UNIVERSITY OF LONDON LEARNING TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT SUB-COMMITTEE

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1 LTAS 7/5 UNIVERSITY OF LONDON LEARNING TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT SUB-COMMITTEE BSc (Hons) Psychology The University of London International Academy is planning to launch a BSc Psychology in January The programme will be for online learning and has been developed with three lead colleges of the University of London: Royal Holloway, Birkbeck and Goldsmiths. The academic approval event for the programme took place on 16 April The Chair of the scrutiny panel was Professor Paul Webley, Director of SOAS and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of London. The two further panel members were External Subject Specialists from City University and the University of Leeds. Senior management, Programme team members, module authors and Quality Managers from across all the development partners were invited to take part in the discussion with the panel. The panel addressed the following in their conclusions and recommendations: academic coherence, programme structure and the student learning experience. Owing to the proximity of the approval event with the deadline for papers, this report will be tabled at the meeting on 26 April The Psychology Programme Leader will be present to give an account of the approval event. The full set of papers presented for the approval event have been included for reference. Required Action: Members of the Sub-Committee are asked to note and endorse the recommendation of the approval panel which is to recommend approval of the proposal to the Academic Committee, subject to any specified minor amendments. Academic Development Directorate, April 2012

2 LTAS 7/5.1 UNIVERSITY OF LONDON INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMMES BSC PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAMME APPROVAL EVENT 16 April 2012 ( ) Court Room, first floor, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU (Map: PANEL MEMBERS Chair: Professor Paul Webley, Director of SOAS, University of London External subject specialists: Professor Gary Morgan, Professor of Psychology, Assistant Associate Dean (Research), City University London Dr Catriona Morrison, Senior Lecturer in Experimental Psychology, Director of Learning and Teaching, University of Leeds PROGRAMME TEAM AND OTHER ATTENDEES Representation from across all partners in this development will be present the three Lead Colleges of the University of London and the University of London International Academy Senior management members Programme team members Quality representatives UoLIA Online librarian Programme Leader: Dr Roz Dixon Secretary: Judith Collier (Policy and Development Manager, UoLIA) AGENDA AND SUGGESTED TIMINGS Pre meeting of the panel Questions to senior management Questions for the programme team Private meeting of the panel Feedback

3 DOCUMENTATION LTAS 7/5.1 A detailed programme specification (which includes a draft set of programme regulations) Indicative syllabi (which include the College Lead, the team members, the related awards, the College validation details). Business plan (excluding detailed financial breakdown) this is the key document for submitting for financial approval of the proposal but it has been included here as amongst other details it provides the rationale for the programme, the timeline for the development and the detailed market research. It also shows how these initial awards fit into the 10 year development of a suite of new Psychology awards. OUTLINE OF THE EVENT This event is to approve the following named awards: BSc (Hons) Psychology Graduate Diploma Psychology DipHE Psychology CertHE Psychology. The panel is requested to consider the following aspects of the programme as part of its discussion, conclusions and recommendations: Academic Coherence with particular reference to the following from the QAA code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education: The design principles underpinning the programme The definition and appropriateness of standard in accordance with the level and title of the award Programme Structure with particular reference to the following from the QAA code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education: The contents of the programme specification The development of the programme between its approval and start Learning Experience with particular reference to the following from the QAA code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education: The necessary resources to support the programme The nature of the learning opportunities offered by the programme 2

4 LTAS 7/5.2 University of London International Programmes BSc Psychology Business Plan EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Psychology has grown to be one of the top five most popular degree choices for students in the UK (HESA 2010/2011 statistics). Coupled with very strong indications of demand overseas, a request was issued to those University of London Colleges offering undergraduate degrees in Psychology to express an interest in developing a Psychology degree for the University of London International Programmes. The proposals received from the three Colleges, Goldsmiths, Birkbeck and Royal Holloway, revealed the different strengths of each of the departments and how each would approach the development. The possibility of combining their skills, expertise and reputations led to the development of a consortium approach. A strongly supportive distance learning model has been developed for this programme and a fee proposed at a highly competitive level both for the UK and International markets. Both provide strong drivers for the development of this scheme. Market research undertaken by the International Academy confirms the scheme s potential. Based on a mid range forecast the programme is estimated to break even in year 5, with an estimated 3000 student numbers at the end of year 10. A return of 3 million cash surplus is projected over 10 years (after direct and indirect costs and all investment funds are accounted for) The forecast is based on initially modest student numbers of independent learners in years 1 and 2 prior to full accreditation of the programme and the potential launch with targeted institutions from year 5. At the earliest opportunity during the 2012/13 academic year, the programme team is planning to seek accreditation from the British Psychological Society and requirements for this have been anticipated in the design and resourcing of the programme. The forecast does not include additional students from future development of the combined degree scheme, which is planned to include the linkage of psychology to other subject major/minor pathways. On a more pessimistic forecast, with a slower growth in student numbers (reaching less than 2000 by year 10), the break even point is estimated to be in year 7 and all costs and investment are recovered in year 10. Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

