PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION PROGRAMME TITLE: Postgraduate Certificate in Veterinary Public Health

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1 PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION PROGRAMME TITLE: Postgraduate Certificate in Veterinary Public Health PLEASE NOTE: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the course and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he or she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities provided 1. AWARD INSTITUTION/BODY: UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER 2. TEACHING INSTITUTION: UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER 3. LOCATION: Distance Learning 4. ACCREDITED BY: 5. FINAL AWARD: Postgraduate Certificate Veterinary Public Health (VPH) 6. MODE OF ATTENDANCE: Part-time distance learning 7. SPECIALISMS: Veterinary Public Health 8. COURSE/UCAS CODE: DATE WRITTEN/REVISED: November EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE COURSE The overall aim of the course is to provide an academically challenging and professionally relevant focussed programme of study for those who wish to develop their careers in Veterinary Public Health. The course also aims to provide an opportunity for critical reflection and evaluation of current practice and policy, enable lifelong learning and foster continuing professional development. 11. MAIN LEARNING OUTCOMES The course provides opportunities for students to achieve and demonstrate the following learning outcomes. The programme of study in veterinary public health aims to: Promote the ability to assess available evidence and data, make sound judgements and communicate findings effectively to all stakeholders in the food chain producers, regulators, industry and consumers. Provide an advanced knowledge and understanding of core areas of veterinary public health as applied to the regulation of the food chain to allow graduates to operate effectively in the role of Official Veterinarian. Promote an awareness of ethical issues and scientific integrity in veterinary public health Advance the ability to facilitate cooperation between disciplines that link the health triad: people-animals-environment Advance the ability to make logical arguments in support of/against particular issues in veterinary public health. Advance ability to construct courses of action in the short and long term on issues related to veterinary public health

2 11K KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF SUBJECT Successful students will be able to K1 Integrate knowledge of key principles underlying regulatory aspects veterinary public health K2 Appreciate the role of the veterinary practitioner in formation of legislation at EU and International level K3 Display an advanced knowledge of the application of Veterinary Public Health principles to public health K4 Have a critical awareness of principles relating to scientific integrity and ethical issues in veterinary public health K5 Acquire, organize, critically analyze, interpret and present information relating to veterinary public health Learning and Teaching Methods: Core material will be delivered through lectures complemented by seminars, group tutorials, case study orientated problem-based learning exercises, private study and module assignments. Assessment Methods: Coursework will assess outcomes and facilitate learning and the integration of knowledge. Structured coursework will include case studies, literaturebased assignments, 11I INTELLECTUAL QUALITIES Successful students will be able to I1 Integrate and critically review information from a wide range of sources and to construct and defend reasoned conclusions. I2 Think independently, evaluate and reflect, set tasks and select appropriate and reasoned approaches to solve problems I3 Employ effectively practices and tools for the investigation and evaluation of veterinary public health issues Learning and Teaching Methods: Lectures, tutorials, case studies, problem-based learning, self directed learning. Assessment Methods: Coursework including problem-solving, project work and reports. 11P PROFESSIONAL/PRACTICAL SKILLS Successful students will be able to: P1 Demonstrate confidence and competency in understanding, analyzing, interpreting and evaluating veterinary public health data P2 Utilize library, computer and other resources to acquire, apply and disseminate scientific knowledge in reports, presentations, and coursework P3 Demonstrate at professional level an ability to communicate scientific information to peers, colleagues and others as appropriate. P4 Specify, design and construct particular courses of action in the short and long term on Veterinary Public Health issues to stakeholders Learning and Teaching Methods: Lectures, seminars and tutorials, case studies, problem-based learning, self-directed learning. Assessment Methods: Assignments and project reports 2

3 11T TRANSFERABLE SKILLS Successful students will be able to T1 Communicate effectively at a professional and appropriate level, utilising information technology and a range of approaches. T2 Show initiative and demonstrate self-direction and originality in identifying, evaluating and solving problems at a professional level. T3 Effectively utilize library and computer resources to access and search for information in specified areas, from a range of sources; evaluating this information to draw reasoned conclusions or sustainable judgements to inform practice. T4 Work effectively as part of a team T5 Plan and manage own learning and development including time management and organisation skills; Teaching and Learning Methods: Lectures, seminars and tutorials, on line discussions Assessment Methods: Presentations, written work 3

