Postgraduate Course

MA Professional Practice

MA Professional Practice

Overview

The details
Professional Practice
October 2019
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

Choose to study in a way that suits you best. Our MA Professional Practice is a pathway degree that can be studied on a modular basis at either our Colchester or Southend campus. You develop your knowledge and skills in various areas across the sector to help you build your expertise and progress in your career. With input from practitioners across a variety of backgrounds, you gain insight into a wide range of areas including public and private health and social care settings and community/voluntary sectors. You can do this on a full-time basis over one year, or on a part-time basis over up to six years.

There are three routes offered; Professional Practice, Professional Practice for Leadership and Professional Practice for Education. All three routes engage students in the professional development required for higher level practice, leadership and/or education roles.

In the Professional Practice route you will complete advanced level analysis, professional or clinical reasoning around cases, therapeutic or other interventions and aspect or sequence of service delivery within your context.

The Leadership route will focus on encouraging professionalism with the confidence and ability to utilise critical and reflective abilities to deal with the complex issues both systematically and creatively, drawing sound judgements and conclusions.

In the Education route you will learn to act autonomously in planning and implementing educational developments at professional levels, based on a sound understanding of, and insight into current theories.

You explore the following core topics across every route:

  • Professional practice reasoning and decision making
  • Analysis of current debates and challenges
  • Reflection on every organisational practice

Studying in the department for Health and Social Care offers you the opportunity to work directly with academics who also work for local NHS organisations and other local agencies. Their experience ensures that the department has a strong grasp of the contemporary links between academic research, and the major issues of the day and practice.

Why we're great.
  • Benefit from the expertise of staff from a wide range of clinical and academic backgrounds
  • As a flexible programme, you can choose from three different routes for your professional development
  • Develop your knowledge base required for higher-level practice roles in a flexible, full-time or modular basis.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

Our School of Health and Social Care has an excellent reputation for research and teaching.

Our educational provision meets professional regulatory requirements and achieves high standards. We do so by having multi-professional staff with both clinical and academic expertise; our staff include sociologists and social policy and management specialists as well as clinically qualified lecturers in adult and mental health nursing, oral health, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, pharmacy, speech and language therapy, social work and sports therapy.

We are delighted to be the first department in the University to have obtained the Athena Swan Silver Award for gender equality. This award recognises initiatives we have in place such as our mentorship system, our additional promotion of flexible work and study options, and our work to recognise the barriers to opportunity for BAME and LGBT members of our community.

Penny Hodgkinson is the programme lead of MA Professional Practice, she has worked in a range of teams across East Anglia and some of her teaching includes professional development, leadership, mentoring, governance and reflective writing.

We have at our heart a commitment to making a difference to local, national and international health, social care and voluntary services through education, research and knowledge transfer. Our staff operate an ‘open door’ policy so we are available to discuss any concerns with you throughout the year.

Specialist facilities

The School of Health and Social Care is located at two sites; in the Kimmy Eldridge building at our Colchester Campus and in the Gateway Building at our Southend Campus.

The Forum at Southend is our landmark new education facility which houses our student support, finance, registry, IT services and an integrated library.

We offer excellence physical and online resources in terms of libraries, computer labs, datasets, archives and other research materials, and have simulation labs where you can practise developing your clinical skills safely, knowing that you are learning up-to-date and evidenced based practice from experience registered practitioners.

Your future

This programme will develop your ability to:

  • Critically analyse current evidence and practice in your professional area
  • Synthesise your clinical and professional reasoning and reflective skills
  • Engage in research and critical enquiry applied to practice

This course can support a transition into clinical or professional specialist positions, management and leadership positions, as well as any research focused role in practice.

We have strong links with local employers so we are always up-to-date with important developments in the workplace, and we understand the needs of employers and individual staff in relation to learning and development. Staff within the School of Health and Social Care have experience in delivering programmes with a work-related element which enables us to support you to realise your potential in your working life.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A relevant professional qualification – e.g. Nursing, AHP, Social Worker etc so registered with NMC or HCPC

A minimum of 2 years post qualification experience

A good first degree in a relevant subject OR relevant professional experience and qualifications that demonstrate ability to study at level 7

Currently employed in a relevant field of practice – e.g. in health or social care setting - NHS, local authority, education, community or third sector etc

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year. You can also download our CPD pathways map which indicates which modules are optional or compulsory by pathway.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Preparation for non-Medical Prescribing - Nurses, Midwives and SCPHNs (optional)

This NMC-accredited module will prepare nurses to prescribe as both an Independent Prescriber, and a Supplementary Prescriber working in partnership with an Independent Prescriber and the patient. This programme has been designed for qualified nurses working in a variety of healthcare settings.Its underpinning philosophy is that successful participants will be able to enhance patient care by providing quicker and more efficient access to healthcare, by making better use of your own skills, and allowing doctors more time to deal with more complex and serious health problems.

