Faculty of Education, Health and Sciences. PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION MSc Health Psychology (Online) Valid from September

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1 Faculty of Education, Health and Sciences PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION MSc Health Psychology (Online) Valid from September

2 CONTENTS SECTION ONE: GENERAL INFORMATION... 1 SECTION TWO: OVERVIEW AND PROGRAMME AIMS... 3 SECTION THREE: PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES... 4 SECTION FOUR: PROGRAMME STRUCTURE... 5 SECTION FIVE: PROGRAMME DELIVERY... 7 SECTION SIX: ADMISSIONS... 9 SECTION SEVEN: STUDENT SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE SECTION EIGHT: POST PROGRAMME OPPORTUNITIES SECTION NINE: EMPLOYER LINKS APPENDIX A: CURRICULUM MAP... 13

3 SECTION ONE: GENERAL INFORMATION Programme Title MSc Health Psychology Award Title and Interim Awards Final Awards MSc in Health Psychology MSc in Health Psychology Studies (for students without an accredited BSc (hons) Psychology degree) Interim Awards Postgraduate Certificate in Health Psychology Postgraduate Diploma in Health Psychology Postgraduate Certificate in Health Psychology Studies Postgraduate Diploma in Health Psychology Studies Mode of Study E-learning; MSc 1 year route or 2 year route Programme Start Date/Review Date Start date: September 2012 Period of validation: Indefinite Awarding Institution University of Derby Faculty Managing the Programme Education Health and Sciences Institution(s) Delivering the Programme University of Derby Relevant External Subject Benchmark Statements There are no specific Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) subject benchmark statements for Master s programmes in Psychology. However, the British Psychological Society (BPS) core curriculum for Stage One Qualifications in Health Psychology (Masters Programmes) forms the basis for the design of the programme. The full MSc programme has been mapped against the Division of Health Psychology Training Committee (DHPTC) revised curriculum (October 2008) to ensure the programme delivers the appropriate breadth of knowledge and skills. 1

4 The programme complies with the QAA framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Section 4: Qualification Descriptors, in that the descriptor for a higher education qualification at level 7: Master s degree, is met by all students completing the MSc stage. The programme also complies with the QAA code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education, Section 2: Collaborative Flexible and Distance Learning (including E-Learning), in that the precepts outlined in Part B (aspects specific to flexible and distributed learning) are met by adherence to University policies and procedures. External Accreditation/Recognition Accreditation has been sought from The British Psychological Society (BPS) for those students on the programme who have Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the BPS. JACS Code C841 Programme Specification Last Updated February

5 SECTION TWO: OVERVIEW AND PROGRAMME AIMS Overview Health psychology is a dynamic and evolving profession. The application of psychological theory to understanding the experience of health and illness is increasingly recognised as important for a wide range of health and social care professionals and this programme is designed for students who wish to access high quality health psychology education delivered by a team of experienced health psychologists. The University of Derby has offered an on-campus MSc in Health Psychology programme since September 2002, which is currently accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) until We are now offering a fully online e-learning programme which maps directly onto the on-campus provision and meets the requirements of the BPS Stage One Qualification in Health Psychology as part of the qualification for Full Membership of the Division of Health Psychology and Chartered Psychologist status. By mapping the on-campus provision directly onto the online e- learning provision we also hope to be able to offer students flexibility in their learning pathway; on-line students will have the opportunity to come onto campus for some of their learning and on-campus students will be able to study some of their modules on-line if they wish. The programme is suitable for UK psychology graduates who hold Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) and non-uk psychology graduates who are eligible for GBC and wish to become Chartered Psychologists or Practitioner Psychologists in the UK. The programme is also suitable for UK and non-uk psychology graduates who wish to undertake postgraduate training in psychology but do not wish to become Chartered Psychologists or Practitioner Psychologists in the UK or who are not eligible for GBC having followed a non-accredited undergraduate degree (e.g. Psychological Studies or a Psychology joint honours degree). Programme Aims This e-learning programme aims to provide students with an alternative mode of learning to on-campus provision. It has four key aims (which map onto the aims of the on-campus provision), which are to: Provide students with the skills to critically evaluate theories, findings and methods relevant to the field of health psychology. Provide students with the professional skills to work within multiprofessional health care contexts. Provide students with the necessary skills in order to design, conduct and analyse empirical psychological research in a health context. Provide students with a knowledge base that is necessary and sufficient for the academic component of the route to becoming a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and/or Practitioner Psychologist with the Health Professions Council. 3

