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We have an international reputation in the development of Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) devices. Read more
We have an international reputation in the development of Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) devices. The main aim of the course is to provide individuals with psychology, computing, industry or clinical care backgrounds, a tailored research training that will allow them to become more efficient and effective scientist-practitioners in AAC.

Why study Augmentative and Alternative Communication at Dundee?

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to strategies and techniques used by individuals who experience difficulties with communication because they have little or no functional speech. AAC can augment speech or it can provide a replacement for spoken communication. In addition to supporting expressive communication, AAC can also support the development of language and natural speech. The development of effective AAC aids is inherently multi-disciplinary and user-centred.

The School of Psychology and the School of Computing have collaborated to develop this course. The main aim of the course is to provide individuals with psychology, computing, industry or clinical care backgrounds, a tailored research training that will allow them to become more efficient and effective scientist-practitioners in AAC. This will be achieved through an enhanced understanding of:

The psychology of language and communication development
The design ethnography of AAC solutions
The engineering of AAC solutions
The effective evaluation of AAC solutions on an individual and group basis

Please note that this course does not lead to a formal qualification in Speech and Language Therapy.

The course is offered on a full time and flexible part-time basis (exit awards of PGCert and PGDip also available).

What's great about Augmentative and Alternative Communication at Dundee?

This course offers a unique approach to the study and development of AAC solutions because of our emphasis on multi-disciplinary teamwork.

Find out more on the School of Psychology's MSc Augmentative and Alternative Communication course page.

Who should study this course?

This course is aimed at engineers, teachers, practitioners and individuals with communication difficulties, plus anyone who wishes to improve the design and utilisation of AAC technology.

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months.

How you will be taught

Learning methods will include oral and written presentations, peer assessments of oral presentations, problem-solving assignments and feedback, and interactive computer assignments.

Some of the exercises will be group-based and will be followed by presentation of the results of the analysis. Learners will be expected to be able to respond adequately to questions relating to the interpretation of the analyses.

One-on-one supervision of a research dissertation by a single tutor is designed to promote continuity in the learning experiences provided.

What you will study

Core Modules:

Research Foundations
Qualitative Research Methods
Advanced Quantitative Methods
Computing Research Frontiers
Human Computer Interaction
Computing the User Experience
Research Dissertation
One Advanced Modules, typically from:

Gesture, Cognition and Communication
Reading Development and Disability
Research in Practice
Comparative Communication and Cognition
You will also be required to attend bi-weekly AAC Reading Group and Straight Talking User Group meetings.

How you will be assessed

The course will be assessed mainly by coursework. Each module is worth 20 credits apart from the Research Dissertation Module which is worth 60 credits. The total number of credits awarded is 180 for an MSc course.

Careers

Recent National reviews have highlighted the need for better training in the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). The aim of this course is to enhance the career prospects of existing and prospective practitioners in AAC.

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The PGCert in Augmentative and Alternative Communication supports practitioners from across a number of disciplines to lead AAC assessment and intervention in the workplace. Read more
The PGCert in Augmentative and Alternative Communication supports practitioners from across a number of disciplines to lead AAC assessment and intervention in the workplace. The units that make up this award have already supported the academic development of practitioners from speech and language therapy, psychology, education, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, clinical science and IT.

This award enables the student to study an assessment and an intervention based unit at level 7 before completing an independent study unit. The independent study unit will facilitate students’ use of their knowledge and skills to develop a work based project that will be unique to their practice/workplace.

Features and benefits of the course

-Delivered by a national and internationally known expert in AAC
-The content reflects contemporary practice at an advanced practitioner level
-Multidisciplinary-opportunities to share practice with people from a range of disciplines

Assessment details

An assignment of 4500 words or equivalent, appropriate to the student’s field of practice.

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For most companies, understanding the complex web of relationships between people, technology and design the 'user experience' is vital in acquiring the competitive edge. Read more
For most companies, understanding the complex web of relationships between people, technology and design the 'user experience' is vital in acquiring the competitive edge. Especially when considering the development and production of technology based devices and services. MSc User Experience Engineering brings together knowledge and skill sets into a single programme focused on the user experience where computing technology is the heart of the devices and services.

Why study MSc User Experience Engineering at Dundee?

The importance of human computer interaction and good interface design is increasingly recognised as the key to the future of successful software development.

