When eight-year-old Victoria Climbie died in 2000 at the hands of those looking after her, social services got the brunt of the blame for failing to spot a history of abuse. Three years later a government inquiry called for closer co-operation between public sector agencies dealing with child welfare cases. Now a management course at Derby University promises to do that.

The postgraduate certificate in integrated public sector management, devised in the university's Derbyshire business school, is designed to develop and support managers across the child welfare sector.

The one-year, part-time course has modules on management theory and practice, with an emphasis on skills development, people management and partnership working. The course is also available online. Derby's press officer Simon Redfern says the certificate is aimed at middle managers in the public sector who want to progress career-wise. They will learn how to build relations, understand how other departments work, and how to collaborate. For course information, see www.derby.ac.uk

* Lovers of art history take note: Christie's Education has introduced its first full-fees scholarship for those interested in postgraduate courses in art history. This year's inaugural award went to Daiset Ruiz Sarquis, a Mexican student who will be studying Christie's new MPhil in modern and contemporary art and design. Marketing coordinator Judith Pitcher says Christie's has a number of scholarships available and wants to expand the offering, as "we feel it is important to encourage those from all walks of life to come and study with us." Christie's Masters courses are accredited by the University of Glasgow, and the fees are usually £11,000. See www.christies.com/education for details.

* Parliament may get a ring of steel to help defend it from attack - but what of the capital's other buildings? How secure are they? Are they strong enough to withstand an earthquake or a terrorist bomb? Civil engineers experienced in structural dynamics are more important than ever, but there still aren't enough experts in the field - which is why the University of Sheffield is launching a new postgraduate study in earthquake and civil engineering dynamics.

"The modern trend is for more lightweight, slender structures, and they do bounce around more," says Paul Reynolds, who helped design the course. Students will study key areas such as earthquake engineering, the vibration serviceability of buildings, and "blast and impact resistant design". Examples of "blast" are bomb detonations or gas explosions, while "impact" covers bullets, bomb debris, vehicles, and, now, aircraft.

The course, which Reynolds says has had lots of interest so far, is block taught and based on recent research experience. For course information, see www.shef.ac.uk/civil/pg/eced.

education@independent.co.uk

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