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Professional Practice (Learning Disability) (MSc)

Course Description

The MSc Professional Practice (Learning Disability) is open to all professionals working with people who have a learning disability. Professionals working with this client group need to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in order to meet the clients’ changing needs.

The aim of this degree is to transform your practice and thus improve the quality of care for service users. Module content and delivery is underpinned by the latest research evidence, which ensures that this award meets the challenges of the demanding and dynamic environments that health and social care practitioners work in today.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/609-msc-professional-practice-learning-disability

What you will study

Core modules:
- Research methods
- Dissertation

Specialist modules:
There modules relate directly to this degree.

- Autistic Spectrum Disorder
This 20 credit module covers areas such as Introduction to Autistic Spectrum Disorders; autism; Asperger’s syndrome; incidence and prevalence, diagnosis; assessment strategies; related syndromes and conditions; bio-psycho-social factors; diet; pharmacotherapy; environmental considerations; communication methods; TEACCH; therapeutic approaches;

- Contemporary Issues in Learning Disability
This 20 credit module covers areas such as local, national and international policy developments; inter-professional practice; quality of life; frameworks and philosophies of care; anti-discriminatory practice; vulnerability and abuse issues; stake holder involvement; developments in research and service delivery; person centred approaches; developments in technology.

- Advocacy
This 20 credit module covers areas such as – What is Advocacy and the different types of advocacy- independent; self; group; citizen and professional; Legislation and duties; Mental Capacity Act 2005 and consent; the role of the IMCA; DOLS; Human Rights Act 1998 and Equalities Act 2010; Power, Empowerment and Participation; Practical skills – supporting people to self advocate; Communicating concepts; listening, negotiation skills; Developing, marshalling and presenting coherent arguments on behalf of others; Policy and Guidance e.g. POVA; advocacy within the policy process; ethical principles, frameworks and decision making; interagency working, confidentiality and sharing information; thresholds for intervention/referral; creating an advocacy culture.

Learning and teaching methods

To gain the MSc Professional Practice (Learning Disability) degree you will need to study at least 80 credits (including your dissertation of 60 credits) relating to the support and care of people with learning disabilities. This means that you must choose to study at least one of the specialist modules. To graduate from a masters’ degree course you must study a total of 180 credits which must include a 40 credit research module.

These modules run yearly depending on demand and are usually delivered via weekly four-hour sessions throughout the academic year.

Teaching methods include facilitated discussions, seminars, workshops and presentations. You will be required to undertake background reading to develop a broad knowledge base and encouraged to become a critical thinker, enabling you to question theories and develop your own ideas informed by evidence and research.

We offer a range of support services for students with a disability. We encourage you to discuss your individual requirements with an adviser as early as possible when you apply.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

To date, students undertaking this course have normally been qualified nurses. However, other professionals such as psychologists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and social workers have undertaken modules. Currently, there are attempts being made to include this pathway or elements of it in the post qualified social work framework and childrens nursing post registration programme. Feedback received from students undertaking modules has so far been very positive especially the use of service users and carers as well as specialist practitioners and leading academics.

Assessment methods

Assessments will take the form of written assignments (one linked to publication).

Visit the Professional Practice (Learning Disability) (MSc) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants must normally have an Honours degree and be a professionally qualified health or social care professional. For international students, IELTs 7.0 or equivalent.

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