University of the West of Scotland

Postgraduate Programme Specification

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 04/05/2022 12:31:13

Named Award Title:MSc Psychology (Conversion)

Award Title for Each Award: MSc  Psychology (Conversion)
PG Cert  Psychology
PG Dip  Psychology

Awarding Institution/Body: University of the West of Scotland
Language of Instruction & Examination: English
Award Accredited By:British Psychological Society
Maximum Period of Registration:4 years
Mode of Study:Full Time
Part Time
Campus:Paisley

School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Programme Leader:Gillian Bruce

Admission Criteria

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in Chapter 2 of the University Regulatory Framework together with the following programme requirements:

Appropriate Undergraduate Qualification
Appropriate Undergraduate Qualification An honours degree in any subject area, or a non-accredited psychology degree (minimum 2:2 classification) or a bachelor’s degree with significant and relevant work experience. Where candidates do not meet the standard entry requirement, they must demonstrate that they have sufficient relevant professional or practice-based experience to undertake their chosen programme of study. They may be admitted to the programme at the discretion of the programme Admissions Officer/Programme Leader.
Other Required Qualifications/Experience




Admission based on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is limited to a maximum of 60 credits.

Accredited Prior Experiential Learning is not permitted.

And

English language proficiency is also a requirement, with candidates expected to achieve IELTs average standard of 6.0.

Admission based on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will comply with the University’s Regulatory Framework (Chapter 2), as well as University regulations on postgraduate study and guidance on RPL. Credit transferred into the programme through Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) must have been subject to reliable and valid methods of assessment at a recognised HEI. Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) entry is not permitted. The amount of credit transferred though RPL (APL) will comply with the maxima set out in the Regulatory Framework. Candidates should note that transferred credit does not carry a grade, therefore, award with distinction cannot be granted for awards where credit is transferred in at level 11.


Further desirable skills pre-application


General Overview

 

General Overview

 

Introduction to the programme

This degree programme offers graduate students the opportunity to gain a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited psychology degree. Many students develop an interest in psychology later in their academic careers and the conversion degree pathway, while acknowledging their existing graduate skills, allows them to pursue that interest. Psychology degrees provide the opportunity to gain an understanding of a specific academic discipline while acquiring a number of transferable skills that are important in the job market.  Key features of the course:

Focus on the application of psychology to real world settings and problems, such as, mental and physical health, education and young people and the world of work.

Attractive to international students as it enables them to obtain a BPS accredited Psychology degree, which is a key requirement for entering other postgraduate courses that would qualify them to work as professional psychologists in the United Kingdom.

Focus on research-led teaching drawing on the strong research base within the psychology group, which includes expertise in health psychology and environmental psychology.  The expertise of staff members in their respective disciplines informs teaching practices and therefore provides students with an excellent understanding of applied psychology research.

The primary aim of the psychology degree is to develop an understanding of how and why people act in the way that they do. Through the degree, students will gain a scientific understanding of the mind, brain and behaviour. Key skills will be developed in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, which in turn will contribute to an understanding of the research and investigation process.

The degree provides students with an understanding of the core areas of psychology such as Developmental, Social, Biological, Cognitive Psychology and also Personality and Individual Differences. There is a strong emphasis on developing awareness of research methods, data analysis and critical reflection on approaches to data collection. Throughout the degree there is an emphasis on the applications of psychology and its relevance to real world issues.

Transferable skills and employability

The general transferable skills acquired throughout the degree include communication skills, report writing, data analysis, computer literacy, research skills, group work skills and critical thinking and problem solving. The combination of specific and general skills offered throughout the degree has made the psychology degree marketable in the world of work. Upon graduating some students opt to follow a post-graduate route with the aim of entering professional areas of psychology. Post-graduate courses can be found in areas such as Occupational Psychology, Educational Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Counselling Psychology and Sports Psychology. Some graduates may opt to follow a research pathway and consider PhD research.

In addition the BPS has identified a number of employment streams that psychology graduates may enter. Many psychology graduates enter industry or commerce sectors. The range of generic skills embedded in a psychology degree provides graduates with a wide variety of options. These include market research, personnel management, teaching, civil service, research, careers guidance and working in the charity/non-governmental organisation sector. Further information on career and employment information can be found on the BPS website www.bps.org.uk.

 

Students can opt to follow a part-time route. The structure of this route is as follows:

• Year 1 – in year one students must complete four modules. In T1 students study two modules, one of which must be Research Methods in Psychology. In T2 students must complete two modules

• Year 2 – in the second year students complete the remaining modules in T1 and T2 and complete the Psychology Research Dissertation in T2 and T3.

