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Programme Specification

Programme Title

Doctorate in Educational, Child and Adolescent Psychology

Awarding Institution

Queen's University Belfast

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

Programme Approved By

Health and Care Professions Council

Programme Accredited By

British Psychological Society

Final Award

Doctorate in Educational, Child and Adolescent Psychology – DECAP

Programme Code

S359000DQ

Date

June 2011

Educational Aims of Programme

To provide trainees with the knowledge and skills, which will enable them to fulfil the wide range of roles, that are or could be, performed by educational psychologists, working in different contexts and agencies, with a variety of professions and for different client groups (child, family, school, community, institution).

To enable trainees to decide using a broad evidence and knowledge base, how to assess, formulate and intervene psychologically from a range of possible models and modes of intervention.

To prepare trainees to adopt a critical and scholarly approach to educational, child and adolescent psychology, and in particular to the theoretical and empirical bases of their own professional practice, so that their decisions can be informed by a scientific and evidence-based approach.

To support and develop innovative practice in educational psychology by equipping trainees to make a substantial and original contribution to the development of the profession.

To enable trainees to develop effective, oral, written and personal communication skills such as will enable them to fulfil their professional role.

To prepare trainees to work with different religious, cultural and ethnic groups in ways which are sensitive and understanding, which take into account equal opportunities policy and practice, and which provide to all, their best endeavours and application of their skills.

To provide trainees with the opportunities to develop assessment and intervention strategies which will enable them to work at different levels and with different groups, including the wide variety and range of skills which may be required of educational psychologists.

To provide trainees with the skills to work in high priority areas of educational psychological work particularly those relating to statutory functions.

To prepare trainees to contribute to the development of the profession through finding their own areas of specialization and interest.

To prepare trainees for the challenges of the future, so that they will adapt and develop their skills in ways that will benefit their profession and the children with whom they work.

For current general University entry requirements for this pathway go to http://www.qub.ac.uk/ado

Criteria For Admission (Subject Specific Requirements) To Programme

Students are required to have the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of  the British Psychological Society.

Students are not shortlisted for admission to the course unless they produce evidence that they are capable of working at a 2.1 honours level or above.

In addition to these two essential criteria, students will have had experience working within a relevant setting (eg. with children or young people) and to be able to demonstrate critical self-reflection in relation to their experience, as well as intellectual rigour, appropriate personal qualities, and readiness for training.

Additional Relevant Information

  1. Selection Procedures:
    1. A Guide for Applicants (Appendix 1)
    2. Application Form (Appendix 2)
  2. Shortlisting Document (Appendix 3)
  3. Schedule of the Academic Year (Appendix 4)
  4. Placement Overview (Appendix 5)
  5. Child Protection Statement: all our procedures and documents confirm fully with Child Protection legislation and the most recent advice Department of Education Circular 2006/06.  The Head of School, acting in conjunction with the Course Director, has specific responsibility for ensuring Child Protection compliance.
  6. Joint teaching with clinical psychology.  Though DClinPsych and DECAP are separate programmes, there is an overlap in certain curricular areas.  Some joint teaching may be arranged in these areas.

For Further Information Refer To www.psych.qub.ac.uk

Programme Structure, Levels, Modules and Credits

Year 1: Children and young people in schools

A trainee must pass all four modules in Year 1 before proceeding to Year 2.  

Status

Code

Title

Pre-Requisites

CATS

compulsory

PSY9006

Professional, Legal, Social and Historical Contexts

None

45

compulsory

PSY9007

The learning environment at home and school

None

45

compulsory

PSY9008

The Developing Child in the Educational Context

None

45

compulsory

PSY9009

Research and Inquiry (1)

None

45

Year 2: Children, young people and their families

A trainee may not proceed into Year 3 without passing all the modules in Year 2.

Status

Code

Title

Pre-Requisites

CATS

compulsory

PSY9038

Health and Mental Health of Children

PSY9006, 9007, 9008, 9009

45

compulsory

PSY9039

Vulnerable Groups

PSY9006, 9007, 9008, 9009

45

compulsory

PSY9040

Developing Child Within the Family System

PSY9006, 9007, 9008, 9009

45

compulsory

PSY9041

Research and Inquiry (2)

PSY9006, 9007, 9008, 9009

45

Year 3: Children, young people and their communities

A trainee will not be awarded the doctoral award without passing all four modules in Year 3.

Status

Code

Title

Pre-Requisites

CATS

compulsory

PSY9033

Adolescence and Mental Health

PSY9006, 9007, 9008, 9009, 9038, 9039, 9040, 9041

30

compulsory

PSY9034

Specialist Interest: Elective

PSY9006, 9007, 9008, 9009, 9038, 9039, 9040, 9041

30

compulsory

PSY9035

Promoting Change in Complex Systems

PSY9006, 9007, 9008, 9009, 9038, 9039, 9040, 9041

30

compulsory

PSY9036

Research and Inquiry (3)

PSY9006, 9007, 9008, 9009, 9038, 9039, 9040, 9041

90

Professional Standards and award of the doctoral programme: 

To pass the programme trainees must conform to the standards of professional practice laid out in the BPS Code of Practice.  If the trainee's performance is unsatisfactory with regard to the BPS Code of Practice, this may result in the trainee's failure on the Professional Practice part of the course.

Also a person may practise as an Educational Psychologist in the United Kingdom only if they are accepted onto the Health Professions Council (HPC) register. The HPC must be satisfied about the suitability of applicants before  they are permitted onto the register.