4 13 SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS AND THEIR LEARNING Distance learning students and their learning are supported in a number of ways: Induction process: All students will complete an online induction session in advance of the start of semester in order to introduce them to the university s online virtual learning environment (VLE) Blackboard Learn (BBLearn) and University resources. As part of the induction, students are encouraged to make contact with one another, strengthening the support network between students and tutors/etutors. A range of interactive online tutorials are provided by Library Services for students which provide a basic introduction to the library service at Ulster including a library induction specifically for Distance Learners and an Information Skills module to assist users to develop their information literacy skills. Student handbooks: All students will have on-line access to the overall course handbook which details all course information and regulations. Module handouts: Individual module handbooks are also provided by module coordinators for each module of study. Copies of module handbooks will be hosted within the online module support area. The Course Director: Provides the administration of the course. Course Support Area: A dedicated area within BBLearn which includes the course handbook and regulations as well as other general supportive material including links to pastoral and other support for students. This serves as a central area that all students can access. Studies advice: Each student is assigned a Studies Advisor, in addition they may approach the Course Director and/or any other Course Committee academic staff member should they wish to do so. Personal Development Planning (PDP): Students are introduced to PDP during induction, instructed on how to use the online PDSystem and supported by their Advisor of Studies. Career Development Centre: Helps students develop their employability skills during their time at university and make the transition from university to employment or further study as easy as possible. Information Services Department: Through University internet/intranet. Library services: Distance learners have full access to University library facilities (which includes extensive online electronic sources) and to the UCD library (which enables access to all relevant Veterinary Journals). elearning at Ulster: Student support for access and using the VLE Module Resource Areas is provided through the BBLearn helpdesk. Student Support Department: Students will have appropriate access to Student Support Services including student counsellors, the psychologist and careers advisors as required. International Office: The International Office provides support especially for overseas students, and is available to distance learning students. Chaplaincy: is multi-faith and is available to help and support all students regardless of their religion or faith background.? Add in exit award similar to previous tables 14 CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION 4

5 Applicants must satisfy the University s general entry requirements and specific requirements for admission are detailed below: (a) Applicants for the Postgraduate Certificate in veterinary Public Health must have gained an Honours or non-honours degree in veterinary medicine from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from an institution of another country, which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard. (b) Normally students will have a minimum of one-year post qualification experience prior to commencement of the programme. (c) provide evident of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent); 15 EVALUATING AND IMPROVING THE QUALITY AND STANDARD OF TEACHING AND LEARNING The quality and standard of learning and teaching is monitored through: Staff - student consultation where the Student-Staff Consultative Committee meet online at least once per semester to discuss Programme delivery and any issues relating to the Programme and report to the Course Committee. Annual Programme/subject monitoring is performed for each Programme and module evaluation is completed for every module in each academic year. The Head or Associate Head of School performs module monitoring of at risk modules. External examiner scrutinizes examination papers / course work, students scripts and examines a selection of students every year. External examiners are invited to comment on the Programme for which they have responsibility. They are required to submit a written report to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) within one month of attending the last meeting of the board of examiners in each academic session. The Faculty/School strategy on Teaching and Learning is adhered to. The design of the Programme and the curriculum used mirrors the requirements of EC Regulations for the training of Official Veterinarians (see Appendix 1) and the QAA Framework for HE Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (see Appendix 2) and the NICATS Generic Level Descriptors. There are no benchmark standards as yet for Veterinary Public Health. Support structure within Faculty/School and University / Institution administrative staff at Faculty level provide statistical data on programmes and modules. Significant additional administrative support is available through Campus One and the Virtual School. 5

6 16 REGULATION OF STANDARDS Assessment rules Candidates shall be assessed in the modules for which they have enrolled. Within each module, candidates are assessed by coursework. The performance of candidates shall be assessed as detailed in the Programme regulations. At the discretion of the Board of Examiners candidates may be required to undertake a viva voce examination, which is conducted by telephone for distance learning students. The pass mark is 50% for each assessment element and in the module overall. Condonement permits candidates to fail in modules without a requirement to repeat assessment. No module will be condonable. The following shall be the minimum percentages acceptable in determining the overall grading of candidates. Pass with Distinction 70% Pass 50% The Board of Examiners shall recommend the award of a Pass with Distinction to a candidate who achieves an overall average of 70% or more, with a mark of at least 70% being achieved in modules amounting to at least 30 credit points. Internal moderation: All assignments are double marked. Assignments are assessed using defined assessment criteria and a selection is moderated. External Moderation: External examiner(s) advise on the content and delivery of the programme and moderate grading of programme work and the final marks awarded. This is assisted by the examination by telephone viva voce of all borderline passes and distinctions and a selection of other candidates, as appropriate. 6

7 17 INDICATORS OF QUALITY RELATING TO TEACHING AND LEARNING Of the 75 academic staff in the School of Biomedical Sciences, over 30 are recognised practitioners of the Higher Education Academy, hold the PgCUT/PgCHET, or hold an alternative teaching qualification. The University of Ulster has 3 National Teaching Fellows with one within the School of Biomedical Sciences. Outcome from the latest QAA Subject Review Molecular Biosciences Subject Report, October 1999 Aspects of provision Grade Curriculum Design, Content and Organisation 4 Teaching, Learning and Assessment 3 Student Progression and Achievement 4 Student Support and Guidance 4 Learning Resources 4 Quality Management and Enhancement 3 Outcome of the 1996 and 2001 Research Assessment Exercises: Unit 11a (Other Subjects Allied to Medicine) highest possible score of 5*. The Institutional Audit report identified E learning as one of the areas of good practice: "the University's coherent and comprehensive strategy for the development and implementation of e-learning" (paragraph 215 page 47 of the report). This related to both "the design and implementation of new courses and in the supportive frameworks for staff development and quality assurance". External funding for learning and teaching initiatives include: FDTL 4 STAR (Student Transition and Retention), 249,932, November Making Practice Based Learning Work, 250,000, January Development, pilot and evaluation of online learning in evidence based healthcare practice, 10,000, January National Teaching Fellowship, Development, pilot and evaluation of online learning for Refractive Surgery 50,000 September

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