5 OBJECTIVES LTAS 7/5.2 To support the International Academy in achieving the following respects of its strategic plan: to provide worldwide access to the internationally renowned programmes and awards of the University of London and its Colleges; to deliver a portfolio of intellectually challenging and accessible programmes that is sustainable, balanced and responds to student needs. to expand provision at undergraduate level beyond the EMFSS suite, Law and the smaller (older) programmes; to expand the UK UG market BA/BSc Psychology is one of the most popular degrees in UK (in the top five for the number of applications received in 2011 through UCAS) 1. To support the departments of psychology at the lead colleges to: expand engagement with University of London International Academy both internationally and in the UK; engage with the distance learning market; attract additional students and a further income stream without affecting the on campus enrolments. STAKEHOLDERS The main stakeholders in this development are the University of London International Academy, and the three Colleges of the University which make up the consortium partnership. Birkbeck College is among the top 150 Universities in the world. The Department of Psychological Sciences achieved a 96% student satisfaction rating in the last National Student Survey and was 5th in the UK in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. The Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths was ranked 24th of 75 in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), with 50% of its research judged as internationally excellent or world leading. In the 2011 National Student Survey Psychology at Goldsmiths was ranked 20th of 110 departments for teaching satisfaction. The Department has been acknowledged as one of the top Psychology departments in the world (placed between 101 and 150th in the table of QS World University Rankings) and in the UK top 20 overall. The Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway is an international centre for excellence for teaching and research, ranked 6th in the National Student Survey. The Department of Psychology supports a thriving research culture, and was ranked 7th out 75 among UK psychology departments 1 Law, Business and Management are regularly in the top six degree subjects in the UK, as is Psychology. The University of London International Programmes in Law, Business, Management, Finance and Accounting attract many students and are very successful. There is every reason to believe that a joint development that pulls together the experience and expertise of the International Academy in providing distance learning degrees with the subject expertise of the lead colleges will be equally successful. Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

6 LTAS 7/5.2 in the 2008 RAE. Royal Holloway is listed as being in the top 150 Universities in the world (107 th in the THES world rankings). There is potential for additional stakeholders in the future with the development of the programme. These are likely to include: Existing programmes in the University of London International Programmes combined degrees framework who will become partner programmes; University of London International Programmes alumni; Third party institutions which might potentially provide face to face support for learners where appropriate (these may be existing or new Institutions which may be overseas or institutions in the UK). MARKET ANALYSIS TRENDS There is clear evidence of the continued growth in transnational education (TNE) both in student numbers and in the number of providers like the University of London International Programmes offering a range of UK awards. According to HESA 2 data, in 2010/11, 503,795 students were studying for UK qualifications without coming to the UK. For example they were studying through distance learning or attending an overseas campus of a UK university. This was an increase of almost 100,000 in comparison to the previous year. The majority were students taking first degrees and studying outside the EU. Clearly the market for the programmes offered by the University of London International Programmes to students studying abroad would seem to be growing. The Online Learning Task Force produced its report 3 in 2011 and concluded that the international market for online learning is large and continues to grow and offers a great many opportunities for UK universities. Such opportunities are not limited to international students who want to study for a UK award but include the possibility for growth in online and more flexible patterns of provision which combine UK and home country study; online, blended and on campus UK experience. As more distance learning options become available, students are able to fit studying around their work, continue to earn an income which also makes them more self reliant and able to fund their own studies. The increase in tuition fees in the UK provides an opportunity to flexible programmes with a cost effective model as an alternative means for students aspiring to a first degree from a reputable awarding body. There is greater acceptability of online and distance learning as it has become more mainstream and often forming part of on campus study provision. Changes to visa rules for students are making it more difficult for people who would have come to the UK to study. Such students may consider online/distance learning for the same or similar awards if they are viewed as acceptable. 2 [data for 2011/12 should be available soon] 3 The Online Learning Task Force was established in mid 2009 by HEFCE to address how UK higher education might maintain and extend its position as a world leader in online learning. Link to report Collaborate to compete: Seizing the opportunity of online learning for UK higher education Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

