University of Chester (Parkgate Campus); Student workplace; on-line.
Undergraduate Modular Programme
Residential and Open, Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)
Annual - September
Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences
NHS Modernising Scientific Careers team.
NHS Modernising Scientific Careers Accreditation team.
Department of Biological Sciences
Friday 10th July 2015
The overall aims of the FdSc in Anatomical Pathology Technology are to:
offer a FdSc degree programme promoting academic, vocational and personal development.
provide students with the knowledge, skills and understanding required by employers, utilising teaching, learning and assessment strategies that develop professional experience concurrent with academic development.
provide a high quality academic and work-based programme of study that is relevant, valid and responsive to the needs of employers and students.
offer flexible modes of delivery and study to meet the needs of students from a variety of backgrounds and patterns of employment.
encourage a critically- and theoretically-informed and reflective approach to academic study and professional practice.
provide a degree programme that equips students for further study at honours degree level (Level 6).
Students should be able to:
demonstrate extensive knowledge and a critical understanding of relevant theoretical concepts;
demonstrate a critical understanding of a broad range of practical issues as applied to the field of anatomical pathology technology;
synthesize and integrate knowledge and understanding from different areas of anatomical pathology technology.
At Level 4, students should be able to use this knowledge and understanding in a routine manner to describe and evaluate the underlying concepts and principles associated with anatomical pathology technology (BI4145; BI4146; BI4147; BI4148; BI4149; BI4150; BI4151).
At Level 5, students should be able to use this knowledge and understanding to initiate and undertake critical analysis of appropriate information and to propose solutions to problems (BI5140; BI5141; BI5142; BI5143; BI5144; BI5145; BI5146).
Students should be able to:
analyse, synthesise, evaluate, apply and reflect upon information gathered from the academic literature, professional organisations, and experiences in the work place, in order to propose solutions to problems relevant to anatomical pathology technology.
At Level 4, students should be able to use these skills to evaluate and formulate a range of arguments relevant to anatomical pathology technology (BI4149; BI4150; BI4151; BI4152).
At Level 5, students should be able to use these skills to initiate and critically analyse concepts and principles relevant to anatomical pathology technology (BI5140; BI5141; BI5142; BI5143; BI5144; BI5145; BI5146).
Students should be able to:
deploy academic and practical techniques for the integration of academic knowledge and understanding into effective professional practice in anatomical pathology technology;
have understanding of the limits of own knowledge, and how this influences analysis and interpretations based on that knowledge;
have skills of self-evaluation to understand own strengths and weaknesses, challenge received opinion, and develop own criteria and judgement;
have key/transferable skills and confidence to undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competencies that will enable assumption of significant responsibility within relevant organisations.
At Level 4, students should be able to plan and successfully carry out relevant practical procedures in an appropriate environment (BI4149; BI4150; BI4151; BI4152).
At Level 5, students should be able to integrate academic knowledge and practical procedures into effective professional practice in anatomical pathology technology (BI5140; BI5141; BI5142; BI5143; BI5144; BI5145; BI5146).
Students should be able to:
effectively communicate information, arguments, and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
use IT to manipulate quantitative and qualitative information to solve defined problems;
work effectively within a team, giving and receiving information and ideas, and modifying responses as appropriate.
At Level 4, students should be able to communicate the results of their studies accurately and reliably, and with structured and coherent arguments (BI4145; BI4146; BI4147; BI4148; BI4149; BI4150; BI4151; BI4152).
At Level 5, students should be able to effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences (BI5140; BI5141; BI5142; BI5143; BI5144; BI5145; BI5146).
The programme is designed so that academic knowledge and understanding accompany the development of work-related skills and their application in a relevant work environment. The curriculum is modular and is built over two Levels of study, and will be delivered predominantly via blended learning, comprising face-to-face tuition at Residential Schools held at the University of Chester supported by distance learning and work-based competency training.
The curriculum of this FdSc comprises Levels 4 and 5 of the BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Anatomical Pathology Technology) Practitioner Training Programme, which has been coordinated by the NHS Modernising Scientific Careers team working with colleagues in the NHS and the University of Chester (see Section 27).