6 SECTION THREE: PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES Knowledge and Understanding On successful completion of the programme students will have knowledge and understanding of: 1. The multidisciplinary context of teaching, research and consultancy 2. The ethical context of their work such that they can recognise the limits of their own competence and the range of applicability of the models and methods they are using. 3. The implications of working in a multicultural and multiracial society, and of equal opportunities legislation and practice 4. The social, political and organisational contexts in which psychologists work and the effect these have on service delivery. Intellectual skills On successful completion of the programme students will be able to:- 1. Analyse and interpret psychological evidence 2. Apply critical reasoning and evaluation 3. Identify and solve problems relevant to the field of health psychology. Subject-Specific Skills On successful completion of the programme students will be able to:- 1. Draw upon a broad range of psychological expertise based on academic knowledge, skills, and a range of qualitative and quantitative research skills, including the use of psychological models. 2. Make explicit links between the scientific and theoretical background to their work and its practical application, thereby developing a scholarly and critical approach to the scientific foundations of health psychology. 3. Use effective communication skills, both spoken and written, including the ability to disseminate psychological approaches to others as and when appropriate. 4. Plan a continuing extension and development of their own skills and knowledge base, in order to equip themselves to make a contribution to the development of psychological knowledge and their profession. 5. Undertake intensive study and research in their own area of specialism. 4

7 Transferable Skills On successful completion of the programme students will be able to:- 1. Communication effectively both in written and oral formats 2. Be competent in the application of number 3. Work productively with others 4. Be competent in the use of information technology 5. Effectively manage their own learning 6. Have competent problem solving skills 7. Have competent observation and listening skills SECTION FOUR: PROGRAMME STRUCTURE Structure and curriculum All modules are written, taught and assessed at Level 7. In order to obtain the Masters in Health Psychology, students must complete 180 credits by undertaking all 7 modules offered on the Programme. All modules are worth 20 credits and consist of 200 hours of study, apart from Research Project in Health Psychology, which is equivalent to 3 standard modules, is worth 60 credits and consists of 600 hours of study. There are no optional modules. Students can also graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Psychology if they wish, stepping off after successfully completing 3 standard modules (60 credits), or they could step off after successfully completing 6 standard modules (120 credits) and graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Psychology. Two year route students will study 1-2 modules per semester and will take the Research Project in Health Psychology module as a through module (September to July) in their second year. They also have the option to take their Research Project module in their third year as their only module. One year route students will study 3 modules per semester and will take their Research Project in Health Psychology module as a through module (September to July). All students will also have to complete a non-credit bearing enrolment induction module before starting their credit bearing modules. Prior to any formal engagement with module materials all students are required to engage with the induction programme through completing the relevant version of the induction module. New students New students will complete the enrolment and induction module enabling the programme team to ensure all students are correctly registered, have paid the appropriate fee and have full access to all materials. The induction module has been designed to ensure that all students understand what is required of them with respect to undertaking an online distance learning (ODL) programme, to check their PC and internet facilities are sufficiently powerful to support their engagement (as confirmed as part of their acceptance of a place), to ensure full access to module materials and supporting infrastructure and to introduce students to the generic aspects of the programme that they will require in order to be successful (e.g. generic level 7 assessment criteria, the postgraduate grading scale, subject-specific referencing protocols and guidelines). The induction module outlines the concept of PDP 5

