2020/21 Part-time Postgraduate course
Master of Science
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Health Sciences
This course is taught online so you can study where you want, when you want.
This online course will enable occupational therapy graduates to enhance their professional development and global employability.
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This course, for qualified occupational therapists, will enhance your knowledge so you can confidently step forward in your career and continue to provide healthcare to the highest standards. Taught exclusively online, you can study from anywhere in the world, at any time, so you can fit your learning around your current professional and personal life.
The course modules are varied giving you a wide knowledge base and helping to spark interest for future development. They include Entrepreneurial Leadership for those interested in managing new ventures within the health and social care sector, Professional Development in Practice to develop your leadership skills in preparation for supervision/mentoring roles and Global Healthcare Perspectives tackling the role of occupational therapy in disaster management and reviewing international standards of practice. You will also learn strategies to motivate and empower patients to self manage their conditions as well as developing research skills to inform your future professional practice.
Learning with an international outlook, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with and gain peer support from occupational therapy and physiotherapy colleagues from outside your normal place of work. By adding to your expertise, the course will help you to gain accreditation for CPD purposes and enhance your employability. This course is for you if you want to improve your confidence and enhance the quality of your practice in health and social care services.
Sign up to register an interest in the course.
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All students have to successfully complete the following 7 compulsory modules for the award of MSc in Professional Development in Occupational Therapy.
Modules (All Credit Level 7)
1. Long Term Conditions (30 Credit Points)
2. Professional Development in Practice (15 Credit Points)
3. Research Evidence in Health Science (15 Credit Points)
4. Global Healthcare Perspectives (30 Credit Points)
5. Entrepreneurial Leadership (15 Credit Points)
6. Research Project Preparation (15 Credit Points)
7. Research Project/Dissertation (60 Credit Points)
The PgDip Professional Development in Occupational Therapy(120 Credits) is an optional exit route after completion of modules 1 to 6.
The PgCert Professional Development in Occupational Therapy (60 Credits) is an optional exit route after completion of modules 1, 2 & 3 or completion of modules 1 & 4.
Global Healthcare Perspectives
This online module explores the diversity of healthcare systems worldwide and the need for capacity building in many countries worldwide. Issues such as the clinical/practice role of occupational therapy and physiotherapy in disasters and catastrophic emergencies, professional body and international standards and quality assurance are explored.
Professional licensure requirements and professional body accreditation are discussed from a global perspective.
Long Term Conditions
This module will enable the student to increase their knowledge and understanding of the pathophysiology process of various long term conditions. Strategies to motivate and empower patients to manage their condition will be explored alongside the role of family and carers. Best practice will be discussed and justified by critical evaluation of literature.
The module seeks to build the student's awareness of "entrepreneurial leadership" and to provide a framework for engaging with and assessing the viability of an innovative project/new venture or the development of an existing one within the health and social care sector. It aims to give the student insights to the opportunities and challenges associated with establishing and managing the development of a new or existing venture, allowing them to audit their personal, entrepreneurial potential.
Professional Development in Practice
This module provides the opportunity for students to engage in professional development to enhance their working knowledge and application of effective learning, teaching and supervisory methods. This will develop their leadership skills in preparation for taking on a supervisory/mentoring role with students and junior staff in the future.
Research Project Preparation
The aim of the module is to develop research design skills to enable students to produce a working research proposal for the Masters project.
Research Evidence in Health Science
This 15 credit point, online module runs twice per academic year and offers health professionals an opportunity to develop their understanding of a range of research methodologies commonly used within healthcare. They will use this understanding of clinical research methods to develop skills in critically appraising and synthesising literature in order to inform and advance the quality of care and service delivery. For those students proceeding to the Masters award, the module will complement the 'Preparation for Project' module and provide a foundation for the Masters project.
The aim of this project module is to engage the student in an independent piece of research activity under the guidance of a supervisor from the School of Health Sciences. It is expected that this research will add to the student's knowledge and perhaps inform future teaching, clinical practice or further research. The research activity will be allied to that carried out in the Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies (CHaRT) within the Institute for Nursing and Health Research (INHR).
Full time or part time options are available. Students can enrol on the programme on a Full time (over 1 year; 3 semesters) or Part time basis (over 3 years; 6 semesters). Students engage on a weekly basis in online learning, completing tasks and collaborating with peers.
This course uses online delivery to enable learning and wider participation for graduates worldwide. You will actively engage in learning using a varied suite of digital, interactive learning tools which will promote student engagement, communication and collaboration within an international and peer supported learning community.
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.
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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(a) have gained a second class honours degree or better in Occupational Therapy from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised national awarding body, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard.
(b) be eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council
(c) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent) and for non-native English speakers, IELTS 7.0 (with no contributing band at less than 6.5) or, as an alternative to (a) and/or (b)
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
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Completion of this course will equip you with the necessary knowledge, skills, confidence and expertise to live, work and study in international contexts, thereby increasing your employability.
There are no practice placements attached to this course.
Faculty contact regarding admissions and application process:
Course Director for advice regarding course content:
Dr Patricia McClure
"The course is fit for purpose"- it is enjoyable"
"Learning helpful and able to apply knowledge"
“The team is very supportive”
“Provided with a wide range of learning materials. Found this helpful when working full time whilst studying – good pacing to allow engagement with the learning material”
“Good opportunities to engage with one another within and outside of the taught sessions through the discussion topics and the discussion board works well"
“Assessments have been varied enabling development of a range of skills such as development of a portfolio and coaching skills
“Feedback has been good and has helped the transition back into study. Also helped to build skills and enhance performance in future modules”
“The programme is appropriately constructed to meet the needs of occupational therapists. The curriculum is contemporary and underpinned by research”
"The programme helps graduates to become more rounded health professionals who are equipped for a range of career directions"