The emotional care of babies, children, young people and families

Course overview

This introductory course is for you if you want to develop skills, knowledge and understanding in working with babies, children, young people, and families. It is particularly suitable for those at the early stages of developing a professional career in the children's and young people's sector.

This course will provide you with a vital introduction to key psychoanalytic ideas and their relevance in practice to working with children of all ages and their families.   An observational approach and experiential learning are integral to the course.

This course is flexibly delivered.  After one year, students can step down with a graduate certificate.

Year one

In the first year you will study the core module, ‘Understanding children’s communication and its meaning’ followed by two compulsory modules: ‘Seeing beneath the surface: developing observational skills’, and ‘Family crises and their consequences’.

Year two

In the second year you will study the core module ‘Growing up: The main conflicts and challenges and then choose two further modules from a number of elective modules, depending on your specialist interest and relevance to your working role and setting.

The elective modules are as follows:

  • Disturbing and challenging behaviour: issues for looked-after children
  • Growing up with disability
  • Communication at work
  • Problems at school.

This course will be delivered on Thursday afternoon / evenings from 445pm - 730pm.

This course will help you acquire skills, understanding and reflective practice in working with babies, children, young people, parents and families.  It will allow you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the complexity of communication within relationships.  You will be introduced to key psychoanalytic ideas and how they connect to your real-life observation and experience with children and families.  And finally, you will be able to develop your confidence and expertise in progressing your career working with children and families.

This is course is for you if you work in a support role in the health, education, social care, residential care or childcare sector. You may be working as an au pair, childminder, community worker, family support worker, foster carer, nursery worker, play leader, social work assistant, teaching assistant or as a member of staff in a children’s centre.

It is also suitable for you if you have completed our 10-week CPD64 course [LINK] 'Developing a diverse child and adolescent workforce'.  You may be a new graduate with limited work-based experience and want to develop your career in working with children and families.  Similarly, you may be ready for a career change and are looking for a starting point in a new working role with children and young people.

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you:

  • have an interest in work with children of all ages, young people and their families
  • have achieved an undergraduate award or demonstrate equivalent learning or achievement
  • have the capacity for active participation in workshops and seminars
  • be motivated for independent reading and study.

The annual fee for this course is £2520 for Home/EU students and £5040 for International students. 

We are happy offer a range of ways to pay your fees, as well as some funding for specific courses.  

Please contact us if you have any questions. 

Please note that course fees will increase by 2% each year.

The previous code for this course was EC1.

Graduate Certificate / Diploma
Course length:
2 years
Thursday evenings
Theoretical approach:
Admission status:
Course lead:
Lydia Hartland-Rowe

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