Level 4 comprises 8 x 15 credit modules. Four of these modules are classed as academic modules and will be delivered via blended learning as detailed above, and four of the modules are classed as competency modules and will be delivered and assessed entirely within the student workplace. This is consistent with the organisation of the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) Level 3 Certificate in Anatomical Pathology Technology, the successful completion of which is a pre-requisite for entry into this FdSc programme. The rationale for constructing the Level 4 programme from 15-credit (rather than 20-credit) modules is that:
15 credit modules are included in the RSPH Level 4 Diploma in Anatomical Pathology Technology (accredited by Ofqual) which constitutes this Level 4 programme (see Level 4 – below);
15 credit modules permit part-time study at Level 4 to encompass study over two academic years, with each year comprising two academic modules and two competency modules.
Levels 5 predominantly comprises 6 x 20 credit modules; this organisation mirrors study at this Level undertaken as part of other FdSc and BSc programmes delivered by the Department of Biological Sciences. All of these 20 credit modules are classed as academic, with delivery continuing to be via blended-learning, but each comprises a combination of academic learning outcomes and work-based competences, i.e. these modules combine and integrate both academic and work based learning. In addition, Level 5 includes a non-credit bearing competency module which provides a framework for the development of professional skills, personal qualities and behaviours (professionalism) that underpin successful employment as an Anatomical Pathology Technologist. As with other competency modules, this will be delivered and assessed entirely within the student workplace.
Each academic module takes the form of a learning package consisting of a tutor-prepared module text which is supported and developed by text and online resources (accessed via the module space on the University VLE) such as self-assessment questions, websites, emails, discussion boards, etc.
Students normally complete 4 x Level 4 modules per academic year, and 3 x Level 5 modules per academic year. The non-credit bearing Professional Perspectives I module must be completed by the end of the Level 5 study period.
Level 4 of the programme is built upon the Royal Society of Public Health’s current professionally recognised Diploma qualification. All entrants to the programme must have successfully completed the RSPH Level 3 modules (see Section 30 (below)). The Level 4 modules essentially represent a slight re-packaging of the current RSPH Level 4 programme into the following 8 x 15 credit modules:
Quality Management in the Mortuary
Advanced Mortuary Practice
Common Human Pathology for Anatomical Pathology Technologists
Management of the Deceased in the Mortuary*
Management of Mortuary Function*
Specialist Practical Mortuary Skills*
Deliver and Evaluate Training in Anatomical Pathology Technology*
*indicates Competency modules
The first 4 modules will be delivered via blended-learning involving Residential Days at the University of Chester combined with home/workplace study (i.e. consistent with the delivery of equivalent Level 4 modules on other FdSc programmes, e.g. FdSc in Health Care Sciences).
The latter 4 competency modules (designated with *) will be delivered and assessed entirely within the workplace (i.e. similar to constituent modules in the FdSc in Canine Assistance).
Students who successfully complete Level 4 study will be eligible for the award of a Foundation Diploma in Anatomical Pathology Technology awarded by the Royal Society of Public Health. The RSPH Diploma award is highly respected by all the relevant professional bodies, which are adamant that this qualification must be preserved. In order to satisfy this requirement, the University of Chester will become an ‘Approved Centre’ of the RSPH for the delivery and management of the Level 4 content, and the RSPH will act as an External Verifier for the required assessments.
The successful completion of Level 4 will entitle students to progress to Level 5 study. The subsequent successful completion of Level 5 study will permit students to either exit the programme with the award of a FdSc in Anatomical Pathology Technology, or progress to Level 6 study with the aim of obtaining a BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Anatomical Pathology Technology).
120 credits at Level 4 entitles students to exit the programme with a Certificate of Higher Education.
240 credits at Level 5 entitles students to a Science Foundation Degree in Anatomical Pathology Technology.
In addition, students who successfully complete Level 4 study will be eligible for the award of a Foundation Diploma in Anatomical Pathology Technology awarded by the Royal Society of Public Health
The Modernising Scientific Careers BSc (Hons) degree programme (of which this FdSc constitutes Levels 4 and 5) accreditation process stipulates that 'all modules must be successfully completed and passed' (i.e. 'no whole module score can be below the University's definition of a 'pass'').
Subsequent to validation, an application will be submitted to the Modernising Scientific Careers Accreditation team for professional accreditation of the BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Anatomical Pathology Technology) Practitioner Training Programme, which comprises this FdSc in Anatomical Pathology Technology plus the accompanying Level 6 'top-up' programme.
Students are accepted into this part-time programme upon successful completion of the current curriculum of the Royal Society of Public Health for the Level 3 Certificate in Anatomical Pathology Technology, which is thus a pre-requisite for entry.
