Applied Research in Human Communication Disorders (PGCert / MRes)

chandler_house

This multi-disciplinary programme is aimed at professionals already working in child or adult services in health, education or social care who have an interest in developing research expertise and a motivation to carry out supported research in their workplace.

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The modular programme offers full-time, part-time or flexible study over a period of 1 to 5 years, building towards a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or a full Masters in Research (180 credits). With a strong emphasis on supported distance learning as well as classroom study, the programme is designed specifically for those who wish to combine professional development in applied research with their ongoing work.

Start date:
September 2014

Content

Students will develop knowledge and skills in applied research related to the client groups with whom they work.

Key topic areas include:

  • Principles and practices of evidence-based practice;
  • Skills in critical appraisal of research evidence;
  • Qualitative and quantitative methodologies related to communication disorders research;
  • Research governance;
  • Planning, implementing and managing research with clinical populations in workplace contexts;
  • Public engagement in research.

Students undertaking the MRes will conduct a substantive research project based in their workplace that addresses theoretical and/or practice related concerns.

Structure

The programme offers two linked pathways in Applied Research in Human Communication Disorders at postgraduate level:

  • Post Graduate Certificate (PGCert)
  • Master of Research (MRes)

PGCert Applied Research in Human Communication Disorders

The PGCert programme consists of three compulsory modules and one optional module.

Mode of study

• Full-time, 1 year
• Part-time, 2 years
• Flexible, normally 3 years

Compulsory modules

Module 1. HCSCGS01: Research Evidence and Design I (15 credits)
Students will gain knowledge and skills in applied research methods including critical appraisal of research evidence.

Module 2. HCSCGS02: Research Evidence and Design II (15 credits)
This module aims to further develop students' knowledge and skills in applied research methods.

Module 3. HCSCGS03: Research in Practice (15 credits)
In this module students will develop the knowledge and skills required to plan, implement and manage research in their workplace contexts.

Optional module

Module 4. Students may choose any 15 credit module from MSc Language Sciences or the Centre for Health Informatics & Multi-professional Education (CHIME; subject to availability), or PSYCGR16 Qualitative research methods.

Please note:

  1. Students completing the PGCert may subsequently register for the MRes.
  2. Completion of the MRes should be within a 5 year period from starting the PGCert.

MRes in Applied Research in Human Communication Disorders

The MRes consists of three compulsory modules, one optional module and a research project.

Mode of study

• Full-time, 1 year
• Part-time, 2 years
• Flexible, normally 3 years, maximum 5 years

Compulsory modules

Module 1. HCSCGS01: Research Evidence and Design I (15 credits)
Students will gain knowledge and skills in applied research methods including critical appraisal of research evidence.

Module 2. HCSCGS02: Research Evidence and Design II (15 credits)
This module aims to further develop students' knowledge and skills in applied research methods.

Module 3. HCSCGS03: Research in Practice (15 credits)
In this module students will develop the knowledge and skills required to plan, implement and manage research in their workplace contexts.

Optional module

Module 4. Students may choose any 15 credit module from MSc Language Sciences or the Centre for Health Informatics & Multi-professional Education (CHIME; subject to availability), or PSYCGR16 Qualitative research methods.

Research Project

Module 5. HCSCGS99: Research Project (120 credits). Students undertake a research project in the area human communication disorders, which culminates in a dissertation of 15-20,000 words.

Staff

Academic staff in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences have a wide range of expertise relating to research methods in communication disorders, and have close links with other UCL academic units including the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, the Ear Institute, Institute of Neurology, Institute of Child Health, and Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Particular areas of expertise include:
• Acquired aphasia
• Acquired apraxia of speech
• Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
• Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
• Communication difficulties associated with ageing
• Children with complex special needs
• Deafness / cochlear implant
• Dysphagia
• Dyslexia
• Developmental language disorders
• Progressive neurological conditions
• Speech disorders in children
• Specific Language Impairment
• Stammering
• Written language difficulties

Students will be based at Chandler House which represents a world-class hub for teaching and research in human communication disorders.

Chandler House, 2 Wakefield Street, London WC1N 1PF, is located about 500m south of King's Cross and St. Pancras stations, and about 500m north of Russell Square underground station.

Application

The programme is best suited to those in employment in child or adult services in health, education or social care who are seeking to continue their professional development.

Applicants will normally be working with children or adults with communication disabilities in education, health or social care settings.

Entry requirements

Successful applicants are normally expected to meet one of the requirements in the table below:

Applicants with a recognised professional qualification (e.g. audiology, clinical science, medicine, occupational therapy, psychology, speech and language therapy, teaching - please contact the department if unsure) and 2:2 or above Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
Applicants with a recognised professional qualification who do not have a Bachelor's degree, but who have a minimum of 2 years relevant work experience.

Applicants with a 2:1 or above Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in any science, medical or allied health professions related discipline. 

Such applicants will normally have experience working with clinical populations and/or be engaged in on-going paid or voluntary work with such populations.

All applicants without English as their first language are required to provide evidence of this even if have previously studied or worked in the UK.

What are we looking for in your application?

Together with essential academic/professional requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.  In your personal statement you should include:

• why you want to develop skills in applied research in human communication disorders at graduate level
• why you want to study at UCL
• what particularly attracts you to the programme
• how your academic and/or professional background meets the demands of the programme

If you are applying for the MRes, please describe your preliminary ideas for your research project (500 words).

How to apply

To apply, please follow this link to the UCL apply online pages. Once you have read the information on the first page, including the apply online check list press submit at the very bottom of the page.  You will then you will transferred to the UCL online application system.

Please note that, in the first instance, you will need to enroll on either the Postgraduate Certificate or Masters programme.

