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MSc (T) Atypical Child Development

Academic Year 2016/17

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes as set out in the DASA Policies and Procedures Manual.

Programme Title

MSc (T) Atypical Child Development

Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)

Master of Science

Programme Code

PSY-MSC-CD

UCAS Code

JACS Code

C820 (DESCR) 100

Criteria for Admissions

Must have 2.1 or higher degree in Psychology or closely related discipline.

ATAS Clearance Required

No

Health Check Required

No

Portfolio Required

Interview Required

Mode of Study

Full Time

Type of Programme

Postgraduate

Length of Programme

1 Academic Year(s)

Total Credits for Programme

180

Exit Awards available

INSTITUTE INFORMATION

Awarding Institution/Body

Queen's University Belfast

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

Psychology

Framework for Higher Education Qualification Level 
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/publications/information-and-guidance

Level 7

QAA Benchmark Group
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

Psychology (2010)

Accreditations (PSRB)

Date of most recent Accreditation Visit

External Examiner Name:

External Examiner Institution/Organisation

Dr Deborah Riby

University of Durham

REGULATION INFORMATION

Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)

N/A

Programme Specific Regulations

N/A

Students with protected characteristics

N/A

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF PROGRAMME

General Aims

a. To provide graduate students with an opportunity for advanced study in specialist topics in the field of atypical child development, with reference to key theories of typical development.
b. To prepare graduate students for more advanced research in developmental psychology, professional training in psychology or other discipline-related professional training and/or for employment in children-related voluntary or statutory services.

Specific Aims

c. To provide students with a critical understanding of the recent history of developmental psychology in relation to theoretical approaches to both typical and atypical child development.
d. To help students become critically aware of alternative levels of explanation in developmental psychology and their relevance to understanding atypical patterns of child development.
e. To ensure that students gain a deep understanding of current theories, research methods, evidence and debates about atypical child development through detailed study of specific examples.
f. To enable students to link theoretical and practical questions about atypical development through detailed study of diagnostic methods, intervention strategies, and the educational consequences for children.
g. To raise students’ awareness of relevant literature in other cognate disciplines.
h. To train students to use models and theories from developmental psychology to formulate research questions relevant to both typical and atypical development.
i. To provide students with the skills to use appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods to address theoretical and applied research questions as well as with the skills to interpret quantitative and qualitative data.
j. To provide students with specific research skills involved in conducting research with children.
k. To train students to conduct research ethically and maintain appropriate standards of conduct, with specific reference to working with children.
l. To enable students to conduct an independent research study demonstrating self-direction and the capacity to deal with complexity and uncertainty.
m. To facilitate self-reflection in support of personal and professional development consistent with the university’s Personal Development Planning policy.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

a. Show a high level of scientific reasoning, linking and evaluating theory and evidence in developmental psychology.
b. Contrast different levels of explanation in developmental psychology, examine their implications and recognise their limitations.
c. Critically analyse research studies, commenting both on theory, methods and conclusions.
d. Reflect on how theory and research can inform interventions and practice.
e. Formulate a research question, choose an appropriate research design, plan and conduct an independent piece of research.
f. Deal with complexity and uncertainty in planning projects, interpreting data and making recommendations.
g. Make informed choices about effective communication.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Cognitive skills are developed particularly in seminars, through class discussion and exercises, homework assignments, project work, training workshops and by completing a thesis.

Methods of Assessment

Cognitive skills are assessed via informal (e.g. class exercises, class interactions) and formal means (class tests, project work, essays, reviews of the literature and thesis).

