Clinical Applications of Psychology MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert

Course length: 2-4 years part-time Distance/Blended Learning

Overview

"The level of supportive feedback is impressive in frequency and quality."
External Examiner

The MSc in Clinical Applications of Psychology provides modules in aspects of psychology relevant to clinical practice, for students who are intending to apply to Doctoral programmes in clinical psychology. Whilst there is no guarantee that students will ultimately be successful in gaining entry to Doctoral programmes, this course is intended to strengthen your CV and enable you to get the most out of your relevant experience. It is expected that most students accepted onto the MSc will be currently working in clinically relevant posts, such as psychology assistants, nursing assistants or therapy aides.

"This course occupies a niche in higher education in psychology that does not seem to be filled elsewhere: a grounding in clinical psychology theory and research that can support and provide an additional dimension to the experience of psychology graduates who are aiming to go on in the future to train in clinical or other related areas of applied psychology. The syllabus has been carefully designed to meet the course aims. The outcomes can be demonstrated in the level of performance of the students (and also in their reported success in gaining places on Doctorate courses)."
External Examiner

Attendance

This programme is delivered predominantly on-line, with one compulsory Saturday attendance for induction to the programme.

Assessment

Throughout the course you will develop the skills to successfully disseminate information to both specialist and non-specialist audiences. You will be assessed using a range of techniques such as essays, journal article presentations and critiques.

Research Areas

Research in this area is fundamental to the mission of Newman University. The subject area welcomes applications from suitably qualified students who wish to pursue postgraduate research degrees (MPhil and PhD awarded by the University of Leicester). For more information about the research interests of the Psychology team, please visit the psychology research section of this website.

Progression Routes

Successful completion of this course  will enhance students CV to enable students to apply for higher degrees.


 

RELATED DOCUMENTS

pdf  Dr Lorna Dodd Staff Profile
Last updated: 01 July 2010


Newman University would like to draw your attention to our Academic Regulations. These regulations are your Terms of Reference and should be considered when making a decision to study with our institution.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:2 degree in Psychology conferring GBC from the BPS. For those without a degree conferring GBC, see our MSc Applications of Psychology.

Fees

UK/EU Fees per module 2017/18: £675  
The total payable over the full MSc course duration (for eight modules) using the current module cost would be £5,400.

Fees may rise subject to inflation for 2018/19

For information regarding a Postgraduate Loan (PGL) for Master's study click here

All information is believed to be accurate at time of publishing, but Government support, fees and bursaries may be subject to change without notice.

As a full time student, you will study a total of 180 credits each year. The credits are made up of mandatory modules and you may have a list of optional modules to choose from. Not every programme offers optional modules and when an optional module is available it will be clearly marked. All modules are listed below and you may not be required to complete all of these modules. Most modules are 20 credits or 30 credits and dissertations are 60 credits. Please note that not all optional modules run every year. For further information please email admissions@newman.ac.uk.

Year 1 modules


RESEARCH METHODS IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY


MODULE TITLE : RESEARCH METHODS IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

MODULE CODE : PYM701


MODULE SUMMARY :

This module aims to orientate students to the kinds of issues and concerns found within psychological research methods. Students’ knowledge of research methods from their undergraduate studies will be consolidated and expanded and they will be encouraged to consider clinical applications of this knowledge. To equip students with the skills necessary to carry out empirical research, they will be given exercises to develop their awareness of ethical issues and they will be provided with data sets to analyse and interpret using appropriate research techniques. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be covered during this module, and students will be provided with journal articles to see how such methods have been implemented in real world research. Finally, students will design a research proposal which will incorporate an in depth literature review and they will be encouraged to focus this upon the broad area within which they may eventually wish to focus their dissertation.

CONTACT HOURS :

Scheduled : 20.00
Independent : 180.00
Placement :
Total :  200.00

MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

This module aims to:

  • Further develop students’ analytical understanding and knowledge of the breadth of research methods used in psychological research.

  • Enhance students critical and self-reflective awareness of the ethical issues associated with clinical research.

  • Further develop students’ ability to manipulate and interpret data sets using a statistical package, and appraise from an advanced level.

  • Provide students with the opportunity to develop and construct a research proposal incorporating an in depth literature review on a clinical related area.

