1 154 COURSE OR HONOURS SUBJECT TITLE: PgDip / MSc in Health Psychology (with PGCert exit award) 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. More detailed information on the specific learning outcomes, content and the learning, teaching and assessment methods of each module can be found in the course handbook and module descriptions of individual modules. 1 AWARD INSTITUTION/BODY: University of Ulster 2 TEACHING INSTITUTION: University of Ulster 3 LOCATION: Distance Learning 4 ACCREDITED BY: British Psychological Society 5 FINAL AWARD: MSc (with PgCert/PgDip exit awards) in Health Psychology 6 MODE OF ATTENDANCE: 1 year Full-time/2 years Part-time 7 SPECIALISMS: None 8 COURSE/UCAS CODE:6355/ DATE WRITTEN/REVISED: Effective from 2011/12 10 EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE COURSE The overarching aim of the programme is to provide students with stage 1 in the process of becoming a Registered Health Psychologist and in so doing, to provide them with competencies in applying psychology professionally and ethically to health, illness and health care. This broad aim is explicated more fully in the more specific aims set out below: The development / consolidation of a sound understanding of common theoretical concepts, themes and issues that link theory and practice in the application of psychology to health, illness and health care. Provision of a thorough grounding in the body of knowledge that comprises the areas of psychology applied to health, illness and health care. The development of a scholarly, analytic and critical approach to the body of knowledge and scientific foundations of health psychology. The development / consolidation of skills, competencies and a broad range of expertise in the techniques appropriate to research in the areas of health psychology. The development / consolidation of skills, competencies and expertise in techniques appropriate to the application of psychology to the areas of health, illness and health care. The facilitation of a critical and self-reflective awareness of the ethical concerns and implications of applying psychology to the areas of health, illness and health care. The development of a critical and self-reflective awareness of implications, problems and issues pertaining to the social, cultural, organisational and political context within which psychology is applied to health, illness and health care. The enhancement of student self-development through the acquisition and consolidation of skills, competencies and self knowledge which enhances their potential to contribute to the development of psychological knowledge and the profession of health psychologist. The development of skills and competencies in communication and assessment in terms of research and practice in health psychology.
2 MAIN LEARNING OUTCOMES The following reference points were used to inform the development of the programme and its learning outcomes: the University s Vision and core strategic aims, teaching and learning strategy and policies; current research or other advanced scholarship carried out by academic staff; subject benchmark statement Psychology; requirements of the British Psychological Society; occupational standards in terms of stage 1 training in Health Psychology (BPS DHP); national and University qualifications and credit frameworks; relevant European or international reference points. In line with the European Diploma in Applied Psychology; The exit award of PgCert is provided for those students who only succeed in completing two taught modules after options for resubmission have been exhausted. This means that a PgCert could be awarded for the combination of any two modules. Students are expected to meet the learning outcomes for the programme that are related to each module in order to pass that module. All learning outcomes are set at level 7 hence it is not possible to distinguish between modules in terms of the level of learning outcomes. The course provides opportunities for students to achieve and demonstrate the following learning: 11K KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF SUBJECT Successful students will be able to: K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 Critically discuss the complex interface between theory and practice in applying psychology to health, illness and health care. Critically discuss the diverse theoretical perspectives that inform the application of psychology to health, illness and health care. Critically discuss the key theoretical perspectives in explaining health, illness and the health care process. Describe in detail the range of measurement techniques, methodologies and analytical procedures used in research in health psychology. Critically evaluate a range of techniques and perspectives utilised in applying psychology to health, illness and health care. Critically discuss the ethics and issues involved in applying psychology to health, illness and health care. Critically discuss the ethics and issues involved in research in psychology applied to health, illness and health care. Describe the role of the health psychologist and its social, cultural, political and organisational context. Teaching and Learning Methods: Theoretical material is introduced through online lectures, and developed and reinforced through directed reading. Required reading for distance learning students is made available in electronic format, with the exception of a small number of text books which they are expected to purchase. Students are encouraged to use the WebCT communication tools available (e.g. the discussion board and chat rooms) to reinforce their learning and to generate a sense of community, provide mutual support and to seek advice on specific issues from the lecturers. Distance learning students are also free to communicate with lecturers by and phone. Assessment Methods: Assessment methods for these learning outcomes consist of a mix of regular self assessment exercises, essays, research reports, critical reviews and examinations.
3 156 11I INTELLECTUAL QUALITIES Successful students will be able to: I1 I2 I3 I4 I5 Critically evaluate theory and method in psychology Display self-reflective awareness Integrate complex ideas and concepts Analyse information Formulate hypothesis and draw effective and justified conclusions Teaching and Learning Methods: These outcomes are developed through online lectures, online discussion and coursework and projects. Assessment Methods: Assessment methods for these learning outcomes consist of a mix of regular self assessment exercises, essays, research reports, critical reviews, and examinations. 11P PROFESSIONAL/PRACTICAL SKILLS Successful students will be able to: P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 Identify the techniques appropriate to research in psychology applied to health, illness and health care Identify the techniques appropriate to the assessment of psychological factors relevant to health, illness and health care behaviours Communicate research results, theoretical concepts and psychological approaches in written format Critically evaluate theories, concepts and issues in psychology applied to health, illness and health care Relate theory to practice Apply psychology with sensitivity and integrity Teaching and Learning Methods: Online lectures, practicals, directed reading and tutorial support is provided. Building on this material, the above set of learning outcomes is fostered primarily through the preparation of assignments for which assessment criteria and guidance is provided in module outlines and assignment handbooks. Electronic feedback is provided to help define and correct problems and identify and confirm good practice. Assessment Methods: Assessment methods for these learning outcomes consist of a mix of essays, research reports, critical reviews, and examinations.
