SHE Level 6
SCQF Credit Points 30.00
ECTS Credit Points 15.00
Module Code MDC825599
Module Leader Richard Golsworthy
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • A (September start)-B (January start)-C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Professional Development in Applied Psychology 1

Summary of Content

T his module, run over three trimesters, will support students' professional development as practitioner psychologists (within Counselling, Health or Sports & Exercise domains). The module will provide a reflective context for personal exploration and understanding through the conduct of regular practice supervision / professional development groups with domain-specific applied psychology supervisors within each doctoral programme. Within these students will explore, and critically examine, aspects of their experiencing and conduct relevant to the development of a professional identity. The ongoing tutorial learning will be augmented by specialised personal and professional development workshops addressing themes such as mindfulness and self-care; practitioner creativity and use of self; service evaluation, governance and accountability. Students will be expected to keep a personal and professional learning journal, documenting the impact of the programme, placement practice, and associated learning experiences, and to reflect on this in terms of its implications for their personal stance as a practitioner psychologist. The module provides a forum for students to integrate learning on the research, practice and theoretical dimensions of applied psychology. It also provides the basis for monitoring and recording the students' progress towards meeting the professional requirements of the programme, recorded within a professional practice logbook and supported by a Programme Tutor.


The syllabus is primarily student directed in terms of the personal and professional issues that emerge throughout its duration, supplemented by personal and professional development workshops on topics such as: mindfulness and self-care; practitioner creativity and use of self; service evaluation, governance and accountability.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, within a specific domain of practice (Counselling, Health or Sports & Exercise Psychology), students should be able to:1. Critically appraise their developing professional identity as a practitioner psychologist within a specific domain of practice;1. Demonstrate critical analysis and synthesis of research, theory and clinical practice to understand and manage complex problems and professional issues;2. Critically appraise and reflect on professional development issues and the complex relationship between personal and professional spheres within their specific domain of practice;3. Critically reflect on personal functioning in professional practice and to engage positively and creatively with feedback from fellow students, supervisors and tutors;4. Critically reflect on and evaluate their practice from ethical and professional perspectives, demonstrating a willingness and ability to act in accordance with relevant ethical and professional guidelines;5. Monitor and evaluate practice using a range of feedback and appropriate measures;6. Independently initiate, conduct and end effective practitioner-client relationships using a range of models within a specific applied psychology domain;7. Demonstrate effective, creative and reflective work through applying specialized knowledge as a trainee psychologist in relevant applied professional contexts;8. Demonstrate the capacity to communicate at the standard of published academic or professional work (including appropriate referencing).

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be delivered primarily through a combination of weekly professional development/supervision groups, supplemented by personal/professional development workshops aimed to stimulate creative enquiry. Each student will have a named Tutor to assist in the set up and development of their professional practice work and logbook. Student learning will also be supported through GCULearn VLE.

Indicative Reading

Students will be encouraged to read widely in a way that reflects their own professional needs and interests. Anderson, L. & Bolt, S. (2007). Professionalism: Real skills for workplace success . Prentce Hall: NJ. Betleheim, B. & Rosenfeld, A.A. (1993) The art of the obvious . London: Thames and Hudson Bolton, G. (2010). Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development (3 rd Edition). London: Sage. Cunningham, B. (Ed). (2008). Exploring Professionalism . London: Institute of Education. Epstein, M. (1995). Thoughts without a thinker. New York: Basic Books Freidson, E. (2001). Professionalism, the Third Logic. Brighton: Polity Press. Gordon, E.F. (2000). Mockingbird Years: A life in and out of therapy. New York: Basic Books Howard, A. (2000). Philosophy for counselling and psychotherapy . London: MacMillan Johns, H. (1996). Personal Development in counsellor training . London: Cassell LeBon, T. (2001). Wise therapy: philosophy for counsellors . London: Contnuum Lomas, P. (1999). Doing good? Psychotherapy out of its depth . Oxford: Oxford University Press Mair, M. (1989). Between Psychology and psychotherapy: A poetics of experience . London: Sage. McCarthy, P. J., & Jones, M. V. (2013). Becoming a sport psychologist. London: Routledge Mitchie, S. (2004). Health Psychology in Practice . London: BPS & Blackwell. Moon, J. A. (2000). Reflection in Learning and Professional Development: Theory and Practice . London: Routledge. Page, S. (1999). The Shadow & the Counsellor: Working with the Darker Aspects of the Person, the Role and the Profession . London: Routledge. NHS Scotland (ND.) Clinical governance, accessed at: Santorelli, S. (2000). Heal Thyself: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine . Crown Publications. Schon, D.A. (1991). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Arena Books. Wallace, M. & Wray, A. (2006). Critical reading and writing for postgraduates . London: Sage Woskett, V. (1999). The Therapeutic use of Self: Counselling Practice, Research and Supervision . London: Routledge.

Transferrable Skills

Conceptualising professional dilemmas & problem-solving; collaborative working; advanced communication and writing skills; creativity and innovation; critical thinking; time management; stakeholder involvement; critical dialogue; influencing; enterprise.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 20.00
Independent Learning (FT) 226.00
Assessment (FT) 30.00
Tutorials (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 1.00 50.00 45% Professional Practice logbook
Coursework 1 1.00 50.00 45% 5000 word assignment