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

  • Demonstrate an analytical understanding and advanced knowledge of research methods used in psychological research.

  • Demonstrate a sound and critical knowledge, and understanding of quantitative and/or qualitative data used in psychological research.

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the conventions surrounding production of a research proposal and literature review.

  • Demonstrate a critical and self-reflective awareness of the ethical issues in clinical research where appropriate.

  • Demonstrate ability to develop and construct a research proposal with an in depth literature review.

  • Demonstrate the ability to identify appropriate statistical tests, carry them out using SPSS, interpret the output, and appraise from an advanced level.

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

Component 1 - 60% Research Proposal (4000 words)

Component 2 - 40% Research Portfolio (2500 words)

ADULT MENTAL HEALTH


MODULE TITLE : ADULT MENTAL HEALTH

MODULE CODE : PYM702


MODULE SUMMARY :

This module will begin with an overview of adult mental distress and the theoretical perspectives in the area. Then follow up with an in-depth analysis of the presentations that can be displayed in adulthood by way of applying the knowledge of text material in critical thinking and activities/discussions/case analyses related to controversies in  clinical psychology. The course will focus on the primary texts but will also draw heavily on key studies and reviews. The assignments are designed specifically to develop students’ knowledge and information searching skills, while building on their analytical, evaluative and presentation skills. Also allowing the student to develop, describe, justify and apply their own theoretical model of adult mental health, explaining the development and maintenance of mental distress as well as associated interventions based on information acquired during the module.

CONTACT HOURS :

Scheduled : 20.00
Independent : 180.00
Placement :
Total :  200.00

MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

This module aims to:

 

  • Provide students with advanced knowledge and skills needed to recognise and understand mental health problems affecting adults.
  • Develop students advanced awareness of the various adult psychological disorders.
  • Encourage students to make critical judgements and evaluations in the analysis of the aetiology of mental health disorders from various theoretical perspectives.
  • Encourage advanced understanding of empirically derived treatment methods.
  • Encourage students to develop numerous and sophisticated knowledge skills, and dispositional competencies in order to accurately understand, evaluate and diagnose the presence or absence of mental health difficulties based on current conceptualisation of mental health (i.e. DSM-5).
  • Foster an enhanced awareness thorough understanding of the challenges pertaining to the issue of ‘labelling’.

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

  • Elaborate the criteria used to identify mental health difficulties, evaluate the assessment process/developmental circumstances and compare the theoretical perspectives describing the causes.
  • Appraise empirically derived interventions.
  • Make critical judgements and evaluations, identifying general principles and evaluating competing perspectives.
  • Formulate the necessary skills for conceptualising, describing and differentiating between the wide variety of psychological problems. 
  • Develop an appreciation of the importance of becoming familiar with and sensitive to the various differences they may encounter in the process of formulating client presentations such as culture, race, age and sexual orientation.
  • Develop awareness of professional development issues, and be able to critically discuss potential future developments.

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

Component 1 - 40% Disorder Report (2500 words)

Component 2 - 60% Portfolio of Case Studies (4000 words)

ISSUES IN PSYCHOTHERAPY: A CRITICAL APPROACH


MODULE TITLE : ISSUES IN PSYCHOTHERAPY: A CRITICAL APPROACH

MODULE CODE : PYM703


MODULE SUMMARY :

This module offers students the opportunity to expand their clinical knowledge through exploration and analysis of competing perspectives of some of the major ongoing issues in psychotherapeutic theory & practice. Students will be encouraged to directly relate theory and practice to their clinical and personal experience, fostering a reflective approach to training and practice and demonstrating critical thinking within this area.

CONTACT HOURS :

Scheduled : 20.00
Independent : 180.00
Placement :
Total :  200.00

MODULE CURRICULUM LED OUTCOMES :

This module aims to:

 

  • Examine and explore at an advanced level key issues in psychotherapy as it relates to clinical theory and practice.
  • Encourage the development of advanced critical thinking about clinical theory and practice.

Develop a critical and self-reflective practice by encouraging enhanced  consideration of cultural, social and biological/genetic factors in psychotherapeutic presentations and their impact upon both clients and practitioners.