4 157 11T TRANSFERABLE SKILLS Successful students will be able to: T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 Work independently Work with others in group activities Design, analyse and report research Use IT resources effectively to retrieve and organise information Balance varying demands on time to deliver required assessment on time Present visually or in writing Teaching and Learning Methods: Online lectures and personal study are the media for passing information to students. Practical skills are developed through preparation of assignments and via critical appraisal and feedback on those assignments to help improve skills. Assessment Methods: Assessment methods for these learning outcomes consist of a mix of essays, research reports, critical reviews and examinations.
5 PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOME MAP Please Note: The matrix displays only the measurable programme outcomes and where these are developed and assessed within the modules offered in the programme MODULE OUTCOMES TITLES LEVEL CODE K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 I1 I2 I3 I4 I5 P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 CPHP 7 PSY856 SCFP 7 PSY855 MAHP 7 PSY858 MIRP 7 PSY857 Dissertation 7 PSY859 KEY TO MODULES: CPHP = Contexts and Perspectives in Health Psychology; SCFP = Social, Cultural, and Family Perspectives in Health Psychology; MAHP = Models and Applications in Health Psychology; MIRP = Methods and Issues in Research and Practice
6 STRUCTURE AND REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD The course is an MSc in Health Psychology which offers exit options at the PG Certificate (60 Credits) and PG Diploma (120 credits) levels. The MSc is delivered by distance learning and is open to applications from psychology graduates with a minimum of a lower second class degree which provides the Graduate Basis for Chartership with the BPS. The course is across campus collaboration and is supported by a core team of 4 Registered Health Psychologists and other colleagues within the School of Psychology. The table below shows the academic progression and internal coherence of the programmes. All modules are compulsory and details together with their corresponding credit levels are listed below: The language of instruction is English Module Title Credit Level Credit Points Module Status Awards [compulsory/optional] CPHP 7 30 Compulsory MIRP 7 30 Compulsory PgCert SCFP 7 30 Compulsory MAHP 7 30 Compulsory PgDip Dissertation 7 60 Compulsory MSc CPHP = Contexts and Perspectives in Health Psychology MIRP = Methods and Issues in Research and Practice SCFP = Social, Cultural, and Family Perspectives in Health Psychology MAHP = Models and Applications in Health Psychology 13 SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS AND THEIR LEARNING Students and their learning are supported in a number of ways: Comprehensive induction is provided at the commencement of the course. New students complete an online induction session in advance of the start of semester in order to introduce them to the WebCT online learning environment. This induction material has been developed by elearning at Ulster. A dedicated Course Student Support Area in WebCT is made available to all students throughout their time of study. All students and staff involved with the course have access to this area. Information provided includes the student handbook, marking criteria, teaching calendar, assessment schedule, academic and administrative staff contact details, example library searches, self help tutorials for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, research module project description and past examples, conferences and jobs, specific example library searches, library induction and links to the online enrolment, finance, PDP, student records and graduation websites. Dedicated discussion boards in the student support area in WebCT are available to discuss library issues, technical difficulties and general intellectual discussion on the subject area. This area also acts as a Staff-Student consultative arena.
7 160 Students are provided with a welcome document for each module in week one and are required to participate in activities designed to help them to get to know each other and to familiarise themselves with the online environment. Module Coordinators assume full responsibility for the overall running of their module (s) and operate within the policy laid down by the School. As such, Module Coordinators oversee the process of responding to academic-related enquiries. An E-tutor is assigned to each module and on the first day of term, makes contact with all students enrolled. The E-tutor is not responsible for any academic duties on the course, but acts as a contact point Monday to Friday to help students with technical issues and provide support in the absence of immediate academic response. E-tutors are current PhD students employed from within the School of Psychology. Each student on the programme is allocated to a Studies Adviser. The role of the Studies Adviser is to provide the point of contact for students, and to provide support and guidance on both academic and non-academic matters that are relevant to the student s progress on the programme, to monitor the progress of the tutee, and generally provide advice on aspects of the programme which need additional clarification. Each student is allocated a supervisor for their dissertation. The dissertation supervisor is responsible for guidance and supervision of the process of carrying out the dissertation in accordance with the guidelines for supervision laid down by the Programme Board. Students are able to contact the Course Director, Module Coordinators, lecturing staff, administration staff, elearning at Ulster technical staff and E-tutors by telephone, WebCT, , post or in person. Detailed formative feedback is provided for all coursework assessments. University-wide resources are available e.g. Personal Development Planning, Careers Office, Information Services Department, Student Support Department, Sport and Recreation Department, International Office, Students Union, Chaplaincy. The Students Union provides, where appropriate, financial support and legal advice. 14 CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION Applicants must hold a relevant degree (with at least 2ii Honours standard) which provides the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the BPS or equivalent or demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning..