7 LTAS 7/5.2 Psychology is one of the popular subjects to be taken as a second undergraduate degree, especially for people who are retraining. PROFILING STUDENTS AND MARKET SEGMENTS Existing market: the International Programme 4 A survey of alumni, current students and visitors to the International Programmes website began collecting data in September By February , it had been completed by 1450 respondents. Prospective students 373 respondents were considering enrolling on an undergraduate degree: o The majority [73%] were 40 years of age or younger [22% were under 25 yrs], and there were an equal number of men and women. o Approximately half were living in Western Continental Europe 6, north America and Asia: - UK [13%: 48 respondents]; - US [7%]; - Hong Kong [6%]; - Singapore [5%]; - Malaysia [4%]; - Ireland [4%]; - Pakistan [4%]; - Germany [3%]; - France [3%]; - Greece [3%]. o Just over half [56%] were already graduates: - 32% had undergraduate degrees - 24% had masters degrees. o The highest qualifications of 26% of respondents were A levels. o When asked what attracted them to the University of London International Programmes, the most often cited reason was that programmes could be taken via distance learning [75%]. Gaining an internationally recognised qualification [61%] and the reputation of the university [59%] were the next most common reasons. o The majority of respondents were in work [57% full time; 18% part time]. There was a fairly even spread across employment sectors, the exception being that 24% were in education, teaching and lecturing. o The majority [73%] were hoping to gain employment in a different field of work within the next 5 years: - 35% wanted to work in counselling / social and guidance services; - 15% wanted to work in education; 4 The existing International Programmes student body will be particularly important in the first few years of the programme. 5 90% answered all questions in the survey. 6 Many of these students noted that they wanted to study in English and it is likely that some of these enquirers were expatriates. They were likely to be working in teaching and also business. Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

8 o o o o - 13% wanted to work in health. LTAS 7/5.2 Approximately three quarters [70%] also expressed interest in becoming professional psychologists. Half [51%] said they would choose to take a single honours degree, a third [32%] a major in psychology] and 11% a joint honours in Psychology. When asked to indicate which other subjects they would also like to study 7 the most popular were: - education [32%]; - sociology [32%]; - philosophy [30%]; - international relations [23%]; - law [22%]; - HR [21%]. Through the International Programmes combined degree scheme psychology will be offered with philosophy in the first phase of development and further work will be undertaken to establish a potential major psychology pathway with education. 62% were planning to study part time with a further 12% unsure whether they would be studying full time or part time. NB The average time taken to complete a degree through the International Programmes is 5 years, while the median time taken to complete the honours degree in psychology at the OU in 2010 was 5.8 years. 53% felt their degree needed to be accredited by the British Psychological Society. A follow up survey 8 with these students in December 2011 found that: o Approximately half of these potential students would be deterred from enrolling if the degree was not accredited from the outset even if the application for accreditation were made in time for the graduation of the first cohort [27% felt they would be deterred a lot, 26% a little]. Only one third [36% 40 respondents] did not think they would be at all deterred by lack of accreditation at the launch of the programme. o 65 respondents were very interested in enrolling for the 2012/13 intake, while 35 were fairly interested. NB Market testing fees: The question of fees was addressed in the follow up survey to prospective students [n=116]. Five bands of fees were offered and respondents were asked to indicate the fees they felt would represent good value. Of those who answered [n=110] 51% identified the lowest band [ 4 6,000] as good value and 19% identified the next band [ 6 9,000]. Few prospective students identified fees over 9,000 as good value [15%]. An additional question about fees was added to the initial survey completed by students visiting the IAUOL website. Respondents were presented randomly with one of three fees [ 6,250, 7,495 and 8,125] and asked how willing they would be to pay the fee. Responses at the time of writing [n=80] suggest a programme fee of 6,250 may be least risky: 47% of respondents were either very willing or quite willing to pay this fee and only 13% were either quite unwilling or very unwilling to pay it. Slightly more respondents indicated willingness to pay a programme fee of 7,495 [52%] but 26% were unwilling. 7 Respondents could choose as many subjects as they liked people completed the follow up survey. Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

9 LTAS 7/5.2 This programme will provide students with explicit online tuition to support their study which is factored into the fee. It will be important to balance the risks of too high an initial fee reducing initial numbers with the risk of setting too low a fee which may subsequently be difficult to increase above inflationary rates. Alumni and current students Students studying on other International Programmes will be important in achieving target FTEs on the new psychology programme. These students may wish to take electives, combined programmes or graduate awards. Consequently, the responses from 726 alumni and current students are also of note. o Approximately one third of these respondents [34%] were associated with the economics, management, finance and social sciences programme, and one third [30%] with law. Note, these programmes are not joining the combined degree scheme in the first phase of development. 15% were associated with computing and 12% with philosophy, who are joining the scheme. o In total, 78% thought they would have chosen to study some psychology at undergraduate level had it been available. One quarter [24%] thought they would have taken one or more electives in psychology and just over a quarter [28%] that they would have taken a minor. 14% thought they would have taken a joint degree. Only 4% would have wanted to major in psychology. o 41% studied through local teaching institutions. o The aspects of psychology identified as of most interest to these students were largely the same as for the prospective students [i.e. core subjects within the undergraduate syllabus such as social psychology and personality psychology]. However, there were some differences in relation to the applied aspects of psychology. For prospective students most popular were educational, organisational, health and business psychology, whereas for current students and alumni, the most popular areas were business, organisational and forensic psychology. o There was significant interest in postgraduate study in psychology: - 29% of alumni and current students expressed a definite interest; - 41% indicated potential interest. This is an aspect for future consideration after launch of the undergraduate programme and is consistent with the development of a graduate diploma award. Working with existing partners In autumn 2011 questionnaires were sent to four institutions offering a broad range of programmes and may offer psychology or be interested in offering psychology. These four institutions were in the following major markets for International Programmes: Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Trinidad. In summary, research with existing partners suggests: o Although there is demand for degrees in psychology it is less than for business/law degrees, as psychology is not as vocational as other programmes; Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

