PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION MSc Developmental and Educational Psychology. Teaching Institutions: UCL Institute of Education

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1 PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION MSc Developmental and Educational Psychology Awarding body: University College London Teaching Institutions: UCL Institute of Education Name of final award: Master of Science (MSc) Programme title: Developmental and Educational Psychology UKPASS code: P Language of study The Institute of Education teaches and assesses participants through the medium of the English language. Competence in English language is required of all applicants. Programme regulations may indicate the level of competence required of each applicant and may make its achievement a condition of admission. Entry requirements Participants require a first or second-class honours degree with a substantial amount of psychology (30%) from an approved university. Aims of the Programme This research-focused masters aims to: offer a comprehensive research training in developmental and educational psychology provide a good grounding for doctoral study provide a valuable preparation for a research career in the academic community, the public sector or in industry enable students to become informed members of the developmental and educational psychology research community provide an in-depth knowledge of specialised research skills, using a broad range of methods develop critically appraisal skills Programme Outcomes On successful completion of the programme students should be able to: Demonstrate how concepts, theories and evidence can be used in constructing an understanding of issues and practices Produce and communicate reasoned and informed argument, both in writing and orally

2 Critically evaluate theory and evidence in psychology Develop a researchable question within the field of developmental and educational psychology Carry out and write up a focused empirical enquiry in the discipline of psychology and within the framework of postgraduate research Reflect on, and apply, conceptual and theoretical frameworks and research evidence in understanding professional policy and practice Evidence for the achievement of these aims and objectives include: Written assignments for formative and summative purposes Discussion and debate in lectures, seminars and tutorials. Mode of study One year full-time or two to four years part-time study. Programme structure The programme consists of four modules as indicated below. In addition, students will carry out a piece of research leading to a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words. They will also undertake sessions in academic competencies. Taught modules Developmental Psychology (30 credits) or Personality and Social Psychology (30 credits) or Cognitive Development and Learning (30 credits) Methodology & Statistics (30 credits) Social Development (30 credits) or Core Topics in Psychology of Education (30 credits) Qualitative Data Analysis (30 credits) Below is a detailed description of these for each core module. Developmental Psychology This module provides an advanced analysis of children s perceptual, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and behavioural development throughout the period from conception to late adolescence. Biological contributions to development, and to individual differences in development, are considered in relation to other contributions. Teaching strategies include lectures and small group discussions. The module aims to develop knowledge and understanding of: the conceptual basis for a developmental approach to infant, child and adolescent psychology evidence and theory about the interplay between genetic, prenatal and postnatal factors in regulating normal and abnormal child development recent research into children s perceptual, emotional, cognitive, linguistic and behavioural development Personality and Social Psychology in Education This module provides an opportunity to examine theoretical and research developments within the fields of Personality and Social Psychology, with particular

3 reference to their educational implications. Attention will be paid to issues of crosscultural comparison and problems of psychological measurement, throughout. The module seeks: To provide a critical and up to date account of selected theoretical/research developments in the study of Personality and Social Psychology which are of potential special importance for Educational Psychology To identify contrasting underlying theoretical assumptions within Personality and Social Psychology and hence evaluate varied approaches to research which are implicit in such differing theoretical orientations To explore the implications of material presented in terms of its applied significance for improving teaching and learning, as well as for developing effective organisational strategies, in schools and other educational contexts Cognitive Development and Learning This module provides an opportunity to examine theoretical and research developments within the fields of Cognitive Development and Learning, with particular reference to their educational implications. Attention will be paid to issues of cross-cultural comparison and problems of psychological measurement, throughout. The module seeks to: Extend and deepen knowledge and understanding of theory and research in cognitive development and learning Equip participants to evaluate evidence, claims and theory, and to challenge previously held and new views Enable participants to identify educational implications of theory and research in cognitive development and learning Methodology and Statistics This module considers methods of research and data analysis. It evaluates the strengths and limitations of the various methods to study children, adolescents, and their behaviour. An important aim of the module is to convey the fact that research design and data analysis cannot be reduced to a set of rules. At the end of the module students will have: developed their grasp of methodology and their understanding of data analysis, enhanced their ability to analyse research papers and formulate research projects, and increased their expertise in running statistical analyses using SPSS. Social Development This module considers psychological research on social aspects of development in childhood and adolescence and how families, schools and other social institutions may influence these developments. It aims to encourage reflection on the origins and validity of commonly held beliefs about children and their development. The module uses a variety of methods including lectures and small group discussions. At the end of the module students will understand views about the relation between psychology and culture that have motivated research and theory in developmental and cognitive psychology

