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What makes Integrated Working with Children & Families at Worcester special?

For children and young people, life can be full of complexity, characterised by unceasing change and development. Integrated working brings the various professionals, practitioners and volunteers that make up the children's workforce together, placing the child or young person at the centre of their network of support.

This degree will prepare students for a career working with children, young people and families across a range of education, health and social care environments. The course relates to the study of children from birth to 19 years.

The course has flexible learning options to suit working students, so you can stay in employment while you study. You can study full-time time over a year or part-time over 2 years. There are options to study on our Flexible and Distributed Learning (FDL) route (online study with attendance at the University one Saturday per month), at Halesowen College (evenings) or at Herefordshire and Ludlow College. There is also an option to study the FDL route with monthly Saturday attendance at Iron Mill College, Exeter. This last option is available for one year only from September 2024.

At Worcester, we take a multi-disciplinary approach, which allows you to develop your expertise from a range of different perspectives, whilst fostering respect for children, their families, and other professional roles – essential components for an integrated children's service.

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Ideal for experienced practitioners, or those with a relevant qualification (i.e. HND or Foundation Degree), from across the children's workforce, who wish to enhance skills and expertise with a view to career development
  • Covers a wide range of disciplines; previous students have progressed to teaching (primary, secondary, special, FE/HE), social work, management, family support, play therapy, occupational therapy, charity and project work and many more interesting roles
  • Flexible study options, including full and part-time options, and an online route that blends distance learning with face-to-face contact (one Saturday per month) via our Flexible & Distributed Learning pathway.
  • To find about Summer Schools abroad, please contact the course team.

Register your interest

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"The lecturers at the University of Worcester are so knowledgeable and passionate about what they teach that you cannot fail to be inspired by them."

Colette Churchill, Integrated Working with Children and Families BA graduate

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Foundation Degree, HND, Dip HE or equivalent in Early Childhood Studies, Learning Support, Health and Social Care, Birth and Beyond, CAMHS or a related subject.

GCSE grade C/4 in Maths and English as course entry requirements are desirable but students are reminded that their employment sector may require these qualifications. The University offers equivalency tests to support applicants in meeting this requirement as a course entry. 

Experience working with children, young people and/ or families.

A good reference.

We encourage applications from candidates who can provide evidence of their ability to work at Level 6 and substantial experience working with children and families.

Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from the UCAS website.

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Course content

Course content

The course content and structure have been developed to reflect a student-centred approach, enabling students from diverse but relevant educational and professional backgrounds to build on previous learning and experience in working with children and families. Reflective thinking and action are essential to your engagement with lifelong learning and professional development. The subject draws on different disciplines and professional backgrounds to reflect the complexity of children and young people's lives and their development. You will be supported in the development of a personal philosophy of professional values and continuous improvement of your practice and service provision for children and their families.

This is the third year of study for students with an HND or Foundation degree in Early Childhood, Early Years, Learning Support or with an equivalent academic professional qualification relevant to working with children, young people or families. This course leads to an Honours degree in Integrated Working with Children and Families.

To gain an Honours degree, students will undertake four modules in total, including a dissertation. These can be studied over one year (full-time) or over 2 years (part-time).

There are options to study on our Flexible and Distributed Learning (FDL) route (online study with attendance at the University one Saturday per month), at Halesowen College (evenings) or at Herefordshire and Ludlow College. There is also an option to study the FDL route with monthly Saturday attendance at Iron Mill College, Exeter. This last option is available for one year only from September 2024.  

Download the frequently asked questions document

Modules

IWCF 3002 - Dissertation (30 credits) 

IWCF 3003 - Professional Practice and Inquiry (30 credits) 

IWCF 3004 - Advanced Practice in Holistic Development (30 credits) 

IWCF 3005 - Integrated Support for Children and Families: policy, practice and leadership (30 credits) 

Kelly Hunston

Kelly Hunston

After being out of education for 13 years, I enrolled on a part time Foundation degree in Early Years at the university of Worcester, continuing to a BA top up in Integrated Working with Children and Families. I would never have dreamt it possible I could ever achieve this level of education and be studying for a master’s degree at the age of 36 with two primary aged children.

At present I am an MA Social Work student at the University of Worcester. I have been fortunate enough to be awarded the NHS Social Work bursary, therefore I have been able to leave my place of employment and focus solely on my studies. I am looking forward to going out on placement next year to put all my newly learnt skills and knowledge into practice.

I feel taking small steps to build up my qualifications and practice, alongside having a supportive family and tutor allowed me to progress this far. If I can do it anyone can.

