Diploma in Education drop-in sessions.

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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
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
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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.

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Application deadline 15 April 2022.

Start date: Sep 2022

Advanced Residential Childcare

Start date: Sep 2022

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Contact us

Register your interest and find out more about the programme

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak our team are working from home and can be contacted via our online enquiry form.

Have you considered?

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