 

Learning, teaching and assessment

The MSc Psychology learning, teaching and assessment framework has been carefully aligned with the University's Strategic Plan and mapped against the key institutional strategies The framework has been designed to foster an inclusive learning culture within the programme and provide a variety of integrated learning and assessment opportunities and experiences, increasing discipline skills, knowledge and understanding, while developing key transferable skills. A blended learning approach will be employed across all modules within the programme. Students will be engaged in learning and teaching through various face-to-face and online events including lectures, seminars, workshops, group work, and inquiry-based and student centred asynchronous learning. Inquiry-based learning is an important part of the research-led learning experience that is provided for students throughout the programme. Students will be given the opportunity to further their knowledge of psychological theories and topical debates through independent inquiry. For instance in Developmental Psychology, students are encouraged to independently identify relevant developmental issues (i.e. nature/nurture debate) and present their findings in oral form to the class. In Advanced Social Psychology, students are required to identify a contemporary area of social psychology and write a critical review of research papers related to this area. Finally, there is a strong emphasis on inquiry-based learning in the Dissertation module as students are required to undertake an independent empirical research project. For successful completion, student must identify an appropriate research question and select an appropriate method with which to investigate this research question.

The virtual learning environment (VLE) will be used on all modules to provide a platform for communication and to structure and facilitate learning, teaching and assessment, both synchronously and asynchronously. The development of a coherent assessment strategy has been central to the design of the programme. This has been informed by the UWS Assessment Handbook, Advance HE practice and the BPS benchmarks. This will ensure that students have the opportunity to gain subject specific skills and support the development and awareness of employability skills. Adopting a continuous assessment model (i.e. there are no examinations) for the programme provides the opportunity to engage students in a range of formative and summative learning experiences. Assessments will be linked to employability competencies and students’ awareness of these links will be enhanced through the provision of an employment-assessment map. The module Individual Differences in the Workplace is underpinned by work-related learning and provides the opportunity to encourage students’ reflective practices through portfolio work. Laboratory and other practical and project work forms a key component of the skills developed by students on this programme. All modules will include an element of practical activity. These include a range of activities which develop research skills, communication skills and critical reflection on the research process. This will in turn underpin and support students as they undertake their empirical project. In addition to practical and project work, students will be exposed to a range of continuous assessment opportunities including essays, critical review exercises, poster and oral presentations. Formative and summative assessment is employed across the programme. In line with UWS Equality Outcomes, embedding accessibility and inclusivity in the design and operation of programme and VLE sites will ensure equality of opportunity and an equitable learning experience for all learners. Teaching and learning practices are evaluated in an ongoing way through the Programme Board, annual monitoring processes and research from the wider HE sector. These discussions are in turn informed by our engagement with the Advance HE and the BPS. Internally the Hub for Health Behaviours, Psychology and Addictions will work closely with UWS Academy to enhance the learning environment and promote and maintain a flexible and inclusive learner experience.

Research underpinnings and links to teaching

The programme is underpinned by the research interests and activities of the psychology group who are part of the School’s Research Hub for Health Behaviours, Psychology and Addictions. These research interests focus on young people, education and work, communication, and health. This allows students to be exposed to ‘real world’ research and gain some insight into the links between the research and their studies.

Internationalisation

The degree is fully aligned with the University’s strategic plan of providing an internationalised curriculum.  The international perspective of the degree is further enhanced by the perspective adopted by psychology which emphasises cultural perspectives and individual differences.

 


Graduate Attributes, Employability & Personal Development Planning

The programme is fully aligned with institutional priorities around the development of graduate attributes –I am UWS

https://www.uws.ac.uk/current-students/your-graduate-attributes/

and with the institutional policy on personal development planning. The mapping of programme and module learning outcomes and employability-integrated assessment ensures the visibility of graduate attributes, employability and citizenship competencies. Personal development is embedded and explicitly signposted in the curriculum, with students provided with regular opportunities to capture and evaluate progression and development, stimulating reflection, self-regulation and a more constructive engagement with employability. It is recognised that personal development planning is an essential component of lifelong learning and continuing and professional development. To support this activity, all students are provided with access to personal development planning tools and enabled to develop a personal e-portfolio across the programme.

To support learners' development of key graduate and citizenship attributes and employability competencies learners will be provided with an employability-integrated assessment map. The aim of this map is to engage them in critical reflection on the relationship between their learning and assessment experiences and the wider issues of personal development and employability. The programme team and the personal tutor system will support this. Personal tutors will be psychologists who will be able to provide guidance on issues relating to career planning.

