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Master Higher Professional Education

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  • Entry requirements
    All students joining the course need to possess the following: * Be a registered health or social care professional, with a registration acceptable to the relevant United Kingdom Professional Body. * Have an honours degree or a professional qualification equivalent to a first degree or be able to produce evidence of the ability to study at your proposed level of entry if requested. * Have a minimum of 2 years professional practice experience. * Be employed or have access to a health care setting that will enable achievement of the learning outcomes. ie hold a post which includes a significant role as a teacher/facilitator in a health or social care setting. We recognise that the range of educational roles is wide and this may include formal and informal teaching of groups or facilitating the learning of individuals on a regular, ongoing basis. * Meet the English language requirements, outlined in the Oxford Brookes University postgraduate regulations.
  • Academic Title
    MSc / PGDip / PGCert Higher Professional Education
  • Course description
     MSc / PGDip / PGCert
    Students are eligible for associate membership of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) on successful completion of the programme at all levels, and for Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) recognition, currently as a practice teacher/ teacher.

    The Higher Professional Education course offered by Oxford Brookes is open to applicants who are currently practicing in a health or social care setting the UK. The course starts in September or January and is designed for a wide range of health and social care professionals who are involved in education, training or facilitation for all or part of their role.

    It offers participants the opportunity to understand the emerging nature of professional education in health and social care, its context and their role within it. It aims to challenge and extend the knowledge, skills and attitudes of those currently involved in higher professional education in the context of health and social care. It also facilitates the development of your knowledge, skills and expertise as an educational practitioner, curriculum developer and strategic planner in your chosen area.

    The course provides a framework of opportunities for students to:

        * appraise critically their role and that of others within health and social care education
        * develop a greater depth of understanding of the nature of professional education
        * develop their knowledge, skills and experience as practitioners, curriculum developers and/or strategic planners.

    The Higher Professional Education course team is committed to embedding the principles of adult learning into their own practice as educators. By this we mean valuing, and drawing on, the richness and experience of course members, encouraging them to be actively engaged in the learning process and developing a partnership approach between teaching staff and course members based on self-awareness, negotiation and mutual respect.

    The course’s taught modules explore a wide range of educational issues, including the nature of professional education, local, national and international factors impacting on curriculum development, and facilitating inter-professional learning and quality enhancement in education.

    The practice-based modules provide a framework of learning outcomes. In these modules you will be encouraged to engage in educational activities at two institutions and you will receive support in doing this.

    As the course progresses, increasing emphasis is placed on the support of learning through practice in order to ensure each course member feels confident in their role as an educator in the practice environment as well as in more formal classroom settings.This approach has proved effective in encouraging the development of creative and innovative facilitators of learning who have a strong sense of self-awareness and a commitment to personal development.

    Students who exit successfully with the PGCert in Higher Professional Education (HPE) can go on to undertake either a PGDip or MSc in HPE or a PGDip or MSc through the Student Designed Award that combines an education focus with another topic. The Student Designed Award’s innovative design offers a very diverse and flexible choice of modules, which gives you the opportunity to build a programme suited to your individual requirements.
    Course content

    The final award depends upon the number of modules you take. A PGCert requires the successful completion of three modules and the PGDip requires the successful completion of six modules. The MSc requires the successful completion of nine modules, which must include Advanced Research Design and a dissertation.
    Nurses and Midwives

    Students who wish to meet the NMC standards to support learning and assessment in practice (NMC 2006) will need to pass the compulsory modules Widening Perspectives through Educational Practice and Creating Frameworks for Learning.
    All other health care professionals

    Students taking the PGCert can either choose to take the double module, Widening Perspectives through Educational Practice or choose two single modules from the following four options: Inter-Professional Learning for Collaboration, Facilitation and Group Process, Work-Based Learning and Independent Study.
    Module Details

        * Creating Frameworks for Learning. This module explores models of curriculum, together with local, national and international policies and strategies, and the manner in which they impact on curriculum design, assessment, quality management and evaluation.
        * Inter-Professional Learning for Collaboration reflects the trends in health and social care practice towards inter-professional working.
        * Widening Perspectives through Educational Practice. This module offers an intensive, practice-based opportunity to explore each of the following three strands in a student’s own place of work and also in another educational institution:
              o developing your own approach to teaching and learning in both clinical and more formal settings
              o exploring the learner’s experience and gaining direct experience of curriculum design and
              o strategic planning in action.
        * Facilitation and Group Process explores the challenges of facilitation in health and social care settings. It is designed to enable participants to increase their understanding of different approaches to facilitation and to make informed decisions to enhance their own practice. You will be encouraged to draw on your own experience and the theoretical frameworks to explore both extrinsic and intrinsic factors.

    For the PGDip you may choose two other relevant modules from across the School’s Postgraduate provision.


    The report of the QAA Major Review 1 (Health Visiting, Nursing, Midwifery and Operating Department Practice programmes) in October 2005 was overwhelmingly positive and revealed high levels of confidence in all the areas reviewed.
    Research Development

    The School has a number of both promising and senior, experienced researchers working in established areas including Substance Misuse, Rehabilitation and Movement Science and Supportive Cancer Care. Over the past few years, these researchers have won external research and consultancy contracts worth over £1.5 million, including grants, fellowships and studentships for NHS staff. Our research staff collaborate with researchers from other Schools in Oxford Brookes University, with researchers from the Institute of Health Sciences at Oxford University, and with research teams from many other UK and international centres.

    In the national Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) undertaken in 2001, Health and Social Care at Oxford Brookes was awarded 3b out of 5*.

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