The development and content of this FdSc curriculum (and indeed the entire PTP curriculum for the BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science) and integrated work based programme for Anatomical Pathology Technology has been coordinated by the Modernising Scientific Careers team working with colleagues in the NHS and Higher Education sector. These include representatives from the Association of Anatomical Pathology Technologists; the Home Office; NHS Blood and Transplant; the Royal College of Pathologists; the Royal Society of Public Health, and the University of Chester. In addition, individual patients and representatives of voluntary groups and bereavement services have been invited to contribute to the development of this programme including the Still Birth and Neonatal Death Charity and their feedback has shaped the curriculum.
The curriculum for the BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Anatomical Pathology Technology) (comprising this FdSc in Anatomical Pathology Technology and the subsequent Level 6 ‘top-up’ programme) was approved by the Health Education England Healthcare Science Education &Training Scrutiny Group in January 2014. In addition, the RSPH Level 4 Diploma in Anatomical Pathology Technology (which includes the Level 4 FdSc modules) received Ofqual accreditation in March 2014.
As noted above (see Section 24), the programme will be delivered predominantly via blended learning. All academic modules (i.e. 4 x Level 4 modules, and all modules at Level 5 except BI5146 Professional Perspectives I) will involve blended learning comprising learning packages, e-mail, discussion boards, telephone contact, Residential Schools and work-place mentoring. Tutor-prepared Module Texts (supplemented by set texts) will provide the main learning materials and the University VLE will be used to provide the learning framework, information on work patterns, additional support materials and the platform for communication throughout the programme. The attendance at a residential school will be at the start and end of each module.
Members of the Department of Biological Sciences have many years of experience in offering distinctive programmes of study at foundation, diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate and post-experience levels. The Department has considerable experience of supporting the learning needs of mature students and of students generally with ‘non-standard entry’ qualifications. Considerable experience has been achieved with students with limited entry qualifications both in terms of academic performance and personal development. Consequently, students encounter a broad range of teaching and learning experiences across all levels of study as befits the subject matter.
Residential Schools At the start of each academic module, students will attend a Residential School at which the module content (including support provision, learning materials and assessment details) will be described. Considerable guidance will be given on learning to learn, accessing and using resources and preparing assignments as well as an introduction to the modular content. The help given will be more extensive at Level 4; at Level 5, the support will be similar but appropriate to a learner who has developed a degree of autonomy. Throughout both levels, students will be encouraged to become autonomous learners. Students will be encouraged to form self-help groups (communicating through e-mail, discussion boards or telephone) and these will be explained and organised at the Residential School. On completion of the allocated time for the module, there will be a second Residential School. This will be used for any formal assessment – as described in the module descriptor – and module evaluation and staff/student cohort meetings.
Visiting Lecturers will be used to support the delivery of the programme. This will provide professional expertise in pathology, and will include contributions from a range of personnel involved in specific areas relevant to anatomical pathology technology.
Competency Modules/Work-based Competences
All 4 x Level 4 competency modules, and the professional competences highlighted within Level 5 modules, will be addressed within the student workplace as part of the duties of her/his employment. Students entering this programme will have successfully completed the RSPH Level 3 Certificate in Anatomical Pathology Technology (see Section 30), which involves such work-based training arrangements. Consequently, the work-based training and learning required as part of this FdSc may be regarded as an extension of pre-existing arrangements and structures.
All students will be expected have a work-based Training Officer/mentor who will normally be a colleague. The mentor’s role in the work place is to train and support learners in whatever capacity they are learning, and to enable the learners to share their learning experiences. The mentor will help provide a framework for advising and sharing of work-related experience, to encourage and stimulate appropriate questioning and enable the learners to identify appropriate work-based learning contexts. Mentors will not be responsible for formal assessment procedures although they will be available to help in preparing students for assessments.
Training Officer/mentor training is organised and delivered by the staff in the Centre for Work Related Studies at the University and by the Royal Society of Public Health. There will be on-going sessions for mentors to monitor and support and evaluate progress when this FdSc is in operation
Appropriate expert mentorship in the workplace should be provided on a day-to-day basis.
