Professional Diploma in Child Welfare & Protection

Course in Context

This course will equip students with the skills required to engage in their statutory responsibilities under the new legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children. The course offers an immersive, innovative blended learning curriculum facilitating   transferable   skills including team work, communication, a self-directed   flexible approach to learning and problem solving and applied research delivered by both face to face and on line learning in a supportive learning environment. Students have a variety of options including the possibility to progress through the programme in a staged approach by building on their Professional Certificate before undertaking a Graduate Certificate and subsequent Graduate Diploma programme at a later date. 

The course offers an interdisciplinary perspective and focuses upon areas such as child protection and clinical supervision. Assessments are based on the application of specific child protection and welfare competencies as applied to the students own area of relevant work.

Course Overview

This course prepares students from health, social care and other services who interact with children to develop skills in relation to child welfare and protection within their organisation.

Students have the option of first undertaking a Professional Certificate before progressing to the Professional Diploma programme. The programme aims to build upon and advance the students existing repertoire of knowledge, skills, attitudes and professional responsibilities in relation to child protection and welfare. Modules are focussed on legal responsibilities, case management and the influencing context of the inherent challenges within this field.

The programme is structured to accommodate work requirements of students and is delivered through a mixture of blended learning and face to face delivery. Full support is given by academic staff, educational technologist and administrative staff.

Who Should Take This Course?

This course is designed for any individual who works with children and families in the health, education, criminal justice, Gardaí and social care and community fields.

It provides a comprehensive foundation for practitioners own professional management within their own discipline and as members of a multidisciplinary team.  A flexible modular structure has been designed to suit practitioners, in order that individuals can complete each module independently. 

What Will I Learn?

The Professional Diploma includes a total of 20 ECTS. Students can build their Professional Diploma from the modules listed below - up to 20 ECTS.

  • Legal Responsibilities in Child Protection 5 ECTS
  • Diverse Contexts in Child Protection 10 ECTS
  • Theory, Concepts and Philosophy in Child 10 ECTS


  • Child Protection in the Clinical Environment 10 ECTS
  • Child Protection / Non Accidental Injury 5 ECTS
  • Clinical Supervision in Child Protection 10 ECTS 

How/Where Will I Learn?

The course is  delivered  using  a blended learning   approach with a mixture of day attendance and on line learning. Attendance will depend on the combination of modules taken although is on average 2 days per 10 credit module.  Online content is released at weekly intervals.  

Am I Eligible for this Course?

Students are required to have a level 8 honours degree or above.  Students who do not have a level 8 honours degree or above should contact a member of the programme team in advance of applying and may be eligible based on their prior experience.

Students are required to be currently working with children and/or families and ideally have at least one year’s experience in this area.

International Applicants

Students are required to have a level 8 honours degree or above. 

Have attained a minimum score of 7.0 in IELTS (minimum score of 6 in any given band) or 600 in TOEFL (250+ computer-based; 100 +iTB score, with a test of written English at 475+). All test results must be less than 2 year old relative to the year of entry to the programme. This is necessary to ensure that prospective students can manage the programme’s academic workload and communicate effectively within the course.

Have attained a minimum of 5 months working with children and/or families and provide documented evidence supporting this (Pre-course Experience Declaration Form‌). This experience should normally be attained during the year of planned entry to the programme, and may be undertaken in the students own country. The University is not responsible for arranging this. This experience is necessary to help students to put subject material covered in lectures into context. The Pre-course Clinical Experience Declaration Form must be completed and returned within one month of the course start date and returned to the academic course director.

Students are also required to provide an academic and work reference supporting their commitment to and ability to undertake this course.

Application Details

Applications are currently being accepted and can be made via the UCD applications page


Course Fees

For information on course fees please visit:

EU applicants fees

Non EU applicants fees

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Contact Us

Dr Joseph Mooney 
Programme Director
School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice 


A Student's Perspective