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PGDip in Clinical Neuropsychology

Improve your knowledge of clinical neuropsychology for professional CPD or to count fully toward the 'knowledge' component of the adult clinical neuropsychology QiCN/SRCN, with our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited postgraduate diploma. 

Programme context and ethos

The PGDip in Clinical Neuropsychology is one of several postgraduate professional degrees in applied psychology offered by the Salomons Institute, whose central ethos is critical, reflective, formulation driven, client-centred, socio-political, anti-racist and inclusive. It has one of the largest service user (SU) consultancy groups involved in its co-creation of knowledge and collaboration in all its academic endeavours.

This PGDip in clinical neuropsychology embraces and reflects this ethos. It furthermore aims to make the specialist knowledge and best working practices of clinical neuropsychologists more accessible and possible to obtain for qualified practicing psychologists.

Programme structure

The programme is a part-time, 120-credit PGDip, offered over the timeframe of two years. It is composed of six 20-credit modules, three terms per academic year, with one module offered each term. Term times are 15 weeks each, with new modules beginning each September, January and May, over a cycle of two years. Each module addresses four related ‘learning themes’, with self-directed online learning, discussion, and online webinars dedicated to each theme. You should expect to dedicate about 12-15 hours a week to the course, during term time. 

100% distance learning / online course

This programme is an online course, not a streamed or pre-recorded live lecture, but is rather composed of a variety of ‘made for’ online content and teaching delivery, from Microsoft Sway, media recordings, and web-based material. A mixture of original and web-based content will be made fully accessible to you, as well as access to e-versions of books and journal articles, with foundational and advanced reading provided.  

We commisioned Pearson to design the online learning and delivery of the programme, making a professionally presented and accessible learning experience. As it is 100% online, it allows you to work flexibly to fit around the circumstances of your lifestyle and schedule, though within paced, set milestone markers each term to help keep you engaged and on track. 

You will need a personal PC and reliable Wi-Fi access, and aptitude to use the CCCU virtual learning environment (VLE), for which you will be trained as part of a one-day online conference that runs in the July before the start of term in September. 

A new cohort of 10 or 12 students is admitted every September, and they and the previous year’s cohort become your learning community. You will be assigned to a small group of fellow students of 4 to 6 who will be your learning set. There are two opportunities as well to work with other students on a group assessment.  

Finally on this course you will be provided a mentor or personal tutor who is a highly experienced clinical neuropsychologist and Associate of the university for several virtual meetings across the course of the programme. 

Core modules

Context for Neuropsychology Practice and Methods (20 credits)

Learning themes:

  • Historic basis and theoretical principles of contemporary clinical neuropsychology 
  • Foundations of neuroscience, neuroanatomy, and neurological examinations 
  • Contemporary issues and research in clinical neuropsychology 
  • Advanced psychometric principles and ethical issues in neuropsychological test use 

Neuropsychological Assessment and Formulation (20 credits)

Learning themes:

  • Neuropsychological assessment: Part I – process of, attention, language, perception  
  • Neuropsychological assessment: Part II – memory, social cognition, executive function 
  • Neuropsychological formulation and cognitive rehabilitation  
  • Assessment in real world contexts 

Neuropsychological Intervention and Neurorehabilitation (20 credits)

Learning themes: 

  • Community approaches, vocational and neuro- rehabilitation   
  • Engagement, empowerment, quality of life, and behaviour that challenges
  • Individual approaches for people with neurological conditions 
  • Systemic and family approaches for people with neurological conditions 

Developmental, Progressive, and Long-term Neurological Conditions (20 credits)

Learning themes: 

  • Across the lifespan: Living with long-term conditions 
  • Differential diagnoses and management of the dementias  
  • Influences on development and brain health 
  • Epilepsy, NEAD, and disorders of consciousness  

Acquired Brain Injuries and Neuropsychiatric Disorders (20 credits)

Learning themes: 

  • Traumatic brain injury 
  • Cerebrovascular and other acquired brain injuries 
  • Neuropsychiatry and medically unexplained conditions 
  • Neuropsychology and mental health / illness 

