Certificate of Higher Education in Advocacy
This programme is designed to develop students’ understanding of advocacy and their skills in working with people who have vulnerabilities in a context of inequality and who need to articulate needs and access resources. It aims to equip students to promote and balance social inclusion and justice with sustainability.
This course is designed to be attractive to people who have (or would like to have) experience in taking on an advocacy role for people who are vulnerable in today’s world, such as children, young people, older people, single people and families experiencing marginalisation because of economic hardship, physical or mental ill-health or disability, issues of education, work opportunities, or suitable housing, or who experience environmental challenges such as pollution, hazards, allergies, toxins or noise.
This programme is the first year of an undergraduate degree and has 5 modules, see below, which will give a student 120 credits at level 4.
Table 1: Summary of Modules
|FESS4002||Academic Study Skills for Students||4||20|
|SJAD4001||Introduction to Advocacy||4||20|
|SJAD4002||Advocacy in Action: Vulnerable Individuals||4||20|
|SJAD4003||Working in Partnership with Others as an Advocate||4||30|
|SJAD4004||Working within an Advocacy Context||4||30|
FESS4002 Academic Study Skills for Students:
A Core module for all students at level 4 within the School of Social Justice and Inclusion. The modules lay the foundation for providing students with knowledge, understanding and skills to successfully meet the expectations of Higher Education. It is anticipated that some students undertaking the programme may already be graduates in different disciplines – in such cases, we would consider applying to the RPEL committee where appropriate. This would be taught in the first semester to equip students with appropriate study skills.
SJAD4001 Introduction to Advocacy:
The aim of this module is to introduce the history of advocacy, lay the foundations of the subject area, ensure students understand the standards expected of them and appreciate some of the dilemmas that advocates face in their work.
SJAD4002 Advocacy in Action: Vulnerable Individuals:
The aim of this module is to support students to consider the skills that are required in an advocacy role, including using a person-centred approach and to explore the different kinds of needs that vulnerable individuals have.
SJAD4003 Working in Partnership with Others as an Advocate:
The aim of this module is to equip students with relevant knowledge, understanding and skills to help them to work effectively with professionals, within organisations and with .others to help vulnerable individuals, and to be ready to build networks and support systems for their work.
SJAD4004: Working within an Advocacy Context:
The aim of this module is to appreciate and understand the social context in which the people they work alongside are situated, as well as the wider structural issues they may be faced with. This module begins to explore these issues to ensure advocates exiting with a Cert HE are aware of the issues faced by vulnerable groups in society.
This course is designed for those who want to ameliorate the disempowering effects of inequality in society and have a commitment to human rights. You will respect the rights of the people you advocate for and will support them to make their own decisions. You will need to be good at listening and attending to needs.
The skills needed vary according to the kinds of situations that ultimately you choose to work in – in some cases, speaking on behalf of others (usually under their instruction), in others, your role may be to empower an individual to speak for themselves. Advocates will develop flexibility to address the needs of the situation.
An advocate needs the ability to handle any uncomfortable balance between the needs of the individual or group and the need for sustainable resource allocation to a wide range of people, being able to challenge decisions and to manage difficult relationships between different stakeholders involved such as social services, family members and friends, health professionals, housing organizations, employers and community groups – all of which may have different agendas.
An advocate needs to follow ethical codes.
This course will help you consider these elements and develop your own abilities and confidence for undertaking advocacy roles in specialist and non-specialist settings and within any context.
Whether you are contemplating taking on the challenge of advocacy or wishing to enhance existing skills and knowledge, this course will provide you with the opportunity to grow and develop.
Phillip Morgan is the programme lead plus full use will be made of the academic expertise across the School.
Guest tutors and speakers will also be involved from advocacy organisations.
There is a range of assessment to allow for different learning styles and needs but no exams are attached to this programme. Academic study skills will be assessed via a critical study of journal articles and a 10 minute seminar presentation. Assessment of the key modules will include writing a reflective blog, demonstrating interview skills, writing an action plan, reflecting on placement observation, producing a poster and writing essays.
Tutorial support will be available throughout the programme to support students in their work on each assessment.
Access to online library facilities is also a feature of the programme, which includes the opportunity to use e-books, catalogues and databases, online journals, and guidance on study skills.
As much as possible of the course material will be accessible from the University’s online ‘Moodle’ on a 24-hour basis together with details of all the assignment requirements.
There are no specific academic requirements however applicants should be able to demonstrate good language skills and have the potential to develop them further.
Work, voluntary or life experience where advocacy skills have been necessary will be taken into account. You will be asked about your access to relevant work or voluntary experiences before starting the course or indicate what kind of support you would need to organise this, as it essential for undertaking the course that all students have a base of ‘practice’.
Personal qualities are of particular significance. Potential students must show evidence of appropriate values and ethics (such as a commitment to equality, social justice and inclusion, honesty, integrity and transparency) and demonstrate qualities that would enable them to engage effectively in the role of advocate (eg. the ability to listen and attend to others, to handle competing agendas, to communicate clearly, to recognise different points of view and interests, to protect confidentiality, and to make effective notes and observations).
All students will need to have a DBS check.
Many students will already be working in roles which offer the potential for using advocacy skills - you will be encouraged to maintain your links with these organisations as full-time or part-time workers, on secondment, or as volunteers during the course of the programme and beyond.
We believe that students who complete the one-year level 4 Cert HE in Advocacy will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace over those who have level 3 qualifications. In addition, students will have been trained to meet the quality standards of Action for Advocacy.
In the jobs and volunteer market, we believe that students could seek roles involving advocacy skills and knowledge within a wide range of settings, including
- mental health
- children and young people’s welfare
- special educational needs
- environmental departments and campaigning organisations (eg. animal welfare, conservation, marine ecology)
- third sector organisations, (e.g. housing, younger and older people’s organisations, patient groups)
- human rights organisations (eg. gender and gay rights, religious rights, ethnicity, migration and refugee work)
- public health initiatives such as food quality and pollution control
and would find that their skills in advocacy would have wide applicability.
There will be opportunities to meet and network with a range of people from advocacy organisations and roles, through placement opportunities and talking with guest speakers and tutors on the programme, and tutors will facilitate links with people in voluntary and campaigning organisations who can provide advice.
This programme has the potential to be part of a degree qualification for those who are not already graduates, and the programme would also be a useful base for moving into fields such as social care, education, social inclusion, psychology, healthcare, environmental studies, politics and theology.
The programme will prepare students to meet the quality standards and codes of practice of Advocacy for Action based on the Advocacy Charter and is aligned with these National Occupational Standards.