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES :

Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

 

  • Demonstrate an analytical understanding and advanced knowledge of competing perspectives in key current and ongoing issues in psychotherapy
  • Evidence the ability to critically evaluate clinical theory and practice. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to articulate grounds for criticism and present and defend judgements about competing approaches.
  • Demonstrate critical and self-reflective awareness of particular theoretical, ethical, professional and social issues relevant to clinical practice.
  • Apply the issues studied to their own clinical practice while maintaining a critical awareness of diversity and human rights.
  • Demonstrate development of reflective practice in response to real or hypothetical clinical situations.

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT :

Component 1 - 50% Critical Analysis (3000 words)

Component 2 - 50% Reflective Account (3000 words)

Year 2 modules


PROFESSIONAL ISSUES, ETHICS AND DIVERSITY


Professional Issues, Ethics and Diversity


Module Title: Professional Issues, Ethics and Diversity

Module Code: PYM704

Module Summary:
This module aims to help students develop an awareness of the nature and the practice of Clinical Psychology in the UK, with a particular focus on the key areas of ethics and diversity, but also covering a range of professional issues such as: supervision, self-care and reflective practice. There are ongoing changes both in the structure of the National Health Service (NHS) and the role of Clinical Psychology within the NHS and this wider context is considered as well. This module is intended to provide a foundation on which those students entering doctoral training programmes will be able to build, but it will also support students who want to gain a better understanding of key issues facing Clinical Psychology in the UK.

CATS Value: 20

ECTS Value: 10

Contact Hours:
Scheduled: 20 (Made up of online seminars/tutorials)
Independent: 180 (Made up of: core text reading; core journal article reading; indicative reading; article searching associated with assessments; online discussions; engaging with electronic resources such as video tutorials, PowerPoints; and engaging with tutor support).
Placement: 0
Total Hours: 200

Programmes for which this Module is Mandatory: MSc Clinical Applications in Psychology

Programmes where this Module may be taken as an Option: None

Module Curriculum Led Outcomes:
This module aims to:

• Provide students with the opportunity to reflect on and evaluate the context of the role of Clinical Psychology in the UK.
• Develop students’ critical knowledge, understanding of and skills in managing ethical issues in relation to Clinical Psychology practice and research, through discussion of their own examples and reflection on hypothetical examples and case studies.
• Enhance students’ professional development by increasing both knowledge and skills in respect of reflective practice, self-care and effective use of supervision, through in-depth discussion, debate and a range of formative exercises.
• Increase students’ knowledge of ‘diversity’ issues and appreciation of their importance for Clinical Psychology, both in clinical training and practice.
• Enable students, through self-reflection, to develop an advanced awareness of how a consideration of diversity might impact upon their own clinical practice and other interactions.

Learning Opportunities:
Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

• Critically reflect on and evaluate the role of Clinical Psychology in the UK context, demonstrating an awareness of the range of challenges facing it.
• Discuss and critically reflect on ethical issues in relation to the practice of Clinical Psychology, in particular in research and therapeutic settings.
• Critically evaluate a range of possible courses of action in cases of ethical dilemmas, recommending one outcome and clearly justifying this choice.
• Critically appraise their own professional practice and continuing professional development, particularly in respect of their responsibility for: reflective practice, self-care, making effective use of supervision and reporting concerns.
• Demonstrate an advanced awareness of the importance of ‘diversity issues’ and discuss how these can impact on the practice of Clinical Psychology.
• Critically evaluate their personal attitudes to ‘diversity’ (including gender and a wide range of socio-cultural factors) and determine how they impact on their clinical practice.

Assessment:
Component 1: 40% Diversity and Clinical Psychology Assignment (2500 word equivalent)

Component 2: 60% Professional Ethics Case Study (4000 words)

NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT


Neuropsychological Assessment


Module Title: Neuropsychological Assessment

Module Code: PYM705

Module Summary:
This module aims to build upon the knowledge of cognitive psychology gained at undergraduate level, to show how cognitive theories have enabled the development of a wide variety of tests, which can now be used to assess patients in a range of domains of cognitive functioning. The types of neuropsychological assessments will be discussed at some length, providing students with an understanding of the tests that are available, and why and how they should be used. The course will focus on the primary text but will also draw heavily on key studies and reviews. The assignments are designed specifically to develop students’ knowledge and information searching skills, while building on their analytical and evaluative skills.