10 o o o o o o LTAS 7/5.2 There will be intense competition in SE Asia and the psychology programme is only likely to succeed if it has the required accreditations, is competitively priced, includes assessed course work and has local teaching support; Fees at similar levels for EMFSS courses are likely to be acceptable where the course is supported by an institution; Many International Programmes students in SE Asia are only studying for the final two years of their undergraduate degrees as local diplomas provide exemptions for Level 4. Consequently, to be competitive, exemptions would need to be provided for relevant local diplomas: students would then take the final two levels of study as a top up route. In other words, a 1+2 programme or a 2+2 programme [including Level 3 preparatory courses may be worth considering. For example, one or more of the four large polytechnics in Singapore may offer diplomas in psychology; Ideally the degree would be accredited by main accreditation bodies locally, including for example those in Australia, US, UK and Singapore; Combined degrees likely to be of interest would be those that have a vocational element e.g. psychology plus human resources / law / computing / business administration etc.; The programme would be more attractive if it included some assessed course work rather than assessing all courses only through exams. SIM [Singapore] have expressed an active interest in offering the programme and in helping secure approval through the local psychological association. The programme team will also explore accreditation with the Australian Psychological Society once accredited by the BPS. See Appendix 1 for further details of research with existing partners carried out by the marketing team. Developing new markets: Part time / full time study in the UK: The total number of students enrolled as full time students on undergraduate degrees in the UK in 2010/11 was 1,367,330, of whom 69,360 were EU students [from outside the UK] and 117,865 were non EU students. The number of part time students was 545,250 of whom 10,960 were EU students [from outside the UK] and 16,355 were non EU students. This represented a decrease in part time students of 6% compared to the previous year. Undergraduate psychology in the UK: Psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate degrees in UK (in the top five for the number of applications received through UCAS in 2011). Applications for psychology have seen a steady increase for over a decade with 11,067 applications in 1996 rising year on year to 20,443 in The number of applications accepted went up from 6,263 to 16,114 in the same period. Changes to HE funding in the UK: In 2012/13, the Government will cut most ongoing direct public funding for tuition in England and raise the cap on tuition fees to 9,000. The average tuition fee in England, after discounts, is currently expected to be around 8,070/annum in 2012/13. This could mean that England has the second highest (average) fees in the developed world and the highest in any public system papers/sn05753 Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

11 Students including part time students will be able to apply for government loans 10 LTAS 7/5.2. Students studying on International Programmes will not be able to apply for these loans. UCAS data 11 comparing university applications on 15/01/2012 with those on 15/01/2011 showed that total applicant numbers at that stage of the cycle had decreased by an average of 7.4%. Applicants from EU countries had decreased by 11.2% but there had been an increase in applicants from outside the EU of 13.7%. The application rate for 18 year olds from the most disadvantaged areas in England had decreased slightly, while there had been a larger decrease in the application rate from the most advantaged areas: both follow a trend of annual increases since Applications from older students had decreased more than those from school leavers: a drop of 0.1% in applications from 17 year olds and 2.6% in applications from 18 year olds, contrasted with an average drop of 10% in applications from people who were 20 or older 12. The only subject area not affected by the drop in applications were the subjects allied to medicine [presumably programmes considered vocational]. Applications for Education were down by 6.9%. Clearly recent changes in government funding for undergraduate study in the UK have profound implications for the proposed new psychology programme. Many potential students may reconsider whether or not to study for a degree given the debt that will be accrued. To reduce the overall cost of undergraduate study, students over the age of 18 years may be increasingly likely to consider parttime study, based at home. The government has been highlighting that loan repayments will only be made once graduates earn over 21,000 a year 13. However, given that the average salary was 26,200 in April 2011, this may not be particularly reassuring. In summary, there is suddenly and unexpectedly a substantial gap in the provision of what would traditionally be referred to as external programmes by reputable universities in England. In other words, in the provision of HE courses for adults who work often on low salaries but who want to take part time study without accruing significant, long term debt. FE Colleges in England: The relationship between FE colleges and Higher Education is currently undergoing change, given that some students will be looking for less expensive programmes and FE colleges may now apply for degree awarding powers. It is likely that some students will take the first and even the second Levels of their degrees at an FE college, and then seek to transfer to another institution for their final year/s. As a result FE colleges are actively rethinking their role in higher education and their relationships with other HE providers. Local universities are likely to represent the obvious choice of partner for most FE colleges but the potential for work with FE colleges across England will be explored by the programme team. Students who already have an undergraduate degree but wish to change career will not be able to access loans for second undergraduate degrees. Given that fees for postgraduate courses are also set to increase, these graduate students clearly present a potential market opportunity for the proposed psychology programme. Some graduates may need to first study psychology at undergraduate level in order to progress onto postgraduate training in psychology: in other words they may need to take a conversion course. At present there are few if any distance learning conversion courses available online. Others graduates may wish to study psychology at a relatively advanced level and 10 Loans will be paid back at 9% of the students income above 21,000. Full-time students will start to repay their loan from the April three years after the course starts, part-time students will start to repay from the April four years after they start. While studying, they will pay interest to match inflation plus an extra three per cent a year. When repayment begins, interest will start at the inflation rate when students earn less than 21,000 and will goes up to inflation plus 3% when they earn over 41, [accessed 3/2/2012] 12 The online survey conducted by the IAUOL Psychology Programme did not distinguish between respondents under the age of 25 years. 13 Office for National Statistics 2011/ashe-statistical-bulletin-2011.html Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