8 (Personal Development Planning) and the focus of the PDP activities adopted within the programme. The induction module also introduces students to the programme team and the psychology subject area more broadly as well as providing an opportunity for students to meet each other in the online student forum. Students are also allocated to a personal tutor following successful enrolment. Returning part-time students Returning two year route students are only required to complete the initial units of the induction module to confirm payment of fees and access to materials. They should also make contact with their personal tutor at this point. The full induction programme is available to returning students should they want to revisit particular elements. Students who join the programme at this stage from other institutions though the credit transfer scheme or who have successfully applied for the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) will be required to complete the full induction in the same way as new students. Information Communication Technology (ICT) Skills A specific aim of the enrolment and induction module is to check that students have the necessary ICT skills to engage with the programme. Completion of the Enrolment and Induction Module will demonstrate that students have sufficient ICT skills to support their learning at a level that will enable them to succeed on the programme. Students who are not able to complete the Enrolment and Induction Module due to insufficient ICT skills will not be permitted to proceed and will be deregistered from the programme. Further details about the minimum ICT skills required is outlined in the Entry Requirements Section of this Programme Specification. A structure diagram for the Masters in Health Psychology Programme, with an example of the order of taught modules: Level 7 Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3 Enrolment and Induction (non credit bearing) 1 Psychology of Health and Illness 1 Advanced Quantitative Methods 1 MODULES Advanced Qualitative Methods 1 Health Promotion and Behaviour Change 2 Health Care in Long Term Conditions 2 Professional Skills in Health Psychology 2 Research Project in Health Psychology 2 1 Modules taken by two-year route students in their first year 2 Modules taken by two-year route students in the second year All modules are core for those wishing to graduate with an MSc in Health Psychology. 6

9 Personal Development Planning PDP is a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development. Within this programme the focus is firmly set on supporting students to develop the skills to link PDP with wider continuing professional development (CPD) and lifelong learning (LLL). PDP is introduced within the enrolment and induction module and through a bespoke collection of PDP activities that students can access throughout their registration on the programme. PDP activity is not formally assessed and attracts no programme credits, however, it is strongly recommended that students complete a range of appropriate activities and compile a portfolio in order to get the most out of the programme they are studying. The activities students complete as part of their PDP portfolio work will also be discussed in detail during personal tutorials and will be used as a basis for academic and career guidance discussions. In particular students will undertake a range of PDP activities as part of their Professional Skills in Health Psychology module and in study skills workshops provided across the programme. Support for identifying and planning appropriate PDP activities and for documenting development will be provided by personal tutors and the programme team more widely. In addition, module leaders will endeavour to highlight opportunities and activities embedded within the module materials that are designed specifically to support personal development and reflection and will offer suggestions about how individual students might incorporate such activities into their PDP portfolio. The full list of PDP activities and guidance on completing the PDP portfolio are detailed in the PDP Handbook. Each student s PDP portfolio, together with their transcript of achievement and final award, forms a permanent record of their progress and growth throughout their registration on the programme. SECTION FIVE: PROGRAMME DELIVERY The programme has been developed and is delivered by an experienced team of health psychologists and their colleagues within the Psychology subject area at the University of Derby (UoD). The psychology team at the UoD are one of the most experienced teams in the University, and within UK psychology more broadly, at developing and delivering high quality e-learning programmes. The UoD has the first and only BPS accredited e-learning undergraduate psychology honours degree. In addition, all staff who contribute to the delivery of this programme teach, or have taught, on our BPS accredited campus MSc Health Psychology programme. This combination of expertise and experience ensures that the current programme draws on the most up to date knowledge in relation to subject area and learning technologies. Learning and Teaching Methods The programme is delivered via the Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which sits within the University of Derby Online (UDo) provision. 7