Integrated Working with Children & Families graduate Craig Pugh on graduation day

Craig Pugh

My name is Craig and I am a former student from Worcester University. I started an Early Years Foundation Degree through Worcester University and completed my degree at Worcester by doing the BA (Hons) Integrated Working with Children & Families.

The Integrated Working with Children & Families course provided me with opportunities to work with staff and students from a variety of professions, which has built my confidence as a practitioner. The staff at Worcester University were very supportive throughout the course. You also get the opportunity to work in a setting to improve your practice and talk to professionals who can help you achieve your ambitions.

Since finishing my course, I studied for an HLTA qualification, then a PGCE and I am now a teacher in an SEN school. I work alongside many professionals and a lot of young people aged 16+ with a variety of different needs. My job is so rewarding and the course at Worcester provided me with the confidence and positive attitude that is needed within my role.

Ewa Kedzior

Ewa Kedzior

Ewa said: “I am very proud of myself. The First Class came as a shock. I only expected a pass.”

“I worked full time in a nursery whilst studying for the degree, as well as volunteering with my local Beavers club,” Ewa added. “It was hard especially during lockdown when nurseries stayed open. I studied late at night, or on what was left of my weekends.”

“I knew studying full time while having a young family and working full time would be a challenge but I've never imagined I would be able to achieve a First Class honours. I owe it to the great support of my husband, University friends and tutors.”

Ewa is currently working in a local school, but she has aspirations to become an Early Years teacher one day, “but for now I keep my options open to see where this qualification will take me,” she said.

Although Ewa, who came to the UK from Poland in 2006, has very little by way of free time, she finds time in her busy schedule to volunteer on Saturdays at Worcester’s Polish Saturday School.

“I’ve supported Polish Saturday since 2008,” she said. “We teach Polish language, Polish history and culture to children who are growing up in England.”

Integrated Working with Children & Families graduate Shabnam Iqbal

Shabnam Iqbal

My name is Shabnam Iqbal and I have been studying this course whilst looking after 3 children and a home as well as attending a placement. I found this course very enjoyable and practical as the assignments are mainly based on reflection of practice based learning activities through lectures and embedding theory to practice practically. The course helps you to gain confidence in working as a professional in any working environment related to children and families. Additionally, the teachers are very helpful and responsive which allows students to feel comfortable and be open about discussing any issues that can have an impact on their learning which helps students to feel calm and focus on their learning goals.

Ahzan Ghalib

I am a former student of University Worcester. I chose to do a BA (Hons) in Integrated Working with Children and Families on a part time basis and continued to work full time as a nursery nurse, alongside being a mother of a toddler and expecting a new baby. Needless to say I found the balance difficult, finding time to fulfil all aspects of my life was extremely challenging and definitely had its array of good and bad days but I managed to do it with the undivided support of my tutor, my peers and my family. I completed my degree with an upper second class degree and the sense of accomplishment and pride most definitely outweighed all of the struggle I had once faced. I stood there at my graduation to an array of applause and realised It was all worth it. If I am able to do it, then anyone can!

Dea McEwan-Hancock

Dea McEwan-Hancock

I completed the BA (Hons) in Integrated Working with Children and Families in 2020.

I found the course gave me the confidence to actively engage in multi-disciplinary meetings with professional partners and other agencies.

I learnt the skills needed to lead these meetings in a person centred manner, advocating for those unable to do so, or support them to represent themselves.

The tutors were incredibly supportive, even though this was not a full time course and 2 years later they are at the other end of an email to lend an ear or help with an application.

I am now working as a deputy manager of a residential home for children, earning more than I thought possible and just about to start an MSc in Children's Mental health. I was told at school that I wouldn't even pass an 'O' level, well...I am proof that with hard work and support achieving is possible.

I would highly recommend undertaking the Integrated Working with Children and Families degree, it and the tutors have helped to change my life!


Go for it...shine!

Entering on a flexible pathway made the study fun, achievable and fitted in with work commitments. Also the lecturers were very knowledgeable, supportive and professional.

Tracey Hicks, Integrated Working with Children and Families BA graduate.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.

Teaching

You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, online learning activities, group discussions, problem-based learning and directed individual study. An important aspect of this course is learning from others, and so there is significant emphasis on working in groups with other students who have different backgrounds and experiences. Problem-based learning will allow you to work with a fictional family in a real life situation, with stories unfolding as the year progresses. Students studying modules online will have opportunities to work in groups during workshop days at the University.

