University of Chester

Programme Specification
[Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies] or [Psychological Trauma] DProf
2015 - 2016

Doctor of Professional Studies

[Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies] or [Psychological Trauma]

Doctor of Professional Studies [Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies / Psychological Trauma]

University of Chester

University of Chester

Chester

Professional Doctorate

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory, Residential and Open,

3 years (Full-Time); 6 years (Part-Time)

7 Years

Annual - September

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Social Science Social and Political Science

There are no subject benchmark statements above Level 7 that can be referred to in this context. However, the programme has drawn heavily on the FHEQ (2008) Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Not applicable

Social and Political Science Postgraduate Module Assessment Board

Research Degree Progression Awards Board

Tuesday 3rd February 2015

This programme aims to provide students with an opportunity to:

o   review their career progression and development;

o   mix and dialogue with other senior practitioners;

o   develop expertise in an area that holds a passionate interest to them;

o   have personal meaningful tuition and growthful discussion with some of the leading practitioners and researchers in their discipline;

o   undertake a progressive and supportive route of study;

o   acquire new knowledge and advanced research skills;

o   work towards becoming an actively reflective practitioner in their setting;

o   contribute to professional dialogues through publication and presentations;

o   forge new personal relationships with other practitioners;

o   share what they are passionate about with others;

o   make an original and helpful contribution to their profession.

It is expected that learners will engage with issues that lead them to new ways of thinking that may bring about organisational change and/or enable them to operate at the highest level of professional practice. The outcomes of their research should demonstrate originality of thought and be of a standard suitable for publication within their professional area.

In particular, the Programme aims to enable learners to create and interpret new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication

At level 8 students will have achieved

  • the ability to undertake, in a self-directed manner, projects that deal with complex issues concerning professional practice or which challenge theoretical assumptions
  • they will have used a variety of sources of knowledge/evidence and they will have exercised critical judgment in its application and arrived at new insights in relation to their professional practice and/or theoretical understanding
  • knowledge of research methods applicable to their professional context which they will have critiqued and taken full cognisance of ethical implications
  • advanced trans-disciplinary knowledge and understanding within the epistemological areas which underpin their professional practice and which places them at the forefront of this practice
  • the ability, through original research and/or advanced scholarship, to create and interpret new knowledge and to communicate this to others so that it satisfies peer review and merits publication
  • advanced understanding of research method as it applies to their area of professional expertise such that they can apply their understanding in new situations and contribute to the development of practice-based research techniques
  • the ability to conceptualise, design and implement projects for the generation of new knowledge and/or for the advancement of professional practice, and to achieve this within the context of the social, political and ethical complexities of the work environment

At level 8 students will have achieved the ability to

  • analyse and synthesise information in such a way that it can be of use to them and others within the context of their professional practice
  • critically evaluate concepts, theories, research findings and other sources of knowledge and make informed judgments about their application in the context of professional practice
  • think critically, to undertake critical self-reflection and to act critically within the context of their professional practice and in such a way that it has advanced their self-understanding as a professional and as a person
  • engage in critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas, enabling them to engage in dialogue with others on complex matters where alternative solutions to problems and practices are being sought
  • undertake deep level critical reflection in relation to their own and others' actions enabling them to arrive at new understandings and/or to plan and execute new approaches to professional practice
  • communicate ideas effectively to both specialist and non-specialist audiences demonstrating a command of their subject and/or area of professional practice
  • make independent judgments and manage their own learning within the context of a community of practice, where they will regularly critique and evaluate their own practice, both independently, and with others.