10 Development of Knowledge and Understanding All modules offered on the programme are based on the standard 20 credit module, or multiples thereof, where 20 credits reflects 200 learning hours encompassing engagement with study materials, participation in interactive activities, directed reading, self-directed reading, reflection and preparation for assessment. The learning and teaching methods have been developed to introduce students to key health psychology theory and debates and to help students make the transition between theoretical knowledge and its application in practice. Development of Skills Transferable skills are embedded and developed within all modules taught on the Programme. Communication skills are developed via group discussions and are also assessed via oral presentations. Research methods modules develop students ability to work with numbers, solve problems and use IT. Problem solving is also assessed in case study work. Self-directed study and the ability to manage one s own learning are also promoted in each module, particularly for the Research Project in Health Psychology. Assessment The programme operates within the University s Postgraduate Regulatory Framework and conforms to its regulations on assessment. Students are also required to adhere to the British Psychological Society s code of ethics and maintain confidentiality at all times in assessed work. Failure to do so will result in a fail in that piece of work. The programme is assessed via 100% coursework. Assessments are matched to the individual module learning outcomes, which are derived from programme aims and programme learning outcomes. All modules will require critical reasoning and evaluation in order for students to pass learning outcomes. Given the design of the programme there are no group assessments, however students are encouraged to discuss their learning and assessment preparation with their peers on the programme. The majority of assessments require students to integrate and critically evaluate the knowledge and skills covered in each module with additional information and evidence they have identified using their research literacy skills. Knowledge and Understanding and Intellectual Skills are assessed through a range of techniques including traditional essays and case studies as well as more innovative assessments such as online oral presentations and intervention implementation plans. Effective communication of ideas, critical evaluation and synthesis of knowledge is an important criterion in assessing all areas of work at this level. Practical skills, including a range of methodological and analytical techniques, are assessed through the completion of practical reports to demonstrate competency across a range of areas. More advanced subject specific skills are assessed through the application of methodological knowledge for example through developing or critiquing research proposals and conducting independent scholarship. 8

11 Ethics All students are required to comply with research governance and ethics principles whilst undertaking their programme of study. This is of particular importance when conducting research involving other people. Information on these principles can be found on the University web site at In addition, students at the University of Derby within the subject area of psychology are required to adhere to the Ethical Principles for Conducting Research with Human Participants as outlined by the British Psychological Society (BPS). These are available to download from All students are required to gain ethical clearance for their independent scholarly activity, whichever form that takes, from the Psychology Research Ethics Committee. Full details of the ethics submission requirements for students on the programme are detailed in the Programme Handbook. Furthermore, different professional bodies and organisations have differing ethical procedures. Ethical procedures within the health service for example are particularly rigorous. Students must make sure they are aware of the particular ethical procedures that may pertain to environments in which they work and should plan to conduct only research which will also be approved by the appropriate bodies e.g. NHS Research and Development departments and/or local research ethics committees (LREC). Research involving clinical populations or those falling under the remit of NHS ethics will only be permitted if a student can demonstrate a pre-existing relationship with the population and/or service and has the support of the host organisation and clinical lead responsible for the service to undertake the research (including clinical needs assessments and audit). Students will be strongly advised to identify areas for investigation involving non-clinical populations due to the time frame for obtaining NHS ethics. The process for identifying appropriate and feasible areas in which to undertake independent scholarship are outlined above and in the Programme Handbook. Students who breach ethical or research governance guidelines will be automatically stopped from continuing with their research whilst the nature of the breach is investigated. Students who are deemed to have committed a serious breach of ethical practice will not be permitted to complete their research and will automatically fail the module. Depending on the nature of the breach students may or may not be permitted to redeem the failure. Any serious breach of ethics will be referred to the University Research Ethics Committee. SECTION SIX: ADMISSIONS Entry requirements Applicants will usually be required to have a 2:1 or first class honours degree in Psychology, which is recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and have Graduate Basis for Chartership with the BPS. A 2:2 honours degree in Psychology may be accepted if the applicant has relevant work experience or can demonstrate an ability to study at Level 7 through the completion of other post-graduate study. Applicants with a Joint Honours degree in Psychology or with an undergraduate degree that contains at least 60 credits of Psychology may also be considered. 9

