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Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Science - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

This qualification will enable you to:

  • study key topics in mental health science in depth at master’s level 
  • develop an understanding of the biological and psychological principles underlying key topics in mental health science (stress and anxiety, depression, psychosis and dementia)
  • understand current knowledge and key issues at the forefront of the discipline areas
  • understand the principles and methodologies that inform current research in the field of mental health science.

This qualification will provide you with:

  • the tools to help you obtain and record information, synthesise and present your learning
  • support and guidance to develop as an independent learner
  • practical and professional skills that are relevant for employment (these include peer feedback and reflection, group work, organisation, planning and time management, presentation skills and oral and written communication to suit purpose and audience).

After completing this qualification you should be able to:

  • use electronic means of communication, information searching and retrieval 
  • critically assess a broad range of scientific and medical literature in mental health science 
  • prepare an online poster and a slidecast presentation that critically engage with current research (including theoretical, methodological and/or practical issues) in mental health science 
  • continue to advance your knowledge and understanding in your chosen area 
  • exercise independent learning ability required for continuing professional development and apply this to your professional practice, where relevant. 

Learning outcomes

The qualification provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this qualification, you will have:

  • systematic understanding and knowledge of key topics in mental health science (stress and anxiety, depression, psychosis and dementia)
  • a critical awareness of the specialised areas (key topics), including an understanding of contemporary issues and future developments in these areas of mental health science
  • knowledge and understanding of theories, research methods and techniques applicable to advanced scholarship in the study of mental health science. 

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in mental health science
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and proficiently and make informed judgements on the basis of available evidence
  • demonstrate originality of thought in the application of knowledge.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • undertake self-directed study to advance your knowledge and understanding of mental health science
  • use independent learning skills required to continue your professional development 
  • demonstrate a professional approach to practice (proficiency in skills relevant to employment or research, e.g. showing evidence of use of initiative and personal responsibility; reflecting on your own learning and planning your development needs; demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems; be able to act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level) 

Key skills

On completion of this qualification, you will be able to:

  • use information and communication technology (ICT) to locate information, analyse and present data and to communicate effectively with others 
  • critically assess primary and secondary literature in the area of mental health science
  • communicate information and conclusions effectively, to specialist and non-specialist audiences 
  • be aware of the social and ethical issues that arise in mental health science.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

The teaching in this qualification is via module texts, electronic media and online forums. The material provided is mostly resource-based, with online study guides, and you are therefore encouraged to plan your own learning programme. Teaching materials use a variety of learning approaches, which may include self-assessment questions, working with audio and visual learning materials, reference electronic texts, directed reading, electronic journals, computer conferencing, and web-based resources. Teaching materials are also provided on conducting searches, communication via posters and presentations, and critiquing literature. You will work independently with the teaching materials, but may form self-help groups with other students, communicating online in module or individual study group forums. Tutors will support learning individually and within groups, electronically.

Understanding of principles and concepts is assessed through tutor-marked assignments (TMAs), and end-of-module assessments (EMAs). You will submit TMAs electronically and receive feedback through the eTMA system. You will submit an EMA for each of the modules in the qualification. You receive feedback on all assessed work, with particular emphasis being given to the development of skills through the period of each module. Cognitive, key and practical/professional skills are developed throughout the programme in parallel with knowledge and understanding within this qualification.

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