At level 8 students will have achieved the ability to

  • deal systematically and creatively with complex issues and to apply their knowledge and understanding to work place contexts
  • make sound judgments based on evidence and be able to communicate ideas effectively to others
  • learn and work independently as well as with others especially in solving problems and dealing with matters of professional practice
  • use existing and recently acquired knowledge in new professional contexts will have achieved the ability to exercise a high level of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations in professional contexts
  • take a leadership role in their field, demonstrating their confidence of mastery of a complex body of knowledge relating to their profession, with the ability to communicate it effectively to others both within and outside the work place
  • deploy resources relevant to their professional practice effectively in complex and sometimes new contexts taking into account social, political and ethical considerations
  • contribute to the development of their profession

 

  • Communication - High levels of communication will be achieved through this programme (both written and oral), especially in the context of assessment tasks and the dissemination of research findings
  • Application of Number - An understanding of statistics and statistical analysis and its use in practical contexts will be achieved through research applications
  • Information Literacy and Technology - Development of skills in these areas will be achieved through the work based nature of the programme and the consequent need to maintain contact with the University and its on-line resources
  • Improving own learning and performance - The high degree of motivation and independent learning required on this programme will ensure development in these areas
  • Working with others - With the practice-base as the principal site of learning for students on this programme, development of this skill is assured
  • Problem solving - The focus of the programme is essentially around this area thus skill development in this context is assured
  • A key aspect of the rationale for this programme is about continuing professional development and learning achieved in this context will inevitably have potential for transferability

The DProf portfolio comprises three phases. All elements of Phase 1 and 2 are assessed according to an annual schedule of assessment, normally in July. Phase 3 is assessed by means of the submission of a 45,000-50,000 word thesis, plus viva voce (oral) examination.

One of the unique features of a professional doctorate is that candidates are assessed via submission of a series of assignments that make up a research portfolio. This is designed to introduce them to different stages of the doctoral journey and to build up the necessary skills and understanding to undertake a programme of advanced research. It will also enable candidates to pass through the programme according to manageable deadlines.

 

Personal and Professional Learning:

This assignment is designed to enable candidates to reflect on what has brought them to this point in their personal and professional journey; thinking, in particular, about key theories and ideas that have shaped them as a practitioner. This module invites them to reflect on the relationship between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ that will influence them on their own doctoral journey. In particular, the assignment for this module is looking for their ability to write critically at L8.

 

Tools and Skills:

This assignment is designed to enable candidates to conduct an evaluation of their research skills, and gives them an opportunity to identify appropriate methodologies that may be helpful in pursuing their chosen area of research. The assignment invites them to identify further training that they need.

 

Current Professional Debates:

This assignment is designed to enable candidates to reflect on their personal learning after attending a minimum of 36 hours of CPD workshops, and to begin to engage critically with ‘key voices’ of scholarship in Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies or Psychological Trauma. Again, the assignment for this module is looking for their ability to write critically at L8.

 

Research Proposal

This assignment helps candidates to draw together the resources that they will need to carry out the research for their final thesis (including an overview of the relevant literature, a justification for their chosen methodology, and an appreciation of ethical issues). The assignment requires them to write a research proposal and to complete the process of application for ethical approval.

Modules SO8001, SO8002, SO8003 and SO8004 are taught modules designated as needing completion prior to a decision on formal progression.

 

Publishable Article

This assignment gives candidates an opportunity to discover what is involved in writing for publication in an academic context, and to begin to try out some initial research ideas. The assignment requires them to write an article that is of a publishable standard in a peer-reviewed journal.

 

Research Thesis

This is an extended piece of 45,000-50,000 words in which candidates will be expected to carry out a project of independent research in line with the requirements of Level 8 standards.

The overall award is made up of 540 credits at Level 8. Students who exit with an MProf will have completed a minimum of 180 credits.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
SO8001 8 Review of Personal & Professional Learning 20 Comp
SO8002 8 Tools and skills for your research project 60 Comp
SO8003 8 Current Professional Debates 60 Comp
SO8004 8 Research Proposal & Ethical Approval 60 Comp
SO8005 8 Publishable Article 60 Comp
SO8006 8 Thesis 280 Comp

180 credits at Level 8 entitles the students to a Masters Degree (MProf)

540 credits at Level 8 entitles the student to a Doctorate Degree (DProf)

Not applicable

N/A

Applicants for the DProf shall normally have obtained at least an upper second class honours degree or lower second with a Master's degree.