The course commences in mid-September of each year. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places.  The deadline for the September 2015 intake is 1st August 2015. 

If you have any questions about the programme or the application process, please contact Kea Young, Programme Administrator: kea.young@ucl.ac.uk

International Applicants

The MRes programme is open to international applicants for full-time study only (studying the MRes over 1 year).

Home students on the programme will usually be professionals (e.g. speech and language therapists, audiologists, specialist teachers etc.) who are combining study with their ongoing work, and they normally carry out their research project in their workplaces.

Because UK visa regulations mean that international students are not able to work while studying full-time, we have found it useful to discuss project options early in the application process, and usually before a formal application is made.

If you are an international student considering applying for the MRes programme and you would like to discuss project options, please contact the programme administrator, Kea Young at kea.young@ucl.ac.uk.  It would be helpful if you could let Kea know your area of interest (i.e. areas that you would be interested to investigate through your research project), and what type of client groups you have experience of working with.

The fees for the MRes programme for full-time international students are £22,760 for 2015-16. 

Due to UK visa regulations, international students requiring a visa would not be eligible to study the postgraduate certificate (PG Cert.) route of this programme.  

Study/Work Balance

How often do I need to attend classes at UCL and how much study leave might I need?

Our programme has a strong emphasis on supported web-based learning in combination with face-to-face lectures, workshops and tutorials. Past and present postgraduate students have told us that this blend of teaching allows them to balance the demands of their ongoing work with CPD. Attendance in person at UCL will vary from module to module but the following is a credible guide:

Compulsory modules

The Research Evidence and Design modules, and Research in Practice module run on the same day and normally require you to attend UCL about once a fortnight.

Optional module

The amount of time you need to spend at UCL will depend on which optional module you choose. Some modules require weekly attendance, some combine face-to-face with online study, while others are delivered entirely online. Please check with the specific module co-ordinator before enrolling.

MRes Project

When carrying out your project, attendance at UCL will be negotiated on an individual basis with your project supervisor(s). For example, you might arrange to meet once a month, although how often you meet is likely to vary according to the type of project you are doing and where you are in the project process. For instance, you might meet more frequently with your supervisor(s) at the start of your project, less during the middle, and more again as you head towards submitting your report.

Study Leave

You may be planning to seek study leave from your employer. The level of study leave you require is likely to depend on your ability and/or willingness to work at weekends or to use annual leave for study.

Please click on the study option you wish to take for our recommendation on the amount of study time required:

MRes Full-time study over 1 year

MRes Part-time study over 2 years

MRes Flexible 

PG Cert study over 1 year

PG Cert flexible study

Fees and Funding

The UK/EU fees for 2015/16

PGCert - taking all four modules in one year - £3,705
PC Cert flexible - calculated based on the number of credits assigned to the modules chosen and pro rata of the full-time fee as indicated in the schedule above.

MRes Full-time - £8,755
MRes Part-time - £4,375
MRes flexible - calculated based on the number of credits assigned to the modules chosen and pro rata of the full-time fee as indicated in the schedule above.

New RCSLT Studentships

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) is offering part-time studentships to enable members to carry out a Masters in Research. Studentships will cover all fees for the course. To apply, members must have been practising clinically for a minimum of two years and have a place on a Masters programme that focuses on clinical research that will commence in September 2014 or January 2015. Deadline for applications: 30 June 2014. For further information  and an application form visit: http://tinyurl.com/n5hxxb4

UCL Scholarships

For information on general scholarship opportunities,
please select the link below:
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate

Careers

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Now more than ever before, CPD is linked to career progression. Gaining a PGCert or MRes in applied research in human communication disorders will undoubtedly enhance your career opportunities within child and adult support services, and could act as a springboard to further research including study at doctoral level (see: Doctorate in Clinical Communication Science). In the long term, skills gained on this course will place you in an exceptionally strong position to engage with research including contributing directly to research evidence.

Employability

Evidence of continuing professional development (CPD) is of major importance for professionals working with vulnerable populations, and a PGCert or MRes in applied research in human communication disorders will provide clear advantages in employability. For example, on completion of the course you will be able to demonstrate a range of knowledge and skills that relate directly to your professional career including how to source appropriate literature, evaluate research conducted by others, select and conduct appropriate research designs, analyse data, and write a research report.

FAQs

Do I need to have a clinical/educational post to apply for these programmes?

Applicants are normally expected to hold a current post that involves interaction with adults or children with communication difficulties. It may be possible to take this programme without such a post if you have strong established links with a service organisation.

How many days per week will I need to spend on studying for this programme?

Students planning to take the PGCert or MRes programme full time would normally need to be able to spend 3-4 days per week on their studies (this could include weekend days).

Students planning to take the PGCert or MRes programme part-time over two years would normally need to be able to spend 2-3 days per week on their studies.

Students planning to take the PGCert or the MRes programme over a longer period of time would normally spend 1-2 days per week or less on their studies depending on how many modules they are taking each year.

When does the programme start? 

The programme will start in the last week of September 2014.

Will there be any open days for this programme?

There is an Open Event in the summer term (usually in June). Once confirmed, the date of the 2014 event will be posted here.

Applicants invited to interview will be given a tour of Chandler House on the interview day.

Contact

For queries relating to application for this programme, please contact the programme administrator:

Mrs Kea Young - Email: kea.young@ucl.ac.uk


If you have a query about your eligibility for the programme it is helpful to send a C.V. which includes information about any research experience you have, as well as your work experience.

Open Evening

The next open evening will be in the summer of 2015.  In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Kea Young, Programme Administrator (kea.young@ucl.ac.uk) for information about the programme.