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What makes Leading Culture Change in Safeguarding at Worcester special?

This exciting course breaks new ground. Its purpose is to find innovative ways to safeguard people’s well-being from childhood to adulthood. It brings together students working in health, education, social care, housing, sports and community organisations and across people’s life course, from antenatal care to the care of our older populations, and those keen to be change-makers in these fields.

The course encourages students to consider the implications for their organisation’s learning and service delivery. It develops students’ leadership of culture change by supporting them to integrate research, by pooling expertise, real-life experience and reflection.

Currently recruiting for a January 2025 start



Key features

  • The course is made up of two mandatory modules and takes two years. You will take one module each year. The course’s flexible-and-distributed delivery enables you to learn while also striking a manageable work, life and study balance. It is designed with the busy professional in mind.
  • You do not necessarily need an undergraduate degree to apply successfully. Details about admissions and applications are provided below.
  • Independent online learning is blended with twilight discussion and debate. This allows you the independence of managing your own time and energy while also developing professional and social networks through our regular face-to-face discussions.

Register your interest

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The course seeks to recruit practitioners, professionals, volunteers or those with significant interest in current safeguarding protection practices and challenges, reflecting the needs of a diverse student group. There is no requirement for applicants to be in relevant work or to have the support of their employer. Nor is there a need to have an undergraduate BA (hons) degree to apply successfully for this postgraduate certificate. Instead, applications will be assessed based on the application form.    

Applications are submitted directly to the University using the online application process below. 

Take care in the application form’s Personal Statement to comment on the reasons for your application (including past experience and future aspirations), your understanding of the safeguarding system and reflection on current challenges it faces (either in your own situation and/or locally and/or nationally).

Course content

Course content

Leading Culture Change in Safeguarding comprises two 30-credit modules. On each module, tutors will assess 3000 words of your reflective and reflexive writing within an online portfolio. These 3000 words will be made up of five separate 600-word reflections written across the year and assessed at the end of each module.

Year 1

Module 1 – Learning Cultures in Safeguarding: Reflective Organisations

This module engages critically with theories of professional learning in order to reflect on safeguarding cultures. You will learn how to adapt them, showing how organisational learning may characterise effective safeguarding work. We critique compliance culture and build reflective organisations in children’s and adult services.  

Year 2

Module 2 – Cultures of Vigilance: Reflexive Leaders

This module supports you to lead the development of cultures of vigilance within children’s and adult services. You learn how to sustain them by engaging reflexively with inspection and regulatory frameworks. You identify opportunities to lead change and examine at least one critical development in your own practice that moves you from reflective practice to reflexive leadership.

meena kumari profile image

Meena Kumari

Founder of H.O.P.E Training & Consultancy

Trainer in Domestic abuse, sexual violence & Safeguarding

Meena joined the course in January 2020 and says:

I have really enjoyed sharing my lived experience within working around safeguarding. A times, safeguarding can be a lonely place what this course has taught me so far about leadership and the true meaning of safeguarding has been excellent! Would recommend.

To come on the degree you don’t need a first degree just experience in the field and you can pay the course fees monthly.

Victoria Wiegleb profile

Victoria Wiegleb

"When I started this course in 2021, I was a DSL within a small National Governing Body (NGB), and as the course progressed so did my career. The course provided me with evidence of my strategic understanding of safeguarding, and I am proud to say that this enabled me to get to where I am now; Safeguarding Manager for a large NGB, leading a team of subject matter experts, being asked to be a panellist & speak at conferences in Miami and Wembley to drive the culture change in safeguarding, being a strong advocate for increasing female participation in sport and joining the Pentathlon GB Case Management Panel.

This is truly a remarkable course, with study paced just right for working professionals whose day jobs typically end late in the day with minds quite full already. Lead by a knowledgeable, approachable, and incredibly supportive lecturer, I would recommend this course to anyone wishing to further their understanding of safeguarding, and how we can lead culture change for the future."

a group of students are talking animatedly

Leading Culture Change in Safeguarding PGCert Podcast

The Leading Culture Change in Safeguarding PGCert was featured on the Ann Craft Trust's podcast earlier this year. Ann chatted with Stuart Gallagher, the Course Leader, and two students who have taken this course: Victoria Wiegleb from The England and Wales Cricket Board, and Kath Bennett from The Rugby Football Union.

