Combining academic and practice-based learning to develop person-centred cultures for individual and team professional practice
This programme helps practitioners to develop person-centred cultures, using a professional practice-based learning model that embraces practitioner inquiry and practitioner research. Developing their knowledge and skills students will be enabled to develop their understanding of person-centredness and become practitioners who are sensitive to the needs of their team and people who use healthcare services. The programme values knowledge gained through critical reflection on practice experience used in conjunction with the range of knowledge sources. The delivery of person-centred practice (McCormack and McCance 2017) requires practitioners to know and understand self in the context of their practice. Consequently, within the DPHC the focus is on the practitioner learning from practice, understanding the theory underpinning their professional practice-based learning and applying this learning to practice.
The programme combines formal and practice based learning. Outcomes from the DPHC programme link closely with personal and professional practice based objectives, identified through staff appraisal. This provides the opportunity for practitioners to simultaneously achieve personal growth, reward and achievement while contributing to organisational and practice development.
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About this course
In this section
Although some elements of the programme are taught face to face or delivered online, most of the learning is achieved in and from practice, where the practitioner works with a practice based facilitator (who is a recognised teacher with the Ulster University) and completes a portfolio of their learning. Linking learning to individual appraisal enables the practitioner to select the most appropriate modules to match their needs and to meet the requirements of the award.
The facilitator role is pivotal to providing the contact or 'teaching time' for practitioners to learn. This time equates to 6 hours in total/practitioner/module. Additional support is offered to students through taught sessions in the University and through Blackboard Learn.
The programme combines formal and practice based learning and is offered on a part time basis only.
Taught elements require students to attend the University.
Online modules require students to engage partly or fully with the online learning environment.
Most learning is achieved in and from practice practitioner’s area of practice. Working with a facilitator the student completes a portfolio of their learning. Practice based facilitators provide the contact or 'teaching time' for practitioners to learn. This time equates to 6 hours in total/practitioner/module. Additional support is offered to students through taught sessions in the University and through Blackboard Learn.
Students are expected to attend all classes associated with the taught elements of the programme, honour times agreed to meet facilitators and be punctual and regular in their attendance.
- September 2019
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
Understanding Person-centredness in Practice
This module focuses on person-centred practice as a form of practice that holds central the personhood of everyone involved in health and social care - staff, people who use healthcare services and care partners. This module focuses on how person-centred concepts and theories are applied in practice. The module will be underpinned by the Person-centred nursing Framework of McCormack and McCance (2010), a theoretical framework that will enhance knowledge of person-centredness and its translation into practice.
Understanding Practice Development
This level 6 module enables health and social care professionals to demonstrate, through practice-based learning, the development of practice development and reflective practice knowledge and skills. This is undertaken through the progression of two practice-based outcomes.
Facilitation + Leadership in Developing Practice
This module is optional
This level 7 module enables healthcare professionals to demonstrate continued learning within their sphere of practice. It enables development of the skills necessary for creation of climate of support and influence to facilitate development of practice and to uphold the values of the organisation. The modules supports growth in facilitation and leadership needed to obtain maximum benefit from work-based learning for self and others. Specific focus of learning will be selected from the individual's particular learning needs and agreed with their facilitator.
Evidence Informed Practice
This module is optional
This Level 6 module enables health and social care professionals to demonstrate learning within their sphere of practice. It uses practice-based learning opportunities to explore ways in which evidence can inform and enhance practice. This is achieved through the progression of critical reflection and two practice-based outcomes.
Developing Expertise in Practice
This module is optional
This Level 6 module enables health and social care professionals to demonstrate their ability to develop expertise within their area of practice. It includes learning skills needed to obtain maximum benefit from critical reflection of practice-based practice, with a view to developing expertise in practice. This is achieved through the progression of two practice-based outcomes.
Innovation in Practice
This module is optional
This Level 6 module enables healthcare professionals to expand their career roles/goals, through exploration of the concepts of academic enterprise through innovation and change. It includes learning skills needed to obtain maximum benefit from critical reflection of practice-based practice, with a view to introducing new ways of working. This is achieved through the progression of two practice-based outcomes.
