September 2024

Leading Safeguarding in Education - PG Cert

Postgraduate, Postgraduate Certificate, September 2024

*This course is subject to validation.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) role has very broad ranging operational and strategic responsibilities, that are integral to meeting the legal and statutory obligations related to child safety and welfare, that are required of UK schools.

Keeping Children Safe in Education (2023) outlines the role of the DSL and provides oversight of 5 key areas of responsibility. Whilst there are some clearly defined roles and responsibilities, there is very little by way of ‘how’ to do it.

Existing master’s level programmes focus on safeguarding, but there is not currently a course specific to the role of the DSL in UK schools. In addition, there is no standard training requirement for those undertaking the DSL role.

DSLs will benefit from this master’s level programme of study that improves their ability to successfully administer the role and improve outcomes related to child welfare and safety in their settings.

This programme is a fantastic opportunity to shape and influence the functions of the DSL both operationally and strategically, having a greater impact on the development of policy, process, and practice across the sector and leading to better outcomes for children, young people, and families.

This programme seeks to improve the ability of DSLs to lead strategic change that will help ensure increased safety and welfare for children and young people. The course will seek to improve outcomes for children and young people affected by all forms of abuse and maltreatment, who experience reduced educational outcomes.

This degree can be completed over the course of either one year (full time) or two years (part time).

The programme will be delivered online with some on campus activities. Lectures will take place online and will be supported by conference or networking events held at Birmingham Newman University.

Module 1 – Contemporary Safeguarding Issues (30 credits)

Module 2 – The Designated Safeguarding Lead: Systems and Practice (30 credits)

Module 2 will be delivered by partners at safe4schools.


Throughout the course, you will develop critical thinking, knowledge, and awareness in contemporary issues in education through a programme of high-quality masters’ provision delivered by experts in their field.

The Postgraduate Taught programmes are designed to support students’ capacity to critically consider, develop, and enhance their academic and working practices. The programme consists of modules that are aimed at developing the academic knowledge and skills of students enabling students to gain the breadth of understanding required to critically reflective and analytical. The modules are designed to enhance and challenge knowledge leading to reflection and analysis.

Assessment will incorporate the use of a variety of assessment opportunities enabling students to showcase their learning in contemporary ways.

The modules will be comprised of two different types of assessments. The idea of this is to give students opportunities to demonstrate their learning in conjunction with the professional elements of the role they are employed to do.

Assessment will include the use of peer feedback, tutorials with academics and submission of a sample of writing for formative review.

Writing workshops will also be available for students to attend, which will detail aspects of level 7 writing, particularly critical analysis, synthesis, and the avoidance of plagiarism.

This course is suitable for those considering, or already holding a position working with vulnerable children, young people, parents and carers and external agencies. This could include, but not is exclusive to virtual schools, foster carers, designated teachers, senior leaders, and special educational needs coordinators. The course may also be useful for any professional working in sectors such as health, police, social and youth services.

This course is a pathway to the MA Education Safeguarding.

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Entry Requirements

UK students

An Honours degree (normally a minimum 2.2) from a UK university.

Consideration will be given to UK students with lower-level qualifications (e.g. a 3rd class degree or non-honours degree) who have a relevant range of professional experience. Professional experience will be considered by the Programme Leader in conjunction with the quality office.

Employed in a role with some level of responsibility for safeguarding or suitable professional experience in safeguarding positions.


International Students

An overseas university degree agreed by NARIC as equivalent and

An IELTS score of 6.5 with at least a 6 in each separate component.

Employed in a role with some level of responsibility for safeguarding or suitable professional experience in safeguarding positions.

Course Fees

£1,300 per module – modules run for 1 academic year 


Please be aware that, as with any course, there may be changes to the modules delivered, for information view our Changes to Programmes of Module Changes page.



  1. This module seeks to develop students understanding of the context in which safeguarding takes place and links this to debates around the appropriateness and effectiveness of policy and practice. In doing this, students will explore concepts of vulnerability and risk and how they affect working practices as well as critically evaluating the current policy context.