University of Chester

Programme Specification
Therapeutic Practice for Psychological Trauma MSc
2014 - 2015

Master of Science

Therapeutic Practice for Psychological Trauma

Therapeutic Practice for Psychological Trauma

University of Chester

University of Chester

Chester

Postgraduate (Taught)

Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

24 Months

6 Years

Annual - October

N/a

B940

Yes

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Social Science Social and Political Science

There are no specific Subject Benchmarks for this area of study but reference has been made to general requirements for masters level programmes.

N/a

Social and Political Science

Wednesday 1st May 2013

The general aim of the programme is to provide an intellectual setting within which participants can develop an in depth understanding of the nature and appropriate response to psychological trauma and to develop, and enhance their practical and analytical skills.

Upon successful completion of the programme the student will have:

  • Developed a critical knowledge of the nature and current research related to post traumatic stress, post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociation
  • Developed knowledge of the range of therapeutic approaches to working with psychological trauma and current understanding of the effectiveness of these approaches.
  • Developed and enhanced their practical therapeutic skills of working with those who have experienced psychological trauma.
  • Extended their cognitive skills through the development of professional, ethical and research skills as well as contributing to research within the area of psychological trauma.

These skills also relate to:

Transferable skills gained through the use of a variety of research techniques and methods appropriate to post graduate training in the social sciences and specifically in psychological trauma. These include those demonstrated during the practical research and working with colleagues both individually and in groups.

The MSc Therapeutic Practice for Psychological Trauma is an applied programme designed specifically for qualified and experienced therapists who wish to specialise in this area of work. Compulsory elements utilise three existing theory modules from the MSc in Psychological Trauma and additionally provide specific training in therapeutic modalities which are then assessed in the Supervised Professional Practice module. This programme thus provides evidence of therapeutic skills together with knowledge of psychological trauma whilst the MSc in Psychological Trauma only provides evidence of academic knowledge of psychological trauma.


Knowledge and Understanding

Critical understanding of the range of traumatic experiences and reactions to those experiences including post-traumatic stress.
Developed understanding of one particular therapeutic response to psychological trauma.
Knowledge of assessing, minimising the impact of and treating post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociation.
Develop understanding of the nature of post traumatic growth.
Critical understanding of a range of therapeutic methods for working with psychological trauma.
Advanced knowledge and understanding of a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Knowledge of philosophical, methodological and ethical issues in conducting research into psychological trauma.
Thinking or Cognitive Skills

Systematically evaluate a wide range of research findings in the field of psychological trauma. Analyse information gained from the use of assessment methods.
Make critical decisions in terms of responding to individuals who have experienced psychological trauma.
Critically evaluate a range of research methods and make appropriate decisions about conducting research in the field of psychological trauma.

Practical Skills

Systematically evaluate a wide range of research findings in the field of psychological trauma. Analyse information gained from the use of assessment methods.
Make critical decisions in terms of responding to individuals who have experienced psychological trauma.
Critically evaluate a range of research methods and make appropriate decisions about conducting research in the field of psychological trauma.
Key Skills

  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving


  1. Communication skills written and oral, specifically therapeutic skills.
  2. Numeracy - particularly in SO7108 Research Methods but also in presentations of research evidence - programme wide.
  3. Information Literacy and Technology particularly handling and retrieving information from a wide range of sources - programme wide.
  4. Improving own learning and performance particularly the ability to be reflective - programme wide.
  5. Working with others - particularly in the modules SO7106 Post Traumatic Stress, SO7116 Responding to Psychological Trauma: Therapeutic Perspectives and SO71101 Supervised Professional Practice Module.
  6. Problem solving - programme wide but particularly in SO7101 the Dissertation Module.


Transferable Professional Skills

Ability to work more effectively with those who have experienced psychological trauma or to manage traumatic events.

The MSc programme is studied over two years part time (a module is delivered as a block over four days)

For the award of the MSc Therapeutic Practice for Psychological Trauma students complete a total of 180 credits. The core modules are:

  • SO7106 Post Traumatic Stress which explores the current understanding of post trauma reactions;
  • SO7116 Responding to Psychological Trauma: Therapeutic Perspectives which examines a range of possible therapeutic approaches to trauma;
  • SO7108 Research Methods which enables students to acquire research skills and apply them to the area of psychological trauma;
  • SO7110 Supervised Professional Practice which requires 100 hours of supervised therapeutic practice.
  • SO7101 the Dissertation Module which provides a medium for students to examine a particular area of interest related to psychological trauma (60 credits)

And either

  • SO7112 Trauma-Focused CBT (20 credits) and one other optional module or
  • S07111 EMDR (40 credits)

     

    

 Students who undertake SO7112 may choose one optional module from the list below:-

  • SO7104 Managing Traumatic Incidents which explores how traumatic incidents, particularly in the work context, are best prepared for and managed when they happen. (20 credits)
  • SO7113 Mindfulness and Compassion Focused Approaches to Trauma (20 credits)
  • SO7114 Supervising Trauma Therapists (20 credits)
  • SO7115 Creating Trauma Informed Organisations (20 credits)

(Each of these modules will also be offered as standalone modules for CPD purposes.)

Each module (excluding the dissertation module which involves independent work under supervision) is approximately 200 hours of study time with 30 contact hours. The MSc is awarded for successful completion of 180 credits across the taught modules together with the dissertation.

A Post Graduate Diploma will be awarded for successful completion of 120 credits; if students have successfully completed SO7110 they may be awarded a Post graduate Diploma in Therapeutic Practice for Psychological Trauma, otherwise they will be awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychological Trauma.