However, in order to attract experienced practitioner-researchers, who have had previous experience of undertaking research which they can build on, the programme will be marketed with an entry level of an MA/MSc in a related Counselling/Psychotherapy discipline or Psychological Trauma–related discipline (graded at 60% or above for the research dissertation), plus substantive therapeutic practitioner experience.

To be admitted to the DProf programme, candidates must demonstrate that they have access to a suitable learning environment. This will normally be their place of employment. At interview, candidates will need to show that they have sufficient scope and influence within their job role to undertake major research, and that the nature of the work in which they are engaged provides opportunities for major research.

Students whose first language is not English will need to demonstrate competence of IELTS level 7.00.

These additional entry requirements are there because advanced communication skills, and an advanced capacity for group engagement, are required of candidates.

There are no subject benchmark statements above Level 7 that can be referred to in this context. However, the programme has drawn heavily on the FHEQ (2008) Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In line with the FHEQ standards for level 8, the DProf will be awarded to students who have demonstrated:

 

  • the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication
  • a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice
  • the general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems
  • a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry.

 

Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

  • make informed judgements on complex issues in specialist fields, often in the absence of complete data, and be able to communicate their ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • continue to undertake pure and/or applied research and development at an advanced level, contributing substantially to the development of new techniques, ideas or approaches.

 

 

And holders will have:

  • the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations, in professional or equivalent environments.

 

These benchmark statements are very evident in the content of the modules.

The principal method of programme delivery is negotiated practice-based learning with an emphasis on the facilitation of learning. Practice-based learning requires students to accept a high degree of responsibility for their own learning. Thus, much learning will be self-directed and autonomous while, at the same time, being supported by the University. Practice-based learning also requires learners to engage in critical self-reflection and reflexive practice. Practice-based learners are also members of communities of practice and it is expected that they will achieve considerable learning in such context.

Learning takes place in  block residentials (of 28 hours contact) in Phases 1 & 2, and in CPD workshops staggered throughout the year in Phase 1. Throughout the programme, support is given in monthly group supervision (a half-day per month) and in individually negotiated supervision sessions. Use will be made of on-line learning and communication facilities. Thus, telephone and email will be common methods of communication between tutor and student, supported by on-line learning materials.

Formal teaching sessions will be conducted where it is appropriate to do so.

Students will be given formative feedback on drafts of work in accordance with the policy of the Department.

 

 

Holders of the DProf will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations, in professional or equivalent environments. The programme will enable holders of the DProf to seek senior positions in Counselling and Psychological Trauma contexts and to influence research-informed policy.

The University of Chester is committed to the active promotion of equality of opportunity both as an employer and an educational institution. For this purpose it has an Equal Opportunities Policy and appropriate codes of practice. The University has four approved Equal Opportunities Policies relating to: Freedom of Speech; Multicultural Education; Gender, and Disability. It also has a code of practice and guidance notes on recruitment. The Equal Opportunities Committee is responsible for monitoring the operation of the policies.

The aim of the policy is to ensure that all students and all members of staff at the University of Chester have equality of opportunity and are treated solely on the basis of their aptitude, ability and potential to pursue a course of study or to fulfil the requirements of a job. The policy also aims to eliminate unlawful or unfair discrimination. In particular, the University will ensure that no member of the Community will be disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: sex; age; marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union, or socio-economic background. It also claims to ensure that disabled people, or those with special needs, do not suffer unfair discrimination and are enabled to achieve their full potential.

The objective of the policy is a University which is open to all sections of the Community, where people from all groups in society are represented at all levels, and in whose activities all members of staff and all its students can participate fully and equally for the benefit of the University of Chester.

Students are expected to fund the cost of the residentials and CPD workshops/research conferences in addition to the tuition fees.

 

Back - to previous page  Print - launches the print options panel