12 LTAS 7/5.2 may be interested in Graduate Diplomas if they meet the individual s needs in terms of content, delivery, price and so forth. Competitors within the UK: Of all the competitor programmes, the UK Open University (OU) has the largest share of UK undergraduate psychology students who are not studying at a campus university. Much smaller competitors include the University of Derby and Anglia Ruskin. However, there is an increasing trend towards online delivery of degrees from other providers, including private universities 14. A table of competitor programmes can be found in Appendix 2. The pattern of retention and progression at the Open University is of note: o In 2007/8 the introductory 60 credit module on the psychology programme at the OU had 4,000 students [2000 student FTEs]. Many were taking this course as part of other degrees and so forth. o Only 50% of students completed this introductory module and 45% of students on another compulsory course at the same level also failed to complete. o Approximately five hundred students graduate from the OU psychology degree each year. In other words, 12% of the students who enrol on the introductory course graduate with a degree. o The overall graduation rate for the OU for all subjects is 22%. NB The proportion of students who graduate from International Programmes undergraduate degrees is higher but 80% of students on these programmes receive face to face tutorial support through partner teaching institutions. Given that the proposed new psychology programme will be delivered entirely by distance learning in the first instance, the OU retention rate is a benchmark. As the OU programme is open entry there is a reasonable expectation that completion rates would be marginally higher for students enrolled on the International Programme s psychology degree, though this is not factored into the financial plan, (the completion rate is conservatively set at c12%). The level of engagement with students built into the design of the scheme will seek to improve the retention of students within course and through the programme. However, student FTEs at Level 4 are likely to be comparatively high when compared to student FTEs at Levels 5 and 6. MEETING THE OPPORTUNITY In summary, the market research for this project suggests the psychology programme should: launch in the 2012/13 academic year in order to take advantage of current changes in HE funding in the UK; plan to recruit significant numbers to Level 4, for example by actively recruiting to Certificates of Higher Education and later to a Level 3 access programme; compensate for potential attrition at levels 4 and 5 by 14 This reflects improvements in the software technology available; the increasing preference on the part of many students to download materials for use at home; the need for HE institutions to capture new markets given anticipated drops in student numbers; the expanding market in programmes for students studying for UK awards without coming to the UK. Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

