Postgraduate Course

MA Professional Practice

MA Professional Practice

Overview

The details
Professional Practice
October 2018
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.

Professional accreditation

Students are encouraged to align their studies with their relevant professional body (e.g. NMC, HCPC or other) for CPD and re-validation purpose. The programme aims to take account of the Advanced Clinical Practitioner Apprentice role (Skill for Health) as it develops.

We are committed to embedding the NHS Constitution Values (which are strongly reflected in our University values) into everything we do. They define the behaviours and expectations of all of our staff and students, underpinning the work we do in the university, clinical arena and other workplaces. We understand that not all of our students and staff are employed within the NHS but these values uphold the underlying principles of excellent care as a standard, and as such we expect that anyone who cares for others will aspire to uphold these values.

Service users, experts, carers and NHS/non-NHS professionals, along with our students, were consulted in the creation and delivery of this programme.

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.

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.

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 research includes professional development including 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. Staffs 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.

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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.

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.

Dissertation

Your dissertation is the pinnacle of your masters degree. We offer dissertation workshops held throughout the academic year which help you select a topic and provide guidance on writing up your research. You are allocated a dissertation supervisor appropriate for your topic and/or selected methods.

View Dissertation 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

Mindfulness, self-compassion and compassionate care (optional)

By combining an introduction to mindfulness and self-compassion with direct application to health and social care practice, we develop your capacity as a professional to deliver compassionate care. We help you to be more aware of the present moment experience, and improve your ability to identify and deal more compassionately with your own emotional needs, so that you will become more confident in practice and more emotionally resilient to the challenges of your work. Becoming more mindful and compassionate towards yourself will mean you can form better professional relationships and more effectively incorporate the needs of your patients in their care-giving.

View Mindfulness, self-compassion and compassionate care (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

Evidence Based Practice for Advanced Clinical Decision-Making (optional)

Healthcare professionals are applying evidence-based practice (EBP) principles in an increasingly complex working environment. Effective health provision is achieved by skilled clinicians utilising the three EBP domains of research, clinical experience and expertise, and patient experience or perspective to achieve decisions around assessment and intervention. Shared decision-making is core to the NHS values, and this module sets out to examine, critically analyse and evaluate EBP in real-life contexts and to strengthen clinical reasoning (CR) and clinical decision-making skills (CDM) within this complex context. It has been designed for experienced clinicians working in clinical or educational settings.

View Evidence Based Practice for Advanced Clinical Decision-Making (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

Pharmacological Management of Diabetes - Optimising Control (optional)

This module is an innovative multi-professional qualification which has been jointly developed by North East Essex Diabetes Specialist Team and the University of Essex. The subjects are specifically aimed at meeting the learning needs of those providing clinical services to patients with diabetes in Primary Care, the community and in the hospital setting. The module is suitable for general practitioners, practice nurses, community nurses, ward nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals.

View Pharmacological Management of Diabetes - Optimising Control (optional) on our Module Directory

Pharmacological Management of Diabetes - Initiating Therapy and Optimising (optional)

This module was jointly developed by North East Essex Diabetes Specialist Team and the University of Essex to ensure you gain relevant training which helps you develop person-centred, evidence-based, diabetes management plans to optimise glycaemic control.

View Pharmacological Management of Diabetes - Initiating Therapy and Optimising (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)

This module enables you to explore theoretical and practical issues in relation to the research process, with specific emphasis on research in health and social care. You will develop the ability to understand and use relevant research literature, and acquire some of the skills you need to plan and carry out your own research. A defining feature of the course is that the research principles that are encountered will constantly be applied to real health and social care settings.

View Postgraduate Research Methods (optional) on our Module Directory

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (optional)

The practice environment provides important learning opportunities for all student health care practitioners. In order for this opportunity to be fully realised, practitioners working with learners need to be knowledgeable, skilled experts in both healthcare and educational practice. This module is suitable for any healthcare professional supporting students in practice, and is mapped against the requirements for GP Associate Trainers, ACE for physiotherapists, APPLE for occupational therapists, and is a requirement for the nurse teacher and GP trainers.

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

Learning Organisations and Quality Enhancement (optional)

The practice environment provides important learning opportunities for all student health care practitioners. In order for this opportunity to be fully realised, practitioners working with learners need to be knowledgeable, skilled experts in both healthcare and educational practice. This module will help to provide health care practitioners working with learners the self-determination to improve your practice as educators, and the ability to promote change within your learning organisations. The module facilitates the development of an evidence-based understanding of the meaning of enhancement, allowing development and improvement of knowledge and skills related to teaching and learning. Quality enhancement is presented as a deliberate process of change leading to improvement.

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

Course Design and Development (optional)

This module allows you to consider the many variables involved in designing and developing curricula that provide students with a good and successful learning experience. It explores the external influences that provide opportunities and constraints when undertaking course design and development.

View Course Design and Development (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

Using Reflective Practice (optional)

This module provides you with an applied grounding in reflective practice within a professional learning context. It is an introduction to and application of the work of four significant theorists in the reflective practice field, followed by reflexive discussion about the contribution their theories make to our own capacity to learn in and through practice.

View Using Reflective Practice (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 (30 Credits, Level 7) (optional)

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

£7,560

International fee

£16,225

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.

2018 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, June 23, 2018

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

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