8 EVALUATING AND IMPROVING THE QUALITY AND STANDARD OF TEACHING AND LEARNING The Course Director assumes overall responsibility for ensuring that the systems for monitoring and evaluation of the quality of the programme operate effectively. The systems of monitoring and evaluation operate to inform the programme team's decision-making and planning, with the ultimate aim of ensuring that the student experience is a positive one. Continuous monitoring allows the identification of problem areas and allows proactive intervention to redress the problems and to ensure they don't reoccur. Included in the monitoring and evaluation process are; programme content; effectiveness of teaching strategies; effectiveness and fairness of assessment procedures; the quality of the staffstudent relationship, and the operation of mechanisms for student involvement in the decision-making process. Programme evaluation operates within the terms of the University academic regulations. The Course Director, together with the course team, is responsible for ensuring that quality assurance procedures are carried out in accordance with the University s requirements. A range of monitoring and evaluation activities, both formal and informal, are employed to enable the team to determine whether the quality of the provision in terms of appropriateness of programme content and the effectiveness of learning and teaching strategies is maintained. These activities also serve as a means of identifying and rectifying shortcomings, and of enhancing quality. The range of activities in operation includes the following: Students give frequent feedback (via the Discussion Board, or telephone), particularly in the early stages of the course, on the learning environment, including the WebCT platform, delivery of lecture and practical materials, access to directed reading and other online library resources and any technical problems. Student views on teaching quality, content, assessment and so on are sought for each module using electronic module evaluation forms which are given at the end of every DL module in WebCT. These electronic module evaluation forms are anonymous. The external examiner is invited to visit the University once or twice per year to evaluate the course provision, assure standards and attend exam board meetings. The external examiner is also given access to the distance learning modules on WebCT (including the discussion board) to evaluate aspects such as the online course provision, communication tools, student participation and student views. Feedback from students and the external examiner, together with an analysis of student performance, is incorporated into the Programme Management System and contributes to course development. The course is revalidated as part of a five year cycle of revalidation by the University of Ulster Staff appraisal is carried out on a 2 year cycle with attention given to the development needs of the individual staff member. At school and faculty levels there are active Learning & Teaching Committees responsible for coordinating developments and initiatives relating to innovative methods of delivery, technology mediated learning, as well as general resource issues. In addition, these committees are responsible for regulating faculty codes of practice relating to course management and delivery. Views of employers will be sought on a regular basis.
9 162 Staff participate in the University s peer review scheme and a number of enhancements to teaching have been made through this process. 16 REGULATION OF STANDARDS Assessment Rules These conform to the guidelines set out in the University Assessment Handbook and in summary: The pass mark for the course and modules is 50%. PgCert: pass in any 2 of the 4 taught modules. PgDip: pass in all four taught modules. PgDip with Distinction: an overall average of 70% or more. Masters: pass in all four taught modules and pass in Masters Dissertation module. Masters with Distinction: an overall average of 70% or more in all modules and achieved over 70% in the dissertation module. External examiners External examiners are academic subject or professional experts appointed from outside the University. Their key functions are to contribute to the assurance of the standards of the award and the fair treatment of students. They are involved in the moderation and approval of assessments and the moderation of the marking undertaken by internal examiners. It may be necessary in the future to have more than one external examiner but initially the programme has started with one. The role of the external examiner is to ensure that the assessment process operates equitably, that the assessment process operates fairly and equitably for all students and that the standard of University awards is maintained.
10 INDICATORS OF QUALITY RELATING TO TEACHING AND LEARNING Accreditation for the programme has been granted from the BPS as per their Postgraduate Accreditation procedure. Four members of staff are Registered Health Psychologists. Two members of the teaching staff are accredited Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. Newly appointed members of staff complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice (PGCHEP). Outcomes from QAA Subject Review: 2000 Psychology rated "Excellent". Several members of staff are founding members of the Division of Health Psychology, Northern Ireland; one is currently Chair of this Committee, one is Secretary and one is Treasurer. One member of the team is an HPC visitor for Health Psychology and Stage 2 BPS assessor for the independent route. She is also currently Chair of the BPS DHP Training Committee and another member of staff is a member of the same committee. Some team members are also involved with the PSI DHP and NIBPS Committees. Teaching staff are also involved in external examining duties for PhDs and taught programmes in Health Psychology at other institutions. All teaching staff are members of the Psychology Research Institute. The Research Assessment Exercise of 2008 showed that The School of Psychology submission had an overall profile of: 5% at 4* (world leading in terms of originality, significance, and rigour), 20% at 3* (internationally excellent), 45% at 2* (internationally recognised) and 30% at 1* (nationally recognised). Research active members of staff helped to secure 3.26 million to fund health related research programmes during the last RAE period. This level of activity ensures that teaching is delivered by lecturers at the forefront of research advances within the subject area.