At the University of Dundee we provide students with the knowledge skills and support necessary to become move into a career in user experience engineering. The University of Dundee is at the forefront of computing and as such you will have the opportunity to learn from leading researchers.

What's great about User Experience Engineering at Dundee?

This course is designed to:
Give you a Masters-level postgraduate education in the knowledge, skills and understanding of user experience research and implementation in the domain of computing and technology.

Enable you to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in the professional procedures necessary to ensure that user experience research and requirements-gathering is both valid and actionable in technology implementation contexts.

Enable you to understand and engage with contemporary debate about the role, ethics and utility of user experience research in commercial and other settings.

An additional aim for overseas students is to provide you with educational and cultural experiences which are unique to the UK.

Our facilities:
You will have 24-hour access to our award winning and purpose-built Queen Mother Building. It has an unusual mixture of lab space and breakout areas, with a range of conventional and special equipment for you to use. It's also easy to work on your own laptop as there is wireless access throughout the building. Our close ties to industry allows us access to facilities such as Windows Azure and Teradata, and university and industry standard software such as Tableau for you to evaluate and use.

The start date is September each year. The MSc course lasts for 12 months and the PGDip lasts for 9 months.

How you will be taught

The programme will be delivered principally by a mix of traditional lectures, study of academic background texts, lab and studio based practice sessions, and field and project based learning. These will be supplemented by seminars and workshops on key areas of practice

What you will study

The course will be taught in 20 credit modules plus a 60 credit dissertation. Students will be required to complete 180 credits for the award of the MSc (including 60 credits for the dissertation). Students completing 120 credits (without the dissertation) will be eligible for a Postgraduate Diploma.

Semester 1 (Sept-Dec)
Computing the User Experience (20 Credits)
Elective Module- one from:
Internet and Computer Systems
Software Development
Software Engineering
Agile Engineering
Technology Innovation Management
Secure e-Commerce
Computer Graphics
Computer Vision
Multimedia Audio
International Marketing
Eye Movements & Cognition (10 Credits)
Quantitative Methods (10 Credits)

Semester 2 (Jan-Mar)
Research Methods (20 Credits)- experimental design requires researchers to understand the context of the research being undertaken and being able to apply appropriate methods to measure and compare data. This module aims to provide students with an understanding and knowledge of research methods relevant in the context of computing.
Research Frontiers(20 Credits) - Students select a total of four units from available units which currently include:
Accessibility & Computing (AC)
Applied Computational Intelligence (ACI)
Constraint Programming (CP)
Games (G)
Intelligent Agents (IA)
Aspects of Assistive Technology (AT) and Augmentative and Alternate Communication (AAC)
Interactive Systems Design (ISD)
Space Systems (SS)
What Computer Eyes Can Do (CE)
Eye Gaze Tracking
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) (20 Credits) - the aim of this module is to provide you with a broad introduction to human-computer interaction through study of the components, both human and machine, which make up interfaces and the ways in which they interact, illustrating this with examples of good and bad practice.

Semester 3 (Apr-Sept)
Research Project or Field Project (60 Credits) - this module will provide you with a professional level experience of specifying, conducting and presenting a substantial piece of user experience research.
Please note that some of the modules in the programme are shared with other masters programmes and some of the teaching and resources may be shared with our BSc programme.

How you will be assessed

Assessment will be a mix of continuous or coursework assessments and exams, with group and individual projects assessed by set deliverables and final presentation.

Careers

This programme is intended to enhance the employability of graduates in the following ways:

For technologists and computing professionals, this programme should build their skills in implementing technology that are appropriate to the needs and wishes of users in the relevant usage context

For human factors specialists, this programme should build their understanding of the fit between users and technology and should enhance their methodology skill set when exploring beyind the understanding of the human factors towards the deployment of appropriate or enhanced user experiences.

For design specialists, this programme should build their skills in marrying technologies and materials to the requirements of users and in blending this within appropriate aesthetics.

For UX team managers this programme should enhance their insights and give them practical experience of the skill sets of all members of their teams in order to direct their work so as to optimize the user experience within real business and technical constraints.

For all professionals, this programme should enhance their ability to communicate the impact of the user experience investigations on their work and the impact of their work on the user experience, not only within the UX team but also to other business functions such as senior management and marketing.

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