13 a) recruiting to a range of awards, including awards at Levels 5/6 b) populating each course with students from a number of awards; include pathways and awards for graduates 15 [including an award which, if accredited by the BPS, can be offered as a conversion course ] and consider at some future date the development of postgraduate provision; offer major and minor pathways, and electives to students on other programmes, as well as a single honours degree; include pathways that may be accredited; seek accreditation with the BPS at the earliest opportunity; and anticipate in the design and resourcing of the programme the requirements of the BPS for accreditation; include options in applied psychology that address the interests of both psychology undergraduates and students studying on other programmes; allow transfer to Level 5 for students who have taken local Diplomas equivalent to Level 4;. be proactive in investigating which institutions have Diplomas [Level 4] which would equate to Level 4 study on the BSc; anticipate from the outset how the programme would be delivered through face to face teaching at partner institutions if appropriate e.g. o build into the development plan a phased strategy for identifying, engaging and developing potential partners; o explore the possibility of partnerships with teaching institutions in the UK, including FE colleges where appropriate [and mindful of the catchment areas of the lead colleges]; o in the development of course materials anticipate how guidance for tutors at partner teaching institutions would be incorporated in order to add additional support to the materials delivered online; develop a fee structure that: o does not alienate the existing University of London International Programmes student body, given the importance of this group to the viability of the programme; o will not be prohibitive to students who pay additional fees to partner teaching institutions in the future; work closely with the marketing team to ensure maximum uptake across the range of students to whom this programme will be of interest; conduct market research with potential students abroad and in the UK who are not yet aware of the University of London International Programmes; monitor new developments in distance learning by other providers; cater to the needs of people who work, at least part time; develop a curriculum that supports changes in career; address the needs of psychology undergraduates: o working in education or wanting to move into education; o wanting to move into counselling & guidance, psychology or health; LTAS 7/5.2 design and resource the programme to include sufficient online study group contact with tutors; 15 To reiterate, 56% of respondents to the on line survey who were considering undergraduate study were already graduates, while 70% of respondents who were current students or alumni indicated interest in postgraduate study. Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

14 LTAS 7/5.2 make good use of the technology available for supporting distance learners, given that the age of the student body suggests they should engage with this technology relatively easily if given the necessary support; include a balanced array of assessment with coursework and creative use of examinations; demonstrably reflect the needs and interests of a student body spread across the globe; cater to a widening participation agenda, attracting a diverse cross section of society. PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN: PROGRAMME STRUCTURE Rationale: The design of the programme as a whole has been informed by: 1. The QA Subject Benchmark for Psychology; 2. The requirements of the British Psychological Society for accreditation of undergraduate programmes; 3. The pattern of retention and progression at the Open University [the largest UK competitor]; 4. The existing strengths of the established on campus undergraduate programmes and research interests of the lead colleges; 5. Feedback from prospective students, current students, alumni and partner institutions, and the general expertise of colleagues in the International Academy; 6. The need to develop: i. a simple, flexible programme structure that: provides multiple entry and exit points; offers pathways to suit a range of needs and interests; can easily accommodate courses from all three colleges now and in the future; employs a relatively small number of courses that may be populated by students from a range of awards; ii. courses that can be delivered by a range of staff over time, so the programme is not overly dependent on specific individuals; 7. the requirements of part time students supported online and studying in countries worldwide; 8. the need to prepare students for study on a challenging science programme. For the sake of continuity, each college will take the lead in providing a particular strand within the curriculum: Birkbeck will deliver the research methods courses; Royal Holloway will deliver the developmental and social psychology courses; Goldsmiths will deliver the biological and cognitive psychology courses; Other areas of the programme are spread across the colleges according to their current teaching strengths and resources, ensuring as far as possible an equal workload. Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

15 Programme outline: [note the phased introduction of awards and courses] LTAS 7/ BSc Hons Psychology Approvals Event 16 th April 2012; Application for BPS accreditation 2012/13 Launch 2012/13; First graduates: 2016 INTERMEDIATE AWARDS 2. Graduate Diploma [Psychology] Approvals Event 16th April 2012; Application for BPS accreditation 2012/13 Launch 2013/14; First graduates: Graduate Diploma [Applied Psychology] Approvals Event 2012/13; Launch 2014/15; First graduates: Diploma of Higher Education [Psychology] Approvals Event 16th April 2012; Launch 2012/13; First graduates: Certificate of Higher Education [Psychology] Approvals Event 16th April 2012; Launch 2012/13; First graduates: Certificate of Higher Education [Applied Psychology] Approvals Event 2012/13; Launch 2015/16; First graduates: 2017 THE COMBINED DEGREE SCHEME Three pathways will be offered: 7. BA [Hons] Psychology [minor] Approvals Event 23rd April Launch 2012/13; First graduates: BSc [Hons] Psychology [major] Approvals Event 23rd April 2012; Application for BPS accreditation 2012/13; Launch 2013/14; First graduates: 2016 Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