4 know the range of influences on parents behaviour towards their children and how these may determine differences between and within families be familiar with research on social and emotional aspects of development in childhood and adolescence Core Topics in the Psychology of Education Core Topics in the Psychology of Education, as the module s name implies, addresses key psychological topics of educational interest, and are divided into five blocks taught by members of the programme team: 1. Academic and social interactions in schools 2. Critical reading and thinking 3. Thinking and reasoning 4. Learners and their contexts 5. Language development The module aims to: Provide you with an introduction to key issues in psychology of education Develop an understanding of research processes Develop the skills required for undertaking research Develop the skills of critical analysis Enable you to identify the implications of theory and research for practice Qualitative Data Analysis The course is designed for students with little or no initial knowledge and experience of qualitative analysis. It comprises a series of lecture/seminars and workshops led by the tutor, as well as some complementary presentations/workshops on methods of analysis within psychological studies. The course will involve a consideration of a variety of strategies of qualitative analysis in order to develop an initial appreciation of the range of practices falling loosely under the umbrella of qualitative analysis: grounded theory, thematic analysis, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, analysis of visual materials, interpretative phenomenological analysis, narrative analysis etc. Summary timetable Term Day Time Module Autumn Tuesday Core Topics in Psychology of Education Autumn Thursday Developmental Psychology Autumn Thursday or Methodology & Statistics Spring Thursday or (4 sessions) Methodology & Statistics Spring Wednesday Cognitive Development and Learning Spring Wednesday Personality and Social Psychology Spring Monday Social Development

5 Spring Tuesday Qualitative Data Analysis It is generally accepted that a 30 credit module requires 300 (notional) learning hours. These include preparation, contact hours, background reading, engagement in online discussion/activity, individual and group-based activity, self-directed study and tutorial time. The dissertation The 60-credit dissertation will be 10-12,000 words in length. It will involve a piece of empirical work investigating a research question of the student s choice. The teaching strategy involves small group tutorials, and individual supervision provided a member of the programme team, sometimes in collaboration with distinguished psychologists from neighbouring institutions. Assessment is by the submitted write up of the study. The module aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the research process including identifying a topic, conducting bibliographic research, identifying a significant question, formulating a project, obtaining ethical approval, negotiating a sample, conducting and analysing a study, debriefing participants, and writing up the results using current academic conventions It provides opportunities to develop, under supervision, skills of bibliographic research using electronic databases critical analysis and synthesis of research negotiation with members of the public conducting research with children data analysis academic writing Teaching and learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated We aim to offer a range of approaches to teaching and learning and to help students in developing theoretical and conceptual frameworks that enable them to understand and critique analyses of educational issues. The approaches used are lectures including guest speakers, student preparation of tasks and longer presentations, group work, discussion, computer workshops giving hands on practice, handouts and a resource pack of readings to support learning and communication between students and tutors. The development of key and transferable skills is supported through the tutor-student relationship, especially through comment on, and the annotation of, the students writing. Assessment The taught modules will be assessed by coursework and in the case of Core Topics in Psychology of Education by a two-hour unseen examination. Coursework can involve small exercises conducted throughout the module, critiques of set research articles and extended pieces of writing on set topics. In addition the 10-12,000 word dissertation will be assessed.

6 Participants must successfully complete all elements of the programme, to achieve the minimum credits required for the award. All coursework is assessed according to the grade-related criteria for the programme level, found in the programme handbook. All assignments are independently marked by two staff members, who meet to discuss and reconcile the marks and comments for each individual. Assignments are graded from A to D, with D being a failing grade. Participants are permitted to represent a failed assignment on one further occasion, within 12 months of the original submission. An external examiner is appointed by Senate and plays an important role in monitoring the quality of the programme and evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching and support provided for the programme participants and the reliability of the judgements made in assessing them. Further details about assessment regulations can be found at e_assessment_of_students.pdf Support for learning Programme participants have varied needs. The following support is provided: An induction day at the commencement of the programme informs participants of the programme content, methods and expectations, and introduces them to Student Support Services and Academic literacy sessions. Programme and module handbooks offer full guidance and advice on studying, writing and submitting both assignments and dissertations. The programme leader is available to advise all participants on academic matters, and to refer them to the support services available at IOE Formative feedback is provided on draft assignments to take forward to their final submission Peer support and networking is facilitated in the group by the use of VLE and collaborative projects. Access to the full range of welfare and union facilities is afforded to all Institute students Participants are all advised on the use of the library and information services, and of the Moodle VLE operating system. Methods for evaluating and improving the programme Internal mechanisms and committees are as follows. Mechanisms for review and evaluation of teaching, learning, assessment, the curriculum and outcome standards Module evaluation by students Annual programme review prepared by programme team and considered by the Departmental Quality and Teaching Academic Lead Periodic programme review and revalidation involving external panel member Programme accreditation by British Psychological Society Staff appraisal

7 Peer observation of teaching Visiting (external) examiner reports Committees with responsibility for monitoring and evaluating quality and standards Programme committee Institute Learning and Teaching Committee Institute Equal Opportunities Committee Senate Board of Examiners Mechanisms for gaining student feedback on the quality of teaching and their learning experience Student representation on programme committee Student representation on Academic Board, on the Teaching and Quality Committee and on the Equal Opportunities Committee Programme and module evaluation Annual student satisfaction survey Encouragement of informal approaches by individual or groups of students to the programme leader and other tutors and/or to the programme administrator Indicators of quality and standards Career development. Former programme participants have progressed to training as primary teachers, Clinical and Educational Psychologists, research degrees, university teaching and research posts Research. Several dissertations have been presented at national and international conferences, and published in academic journals. Participants have also used them as the basis for PhD research Evaluation. The report of the last Periodic Review commented very favourably on the curriculum, the accessibility and expertise of the staff, and the motivation and commitment of the students. Visiting Examiner reports compare the programme very favourably with other postgraduate psychology programmes. Date of completion/amendment of specification December 2014

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