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Advocacy for Victims of Sexual Violence PGCert

Please not, this course has now closed.

If you are interested, please visit our Understanding Domestic and Sexual Violence MA page.  

ISVA's provide essential, appropriate and timely information, support and advice to victims of sexual violence and helped them engage effectively with the Criminal Justice System. They play a vital role in service provision for those who have experienced sexual violence.

This Postgraduate Certificate has been designed to aid the development of the skills necessary to undertake the ISVA role effectively and professionally in line with Skills for Justice National Occupational Standards (NOS). 

This part-time, one year course is delivered over 3 modules.

We have a great track record of students gaining employment as ISVAs or in the sexual violence sector following completion of this course.


Who should apply?

This course is for existing ISVAs and sexual violence advocates who wish to gain recognition of their role via a professional qualification at an appropriate level that gives professional status. The course is also suitable for and any person who wishes to gain this professional qualification in order to work as a sexual violence advocate/advisor

Entry requirements

Though this is a Postgraduate course, those wishing to apply do not have to have achieved education at degree level. This course is open to:

  • Those currently in practice in the field of sexual violence
  • Those with an interest in becoming a sexual violence professional

Applicants without a first degree (at second class honours or above), or a professional qualification in a specific field may be asked to undertake an informal assessment of written work.

How to apply

Postgraduate Certificate in Advocacy for Victims of Sexual Violence

Apply for September 2017 enrolment

Apply for this course - part time

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

Get in touch

01905 855111

Dr Holly Taylor-Dunn
Course Leader 

Course content

Course structure

The course structure is modular, consisting of 3 modules that are designed around the necessary knowledge and understanding required for the ISVA role as dictated by Skills for Justice National Occupational Standards (NOS). The modules are:

  1. ISVA4001 - An Introduction to the ISVA: Role, Responsibility and Risk
  2. ISVA4002 - Supporting ‘victims’ of Sexual Violence
  3. ISVA4003 - Professional Practice: Policy and Procedures

Each module is taught over 2 X 3 day blocks. Students must attend both blocks (total of 6 days). The dates for 2016-17 are:

ISVA4001  The ISVA: Role, Risk and Responsibility 

29th 30th September, 1st October and 24th, 25th, 26th November 

ISVA4002  Supporting survivors of Sexual Violence 

2nd, 3rd, 4th February and 23rd, 24th, 25th March

ISVA4003  Professional Practice

27th, 28th, 29th April and 15th, 16th and 17th June


Assessment throughout the course will be both formal and informal via:

  • Formative and Summative written work
  • Presentation
  • Tutor observation
  • Peer observation
  • Group and individual tutorials
  • Professional reflection

Course objectives

Course objectives

  1. To provide a knowledge background of the key theoretical perspectives on sexual violence and service delivery including complex ethical issues
  2. To provide a stimulating environment for collective discussion and debate in order to increase participants understanding and knowledge of sexual violence and the skills for working with survivors
  3. To equip students with a sound knowledge and understanding of the role and responsibilities of the ISVA and the skills required to become effective practitioners in line with National Occupational Standards (NOS)
  4. To enable students to develop the practical and analytical skills necessary for them to apply theoretical frameworks and National Occupational Standards (NOS) to practice and thus become problem solving professionals
  5. To ensure ISVAs support ‘victims’ of sexual violence appropriately and effectively
  6. To advance understanding of the impact of undertaking this course on professional development through reflective practice.

Student views

Student views

"The course is well-structured, there is good discussion and exchange of views/experiences/best-practice."

"I liked the mixture of learning/teaching techniques, (e.g.) group discussion, paired work, critique and role-play."

"I really benefitted from the contextualization of sexual violence and the ISVA role within the historical context and the diverse range of theories and approaches"

“Meeting other ISVAs and sharing practice, knowledge, resources and gaining support was invaluable.”

“Doing this course gave me the opportunity to come out of practice for a short while and take the time to re-visit practice.”

“Having guest speakers from Forensics, the CPS and the police reinforced my knowledge of proceedings plus gave me confidence to put into practice within my role.”