Certificate of Higher Education in Advocacy

Cert HE: Advocacy

92% of UWTSD students at the School of Social Justice & Inclusion agreed that staff are good at explaining things - NSS 2018.

This programme is designed to allow students to explore a Higher Education course of Study at Degree entry level 4. It will help 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. On successful completion of level 4 HE Certificate it is anticipated that students will feel empowered and motivated to join the BA Advocacy programme at level 5 before progressing to level 6 and successful graduation.

Key Facts

Course Length:
12 months – Students will join the full-time BA programme or if demand is sufficient attend Ccondensed Lecturing on Saturdays (Full-day) and some evening tutorials with, flexible delivery and support
Start Date: September

Scholarships and Bursaries

Yr Athrofa: Institute of Education
Contact Email:
Language Choice:
English   Welsh

Twitter‌ facebook‌‌ You Tube‌‌ ucas-square-40x40px

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






Academic Study Skills for Students




Key Concepts in Social Policy




Giving Individuals a Voice: Empowerment, Agency and Anti-Oppressive Practice




The Landscape of Social Inclusion




Hard to Reach Groups




Advocacy in a Contemporary World




ECGE4001Q 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.

SJSI4012         Key Concepts in Social Policy

This module will allow the student to develop a crucial understanding of the historical context of policy development and the impact on social inclusion and well-being. It will familiarise students with key terms and concepts that underpin the debate within social policy. Drawing on recent changes in legislation for equality in Wales, UK and beyond the policy making process and links to practice the student will have the opportunity to discuss the implementation of policy.

ECAY4002: Giving Individuals a Voice: Empowerment, Agency and Anti-Oppressive Practice

Students will explore the theories of power and oppression when applied to the advocacy context; developing and understand how Empowerment, Agency and Anti-oppressive practice enables individuals to move from oppression to self-advocacy. Various strategies for empowering individuals to ensure that their voice is heard will be examined allowing students’ time to debate their various merits and challenges.

SJSI4017: The Landscape of Social Inclusion

Within this module students will engage with the essential concepts associated with the main sociological theories of society which respond to the inclusion agenda. This will provide the opportunity for students to gain an understanding of the assumptions which underpin inequality and social divisions applied within a range of sociological theories to society in the 21st century.

SJSS4001: Hard to Reach Groups

This wide reaching module encompasses a diverse range of content designed to widen student’s understandings and develop academic rigour within academic arguments around sensitive areas of concern.  Exploring a wide range of groups at risk of exclusion; exploring key terms and demographic characteristics of these groups; examining the barriers to equality and inclusion for these groups in society and explore the multi-dimensional effects of social positioning within culture and sub-culture.

ECAY4001: Advocacy in a Contemporary World

Within this module students will examine power relationships within society, reflecting upon empowerment, agency, anti-oppressive practices and their role in advocacy. Key descriptors will be identified together with the theories of power and oppression when applied to the advocacy context.

This module will prepare students for engagement in practice and roles within Agency and Anti-oppressive practice enabling individuals to move from oppression to self-advocacy.

Explore strategies for empowering individuals to ensure that their voice is heard.

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.

  • BA Advocacy
  • BA Social Studies: Advocacy
  • Integrated Masters in Social Studies: Advocacy

To apply to the programme, please contact

Phillip Morgan

Email: p.morgan@uwtsd.ac.uk

Tel. 01267 225186
Tel. 01267-676674