Researching Social Care PGCert

Researching Social Care PGCert

School of Social Work, Care and Community


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    One year

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    eLearning, Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

Leading to a postgraduate certificate, this part-time online programme is designed for UK based and international postgraduate students who are committed to developing their research skills in a practice or policy social care context, as independent researchers. It will also be useful if you would like to strengthen your knowledge and understanding of research more generally. It is designed in such a way that all the content will be provided and delivered in an interactive teaching and learning style electronically online.

You’ll cover three modules taught over three semesters in one year. The course is designed to enable you to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the standards set out in Vitae’s internationally recognised Research Development Framework. This framework has identified all the necessary identical skills, competencies and knowledge areas to enable somebody to become a competent independent researcher and ensures compliance with the requirements of UK social research governing bodies. 


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Entry Requirements

  • A relevant honours degree (or equivalent)
  • International students must also demonstrate they meet IELTS 7.0 (English Language Requirement)
  • Prior experience of being involved in a research project and/or a written commitment to have the capacity to undertake one

Programme at a Glance

This course will equip you with the essential knowledge and skills to undertake research in social work, social care and/or social policy.

The programme will:

  • Provide an overview of key issues and debates associated with the production, application and evaluation of research for practice in social care
  • Promote systematic engagement with, and exploration of, core issues for contemporary social care research and practice
  • Develop critical thinking skills and the ability to apply these in complex situations

Three modules constitute the year-long programme:

SW4800 Themes and Perspectives in Social Research: This module will provide an overview of the key issues and debates associated with the production and evaluation of research for practice in social care. It will consider the key paradigms and methodologies that inform and shape social research.

SW4801 Doing Social Research: This module will enable you to develop skills for conducting and managing social research projects. You will engage with ethical issues related to the design of research projects and will relate these to a range of different research methods.

SW4802 Developing Research Skills in Social Care: This module will develop a range of skills which will enable you to build a career in social research whether in the world of academia or in the world of business and industry.

Further Information

On successful completion of the programme, you will have advanced knowledge and a critical understanding in the following areas:

  • Research skills and techniques – be able to plan, implement and evaluate research projects/outputs
  • Research environment – able to manage ethical and technical issues associated with research projects 
  • Research management – able to use resources and technology to support successful project management 
  • Literature searching and critical reading 
  • Writing for diverse audiences 
  • Dealing with data/statistics C1. critical thinking
  • Ability to deal with complex issues in a creative and systematic way 
  • Self-direction and originality when tackling problems 
  • Develop new insights and the ability to use new skills to inform decision making in complex situations 
  • Personal effectiveness – develop capacity to manage self to ensure project completion
  • Communication skills – enhance written and verbal communication skills 
  • Networking and team working – develop inter-personal skills to enhance project work
  • Career management – develop capacity for self-direction and career planning

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: N/A
Part-time: TBC

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Learning Environment and Assessment

Teaching and learning environment will be developed through interactive methods online and self-directed study. Extensive use will be made of adobe and skype to provide teaching and learning sessions that are interactive, non didactive and constructivist, through mutual shared learning and participatory dialogue. The emphasis of these sessions will be on students being prepared beforehand by undertaking the appropriate reading, to enable open and creative learning to take place within the learning zone through adobe. To enable these creative learning spaces to develop, the programme will be based on the principle of student led individual research and reading in preparation for the teaching and learning sessions and online self-directed learning.

Academic assessments include essays, practical assignments, case studies, research proposal and critique. Ethics application and critique.


The course to provide the key skills for students to either commence MPhil/PhD studies, be equipped to undertake research projects in their social care work place and/or to work as an independent researcher.


Should you have any further questions about the application or enrolment process, contact:

Kate Moss, Programme Administrator
School of Social Work
University of Central Lancashire

Tel: +44 (0)1772 893450