Awards, Credits and Progression of Learning Outcomes

Examinations

This is a three year, full time, taught doctoral course consisting of twelve modules, all of which must be passed for the degree to be awarded.  All four modules in Year 1 must be passed in order to progress to Year 2.  All four modules in Year 2 must be passed in order to progress to Year 3.

Approximately half of the modules will involve practice based activities.  More than half of the modules will involve practice and application of psychological research, directly through a large-scale and a small-scale research project, and indirectly through evidence-based practice and problem-based learning.  Each module is assessed.  Assessment and evaluation of progress are conducted in the following ways:

Placement performance (evaluation of various competencies including personal and interpersonal skills, psychological thinking, clinical skills, problem solving etc.)

  • Academic and clinical coursework (essays, portfolio reports etc.)
  • Case presentations.
  • Problem-based learning exercises.
  • Major research project.

Awards, Credits & Progression of Learning Outcome

NB:  The information in this section must be read in conjunction with the general University and specific Faculty Regulations.  The accumulation of 540 credit points is required for the award of the Doctorate in Educational, Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and Understanding

Develop an understanding of how Educational Psychologists work in various settings to promote the education, well-being and development of children and young people.

Understand how to use an evidence base and reflective practice to inform professional skills.

Have developed a broad range of psychological expertise and competences, based on academic knowledge and professional skills.

Know how to generalize psychological skills and to integrate them effectively in practice.

Have developed a critical approach to all aspects of work as means of providing the basis for improvement in practice.

Develop high quality research skills and the ability to use these skills in practice.

Develop an understanding of professional ethics as a means of promoting fairness particularly with regard to disadvantaged groups.

Have the basis of personal awareness and a commitment to professional development.

Recognize the limits of one's own professional competence and the range of applicability of the models and methods used.

Be able to respond effectively.  To service needs as they arise.

Teaching and Assessment Methods: Knowledge and Understanding

A variety of teaching methods are used to reflect the nature of the learning to be acquired and the context within which the teaching takes place.  The academic and research learning has a basis in lectures, seminars and workshops but it is developed through tutorials, class meetings and through the supervision sessions which form part of the placement.  The doctoral programme is completely based on the principle of establishing links between theory, research and practice.

The academic teaching is university based and is designed to provide the underpinning knowledge for professional skills and competences.  Initially it is presented on 2 days a week so that it is closely interwoven with placements which take place on two days a week and personal learning which is assigned 1 day a week.  As the students learning develops, academic teaching takes place in blocks lasting 1-3 weeks, preparatory to the placements which relate to what has been taught.  .During placements there are course meetings and tutorials at university to ensure application of the academic knowledge acquired.

The assessment methods include the traditional essay as a means of assessing understanding but there are also placement reports to ensure that links are made between theory, research and practice, as well as a viva in first year to test creativity and generalization of understanding. Problem-based learning is also used as the basis for securing the generalisabilty of professional skills, and the assessment of this learning is used to test that this objective is achieved.

Learning Outcomes: Subject-specific Skills

Learn how to apply psychological knowledge effectively using interpersonal skills and psychological methods in order to promote the education, development and well-being of children and young people.

Teaching and Assessment Methods: Subject-specific Skills

Trainees have a variety of practical placements throughout the course ranging from placements in schools, to generic placements and specialist placements within Educational Psychology services, a multi-agency placement and a placement providing service delivery within a multi-cultural setting.  In addition to these placements which are common to all, trainees have elective placements which allow them to develop skills and experiences within settings relevant to their own specialist interests.

Placement supervisors contribute to the appraisal of students' professional competence throughout the course.  This is supplemented by assessments conducted during tutor visits and fieldwork tutor supervision meetings.  Trainees are required to produce placement reports to demonstrate the development of their professional skills in each placement.

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

Be able to generate solutions to problems at the level of the individual, group, organization or community.

Use a critical approach as way of enhancing standards and improving practice.

Communicate professional knowledge and recommendations effectively orally or in writing.

Teaching and Assessment Methods: Cognitive Skills

These learning outcomes are promoted through all the various teaching methods including lecture, seminar, tutorial, and workshop but also through the practical placements and the work which takes place within the research context.  Problem-based learning within these activities are also designed to enhance and develop these cognitive skills.

In the same way the variety of assessment methods used will not only test that these skills are being acquired, but will themselves promote the development of these skills by making clear what are the learning objectives which are relevant to the learning being assessed.

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

Be able to generalize psychological skills over various situations, settings and client groups.

Apply a critical understanding of research and practice to improve service delivery.

Be able to conduct effective research relevant to service issues, in applied settings under time constraints.

Recognize limits of professional expertise and competence.

Communicate effectively orally and in writing.

Use self-awareness skills to monitor personal and professional effectiveness.

Teaching and Assessment Methods: Transferable Skills

The course is divided into an academic programme, a placement programme and individual learning.

The placement programme takes up about half of the learning days available spread over the 3 years study period, somewhat less in first year and somewhat more in third year.  The research activities have their initial basis in the academic programme, but also take place during the placement programme.  In addition a considerable number of the individual study days are research focused.

Research accounts overall for about half of the time available and the research reports completed by the trainees about half of the marks available.  Both placement activities and problem-based learning require trainees to apply their psychological skills in a creative and flexible ways, within a service based structure which has its own demands regarding ethics, self awareness, interpersonal effectiveness, team-work, communications and adherence to professional standards.

The assessment of transferable skills is part of the scope of all the various essays, placement reports, problem-based exercises, vivas, group assessments and placement appraisals which the trainees undertake or are undertaken with regard to them.  In a real way the development of transferable skills underpins and supports the development of the other professional skills and competences which are being taught and promoted throughout the course.