A Post graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Practice for Psychological Trauma cannot be awarded because students would not have had their therapeutic skills assessed on the programme. A Post Graduate Certificate in Psychological Trauma will however be awarded for successful completion of 60 credits from three of the following modules: SO7106 Post Traumatic Stress, SO7116 Responding to Psychological Trauma:Therapeutic Perspectives, SO7108 Research Methods and SO7104 Managing Traumatic Incidents.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
SO7101 7 Dissertation 60 Comp
SO7104 7 Managing Traumatic Incidents 20 Optional
SO7106 7 Post-Traumatic Stress 20 Comp
SO7108 7 Research Methods 20 Comp
SO7110 7 Supervised Professional Practice 20 Comp
SO7111 7 Eye Movement Desensitising and Reprocessing 40 Optional
SO7112 7 Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 20 Comp
SO7113 7 Mindfulness and Compassion Focused Approaches to Trauma 20 Optional
SO7114 7 Supervising Trauma Therapists 20 Optional
SO7115 7 Creating Trauma Informed Organisations 20 Optional
SO7116 7 Responding to Psychological Trauma: Therapeutic Perspectives 20 Comp

60 credits at Level 7 entitle the student to a Postgraduate Certificate in Psychological Trauma (not Therapeutic Practice for Psychological Trauma)
120 credits at Level 7 entitle the student to a Postgraduate Diploma
180 credits at Level 7 entitle the student to a Master's degree.

Candidates for the MSc in Therapeutic Responses to Psychological Trauma will possess a good honours degree in any discipline or equivalent qualification, be qualified and chartered/registered/accredited therapists with relevant experience of working in the field of psychological trauma for minimum of two years post qualifying. They will be Chartered, Registered or Accredited by a Professional body such as the British Psychological Society, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy or the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and where appropriate, be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. They will need a current Enhanced DBS check before commencing the programme. Some modules require additional qualifications: the Trauma Focused CBT requires previous CBT training, Mindfulness and Compassion Focused Approaches to Trauma requires students to have completed an 8 week mindfulness training, the Supervising Trauma Therapists requires students to have some experience of supervision and the Creating Trauma Informed Organisations requires students to work within an organisation. Prior to completing the Supervised Professional Practice Module students should have a minimum of two years post qualifying experience and must also have on-going availability of suitable practice to meet the requirement of 100 hours of therapeutic work. Applicants will normally be interviewed by a representative of the programme team and where distance is an issue the interview may be conducted by telephone or Skype. Given the demanding nature of working in the field of psychological trauma particular reference will be made to applicants own current and past experiences of traumatic events and how these have been, or are being managed. Applicants will also be expected to be able to identify appropriate support mechanisms available to them in relation to the personal impact of their work with psychological trauma in compliance with professional guidelines e.g. British Psychological Society or British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

There are no specific benchmarks for psychological trauma however the QAA benchmarks for Counselling and Psychotherapy are relevant and have been taken into account in the development of this programme. These benchmarks for masters level provision stress critical awareness of the history, systemic nature of, context of and methods of therapy, all of which are covered particularly in the module SO7116 but also throughout SO7106 and in each of the new modules. The benchmarks also emphasise the ability to manage complex concepts with originality and to demonstrate ability to complete empirical research which will be a requirement in the Dissertation Module. The stringent entry requirements to the programme and the specific entry requirements to individual modules ensure that participants already have a high level of knowledge, skills and professionalism. The training and accreditation/registration requirement of participants is also based upon educational, professional and governmental benchmarks which will further ensure appropriate standards are met.

Students are given the opportunity to experience input from members of the course team and acknowledged experts (national and international) in the field. They also experience seminars, workshops, experiential activities, skills training, group discussion, video input, supervised practice, web-based learning, and individual and group based research projects.

An active electronic community is encouraged to enable students to continue their learning in between the taught blocks. The University Intranet provides electronic access to some of the presentations made so students can revisit (for a specified time) a lecture once the module is completed.



Students' knowledge, understanding and skills is assessed by coursework that includes essays, reports (personal and by supervisors) case studies, logs, project work and the research dissertation. Practical skills will be assessed by process recording, case studies and the supervisor's reports.

Students will be made aware that they must follow the policies of their organisation and professional body in complying with the Data Protection Act (1998) and the Caldecott Principles (1997) in relation to protecting client records and preserving client confidentiality. All client material submitted in relation to assessment must protect the client's confidentiality and consent forms must be completed by the clients involved.

Formative assessment will take place through presentations made by students including theoretical and case related material.

Graduates from this programme will be qualified and trained to work as therapists for those who have been psychologically traumatised. This may be within a variety of settings including clinical/counselling psychology, psychiatry, and social work and in nursing. Graduates will also be suited to careers in consultancy and research and will have the potential for doctoral level research. As this is an applied programme graduates will be expected to utilise therapeutic skills in line with their existing profession.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

The Programme has an Advisory Group made up employers in the area of psychological trauma which meets periodically to oversee the content.

The programme will operate in line with the University's Professional Suitability Policy which provides guidance on what constitutes inappropriate or unprofessional behaviour by students and the consequent actions that will follow should there be evidence of such behaviour. A copy of this policy will be made available to students in the Programme Handbook.

The undertaking of the module SO7114 Supervised Professional Practice is carefully regulated to ensure the safety of clients and students and requirements such as public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, Enhanced DBS check and the completion of appropriate risk assessments are outlined in the module handbook. The therapeutic work undertaken will normally be within an organisational context however if students work within private practice they will need to demonstrate how their work is appropriately regulated and monitored. As all students on the programme will be qualified and experienced therapists who will be members of the appropriate regulatory body they will already be required to comply with the necessary legal and ethical requirements for practice. A member of the course team will visit student's work place wherever possible for meetings with the student and his/her clinical manager, where this is not possible because they are in another country this will take place via email/Skype The programme team is mindful of the need to adhere to the requirements of Section 10 of the QAA Code of Practice.

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