View Preparation for non-Medical Prescribing - Nurses, Midwives and SCPHNs (optional) on our Module Directory

Person Centred Dementia (optional)

This module is designed to offer health and social care practitioners the opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of dementia and to develop specialist skills in providing care for people living with dementia and their families. This module is ideally suited for those who want to promote good practice and facilitate practice-based change within their organisation, or for people who want to go on to undertake a specialist role in dementia care.

View Person Centred Dementia (optional) on our Module Directory

Developing Professional Practice (optional)

Developing Professional Practice is a supervised project with no formal taught component; all sessions are based around individual or group tutorials. During the module you will carry out a project in your workplace which explores the nature of your individual professional practice. Your project will be unique, focusing on the clinical practice environment as experienced by the practitioner.

View Developing Professional Practice (optional) on our Module Directory

Applying and Using Learning in Practice (optional)

This module allows you to take a structured approach to applying and using learning in your professional practice. Health professionals commonly attend learning events such as conferences, workshops, skills training or role shadowing as part of their professional development. Although highly valuable in terms of shaping your ideas, learning techniques and broadening understanding, there is limited opportunity afforded within these one-off learning events to allow demonstration of reflection, critical analysis, contextualisation and evaluation. This module is designed to give you, as a health professional, an opportunity to demonstrate how you have applied the learning gained from such events to your day-to-day practice. There is no formal taught component on this supervised project, and all sessions are based around individual or group tutorials.

View Applying and Using Learning in Practice (optional) on our Module Directory

Applying and Using Learning in Practice (optional)

This module allows you to take a structured approach to applying and using learning in your professional practice. Health professionals commonly attend learning events such as conferences, workshops, skills training or role shadowing as part of their professional development. Although highly valuable in terms of shaping your ideas, learning techniques and broadening understanding, there is limited opportunity afforded within these one-off learning events to allow demonstration of reflection, critical analysis, contextualisation and evaluation. This module is designed to give you, as a health professional, an opportunity to demonstrate how you have applied the learning gained from such events to your day-to-day practice. There is no formal taught component on this supervised project, and all sessions are based around individual or group tutorials.

View Applying and Using Learning in Practice (optional) on our Module Directory

Leadership in Health and Social Care (optional)

The aim of this module is to provide you with the theoretical basis of leadership as applied to practice, which supports health and social care organisations in meeting the needs of patients and service users. This course is suitable for health and social care practitioners including nurses, allied health professionals, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and, speech and language therapists and other health professions, as well as social care staff working in relevant roles.

View Leadership in Health and Social Care (optional) on our Module Directory

Research Design and Critical Appraisal (optional)

This module provides you with an advanced understanding of the research study designs commonly used in health research. It combines a theoretical and a practical approach to enable you to search for, obtain, and understand the research literature, and provides you with the critical skills to analyse and synthesize material into a literature review.

View Research Design and Critical Appraisal (optional) on our Module Directory

Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation (optional)

This module provides you with a range of techniques for collecting, analysing and interpreting data. It combines a theoretical and a practical approach to enable you to understand the collection and analysis process. At the end of the module, you will be able to design and pilot data collection instruments, conduct quantitative and qualitative data analysis using appropriate computer software, and interpret statistical and qualitative research findings.

View Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation (optional) on our Module Directory

Work Based Learning Module (optional)

There are a number of options for this module, which ranges in the level and volume of work that will need to be produced for assessment. Work-based learning offers both a means of linking theory to practice and of valuing practice, as an integral part of professional education. The principle behind work-based learning is that you are given an opportunity to explore aspects of your work for your own personal development and that of the organisation/service in which you work. This module places control over the learning process in your hands - you negotiate your own learning contract with your academic and practice supervisors. This will set out and structure what you want to learn, what action you will take to achieve it, and what evidence will demonstrate that achievement. You will directly apply the knowledge and skills gained to your professional work through development of a service improvement project and specific, individualised activities to enhance your professional practice.

View Work Based Learning Module (optional) on our Module Directory

Statistical Analysis (optional)

This module is ideal if you have no previous experience of quantitative methods. It introduces you to basic and intermediate statistical concepts and procedures, emphasising practical applications rather than mathematics; although a small amount of elementary mathematics is inevitably required.

View Statistical Analysis (optional) on our Module Directory

Postgraduate Research Methods (optional)

To scrutinise the knowledge that informs evidence based practice, health and social care professionals need to be critical thinkers who are research-literate. This module explores the different ways that health and social research is carried out, with a focus on critical appraisal, research design, data collection and analysis. The module covers qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research. This learning enables students to embark more confidently and creatively on their own dissertations, as well as helping them to engage more critically with the research of others.

View Postgraduate Research Methods (optional) on our Module Directory

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (optional)

This module enhances critical expertise in both the facilitation and assessment of learning in practice and higher education. You will learn about philosophies of learning and explore contemporary thinking about assessment and feedback. You will consider how the critical use of teaching, learning and assessment strategies enable learners engaged in professional development to gain the capability to function as effective practitioners. Successful completion of this module may make you eligible to gain Fellowship of AdvanceHE (FHEA). Participants who successfully complete this module (as well as HS951) and are employed as a General Practitioner (GP) in a registered GP Training Practice can qualify as GP trainers.

