Health & Social Sciences
Application Portal
Developing Professional Specialist Practice | HCPD7036 | Level 7 | Credits 20 | 2023/24
Health & Social Sciences
Application Portal
Developing Professional Specialist Practice | HCPD7036 | Level 7 | Credits 20 | 2023/24
02/10/2023 | Application closing date 21/08/2023 | Intake Closed
02/10/2023, 16/10/2023, 30/10/2023
06/02/2024 | Application closing date 05/01/2024 | Intake Closed
06/02/2024, 20/02/2024, 28/02/2024
09/04/2024 | Application closing date 27/02/2024 | Intake Closed
09/04/2024, 23/04/2024, 02/05/2024


This unit aims to enable students to provide evidence that they have consistently and competently demonstrated capability in their professional practice from the point of qualification to the present time. Effective practice is dependent on developing a critical understanding of the context of service delivery as well as critical awareness of their own role and impact. This unit will encourage students to develop critical reflective skills to enhance professional expertise. It will also provide a foundation for further professional development within their chosen context.

Learning and teaching methods

This is a portfolio based unit in which students are required to reflect on aspects of their practice and provide evidence that they have demonstrated professional competence and judgement within their practice context. The Unit is largely self-managed with support provided to students via workshops. Workshop support is primarily focussed on the further development of skills required for critically reflective practice and self-managed learning.

The taught component uses a variety of methods building on students’ professional experience, skills and knowledge.  Learning and teaching methods include lectures, discussion groups, reflection on practice and guided independent study.  Unit guides and specific reading materials will be designed to enable students to continue in the professional development of their existing knowledge base and maximise opportunities to advance their professional practice.  Core text, and encouragement to read widely, will also provide foundation knowledge for students to analyse and advance their professional practice. Bournemouth University’s online learning resources will be used for student learning and support. 

Guidance and materials will be provided on studying at Masters level, independent study skills and guided independent reading.

This course is a prerequisite for our PG Dip Advanced Mental Health Practice course.

This course requires 100% attendance.


Normally students may enter Level 7 (Master's level) study if they have been awarded:

  • Undergraduate degree (honours or non-honours)
  • An equivalent qualification (the learning outcome of which are demonstrably appropriate in terms of knowledge, understanding and skills) equivalent to 120 credits at Level 6.

Fees and funding:

You will need to pay or indicate employer support of payment for unit or course fees to the university.

Applicants should contact their employing organisation for further details.

Pre-purchased places

The Faculty of Health & Social Sciences has contractual arrangements with NHS organisations, Local Authorities and the Pan-Dorset & Wiltshire Teaching Partnership for pre-paid places on specified modules. If you work within Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset or Hampshire and Isle of Wight you may be able to access the pre-paid places. These arrangements allow organisations to nominate the staff they wish to send on each unit or course.

The pre-arranged agreements allow individuals, such as yourself, a route to access appropriate professional development opportunities that are seen as strategically important to your organisation (in consultation with your Line Manager/Education Co-ordinator). All requests for pre-paid places must first be agreed by your organisation prior to completing an application.


Coursework equivalent to 3,000 words.
Students will be expected to provide evidence to demonstrate meeting all domains of the professional standards as well as being able to critically evaluate personal and/ or current organisational practice. A combination of all or a few of the following will be required: reflective reports, assessor reports, observations of practice.

Learning Outcomes

Having completed this unit the student is expected to:

  1. Consistently demonstrate the professional skills relevant to their role, and thereby provide evidence to meet the Professional Capabilities Framework, or other relevant professional requirements, at the appropriate level, through direct work with users of services and their carers.
  2. Critically evaluate the effectiveness of their practice and professional judgments, using reflection and analysis to develop a conceptual understanding of their work as well as a critical awareness of the impact of their interventions
  3. Demonstrate an ability to evaluate and synthesize the theoretical frameworks, research, policy, legal and ethical contexts relevant to their practice, and how they contribute to making sound, professional judgments in complex situations.
  4. Evaluate strategies to challenge discrimination and oppression, and explore their effectiveness in practice when working with diverse service user
Course Notes

Course review:

In order to take advantage of new approaches to learning and teaching, as well as developments in practice to benefit our students we regularly review all of our courses. This course is currently going through this process and we will update this page to give you full information about what we will be offering once the review process has concluded.  These changes will come into effect for all new students from September 2025. Applicants will be notified by our admissions team of any changes.

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Course Leader
Name: Mr Andrew Morris


Mode of Delivery
Online (9am-4pm). There are 3 teaching dates.
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