Diploma in social pedagogy and work with vulnerable young people

This 54 credit programme is professionally accredited for youth work through ABC Awards, and via CLD Standards Council for Scotland for community learning and development. It is also mapped against the Social Pedagogy Professional Association’s new standards for social pedagogy.

You also can add one more 6 credit unit and gain a nationally recognized Access to Higher Education Diploma.

Why study social pedagogy and work with vulnerable young people?

Social pedagogy is an innovative and fresh way of understanding work with children, young people, families and communities. Concerned with the development of the whole person and of community, it bringings together informal education, community learning and development, helping and care. At its heart is a focus on relationship and encouraging change.

In this new programme we explore how this holistic way of working helps people to develop and change their lives. We pay special attention to work with vulnerable young people.

What do you study?

You study the following modules:

Introducing study – including exploring returning to studying; key themes of the programme and it works

Reflecting on our experiences – including looking at our experiences; attending to feelings; deepening understanding; working one-to-one; building relationships

Exploring helping – including thinking about helping, relationship, community development and participation

Facilitating informal education – including being an educator; trusting in conversation; fostering democracy and association; exploring refection and learning; living with values

Teaching and group work – including thinking about needs; designing programmes; teaching; managing groups; assessment and evaluation of activities; working with groups

Reflection on professional practice – direct work with children, young people and communities (3 modules)

Developing social pedagogy and work with vulnerable young people – including exploring relationships, neighbourhoods and communities; understanding vulnerability and risk; working with vulnerable young people; developing projects; and evaluating work.

At this point you can either finish the programme or carry on to complete one further unit which leads to the Access to Higher Education Diploma.

Why add in the Access to Higher Education Diploma?

For a little more work you gain a qualification that can be compared to A levels and used to apply for a university place. UCAS – the main national route for making applications – has a new tariff or points system. It uses the credits you gain on your access programme to work out the entry points you have. The table below gives some examples – and how they stack up in relation to A levels.

In an Access programme of 60 credits, 45 of these are graded and then used to build the score.

Pass credits Merit


Distinction credits New UCAS tariff points A Level tariff point example
45 0 0 48 EEE (or single A grade A-level)
30 15 0 64 DDE (or two grade C A-levels)
15 15 15 96 CCC
0 45 0 96 CCC
0 30 15 112 BBC070669
0 15 30 128 ABB
0 0 45 144 AAA

On the UCAS site there is a handy calculator where you feed in your results and see how many points you have. [https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/getting-started/entry-requirements/tariff/calculator]

How does Diploma Studies work?

Students can apply for this diploma programme at anytime of the year. They are then registered at the nearest start point – January, May or September.

Most students complete these courses within 12 months. They learn through a using a mix of face-to-face practice, online forums, specially prepared interactive study materials (they can be used on mobile phones, tablets and computers or simply printed off), and activities and assignments. Students also have the support of a work place supervisor and a tutor. Materials, forums and activites are accessed, and work submitted, through our dedicated e-learning system ymoodle.

Diplomas are awarded on the basis of successful completion of a work based placement; written assignments and activities; regular meetings with a dedicated supervisor and line manager; and submission of final professional practice assessment package.

The College is also able to organise a taught version of the diploma for agencies that have a group of students who want to complete the course with the support of a tutor. Please contact us for further information.

Click for details of cost and how to apply.


Picture: Picture: ‘Future so bright’ by  Scott Swigart. Sourced from Flickr and reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) licence. https://www.flickr.com/photos/smswigart/6078401891/