The module Individual Differences in the Workplace requires learners to engage with employability and PDP issues, through the prism of individual differences.  In addition there is a Careers Event in T2 and a further career focused event is scheduled for late T2/earlyT3, which provide students with the opportunity to explore career paths within, and outwith, psychology. External speakers and the careers staff in Student Services contribute to these events.

The Programme Board includes a member of staff with responsibility for leading on employability issues. This role provides a focus for the development and integration of career related support and student PDP. Each student is assigned a personal tutor at the start of the course and, in addition to pastoral support; tutors discuss career paths and CV development with their students.

By the end of this course students who have passed all modules will have developed Psychology Specific skills which will provide them with Graduate Basis for Chartership of the British Psychological Society and will as such be eligible to apply for further study in Psychology.

Work Based Learning/Placement Details

The module Individual Differences in the Workplace is designed to encourage studens to apply psychological knowledge to the workplace. Students are encouraged to recognise the workplace as a learning environment. The module will in part draw on the naturally occurring part-time employment (paid/unpaid, voluntary and commercial) experiences that students in the HE sector undertake while studying for their degrees. The aim of the module is to link understanding of employment experience with psychological theory and research. 

Engagement

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time.

Where a programme has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:

All fulltime students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link: http://www.uws.ac.uk/current-students/rights-and-regulations/regulatory-framework/

Equality and Diversity


The University's Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Procedure can be accessed at the following link: UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link: http://www.uws.ac.uk/equality/

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.


Programme structures and requirements, SCQF level, term, module name and code, credits and awards ( Chapter 1, Regulatory Framework )

A. PG Cert
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Develop knowledge and critical understanding on the core areas of the discipline (as specified by the BPS), their scientific underpinning, historical origins, development and limitations.
A2Understand and critically evaluate the range of research methods, including quantitative and qualitative research paradigms, used in the scientific study of psychology.
A3Demonstrate a critical awareness and appreciation of the inherent variability and diversity of behaviour and experience.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Apply psychological knowledge and skills to promote understanding of the variability and diversity in psychological functioning.
B2Explore the contribution of psychological theory and research in a range of applied settings.
B3Develop a critical understanding of the practical and ethical challenges of psychological research.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Demonstrate the ability to communicate complex ideas and understanding both orally and in written format.
C2Develop the ability to lead debates and participate in group discussions on contemporary research topics.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Synthesise and present, in both written and verbal format, complex information concerning the application of psychological methods, theory and research across a range of contexts.
D2Deal with complex issues in psychology and make informed judgements in situations in the absence of complete or consistent data/information.
D3Critically assess and make informed and reasoned conclusions on contentious or disputed issues in psychology.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Self and peer evaluation: Critical reflection on own, and others’ work.
E2Demonstrate the ability to effectively manage time and resources.
E3Develop as an independent researcher: make informed judgements in respect of research design and data analysis.
E4Demonstrate the ability to address complex ethical and professional issues
E5Demonstrate an ability to interact with supervision in an appropriate and effective way.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
   

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11PSYC11006Advanced Social Psychology20check mark  
11PSYC11008Biopsychology20 check mark 
11PSYC11009Cognition20 check mark 
11PSYC11010Developmental Psychology20check mark  
11PSYC11007Individual Differences in the Workplace20 check mark 
11PSYC11005Research Methods in Psychology20check mark  

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

For the PG Cert, students are required to successfully complete three modules (overall 60 credits).

Criteria for Progression and Award

Students who successfully complete three modules (60 Credits) and who elect not to proceed, are eligible to exit with the Postgraduate Certificate in Psychology.

*Note: the PG Certificate is not accredited by the British Psychological Society.




B. PG Dip
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Extend breadth of knowledge on the core areas of the discipline (as specified by the BPS), their scientific underpinning, historical origins, development and limitations.
A2Demonstrate a critical understanding of the theories, concepts and principles underpinning psychology.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Extend critical understanding of the psychological knowledge and skills to promote understanding of the variability and diversity in psychological functioning
B2Systematically analyse the contribution of psychological theory and research in a range of applied settings
B3Systematically identify contemporary psychological issues and apply appropriate research methods to explore potential causes and suggest solutions.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Be able to communicate complex ideas and understanding both orally and in written format to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise such as peers and members of academic staff.
C2Develop skills in using appropriate tools, including leading specialist software applications for the analysis of data.
C3Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate numerical, statistical and other forms of data within the research context.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in applying psychology across a range of contemporary social settings.
D2Synthesise and present, in both written and verbal format, complex information concerning the application of psychological methods, theory and research across a range of contexts
D3Critically assess and make informed and reasoned conclusions on contentious or disputed issues in psychology.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in carrying out learning activities.
E2Take responsibility for their own work and contribute to the collective learning activities of the group in ways which support and develop critical reflection
E3Develop as an independent researcher: make informed judgements in respect of research design and data analysis.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11PSYC11006Advanced Social Psychology20check mark  
11PSYC11008Biopsychology20 check mark 
11PSYC11009Cognition20 check mark 
11PSYC11010Developmental Psychology20check mark  
11PSYC11007Individual Differences in the Workplace20 check mark 
11PSYC11005Research Methods in Psychology20check mark  