CATS Value: 20

ECTS Value: 10

Contact Hours:
Scheduled: 20 (Made up of online seminars/tutorials)
Independent: 180 (Made up of: core text reading; core journal article reading; indicative reading; article searching associated with assessments; online discussions; engaging with electronic resources such as video tutorials, PowerPoints; and engaging with tutor support).
Placement: 0
Total Hours: 200

Programmes for which this Module is Mandatory: MSc Clinical Applications in Psychology

Programmes where this Module may be taken as an Option: None

Module Curriculum Led Outcomes:
This module aims to:

• Provide students with an in depth critical knowledge of the domains of functioning which are assessed by neuropsychologists.
• Illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of conducting neuropsychologist assessments.
• To make students aware of the range of instruments available for use in such assessments and critically appraise these instruments.
• Evaluate the current limitations in neuropsychological assessment and the instruments.

Learning Opportunities:
Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

• Demonstrate a critical knowledge of the domains typically assessed by neuropsychologists.
• Be able to critically discuss the types of assessments used in different domains and their limitations.
• Demonstrate an ability to critically appraise the literature in this area.
• Illustrate and justify for particular domains, which tests could be used to form an assessment .Evaluate the weaknesses of identified tests and use literature to provide recommendations of how weaknesses could be addressed.

Assessment:
Component 1:60% Essay (4000 words)

Component 2: 40% Neuropsychological Assessment Portfolio (2500 words)


CHILDHOOD MENTAL HEALTH


Childhood Mental Health


Module Title: Childhood Mental Health

Module Code: PYM706

Module Summary:
The module explores the major clinical disorders and problems that are a focus of clinical attention in childhood. It will consider behavioural disorders, emotional disorders, developmental and learning disorders and problems related to physical and mental health. The potential causes of these clinical problems will be considered, including developmental, cultural, social and biological/genetic factors. Attention will also focus on assessment, diagnosis and treatment of these clinical issues. The module will also consider theoretical issues pertaining to the role of developmental mechanism of particular disorders associated with childhood. The module will aim to emphasise the role of research in advancing our understanding of childhood mental health and well-being and the need to be able to disseminate information to clinical and non-clinical of readers.

CATS Value: 20

ECTS Value: 10

Contact Hours:
Scheduled: 20 (Made up of online seminars/tutorials)
Independent: 180 (Made up of: core text reading; core journal article reading; indicative reading; article searching associated with assessments; online discussions; engaging with electronic resources such as video tutorials, PowerPoints; and engaging with tutor support).
Placement: 0
Total Hours: 200

Programmes for which this Module is Mandatory: MSc Clinical Applications in Psychology

Programmes where this Module may be taken as an Option: None

Module Curriculum Led Outcomes:
This module aims to:

• Advance students’ knowledge of an atypical childhood and how it differs from typical development.
• Advance understanding of research methodologies and psychological theories that inform approaches to childhood mental health.
• Progress students’ critical thinking and knowledge of methods of assessment, diagnosis and treatment used in childhood mental health.
• Enhance students critical awareness of cultural, social, and biological/genetic factors in childhood mental health.
• Advance students’ abilities to communicate to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Learning Opportunities:
Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:
• Demonstrate an advanced and comprehensive level of knowledge of childhood psychopathologies.
• Critically evaluate and synthesise the ways in which psychological research and theories have been applied to childhood mental health.
• Critically evaluate the implications of psychological research for improving the effectiveness of clinical approaches to childhood mental health.
• Outline and evaluate methods of assessment, diagnosis and treatment used in childhood mental health in a way that explicitly improves on standard practices.
• Read, interpret and synthesise primary research sources and integrate these to provide an informed and advanced level literature review.
• Use case studies to critically appraise issues in childhood mental health.
Assessment:
Component 1: 60% Literature Review (4000 words)
Component 2: 40% Utility-Driven Information Booklet (2500 words)

Year 3 modules


* This module can be studied in year 2 alongside the three remaining modules or in year 3, once all taught modules are completed. The students may have two academic years to complete this module.