Class tests, essays and case studies give students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to consider and formulate problems/issues and to discuss how they might be addressed at an advanced analytical level. Students also must consider the implications for interventions of the theory and research that they have learned about in their assessed case study. (Skills a-d)

Reviews of the literature assess student skills to critically evaluate theories, to formulate research questions and to integrate theoretical approaches. (Skills a-c)

Students must give a critical presentation of a research paper to the class, which is assessed on the basis of its critical evaluation of the paper and how well the student communicates their ideas. (Skills a, b, g)

The dissertation affords students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to apply their theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills of analysis and synthesis to specific problems of their own choosing. Dissertations can assess student skill to choose appropriate methodologies to answer specific research questions, to present research questions and findings in a professional manner and to draw meaningful conclusions from research findings. Assessment includes evaluation of students’ methods of communicating ideas, results and conclusions. (Skills e-g)

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

a. Communicate ideas, principles, theories and research findings by oral and written means.
b. Elicit high quality information and data from field sources.
c. Use information technology (e.g. WWW, bibliographic data bases such as Psychinfo, word processors, statistics packages).
d. Conduct themselves in a professional (accountable, responsible, ethical) self-regulated and constructively critical fashion.
e. Use interpersonal and social skills as appropriate.
f. Use analytical skills in a problem solving context.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Transferable skills (a) to (f) are promoted via class work in lectures, seminars, workshops and the dissertation. Students are explicitly guided to be increasingly self-regulating throughout the duration of the course and to demonstrate initiative, self-efficacy and personal responsibility/accountability in the way they conduct themselves towards members of staff and towards their peers as well as in the pursuit of their academic and practical tasks.

Methods of Assessment

Transferable skills (a) to (f) are assessed informally through practical work pursued in class and formally through course work and dissertation.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

a. The inherent variability in children’s developmental pathways.
b. The recent history of developmental psychology in relation to theoretical approaches to typical and atypical child development.
c. Different levels of explanation in accounting for children’s development.
d. Theories and research related to specific examples of atypical development.
e. Practical issues relating to research and/or intervention with atypically developing children.
f. Basic and advanced research design and methods of investigation, data analysis and techniques and how they relate to theoretical and applied issues in child development.
g. The ethical conduct of research with human participants, specifically with children.
h. Effective means of communicating research to specific audiences.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Outcomes (a) to (h) are acquired through lectures, seminars, talks and workshops.

Methods of Assessment

Outcomes (a) to (h) are assessed by a variety of assignments (e.g. essays, case studies, design and evaluation of interventions, literature reviews, dissertation, class tests) which involve demonstrating a deep understanding and critical assessment of theory, application and specific techniques.

These outcomes are also assessed by informal means (i.e. class discussion, interactions and exercises).

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

a. Show competence in a range of methods to analyse both quantitative and qualitative data using statistical packages, if appropriate.
b. Show specialist competence in the methodology and analyses chosen for thesis work.
c. Use a variety of psychological tools relevant for working with children, e.g. psychometric tests, laboratory equipment, specialist software.
d. Write well-structured and well–argued prose, using style and conventions appropriate for publishing in the psychology literature.
e. Make a successful application for ethical approval for planned thesis.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Outcomes (a) to (e) are acquired through lectures, seminars, talks and workshops.

Methods of Assessment

Outcomes (a) to (e) are formally assessed by a variety of assignments that focus specifically on particular skills (e.g. statistics assignments, case studies, literature reviews and thesis work).

These outcomes are also assessed by informal means (e.g. class discussion, interactions and exercises).

MODULE INFORMATION

Programme Requirements

Module Title

Module Code

Level/ stage

Credits

Availability

Duration

Pre-requisite

 

Assessment

 

 

 

 

S1

S2

 

 

Core

Option

Coursework %

Practical %

Examination %

Perspectives on Child Development

PSY7048

70

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

80%

20%

0%

Atypical Patterns Child Dev

PSY7049

70

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Assessment and Intervention

PSY7050

70

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Dissertation - Atypical

PSY7047

70

60

24 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Principles of Qualitative Research Methods and Data Analysis 1

PSY7063

70

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Principles of Qualitative Research Methods and Data Analysis 2

PSY7064

70

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Quantitative Data Analysis 1

PSY7065

70

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

70%

0%

30%

Quantitative Data Analysis 2

PSY7066

70

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

70%

0%

30%

Psychological Methods in Developmental Research

PSY7034

70

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Research Skills: Atypical Child Development

PSY7031

70

10

YES

6 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Notes

PSY7064 prerequisite: PSY7063. PSY7066 prerequisite: PSY7065.