12 Those students without a BPS accredited Psychology degree who successfully complete the course will graduate with the award title MSc in Health Psychology Studies. Applications for APL and APEL will also be considered under the regulations of the University of Derby. Applicants with overseas qualifications are strongly advised to establish the UK equivalence of their qualifications. Within this requirement, it will be important to ascertain the ability to speak and write using the English language. Due to the demands of postgraduate study a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) is required for entry to the programme for non-native English speakers. Before applying students may seek confirmation of equivalency by contacting the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) on , and writing to Oriel House, Oriel Road, Cheltenham, Glos. GL50 1XP. Evidence of equivalence (written verification) will be required on application for entry on this programme. A fee is payable for the NARIC service. Interviews Entry to the programme normally involves an interview with the programme leader, or nominated representative, to establish suitability for and commitment to the programme. For overseas students this will conducted over the telephone or by Skype if possible. Confirmation of access to Information Communication Technology (ICT) and ICT Skills Confirmation of access to ICT (a computer with word processing package and broadband internet connection) and ICT skills (ability to use a word processing package e.g. MS Word, navigate the internet and follow instructions to double click on links to launch applications) forms part of the entry requirements. All applicants offered a place on the programme are required to confirm they meet these minimum requirements as part of their acceptance of a place. Instruction in the use of specific University systems/applications and specialised packages (e.g. Adobe Reader, SPSS) are provided within the Induction and Enrolment or subsequent modules. Students who meet the minimum ICT and ICT skills should have no trouble using these systems/applications to support their learning. Further information on the range of resources utilised within the programme is outlined in Section 7: Student Support and Guidance of this Programme Specification. SECTION SEVEN: STUDENT SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE Providing appropriate support and guidance to students undertaking online distance learning is an important aspect of the programme. The programme leader, assisted by the programme management team, oversees all students enrolled on the programme to ensure their experience of and progression through the programme is optimal. A combination of programme and university level support is provided and students are strongly encouraged to make use of all the sources of support that are available to them, depending on their personal needs. The main sources of support and guidance are outlined below. Enrolment and Induction The programme contains a bespoke enrolment and induction module which is designed to support students in joining the programme, ensure they have a good introduction to the programme and the technology used to the deliver the programme. An important part of the induction process is to check that students PC 10

13 and internet facilities are sufficient to support their engagement with the programme. All students are required to confirm their PC and internet facilities meet the minimum specification required as part of their acceptance of an offer of a place. The enrolment and induction module includes a variety of exercises to check students can navigate their way around the learning environment (Blackboard), the University s online resources and can access all the learning technologies utilised within the programme. Early engagement identifies any immediate issues and promotes successful engagement. Another important element of the induction programme is allocation to a personal tutor. Students are required to make contact with their personal tutor using their university account, (Unimail) which will be activated during enrolment, to evidence the account is operational and to introduce themselves to their tutor. Completion of the enrolment and induction module is mandatory. Students who fail to complete the enrolment and induction module will be in breach of their learning contract and will be referred to the programme leader. Personal Tutors Every student is allocated a personal tutor. Students are advised to their personal tutor once a month to maintain contact and, where appropriate, provide a brief summary of progress. Students are also required to book in for at least one personal tutorial session per semester to review progress, discuss engagement with PDP and the development of their PDP portfolios. Further details about the role of personal tutors and tutorial arrangements can be found in the Programme Handbook. Module Leaders Module leaders provide support to students in relation to specific module materials and assessment. Students are advised to direct modules queries to individual module leaders via , telephone and via the module discussion boards. More general queries concerning academic matters should be directed to the programme leader or personal tutor. Student Representatives and Programme Committee Students on the programme are supported in raising any issues or concerns regarding the programme or broader University systems as well highlighting aspects of the programme that work particularly well through the student representatives. Student representatives report to the programme committee. As an e-learning programme, committee meetings are held virtually at scheduled dates throughout the year. Students from each cohort are invited to act as student representatives. An overview of the role of student representative and the election of student representatives for each cohort forms part of the enrolment and induction process. University of Derby Online (UDo) As an e-learning programme all the study materials and supporting infra-structure are accessed via the internet and the University s intranet (UDo). Students can check and update their personal details, view their enrolment status and grades via the personalised MyUDo link; are able to access their programme area and module web pages (housed in Blackboard) via the course resources link; and can link to ATHENS and the library via the study resources link. UDo also has a communication area through which students can access Unimail services. Students are introduced to the UDo facilities as part of the enrolment and induction module. Learning Centre and Digital Library E-learning students are able to borrow a range of materials from across all the University s learning centre sites through registration with the InFocus team. The University also holds a large number of electronic journals which are available to students via ATHENS. 11