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award


The Post-graduate Diploma in Psychology is typically offered as an exit award after successful completion of 120 credits.
*Note: the PG Certificate and PG Diploma are not accredited by the British Psychological Society.

For information on the criteria for the award of Distinction please refer to Regulation 3.25.
In order to enrol on the Psychology Research Dissertation module students must have passed the Psychology Research Methods in Psychology module.


C. Masters
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate extensive knowledge and critical understanding on the core areas of the psychology (as specified by the BPS), their scientific underpinning, historical origins, development and limitations
A2Demonstrate critical knowledge and extensive understanding of a specific psychological topic through research work, which is informed by developments at the forefront of the discipline
A3Demonstrate a critical understanding of the theories, concepts and principles underpinning psychology.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Using a critical understanding of the psychological knowledge plan and execute a significant research project in an area of psychology.
B2Retrieve, interpret, critically analyse and manipulate primary data to produce a significant research project in an area of psychology.
B3Systematically analyse the contribution of psychological theory and research in a range of applied settings
B4Demonstrate a critical understanding of the practical and ethical challenges of psychological research.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Communicate effectively and appropriately in speech and through and extended piece of writing with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists.
C2Make effective use of information retrieval systems and use information technology applications to conduct data collection and analysis and to present this in an appropriate format.
C3Demonstrate more advanced skills in using appropriate tools, including leading specialist software applications for the analysis of data.
C4Demonstrate more advanced skills to critically evaluate numerical, statistical and other forms of data within the research context.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to issues which are at the forefront or informed by developments at the forefront of a subject/discipline.
D2Make use of research methods skill to critically identify and analyse conceptual and empirical problems relating to the study and understanding of your chosen topic area.
D3Draw on information from a variety of sources, including academic research publications, to offer sound and distinct insights on the chosen research topic.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1In conjunction with a supervisor construct and follow a plan to progress research report
E2Systematically identify and address own learning needs both in current and in new areas.
E3Develop as an independent researcher by planning, designing, executing and writing up a research report.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11PSYC11006Advanced Social Psychology20check mark  
11PSYC11008Biopsychology20 check mark 
11PSYC11009Cognition20 check mark 
11PSYC11010Developmental Psychology20check mark  
11PSYC11007Individual Differences in the Workplace20 check mark 
11PSYC11004Psychology Research Dissertation60 check markcheck mark
11PSYC11005Research Methods in Psychology20check mark  

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
Students can opt to follow a part-time route. The structure of this route is as follows:
• Year 1 – in year one students must complete four modules. In T1 students study two modules, one of which must be Research Methods in
Psychology. In T2 students must complete two modules.
• Year 2 – in the second year students complete the remaining modules in T1 and T2 and complete the Psychology Research Dissertation in T2 and
T3.

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

The award of MSc Psychology (Conversion) shall be awarded to students who have completed 180 credits comprising all core modules outlined above.
To gain British Psychological Society accreditation students must have passed their Dissertation and have attained a minimum 50% pass on all modules.
For information on the award of Distinction, please refer to Regulation 3.25.


D. DBA/DProf
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Award


Regulations of Assessment

Candidates will be bound by the general assessment regulations of the University as specified in the University Regulatory Framework.

An overview of the assessment details is provided in the Student Handbook and the assessment criteria for each module is provided in the module descriptor which forms part of the module pack issued to students. For further details on assessment please refer to Chapter 3 of the Regulatory Framework.

To qualify for an award of the University, students must complete all the programme requirements and must meet the credit minima detailed in Chapter 1 of the Regulatory Framework.

Combined Studies

There may be instances where a student has been unsuccessful in meeting the award criteria for the named award and for other more generic named awards existing within the School. Provided that they have met the credit requirements in line with the SCQF credit minima (please see Regulation 1.21), they will be eligible for an exit award of PgCert/ PgDip in Combined Studies.



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