Professional Development and Practice in Neuropsychology (20 credits)

Learning themes: 

  • Roles and practices of allied health professionals, and MDT working 
  • NHS and community-based service contexts for clinical neuropsychologists  
  • Professional practice issues in clinical neuropsychology 
  • Personal professional development and reflective practice in clinical neuropsychology  

BPS accreditation

The curriculum aligns with the BPS adult Competency Framework for the UK Clinical Neuropsychology Profession (CFCN: 2012), the ‘knowledge domain’ curriculum in the Qualification in Clinical Neuropsychology (QiCN) Candidate Handbook (2019) and the BPS’ Standards for the Accreditation of Adult Clinical Neuropsychology Programmes (2019). Application has been submitted for this accreditation review process. 

Successful completion of the course satisfies the adult (not paediatric) ‘knowledge’ component of the QiCN which is currently open to clinical and counselling psychologists who meet entry criteria (see below), and accounts for part fulfilment toward registration on the BPS Specialist Register of Clinical Neuropsychologists (SRCN). Completion of this accredited PGDip allows you to carry on to supervised practice, and a PGCert or ‘top up’ MSc in Clinical Neuropsychology Practice, upon graduation.

Assessments

Assessments include topic papers, online timed and secure essay exams, team projects, clinical case reports, and contribution / participation to the online learning community discussions and activities. Accordingly, in reference to BPS accreditation criteria, all assessments include critical reading and evaluation of the neuropsychology research and theoretical literature, and evidence of ethical adherence, considerations and working practices. 

To the extent possible, and within course accreditation design and criteria, the evidencing of clinical neuropsychology meta-competencies, sufficient breadth and depth, and reflecting Programme Level Learning Objectives (PLOs), it will be possible to tailor some of your assessments to personally professional relevant needs and learning aims pending programme team pre-approval. 

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for this and all national accredited routes to the SRCN are currently under review with the BPS Committee for the Training of Clinical Neuropsychologists (CTCN) Division of Neuropsychology (DoN) and the Partnership and Accreditation Team (PAC). International or other applicants who do not meet or fully meet all the following criteria or meet some criteria partially may make a case for equivalency that will be considered by the programme and CTCN.  

  1. BPS Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) 
  2. UK-equivalent Level 8 postgraduate ‘professional’ practice-based award (3 years equivalent postgraduate training + doctoral level research or equivalent) 
  3. Health and Social Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration as a Practitioner Psychologist along with protected sub-title, ‘Clinical Psychologist’ or ‘Counselling Psychologist’ 
  4. Membership or eligibility for membership (BPS) of the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) or the Division of Counselling Psychology (DCoP)
  5. English language proficiency at HCPC registration standard

HCPC has minimum English language proficiency standards which this programme and accredited route align with, that is HCPC requires IELTS level 7.0 with no element below 6.5, or TOEFL with a minimum score of 100 (out of 120), either taken within the last 3 years. As HCPC registration requires this level of English proficiency in practice-based professions, this PGDip adopts the same standard. If the Level 8 professional award described above was taught and assessed entirely in English, this may be considered alongside IELTS or TOEFL scores which are lower than the above standard.   

6. Additional supporting evidence that applicant meets ‘generic’ BPS CFCN competencies  

This requirement is in the consultation process with the university and the CTCN, and applicants will be informed of what demonstrating pre-training competencies will entail. This requirement is drawn from / based on the “generic” competencies of the 2012 ‘Competencies Framework for Clinical Neuropsychologists’ (CFCN).       

Fees

Fees for the academic year 2021 / 2022 are £3,685 per academic year for Students assessed to have Home Fees Status.  Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions. Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.  

Fees for those assessed to be Overseas Fee Status are £5,850 for the 2021 / 2022 academic year. As this course is a fully distance learning course, a Student Route visa is not required (NB: please note admission onto this course does not confer right to study in the UK or utilise resources on campus).  

If you would like further details please contact Hannah Tubb at: pgneuropsych@canterbury.ac.uk or check out the online prospectus.

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Last edited: 20/10/2021 15:00:00