In addition, you will meet with personal academic tutors on at least 2 occasions throughout the year.

If you have limited experience in working with children, you may be advised to spend a minimum of one day a week in practice with children or young people; this can be in the form of paid work or student placement.

Contact time

For students on the standard taught programme, in a typical semester there will be 12 weeks of teaching for students attending lessons at either Halesowen College or Herefordshire, Ludlow and North Shropshire College. For these groups, there are 9 contact hours each week.    

For students on the Flexible and Distributed Learning (FDL) programme, interactive group seminars for each module will be held on one Saturday per month at the University of Worcester (1½ hours per module). The remainder of the learning hours comprising Online Learning Activities (OLAs, 7 hours per OLA) and independent study in students’ own time. There are 8 Saturdays and 8 OLAs in total over the year. An FDL option will also be available at Iron Mill College, Exeter. This last option is available for one year only from September 2024.

 Dissertation support sessions are planned by the IWCF3002 module leader. There are 4 x 1 ½ hour sessions spread over the year, each focussing on an aspect of the dissertation. These are provided as live interactive sessions through Collaborate on a Saturday morning (not the same Saturdays that FDL students are attending classes) and repeated on the following Monday evening. They are also recorded and made available on Blackboard, for any students unable to attend the live sessions. 

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 5 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing for assignments and presentations.

A range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment and extensive electronic learning resources, supports independent learning.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics with backgrounds in primary teaching, early years, play work, social work, counselling, nursing, and management. Teaching is based on research and consultancy. All of our course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification and are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Assessment

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods may include:

  • Essays
  • Reflective journals
  • Reports
  • Poster presentations
  • Journal article critiques
  • Visual representations
  • Group project
  • A dissertation/research project

Feedback

You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal coursework assessments. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback supports your learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a team whose expertise and knowledge are closely marched to the content of the modules on the course. More information about our staff can be found on the Education Staff Profiles page.

Angela May Hodgkins

Dr Angela Hodgkins

Angela started her professional career aged 18, as an NNEB qualified nursery nurse, working in special schools and supporting children with special needs in mainstream provision. She has had a varied 20-year career in Early Years, including working as a nanny and a child-minder, as a nursery nurse in a Primary School, a Learning Support practitioner, a pre-school leader and manager of out of school provision.

She has also worked as an inclusion worker for a local SureStart programme and as a Development Officer for Children with Special Needs and Disabilities, where she advised Early Years settings on inclusion.

Angela is also a qualified counsellor and has worked for Victim Support, for a GP surgery, and as a volunteer counsellor for Childline Birmingham. Angela taught in F.E. Colleges for 12 years and spent 5 years as the Course Leader of the Foundation Degree in Early Years at Halesowen College before moving to UW in 2014, where she now leads the BA (Hons) Integrated Working with Children and Families.

 

alison prowle

Dr Alison Prowle

 

Before coming to the Department of Children and Families in 2012, Alison enjoyed a varied career in teaching, community development and managing education and family support services for a local authority. Alison is passionate about helping to improve children's life chances, especially those who may be considered disadvantaged or marginalised. Alison's research interests include family support for refugees and asylum- seekers, kinship care, strength based approaches and trauma- informed practice. She uses her research to inform her teaching and is passionate about supporting students to be able to respond to children experiencing adversity with compassion and confidence.

michelle-rogers-staff-profile

Michelle Rogers

Michelle has worked in Higher Education for the past fourteen years, both in an FE college and as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Worcester. During her time at University Michelle has been involved with curriculum development and designing online learning environment. More recently she lead the development of a flexible and distributed pathway for a Foundation Degree.

Prior to working in Higher Education Michelle's interests were in autism in early years, behaviour conduct disorders, early development psychology and enhancing the learning environment. Her current research interests revolve around teaching and learning, online learning, the student experience, online curriculum development and online communities of practice.

Carla Solvason 2

Dr Carla Solvason

Dr Carla Solvason came to the University of Worcester in 2008 having previously worked as a primary teacher for twelve years, an advisor for a children’s communication charity and a writer/ researcher.

She has led on a wide range of modules, including parent partnership, language development, study skills, and special educational needs. Over recent years her teaching has increasingly focused upon preparing students to carry out ethical practitioner research and preparing final year students for the professional responsibilities of leadership in practice. Carla also delivers CPD in supporting children with speech and language difficulties.