16 LTAS 7/ BA [Hons] Psychology [major] Approvals Event 23rd April 2012; Launch 2013/14. First graduates: 2016 ACCESS COURSES: 10. Level 3 courses Approvals Event 16th April 2012; Launch 2013/14 or 2014/15. There is also the provision for individual courses to be taken as short courses or electives subject to prerequisites. BSc [Hons] Psychology: The BSc [Hons] Psychology is based on the core curriculum and guidance outlined by British Psychological Society for accreditation of undergraduate programmes: the programme begins with an overview of the approaches, methods and study skills; at Level 5 the history and conceptual basis of the discipline are examined in more depth; the core curriculum research methods, individuals difference, and social, developmental, cognitive and biological psychology are all covered at Levels 4, 5 and 6 [Parts 1, 2 and 3]. the options included at Level 6: o address the full range of student interests identified in the market research; o introduce the main branches of professional psychology; o reflect the research strengths of the three lead colleges; o are intended to be attractive as electives or as stand alone courses. The pattern of study follows the pattern at the three lead colleges. The preponderance of 15 credit courses reflects the requirement by the British Psychological Society that specific subjects be taught and assessed at Levels 5 or 6. At present, all courses are core except for those at Level 6 where students may take 75 credits as optional courses chosen from a list. Access courses: Level 3: o Data from the OU suggests potentially high levels of student drop out during the first 60 credits of study at Level 4. To prepare students for study at Level 4 an access programme will support students to acquire: - basic, subject specific knowledge; - strategies to develop English for academic psychology; - study skills for psychology; - a basic understanding of critical thinking; - maths and stats for academic psychology. Three courses [15 credits each] will be developed in Introductory Psychology; Critical Thinking and Academic English for Psychology; and Introductory Maths and Stats for Psychology. In the event of the International Programme developing a Foundation Programme [60 credits at Level 3], these Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

17 LTAS 7/5.2 psychology courses may be incorporated, allowing students to take an additional 15 credits in another subject should they so wish, in order to complete a Foundation Programme. Intermediate awards: Level 4: o To support recruitment to Level 4 and to manage exits where necessary, students will be able to enrol on and exit with Certificates of Higher Education [Psychology; Applied Psychology]. - To enhance the viability of the programme, the Certificate of Higher Education [Applied Psychology] will be developed by adapting four 15 credit Level 6 courses in applied psychology for delivery at Level 4. This award will be suitable for students who have a general interest in the practical applications of psychology and who want freedom to choose which particular subjects they study. These students will be required to take one or more of the Level 3 courses to ensure they have sufficient grounding in basic psychology prior to starting their studies 16. Students who decide they would like to continue their studies in psychology will be able to apply to join Level 5 of the BSc [Hons]. This award will be launched in 2015/16. Once the Level 4 courses in applied psychology are in place, the BSc [Hons] students will be able to take one optional module at Level 4 in place of Abnormal Psychology. o An application is being made to the University of London for permission to make an award for 60 credits at Level 4. The managed exit of students who accrue no more than 60 credits will be to the benefit of students and to the International Academy. Level 5: o To support recruitment and manage exits where necessary, students will be able to enrol on a Diploma of Higher Education [Psychology] and also to exit with a Dip HE on successful completion of Level 5. Students graduating with a Dip HE [Psychology] will have followed the same programme as the BSc [Hons] students. All courses will be core. Level 6: Market research suggests significant interest from graduates, including interest in a conversion course that prepares graduates for post graduate training in professional psychology. The programme will therefore include two Graduate Diplomas: a) The Graduate Diploma in Psychology will give students a thorough grounding in the core psychology curriculum and, if accredited by the BPS, will serve as a conversion course conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) and preparing students for postgraduate training in professional psychology. Note, at present other providers do not seem to offer conversion courses available for online study. b) The Graduate Diploma in Applied Psychology makes use of the options at Level 6 of the BSc. This Diploma will be suitable for graduates who have a particular interest in the practical applications of psychology and who want freedom to choose which subjects they study. It will not train students to practice psychology and will not give access to post graduate training that enables students to become chartered psychologists. This will be launched in 2014/ Students who have a GCSE A level in psychology, maths GCSE and evidence of their ability to study at undergraduate level in English may be exempt. Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

18 LTAS 7/5.2 The HE Credit Framework requires Graduate Diplomas to include 80 credits at Level 6. Consequently, in order to cover the core curriculum required by the BPS for accreditation, two 30 credit courses will have to be adapted from courses delivered at Level 5 for delivery at Level 6. A basic grounding in psychology will be required for both Graduate Diplomas. Students will therefore take 60 credits at Level 4 as part of the Graduate Diplomas but may apply for APL if they already have an equivalent grounding in undergraduate psychology. Combined Degree Scheme: Three pathways will be included in the Combined Degree Scheme: a) BA [Psychology minor]: non accredited: Studying 30 credits at each level, students would be free to choose which courses they study [subject to having the necessary prerequisites]. Again, this pathway may be offered through partner teaching institutions and again would be shaped by local student interests and teaching Faculty strengths. b) BSc Psychology [major]: accredited 17 : All modules will be core with the exception of one optional 15 credit module at Level 6: students will follow the core curriculum outlined by the BPS. c) BA Psychology [major]: non accredited: Students will have freedom in the courses they follow at Levels 5 and 6. It may be possible to also offer this pathway through partner teaching institutions: here the particular curriculum at Levels 5 and 6 would be guided by student needs/interests, and the particular strengths of the local teaching faculty. See Appendix 3 for an overview of the programme as a whole and of how individual courses will contribute to each award. Phased introduction of delivery through partner teaching institutions: At present a BPS requirement for accreditation is that learning support be delivered from the institutions making the award. Consequently the programme will be developed for online delivery. Once this development is underway it will be possible to consider developing partnerships with teaching institutions abroad and in the UK in order to provide additional local support for parts of the programme, under the guidance of the lead colleges. The development of such partnerships will be dictated by a number of factors such as student numbers, additional funding to support the development of tutor resources, the availability of appropriate teaching Faculty at other institutions and so forth. It is recognised that significant work will need to be undertaken, within target markets, to establish suitable partnerships and to ensure appropriate articulation with local awards through the International programmes APL policy. 17 Subject to BPS accreditation. Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

