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Course content

Course content

The programme is aimed primarily at qualified and experienced practitioners and managers in those professions that ‘work with people’ and fulfil those roles that are typically referred to as the provision of public services. Although not an exhaustive list, the programme will be relevant those employed in social work, health, social care, early years, further and higher education and other public service organisations. This programme provides a flexible and accessible framework for you as a practitioner or a manager to attain Masters level qualifications whilst engaged in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activity.

The design of the programme embraces recent approaches to CPD in these professions; specifically, these have emphasised:

  • flexibility and choice, to enable you to tailor your CPD to meet your specific interests and development needs;
  • a focus on practice, to enable you to effect real change in your own practice, and that of your organisation.

In accordance with the requirements of section 5.9 of the University of Chichester Taught Postgraduate Awards framework (2015) the Programme has three possible exit awards:

  • Postgraduate Certificate Advanced Professional Practice (Classification = Pass or Fail)
  • Postgraduate Diploma Advanced Professional Practice (Classification = Pass or Fail)
  • MA Advanced Professional Practice (Classification = Distinction, Merit, Pass or Fail)

The Postgraduate Certificate

The programme for the Postgraduate Certificate lasts for approximately twelve months. Achievement of 60 academic credits at Masters level (FHEQ Level 7) will enable the award of Postgraduate Certificate Advanced Professional Practice. 

The Postgraduate Diploma

The programme for the Postgraduate Diploma lasts for a period of between twelve and twenty-four months. The award of the Postgraduate Diploma is conditional on the achievement of 120 academic credits at Master’s level (FHEQ Level 7). Normally the 120 credits will comprise the 60 credits of the Postgraduate Certificate stage, plus a further 60 credits.

Master’s Degree (MA)

Completion of the 60 credit dissertation will enable students to achieve the cumulative 180 credits required for the award of the MA. The dissertation is normally completed in a period of one year.

Student Endeavour and Awarded Credits

As noted above each completed credit of study represents 10 hours of ‘student endeavour’, including contact time and individual study. Consequently, a 20 credit module will represent 200 hours of study, a 30 credit module will represent 300 hours. This means that each completed stage i.e. 60 credits, of the MA programme, namely Certificate, Diploma and Masters Award, represents approximately 600 hours of study, including contact time and individual study. 

Our facilities

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

At the Bishop Otter campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support. We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas. We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

The Learning Resource is the hub of the learning environment. It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

The Bishop Otter LRC also offers:

  • 130 open access PC workstations
  • 45 Apple iMacs
  • Ample printing facilities
  • Netbooks available on loan
  • Professional editing suites
  • Media loans counter
  • Wi-Fi and plug points throughout

Indicative modules

Core Modules

  • Developing Advanced Practice (Core for Postgraduate Certificate)
  • Advanced Critical; Analysis and Decision Making (Core for Postgraduate Diploma)
  • Research Methods and Dissertation (Core for MA)

Indicative optional modules include Leadership and Management, Mentorship and Resilience. In addition prior non accredited trainee can be used to fulfill the requirements for Specialist Knowledge in Practice Modules. Each student has a bespoke pathway of modules tailored to their specific needs. 

Teaching and assessment


Through your MA APP programme, you will experience difference types of assessment which can be either be formative or summative.

Formative assessment is an ongoing process of finding out how well you are learning what is being taught while you are still in the process of learning. It provides the opportunity for you agree targets with your tutor for your next steps in learning. 

Summative assessment, as its name suggests, is a summation of what you have learnt. Summative assessment usually takes the form of more formal test or assignment at the end of a module. 

Formative Assessment

In this programme formative assessment is mainly informal and includes initial needs assessment, discussion of development needs and ongoing responses to the tasks you are set. Some modules give you the opportunity to submit a draft or a plan of the summative assessment. This will often be discussed in your student group where you can receive feedback from peers as well as tutors.

Summative Assessment

Module assessment is normally based on an assignment of 2,000 words per 10 credits (or equivalent) using specified assessment criteria, linked to defined grade criteria, that explicitly inform written feedback on the quality of student’s work. A range of formative and summative strategies will be employed to structure learning and are outlined in detail in the individual module handbooks on the Moodle page.

Visit the Advanced Professional Practice (MA) page on the University of Chichester website for more details!





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