Research Methods for Health and Social Care
This module provides an introduction to research methods and enables students to develop and apply theoretical and scientific knowledge and problem solving skills, in order to develop their understanding of the philosophical and practical aspects of research within health and social sciences.
Practice Development Evaluation Project
This module enables health and social care professionals to undertake a practitioner research/practice development project. This is presented in the form of a dissertation, thus meeting the requirements for an honours degree.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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There is no A Level requirement for this course as students must hold an appropriate professional qualification
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Additional Entry Requirements
a) satisfy the University’s general entry requirements;
b) hold a relevant health related qualification[s];
c) be employed within a health and social care trust or other health and social care
related partner organisation.
or as an alternative to 6 (a) and/or 6 (b)
provide evidence of their ability to undertake the programme through the accreditation of
prior experiential learning.
Be employed within health and social care organisations with whom a Memorandum of Understanding has been reached.
Teaching and learning assessment
Learning and Teaching Methods:
A range of learning and teaching methods are used to enable students to develop knowledge and understanding related to these learning outcomes and to provide the foundation for other learning. There is a continuous focus upon how theory is linked to and is informed by practice. Methods used include: facilitation in practice, critical reflection, portfolio development, workshops, lectures, seminars/discussions, e-learning, guided reading, teacher and peer observation, presentation, creative methods and debate. Multi-media and other material may be used to support this.
Self, peer and teacher/facilitator assessment will be used throughout the course to assess the achievement of learning outcomes and will require students to demonstrate the blending of theory with practice through participation, critical reflection and by production of coursework, an assignment or portfolio of evidence. A combination of formative and summative assessment will be employed to demonstrate student learning. Students will be expected to note where the feedback gained from formative assessment influenced their summative submissions to demonstrate development and achievement of learning outcomes.
Students are also required to complete a Post Feedback Action Plan reflecting on the feedback received from summative coursework, what can be improved on and how they plan to achieve this. The identified areas for action are: specific focus of feedback, outcome measure for achievement, resources required to achieve identified action, realism of identified actions and when it should be completed. They may then use this for future development in consultation with the practice-based facilitator.
Exemptions and transferability
Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by Ulster or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the course provided that they shall register as students of Ulster for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award at the highest level.
Accreditation of prior learning will be assessed on an individual basis.
Careers & opportunities
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Students within the programme come to us with an existing employment background within health and social care. On completion of this programme we expect students to continue their employment in health and social care organisations with an enhanced range of transferable knowledge and skills to benefit their communities, individual patients/families and their carers and employer. We also expect graduates to achieve a higher professional and personal profile within their organisation, enhancing their prospects of promotion.
Work placement / study abroad
Students will be already employed in Health and Social Care Organisations (either NHS or independent sector).
Person-centred practice and practice development are underpinned by a robust and dynamic research base. Members of the academic teaching team have been instrumental in initiating and advancing research in this field. They are associates of the International Practice Development Collaborative and the Person-Centred Practice International Community of Practice forums that are committed to researching and working together to develop person-centred cultures.
ApplyHow to apply Request a prospectus
You may apply for this programme through self funding or commissioning
Those who are not eligible for DoH Commissioned places, must apply via the University online application system. (known as the self-funded route) and should contact the Course Director for more information.
Students wishing to apply for a Department of Health (DoH) Commissioned place will need to discuss availability and their application with their line manager in their Health and Social Care Trust. The HSCT will manage your application.
- September 2019
Fees and funding
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Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
- Northern Ireland & EU:
Scholarships, awards and prizes
Additional mandatory costs
Students will be required to purchase their own stationery items.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
I have been a nurse for almost 30 years. This course has been the most enjoyable, challenging and relevant one I have done since my initial training. It has encouraged me to bridge the theory-practice gap and critically examine myself and my practice. I feel the availability of the lecturers/facilitators has been invaluable and have highly recommended this course to all in my workplace.
The facilitation and leadership module was brilliant in comparison to other previous courses undertaken. Other courses did not put emphasis on me as an adult learner. It’s my responsibility. Self serving and motivating. Has had a positive effect.
The fact you can write about what you are doing in your day to day work is a huge advantage.