19 Stage 1: 2012/ /16: LTAS 7/5.2 Launch on line programme from Level 3 to 6, to include [not in order]: 1. Level 3 access courses; 2. Three accredited pathways 18 : a. BSc[Hons]; b. BSc Psychology [major]; c. Grad Dip [Psych]; 3. Four non accredited intermediate awards: a. Grad Dip [Applied Psych]; b. Dip HE [Psych]; c. Cert HE [Applied Psych]; d. Cert HE [Psych]; 4. Two non accredited offerings as part of the combined degree scheme: a. BA Psychology [major]; b. BA Psychology [minor] pathway. Stage 2: 2015/16 onwards Establish contact with teaching institutions with a view to possibly delivering parts of the programme where appropriate through face to face delivery at partner teaching institutions ideally starting with exploratory visits by college leads in 2015/16. E.g. 1. Level 3 access courses [15 credits]; 2. Selected electives; 3. BA Psychology minor pathway [non accredited]; 4. 1 plus 2 and / or 2 plus 2 programmes: students take Level 3 and 4 courses at local teaching institutions with a view to transferring onto the online accredited BSc [Hons] programme at the beginning of Level 5; 5. BA Psychology major pathway [non accredited by BPS but potentially accredited by local psychological societies]. 6. BSc Psychology major pathway if appropriate. ASSESSMENT STRATEGY The aim of the assessment menu for the programme as a whole is to ensure all learning outcomes have been assessed; that there is parity of standards with on campus programmes; that students are not over assessed; and that the potential for plagiarism is adequately managed. The plan is to have a minimum of 70% unseen examinations and up to 30% coursework across the programme as a whole. Where possible there will be consistency in the type and amount of assessment on courses at each level. The design of assessments across the programme will support development of a range of discipline specific and vocational skills. Management of potential plagiarism is also a factor in the choice and design of assessments. 18 Accreditation by the BPS will be sought between Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

20 LTAS 7/5.2 Coursework will be designed to maximise student engagement and learning as well as assess learning outcomes and provide students feedback that will support their development and learning on the course. For example, it will include essays, lab reports, case studies, critical analysis of papers and pieces written for a lay audience. For students on an accredited pathway 19 it will also include: a. an empirical investigation related to psychology and carried out by groups of students under supervision, including: the planning and execution of a laboratory study, data collection and analysis and interpretation of results; and the writing of a report; b. an independent literature review carried out under supervision; c. a major research project proposal developed independently but under supervision. For students studying at Level 6 on non accredited pathways it will include an independent literature review in which they produce a substantial piece of original written work under supervision exploring at an advanced level a topic of the student s own choice. Exams may be in the form of multiple choice questions, written essays or both depending on the level of the course and amount and type of coursework students will be undertaking. A study skills curriculum across the programme will prepare students for successful assessment at each stage of their studies, and attention will be paid throughout each course to preparing student to complete the assessments for that particular course. A programme level curriculum will also be established to support the development of transferable skills and enhance students employability. Care will be taken to ensure these skills are assessed and that students graduate with a portfolio of evidence that will enhance their CVs. MATERIALS AND CHANNELS To reiterate, a BPS requirement for accredited programmes are that all teaching and student support must be delivered by staff based at the institution providing the programme of study. Therefore, in the first instance, this programme will be delivered through distance learning. Prospective students indicated in the online survey that contact with a tutor was particularly important to them [see Box 1] as was telephone support from a tutor. Participating in online study groups was also rated as important. Box 1 Learning support: Prospective students: How important are the following to you? Attending classes at a local teaching institution on a regular basis Attending monthly face to face tutorials or study groups Very important Somewhat important Not important Don't know 9.8% 27.9% 58.1% 4.2% 14.9% 33.2% 47.6% 4.3% Participating in online study groups 44.4% 40.8% 14.5% 0.3% Having a tutor I could contact by 82.0% 15.4% 2.1% 0.5% Having telephone support from a tutor 41.6% 39.5% 16.9% 2.1% 19 Subject to approval by the BPS. Psychology business plan: Version 1.0 April 2 nd

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