Childhood Practice MEd/PgDip

Children running outside

This programme provides a practice-based examination of the theoretical approaches important to leadership and management within childhood practice.

Key facts

Why this programme

  • On successful completion of the programme you will meet the requirements of the Standard for Childhood Practice (Scottish Social Services Council, 2007).
  • Students who successfully complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Childhood Practice will be given the opportunity to progress to masters and undertake the dissertation element.
  • You will get to review your own work experiences and use the findings to set your professional development targets within the programme.

Programme structure

You will take four core courses and two placement courses.

The taught component will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and group project work.

You will develop the research, writing and professional skills to enable you to register with Scottish Social Services Council at a manager level.

Core courses

  • Childhood practice: building a professional learning community
  • Leading improvements in childhood practice
  • Contemporary perspectives on children and childhoods
  • Practitioner enquiry and decision making.

Background and aims

This programme is currently the only face to face taught Postgraduate Diploma programme in Scotland which will allow practitioners who have degrees from other disciplines to meet the Standard for Childhood Practice.

Who is the programme for?

This programme is offered to prospective students who already have obtained a degree in another discipline and are required to comply with the SSSC registration process for Leaders and Managers to meet the SCQF level 9 minimum requirement. This programme is designed for current/aspiring Leaders and Managers in Childhood Practice who have or are willing to undertake a practitioner qualification (SVQ3,4, HNC).

What will you get from this programme?

The programme will provide students with the experience of relevant theoretical approaches which will develop an understanding of the Leadership and Management in Childhood Practice. The programme will also develop research, writing and professional skills which will enable practitioners to register with SSSC at a Manager level.

Introductory Reading

If you have a chance to do some reading before beginning this programme, the following document will be useful as background:
Standard for childhood practice

Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

Accredited Prior Learning (APL) may be considered for previous study at SCQF level 11 by the programme leader prior to registration..

What our students say

Jeanann Thompson, 2012-13

"It was with great satisfaction and pride that I graduated from the University of Glasgow with a MEd in Childhood Practice in December 2013.

The course work through the PgDip and then the Masters was exemplary. The structure of lectures, group discussions and assignments were well balanced and appropriate for all students working in Early Years or After School Care. The staff were extremely supportive in class, in person, by email and on Moodle. Nothing was ever too much trouble for them.

There was a significant amount of reading but it was all relevant to the course to ensure that you strived and challenged yourself throughout all the units.

I would not have achieved this level of qualification without the Programme Leader, Mary Wingrave, and her highly professional team. They have supported me with encouragement, positive feedback on assignments and by their own enthusiasm for the sector. I made friends with peers from other sectors that I regularly stay in touch with. In my role as a manager in both Early Years and ASC services I have improved my writing skills, academic reading ability but most importantly I am now a confident leader in the field of up to date Childhood Practice. I also hope to be a good role model for both staff and peers."

Irene Pollock

"I found that completing the MEd Childhood Practice helped me to consider my practice within a broader context. The discussions that I had with my supervisors encouraged me to challenge my assumptions and work to justify my opinions. I feel that the MEd has contributed to both my academic and professional development and I am looking forward to exploring some of my findings further. "

Sharon Cowan, April 2011 

"Having initially enrolled on the PGD Childhood Practice in order to meet SSSC registration requirements, I am happy to say that I have gained so much more than simply meeting registration requirements. Each course within the PGD has impacted positively on my practice. The PGD Childhood Practice has been stimulating and challenging from the first day to the last. I believe that the PGD Childhood Practice has contributed significantly to the professionalisation of the early years sector."

Susan Hepburn, May 2011

"The Postgraduate Diploma in Childhood Practice is intended to professionalise all Daycare Services for Children.  Coming from a Voluntary Sector background working with children and young people, the Diploma has enabled me to explore and develop my own role and the contribution I make towards the wider children’s sector.

The Diploma is challenging but rewarding - it requires time, dedication and commitment.  Having initially undertaken this qualification to meet updated SSSC regulation requirements, I admit I was reluctant (having undertaken extensive study to meet previous requirements).  Upon reflection, I now agree wholeheartedly with the need to create the same recognised standard of professionalism across the childcare sector and its range of services. 

I hope that this recognition of our professionalism will catapult all Daycare Services for Children beyond the misconception of ‘Only Looking After the Weans’ as described in an article handed to me on day 1 of the Postgraduate Diploma.  I would therefore encourage others to seek out and undertake this Diploma, you will get far more from it than simply your amended SSSC registration status!"

Career prospects

If you have a leadership role in childhood practice settings (or are looking for such a role) the programme will enhance your personal and professional development.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have a degree (or equivalent) in any academic discipline. You should also have completed or be prepared to undertake a practice qualification: HNC, SVQ3, SVQ4 (in Children’s Care, Learning and Development or Playwork) or an equivalent professional qualification that allows you to register with a professional body (RCN/GTCs etc).

Any applicant who does not meet these requirements but is currently working in a childcare setting and holds a degree can apply with the understanding that they must complete a practice qualification before graduation from the University of Glasgow. You will be expected to undertake placement based assignments. You will be required to provide an employer's reference to help support your application.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 90; no sub-test less than:
    • Reading: 20
    • Listening: 19
    • Speaking: 19
    • Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's English for Academic Study Unit offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017-18


Home and EU Part-time 20 credits: £321


Home and EU Part-time 20 credits: £321

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only

Additional fees

  • Fee for submission by a research student: £460
  • Fee for re-assessment of a dissertation (PGT programme): £300
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,000
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £200
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £680
  • Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £260
  • Registration/exam only fee: £110
  • General Council fee: £50

Alumni discount

A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni applying to the MEd. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Funding opportunities

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Postgraduate Admissions
Marketing, Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • UK and EU applications 25 August 2017.

Apply now