DISSERTATION *


Dissertation *


Module Title: Dissertation

Module Code: PYM707

Module Summary:
This tutored sixty credit module provides students with the opportunity to select an area of particular interest to them relevant to the field of Clinical Psychology and to design, plan and execute an in-depth research project in their chosen area. The research design should include either quantitative and/or qualitative analyses and draw upon and critically evaluate a range of both classic and contemporary research findings throughout. The resulting project should be submitted following University conventions and be to a publishable standard.
CATS Value: 60

ECTS Value: 30

Contact Hours:
Scheduled: 21 (Made up of 6 online seminars and 15 hours supervision)
Independent: 579(Made up of: formatively submitting initial research idea and a detailed research proposal; completion of Newman ethics procedure and potentially NHS or other relevant external ethical approval procedure; conducting analysing and writing up the research; reading texts and journal material associated to the research idea; engaging with online discussions; engaging with electronic resources; and engaging with tutor support).
Placement: 0
Total Hours: 600

Programmes for which this Module is Mandatory: MSc Clinical Applications in Psychology

Programmes where this Module may be taken as an Option: None

Module Curriculum Led Outcomes:
This module aims to:

• Further enhance the ability to identify, analyse and critically evaluate research evidence relating to a selected area of interest in an area relevant to clinical psychology.
• Further enhance the ability to select appropriate, ethically sound research methods in relation to identified research purposes and justify their use, with tutor support.
• Further enhance the ability to work constructively with an advisory tutor recognising that the content and execution of the project belongs to the student.
• Further enhance ability to present, analyse and evaluate qualitative and/or quantitative data clearly and in an appropriate format.

Learning Opportunities:
Students will, by the end of the module, have the opportunity to:

• Identify, analyse and critically evaluate research evidence relating to a selected area of interest in a topic relevant to Clinical Psychology.
• Design appropriate, ethically sound research methods in relation to the identified research and justify their use with tutor support.
• Present, analyse and evaluate either quantitative and/or qualitative data clearly and in an appropriate format.
• Construct appropriate conclusions from the data analysis.
• Create a substantial piece of independently-driven empirical research.
• Compile an accompanying reflective commentary to complement the empirical research.


Assessment:
Component 1: 100% - An empirical paper, presented in the form of a peer reviewed journal article (journal choice at discretion of Student; 5000-8000 words) together with a reflective commentary (4000 words total). (Submitted within 2 years of registering for the module unless there are extenuating circumstances).

Course code

For all enquiries relating to admissions or entry requirements, email us at admissions@newman.ac.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the course British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited?

BPS accreditation is only relevant to courses which are part of a recognised professional training route in psychology, e.g. clinical, forensic etc. Therefore, it is not relevant to this MSc, which is intended for graduates wishing to apply to clinical doctorate courses to strengthen their CVs and get more from their relevant experience. In this respect it is like other MSc degrees which people take for similar reasons, for instance, to learn more about mental health studies, research methods etc. However, the course has been carefully prepared to benefit aspiring Doctorate trainees, e.g. the first module includes an assignment preparing a research proposal, which many courses now require as part of their selection process.  Unfortunately due to a printing error the printed prospectus shows the BPS logo of accreditation.  As explained above, this course does not need to be, and therefore is not accredited by the BPS.

2. How many places are available on the MSc?

We try not to accept more than 20 students per academic year.

3. If places are limited how would you decide on successful candidates?

Candidates are selected on first come first served bases, who meet the requirements. Applicants for this course will need to have a first degree in psychology approved by the BPS and conferring eligibility for GBC. In addition, it is envisaged that successful applicants are likely to be working in a clinically relevant context, though not necessarily essential at the outset, applicants should be aware that this is going to be essential if they are to be successful in gaining entry onto clinical training programmes.

4. Are there set times for the modules?

The first module starts in September and the final module will finish in July. Modules do not run over the summer break.

5. How long does each module take?

Each module is ten weeks.

6. What is the contact time?

There is one compulsory Saturday induction at the beginning of the programme.

7. Do I have to complete the full MSc?

No, you can leave with a Postgraduate Certificate after three modules or a Postgraduate Diploma after six.

8. Does the dissertation have to be linked to current employment?

No, but students find it easy to carry out a project at their workplace.

Ask us a question about this course