Carla is an active researcher and has published widely over the past ten years, particularly in the areas of ethical practitioner research and parent partnership. She has carried out longitudinal, funded studies on supporting language development in primary schools, the role of collaborative leadership clusters in primary schools, and the impact of Maintained Nursery Schools.

emma-bailey-new

Emma Bailey

Prior to commencing her PhD, Emma worked as a Primary Teacher in a local First School and continues to work closely with several educational settings throughout her studies. She teaches on a number of undergraduate courses at the University and is a member of the Social Pedagogy Research Interest Group.

Prior to this she was a leader of a small Early Years setting.

thomas-weaver-profile-image

Thomas Weaver

Tom works as a Senior Lecturer across two Departments in the University of Worcester,  the Department for Children and Families and the Department for Primary Initial Teacher Education. 

Tom’s research interests include transpersonal psychology and transpersonal education and how these relate to work with children and families in different contexts; student engagement and student voice and the balance between support and challenge in a Higher Education context; and the teaching of mathematics, particularly approaches that reduce potential anxiety.

In a wider context, Tom is the School of Education Student Survey co-ordinator with responsibility to supporting students and staff in engaging with the surveys and making use of the outcomes. He also Chairs the Department for Children and Families Steering Group which explores ways for the University to engage with the Children and Families sector.

Michelle Malomo

Michelle Malomo

Michelle Malomo is a Senior Lecturer in the Department for Children and Families within the School of Education. Michelle lectures on a number of courses within the Department for Children and Families. She is the Partnership Co-ordinator for the Foundation Degree in Early Years. 

Michelle is a qualified Early Years and Playwork Practitioner with experience in both the private and voluntary sector. Her experience includes management with the Early Years sector youth and children’s development work within the voluntary sector. Michelle has worked in a range of settings and has been responsible for the development of social action projects with children, young people and families.

Olivia Storey

Olivia Storey

Olivia became a qualified lecturer in 2008 and taught in FE colleges for over 13 years. During this time, she has been an Essential Skills Co-ordinator and Lecturer, Course Leader and Lecturer for the National Certificate, National Diploma and Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care and Lecturer in Early Years and Teacher Training. She then moved to the University of Worcester in 2021 and is a Lecturer on the Foundation Degree in Early Years and the BA (Hons) Integrated Working with Children and Families.

amanda-sheehy

Amanda Sheehy

Amanda is a part-time PhD student in the School of Education at the University of Worcester and continues to work as a teacher at a primary school in Worcester.

Amanda’s PhD research concerns how teachers’ gender construction can impact on their pupils. She is conducting a qualitative study into how primary schools can promote gender equality by encouraging teachers to reflect upon their own constructions of gender and examine their pedagogical approaches. As a community of practice, a group of teachers will collaborate to develop an audit tool based on their own reflections on gender stereotypes and their own pedagogical development. Through one-to-one interviews and focus group discussions, data will be gathered representing the experiences of the individuals and of the group, seeking reflections on gender perspectives. As a practitioner action research project, these reflections will inform practice with the purpose of promoting gender equality in the classroom and minimising stereotyping.  

Her supervisors are Dr Carla SolvasonDr Mandy Duncan and Dr Karen Hanson.

julie-woodhouse-profile

Julie Woodhouse

Julie is the Course and Placements Administrator for both Early Childhood in Society and Integrated working with Children and Families. She is also the Timetable Rep for the Department for Children and Families.

Careers

Careers

Employability

Integrated Working with Children and Families graduates should have extensive knowledge of the education and care of children from birth to 19 years, giving a foundation for a range of careers working with children, families and other professional disciplines, including teaching, social work, health services and children's charities.

Some examples of what past students are doing now:

  • Higher Level Teaching Assistant
  • Early Years / Children’s Centre manager
  • Family support worker (in Social Services Dept. and in hospitals/ hospice)
  • Project workers: homeless youth services, refugee families, young carers
  • College placement officer
  • Play development officer
  • Inclusion mentor
  • Case worker for children not in education

Some examples of further training:

  • PGCE Teaching (primary, secondary, special school, FE colleges and HE university)
  • MA Social work
  • MA Occupational therapy
  • PGCert Leading Culture Change in Safeguarding
  • MA in Education, SEN and Inclusion
  • Diploma in Education and Teaching
  • PGCert Play therapy
Two students are walking next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential
Costs

Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £16,200 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the academic year 2024/25 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £131 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How to apply

Applying through UCAS

Integrated Working with Children & Families BA (Hons) Top-up Degree - Flexible and Distributed Learning (Single Honours) LX53

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Dr Angela Hodgkins

Course leader