14 Student Support Services University central Student Support Services offer a range of general, specialist and professional support services for students as detailed in the Programme Handbook. Students declaring a disability will be treated in accordance with the University Equal Opportunities Policy which aims to develop an awareness of the needs of individual students to enable them to participate fully in their programme of study. Equality and Diversity The University of Derby is committed to providing a learning community and environment in which the rights and dignity of all its members are respected and which is free from unfair discrimination, prejudice, intimidation and all forms of harassment including bullying. This commitment is encapsulated in the University s values and is central to our beliefs. This link provides further information about the University s commitment to equality and diversity which can be found in the University s Equality and Diversity Policy. SECTION EIGHT: POST PROGRAMME OPPORTUNITIES The programme supports progression in terms of further qualifications and employment. The PDP element of the programme has a clear focus on CPD and on developing independent active learners. Students are encouraged to think about how their current learning fits in to their short, mid and long term plans. Evidence suggests that postgraduate education often leads to increased career opportunities as a result of developing knowledge, skills and confidence in ones own abilities. Subject to the successful accreditation of the programme as fulfilling the requirements for the Stage One Qualification in Health Psychology, students will be eligible to proceed onto one of the BPS/HPC accredited Stage Two programmes to fulfil their training to be a Chartered Psychologist (if they hold Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society) or to be a Practitioner Psychologist (registered with the Health Professions Council). Post-programme academic and career advice will be provided to graduates of the programme through continued contact with the programme leader or personal tutors. A cohort list will also facilitate the dissemination of post programme opportunities. SECTION NINE: EMPLOYER LINKS The programme content has been developed to ensure that graduates of the programme have an up-to-date understanding of the role of psychological theory, research and methodology in the context of health, illness and healthcare delivery as well as developing a range of transferable skills. Career development is a central focus of the programme, as set out in the aims and objectives of the course and our course philosophy. In order to help students decide on a career pathway, and to facilitate employer links, modules will incorporate podcasts from guest speakers across a variety of health psychology careers, for example working within the NHS, mental health, teaching, research and consultancy. 12

15 Appendix A: Curriculum Map Programme Learning Outcomes Programme coverage in modules Knowledge and Understanding HCLC H&I HPBC PS AQlM AQtM RPHP The multidisciplinary context of teaching, research and consultancy The ethical context of their work such that they can recognise the limits of their own competence and the range of applicability of the models and methods they are using. The implications of working in a multicultural and multiracial society, and of equal opportunities legislation and practice The social, political and organisational contexts in which psychologists work and the effect these have on service delivery. Intellectual Skills Analyse and interpret psychological evidence Apply critical reasoning and evaluation Identify and solve problems relevant to the field of health psychology. Subject Specific Skills Draw upon a broad range of psychological expertise based on academic knowledge, skills, and a range of qualitative and quantitative research skills, including the use of psychological models. 13

16 HCLC H&I HPBC PS AQlM AQtM RPHP Make explicit links between the scientific and theoretical background to their work and its practical application, thereby developing a scholarly and critical approach to the scientific foundations of health psychology. Use effective communication skills, both spoken and written, including the ability to disseminate psychological approaches to others as and when appropriate. Plan a continuing extension and development of their own skills and knowledge base, in order to equip themselves to make a contribution to the development of psychological knowledge and their profession. Undertake intensive study and research in their own area of specialism. Transferable Skills Communication effectively both in written and oral formats Be competent in the application of number Work productively with others Be competent in the use of information technology 1. Effectively manage their own learning Have competent problem solving skills Have competent observation and listening skills 14

17 HCLC: Health Care in Long Term Conditions H&I: Health and Illness in Health Psychology HPBC: Health Promotion and Behaviour Change PS: Professional Skills in Health Psychology AQlM: Advanced Qualitative Methods AQtM: Advanced Quantitative Methods RPHP: Research Project in Health Psychology 15

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