Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Communication and Media
9 March 2020
This course facilitates understanding of human development across the lifespan and social and psychological responses to transition.
This course draws upon a range of developmental and transitional psychological theory and seeks to relate it to personal learning and the counselling process. Theoretical learning and practical applications will be facilitated through a combination of lectures, participant-led seminars and presentations focusing on personal experience.
This course can be taken individually or combined over a period of time towards a Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development.
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Major life changes are explored in the context of the counselling process. Insights from psychodynamic, cognitive and behavioural theorists are applied in order that participants can intellectually and experientially engage with those psychological processes integral to human growth and transition.
The course focuses on the following areas:
Theories of lifespan development:exploring change and continuity across the entire age range; how the impact of trauma can interrupt maturational continuity; exploring human behaviour by comprehending underlying psychodynamic influences and processes; transition and coping strategies; physical, motor, cognitive, moral and sociological development in early childhood; the development of self and personality; constructivist processes in the psyche; attachment theory; social support.
Adolescence: physical, emotional and personality development in adolescence; forming adult identity.
Early adulthood: identification; conflicts; relationships and attachments.
Middle adulthood:mid-life crisis; the multi-dimensionality of health; changes in health status and self image; gender differences in roles/societal expectations.
Late Adulthood:integrity; disengagement; reminiscence and the concept of loss.
Death and dying:response to bereavement; suicide and suicidal behaviour; loss of function; adaptive and mal-adaptive responses to loss; the meaning attached to death; spirituality; facing major life transitions.
100% Coursework - (1) Presentation - participants will be asked to choose a personal life experience and make a presentation of this to others. With reference to their chosen life experience, participants will be required to explain their experience, suggest why it was significant and, where appropriate, how they coped with it. Participants will be expected to apply theory to personal experience and discuss how this may influence their approach to clients in professional practice (25%) and (2) Written assignment - building on the presentation, participants will be required to produce a written assignment which provides a critical reflection and appraisal of their experience, suggests why it was significant and, where appropriate, considers how they coped with it. Participants will be asked to explore if they can develop a greater understanding of the experience by applying theory and insight to personal experience and discuss how the life experience may influence the way they view clients in their practice (75%).
This course requires attendance on Monday afternoons from 1.15pm - 5.15pm for six weeks from Monday 9 March 2020 to Monday 27 April 2020 (includes two week Easter break)
Any undergraduate degree.
Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the minimum English entrance requirements of the University and will need to provide recent evidence of this (certified within the last two years).
Most of our courses require a minimum English level of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent, with no band score under 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement.
Please see details of the English language qualifications and certificates we can accept - https://www.ulster.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/177404/Other-english-language-tests-and-qualifications-2017.pdf
International applicants will also require a short-term study visa. Further information is available at https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/visa-immigration
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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Northern Ireland & EU: £491.70
England, Scotland, Wales and the Islands: £491.70
Information about how to pay for a course including different payment options is available at
Fee waivers may be available to those who meet the eligibility criteria. More information is available from FlexEd@ulster.ac.uk
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.