View Learning, Teaching and Assessment (optional) on our Module Directory

Learning Organisations and Quality Enhancement (optional)

This module provides health professions educators with the self-determination and conceptual knowledge to improve their practices as educators and the ability to promote positive change within their learning environments and organisations. On this module, you will develop an evidence-based and critical understanding of quality enhancement, and evaluate the complex influences that impact on learning in clinical communities and organisations. Participants who successfully complete this module (as well as HS950) and are employed as a General Practitioner (GP) in a registered GP Training Practice can qualify as GP trainers.

View Learning Organisations and Quality Enhancement (optional) on our Module Directory

Course Design and Development (optional)

This module explores the many variables involved in designing and developing curricula capable of delivering a valuable and transformative learning experience. Focusing on education in the health professions, this module will enable you to design a unit of learning whilst considering the political, social, philosophical, professional influences and assumptions embedded in health professions education. You will be encouraged to take a democratic approach to curriculum design, leading strategies and learning experiences that shapes the contemporary and future health profession workforce.

View Course Design and Development (optional) on our Module Directory

Using Technology to Enhance Learning in Practice (optional)

This module is designed to enhance the critical understandings of strategies, techniques and pedagogies employed to enhance learning through the use of technology. Participants will explore and experiment with a range of technology-enhanced learning strategies, demonstrating critical application of these within the design of health professions education. Students are encouraged to design learning materials that they can then go on to use in their professional practice.

View Using Technology to Enhance Learning in Practice (optional) on our Module Directory

Consultation and Assessment (optional)

Health care practitioners are increasingly working outside their traditional boundaries of practice. There is recognition that effective health practitioners are skilled clinicians who enhance the patient experience by bridging gaps in service provision. The quality and safety of patient care is dependent on clinical staff being adequately prepared for that role. This programme has been designed for experienced nurses and allied health professionals working in clinical settings.

View Consultation and Assessment (optional) on our Module Directory

Managing Care At the End of Life (optional)

The purpose of this module is to enhance the knowledge and skills surrounding the effective delivery of End of Life Care (EoLC). Applying the framework of the Department of Health’s End of Life Care Strategy and the Common Core Principles and Competences, you will be encouraged to reflect on best practice and explore creative approaches to caring for, and supporting, people approaching the end of their life, and to be aware and responsive to the needs of their families and carers.

View Managing Care At the End of Life (optional) on our Module Directory

Accredited Prior Learning (15 Credits, Level 7) (optional)

This module is utilised to recognise and provide a route for Accreditation for Prior Learning within our Continuing Professional Development pathways. This includes transfer of credit from another Higher Education Institution where you have undertaken a course/courses elsewhere, and awarding credit for experiential (non-accredited) learning. To find out more about AP(E)L please go to the following link: http://www.essex.ac.uk/quality/university_policies/ap(E)L/default.asp Please visit our website to find out more about the pathways we offer. http://www.essex.ac.uk/hhs/cpd/pathways.aspx You can also arrange a pathway discussion by contacting cpd@essex.ac.uk

View Accredited Prior Learning (15 Credits, Level 7) (optional) on our Module Directory

Accredited Prior Learning (30 Credits, Level 5) Version 2 (optional)

This module is utilised to recognise and provide a route for Accreditation for Prior Learning within our Continuing Professional Development pathways. This includes transfer of credit from another Higher Education Institution where you have undertaken a course/courses elsewhere, and awarding credit for experiential (non-accredited) learning. To find out more about AP(E)L please go to the following link: http://www.essex.ac.uk/quality/university_policies/ap(E)L/default.asp Please visit our website to find out more about the pathways we offer. http://www.essex.ac.uk/hhs/cpd/pathways.aspx You can also arrange a pathway discussion by contacting cpd@essex.ac.uk

View Accredited Prior Learning (30 Credits, Level 5) Version 2 (optional) on our Module Directory

Dissertation (optional)

This final module consolidates your learning and equips you to take your career forward with a range of skills and knowledge relevant to your professional practice. It is an opportunity to undertake an independent research project relevant to your field of practice. You will formulate a research question, plan and carry out the project, analyse and write up the results. You can undertake primary or secondary research, or audit/service evaluation or a library based critical literature review research project. If you are undertaking the MSc in Health Research you will undertake a primary or secondary research project, engaging with empirical data.

View Dissertation (optional) on our Module Directory

Teaching

  • Students will devise an individual programme that meets their own needs
  • There are three exit points – Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits); Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) and Masters (180 credits) level
  • Students will have space to explore and critically reflect upon their own current work practice
  • Students have the flexibility to study at their own pace, finding a balance between work, education and everyday life.

Assessment

  • Assessment includes written assignments, work based projects, portfolios and reflective commentaries.
  • For the final module students will write a 12000 word research dissertation.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£7,940

International fee

£17,040

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2019 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, October 26, 2019

Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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