Listen Here
Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

This course is delivered through flexible-and-distributed learning (FDL). This means that students are afforded reasonable flexibility when managing their time and energy engaging with the course, so that individuals can strike a healthy balance between professional, personal and academic priorities in their lives. Learning is distributed across online learning environments and face-to-face discussion and debate. Each student is also allocated a named personal academic tutor who can support personal and academic development over the duration of the course.

The course supports you to produce each 600-word piece of writing in a four-week cycle.

In week 1 of the cycle, you engage with the first online learning activity (OLA1). This activity provides you with the required reading on a specific area of study. In week 2, a second online learning activity (OLA2) encourages you to evaluate the readings in light of your own experience of safeguarding policy and practice. You are expected to engage with these two activities online and independently.

In week 3, the student group meets together for an evening teaching session at the University of Worcester. We discuss and debate what the readings have to say in light of our own experiences and evaluations and, especially, in light of our hopes to learn from previous practice and to lead future practice. We move from independent learning to forming more of a social understanding of what change may look like collectively. We move from reading and evaluation to speaking, listening and analysis.

In week 4, you reflect independently on the OLAs, your own independent research and the key points you drew from the evening debate. You then draft a concise 600-word reflection on your own learning. The emphasis here is on synthesis of material, independent insight and personal reflection. You will post the draft to your online portfolio. Tutors can then read it and offer feedback and professional challenge. This will help you to improve your writing so that you submit only your best work for summative assessment at the end of the module.

The cycle begins again for the next focus of study.

Contact time

In a typical month during the semester, you are expected to engage with two online learning activities, attend a face-to-face evening debate and discussion and compose a 600-word personal reflection on learning that is submitted to the student’s online portfolio.

Typically contact time will be structured around:

6 x hours of interaction with online learning activities in a virtual learning environment (VLE1)    
6 x hours of working on this material to prepare for the face-to-face evening teaching session   
3 x hours of discussion and debate within small and large groups at an evening teaching session   
10 x hours of personal reflection on learning leading to a 600-word piece of writing uploaded to the student’s online portfolio (VLE2)

This applies to both modules across the duration of the course.

Independent self-study

The course’s blended learning approach provides you with a significant degree of flexibility. You are expected to manage your own time and energy intelligently and responsibly to ensure you engage with all aspects of learning and academic development. The activities normally comprise reading and viewing material and a corresponding provocation that directs students to current controversies associated with the material.

Students must use their time to engage in the material and provocations provided in a way that prepares them to engage productively with the face-to-face discussions and debates that follow the online learning activities but precede their personal reflexive learning. Similarly, you are expected to manage your time in order to draft personal reflections on learning and to upload these to your online portfolio. Only the evening teaching sessions are scheduled for a fixed time during any one week.

Teaching staff

Each member of the teaching team is an expert whose knowledge and research is closely matched to the focus of leadership and safeguarding. They include senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience in children’s and adult services across a range of sectors. The team is realistic about the challenge of culture change and also excited at the prospect of working with you.


The summative assessment for each module is to produce a 3000-word reflective portfolio. These 3000 words are comprised of five separate 600-word personal reflections on learning that are written throughout the academic year. At least one of these uploads should be audio visually presented and run to an equivalent length of time to a 600-word piece of writing (about 10 minutes). These 3000 words will be assessed according to the module’s intended learning outcomes.


You will receive feedback on personal reflexive learning as well as personal academic tutor support. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate. We aim to provide 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.



You graduate from this course with an online portfolio that demonstrates your critical leadership and learning in cross-disciplinary safeguarding and protection work. You will have successfully demonstrated your ability to lead culture change in safeguarding. You will be characterised by safe reflective and reflexive practice. You have constructive and practicable proposals to make to human welfare organisations concerned with regulatory inspection frameworks.

You would be expected to be in a position to apply for positions of leadership and responsibility for safeguarding and protection work in a range of practice fields and/or assume additional responsibility and accountability in current employment.

Academic pathways

Students could progress towards full MA qualification by registering on other MA modules. It would be expected that these additional modules would include Research Methods and a dissertation.


Fees and funding


The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.

Optional Costs

Travel to and from on-campus twilight teaching in Worcester (six evening sessions per year).

How to apply