Assessment Strategy and Methods
The strategy is designed to introduce students to a range of assessment methods and develop their performance in assessment. In the academic modules, there is generally a balance between course work and examination – this has been Departmental policy for some time. The staff believe that in preparing and submitting course work, which can include essays, laboratory and data handling exercises, oral and poster presentations, students are given time and scope to present their work in a variety of modes where an examination would be inappropriate. However, we are aware that examinations have an important role in summative assessment as well as giving academic credibility, both externally and internally, to the work of the Department. All students receive written comments on coursework and additional feedback on the work is usually given more informally by individual tutors. Additionally, students are invited to discuss their assessment results with the appropriate tutor. This opportunity allows students to discuss their performance and ways to enhance it for the future.
As noted above (see Section 24), the competency modules (Level 4) and the work-based competences (Level 5) will be delivered and assessed entirely within the student workplace. The competences within each module (which are detailed in the Work-Based Training Assessment Guide) constitute outcome-based statements for the relevant Learning Outcomes associated with individual modules. All students are required to provide evidence to demonstrate that they have successfully achieved each competence. Such evidence is reviewed, and if appropriate signed-off, by the work-based Training Officer. In addition, evidence is subjected to verification by an External Assessor (appointed by the RSPH). Students will gain competences at their own pace, but in line with the overall delivery of the relevant modules. A variety of work-based assessment methods are utilised (Direct Observation of Practical Skills; Observed Clinical Event; Case-based Discussion) as highlighted in the Assessment Guide, and the completion of a competency log is essential for progression within the programme and in order to exit from the programme. Evidence for the attainment of Work Based Learning Outcomes may include observation in the workplace; witness statements; professional discussion; work journals or diaries.
Formative assessment features particularly in the Level 4 modules and is designed to introduce students to assessment at higher education and make them aware of what is expected of them. There will be set assignments which will be marked using the normal marking criteria but the marks will not be formally recorded. Extensive written feedback will be given to students following the marking period. This feedback can be discussed with both the module tutor and/or the work place mentor.
Individual module descriptors detail specific assessment methods.
Graduates of the FdSc will possess knowledge, skills, experience and attributes such as:
Knowledge and understanding of the application of science and research methods to the practice of anatomical pathology technology.
Ability to apply academic knowledge and techniques to practical solutions in mortuary work places.
Skills of academic enquiry to generate potential solutions to problems in anatomical pathology technology, and cognitive skills to critically evaluate these to arrive at solutions fitted to context.
An understanding of the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences analysis and interpretations based on that knowledge in mortuary work contexts.
Skills to effectively communicate information, arguments, and analysis, in written and oral form, to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
Confidence and transferable skills to undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competences that will enable them to assume responsibility within mortuary organisations.
Knowledge, understanding and skills to progress onto Level 6 study with the aim of obtaining a BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Anatomical Pathology Technology).
In light of the above, this degree programme will equip graduates with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to make a significant contribution to anatomical pathology technology.
The programmes of study in the Dept of Biological Sciences fully embrace the University’s commitment to the active promotion of equality of opportunity. The University seeks to ensure that no student is disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: gender; age; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnicity or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union; and socio-economic background. It also aims to ensure that disabled people and those with special needs do not suffer unfair discrimination, and that they are enabled to achieve their full potential as students. The ultimate objective of the programmes delivered are to ensure all aspects of delivery are open to all sections of society and in whose activities all students can participate to the best of their ability. This programme is designed to ensure inclusivity and to ensure that the diverse needs of our students are provided for. At a departmental level all programmes are developed and delivered with the following aspects in mind:
Admission requirements are clearly set out in promotional materials and due consideration is given to a policy of widening access, participation, diversity and equality.
Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning.
There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Department works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support through Learning Support Plans.
The induction week activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any issues. Students are made aware of avenues of support if they a have any issues regarding diversity and equality.
Supportive formative exercises are presented in modules in the first year to give all students an equal chance of succeeding.
Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. The introduction of anonymous marking and the blue sticker scheme also enhance equal opportunity to all students.
In order to ensure that the needs of all students are met any barriers to access (physical, environmental and curriculum) are identified and removed or reasonable adjustments will be made based on requirements.
All learning materials and teaching and learning sessions are designed to be free from racist, sexist and other discriminatory assumptions and practices.
All lecturers are aware of diversity issues and discharge their PAT roles with knowledge and sympathy and all students are made aware of the Department structures to discuss issues should a concern arise.
Students who successfully complete the FdSc programme in Anatomical Pathology Technology are eligible to enter the corresponding Level 6 honours degree programme with the aim of obtaining a BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science (Anatomical Pathology Technology).
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