M.A. in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice

The area of clinical supervision is evolving as one of significant professional interest within the Irish health and social care setting. Education and government policy demands that all professions who rely in their day to day practice on a range of theoretical perspectives maintain or put in place a framework to accommodate the acquisition and continued maintenance of higher order skills to underpin their practice as well as having educational progression routes to support their professional development and provide opportunities to enhance their own professional knowledge base. Ryan (2008) traced the evolution of nursing as an academic discipline in Ireland, noting that the journey towards academic professionalisation accelerated since the 1960’s when programmes in higher educational institutions became available for nurses. These were generally initially restricted to programmes at training and leadership level initially and expanded thereafter to all qualified practitioners and subsequently to pre-registration level from 1994 onwards. A similar pattern was obvious in the UK (Ryan,2008). All those programmes incorporated structures for the mentorship and/or preceptorship of students and in 2015 the Department of Health formally mandated all mental health services to provide clinical supervision for Mental Health Nurses, recognising the need for appropriate professional support structures for qualified practitioners as well as students (Department of Health, 2015).

Recognising these trends, it is important that there are opportunities for professionals to study clinical supervision up to Major Award level at Level 9 on the NFQ. In Ireland currently, those opportunities are limited as noted earlier and we are delighted to offer you this newly validated programme of  Masters in Clinical Superivsion in Professional Practice which can be taken on Full time (over 1 Year) or Part Time (over 2 Years) basis.

This programme is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to become confident, critical, analytical and reflective practitioners who are able to make maximum use of resources, including research in their day-to-day practice.  Competent practice within contemporary health and social care settings demands flexibility as well as higher levels of knowledge and skills.  Students will develop the knowledge and skills to become flexible through a the development of the capacity for positive openness to change.  It is our belief that this will be best achieved through collaboration and strong links between education and service, which will promote the effective integration of theory and practice.   The programme will facilitate the student to evolve to a level of  expert practice in clinical supervision in the context of inter disciplinary care models and driven by principles of holism.

This Masters in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice enables learners to critically evaluate institutionalised practices and values, and act as agents for challenge and change in their professional contexts as well as supporting individual practitioners to enhance professional performance and ensure their professional practice adheres to ‘best-practice’ guidelines.

  • Award Title: M.A. in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice
  • Duration:   1 Year (Full Time) & 2 Years ( Part Time)
  • Tuition Fees: €6,200 for the 1 Year (Full Time) and €7.200 for the 2 Year (Part time)
  • Start Date: Sept 2021

The area of clinical supervision is evolving as one of significant professional interest within the Irish health and social care setting. Education and government policy demands that all professions who rely in their day to day practice on a range of theoretical perspectives to maintain a framework to accommodate the acquisition of higher order skills to underpin their practice as well as having educational progression routes to support their professional development and provide opportunities to enhance their own professional knowledge base.

Working in complex health and social care environments in a professional capacity requires people of the highest integrity and capacity, and leaders in fields of health and social care practice must provide positive leadership and management as well as acting as role models for their clients, guardians, carers and professional colleagues across a wide array of disciplines, operating within an environment with competing interests, professional demands and focus. An important aspect of practice in professional areas involving therapeutic engagement involves students identifying the role of self-awareness within the process of supervision especially in relation to the dynamics of the supervisory relationship. Thus, the need for a strong emphasis on reflective learning is an inherent element of this programme.

The professionalisation agenda demands, in practice orientated disciplines, that there are adequate supports available to support work based learning within programmes and the professional staff who engage in practice in these areas. That is one of the key drivers for the introduction of formal clinical supervision structures in Irish mental health services.

This  programme will facilitate learners to evolve to a level of  expert practice in the context of inter, intra and trans- disciplinary clinical supervision models and driven by principles of holism. The programme is based on a philosophy which emphasises the perspective that the techniques and approaches to clinical supervision in Professional Practice should be always considered within a methodical approach which involves the  coherent integration of theory and practice into a fuller evolving model of engagement and professional support. In that context, this clearly suggests that practitioners of clinical supervision should have appropriate knowledge of the important influences  and models of clinical supervision as well as opportunities to develop competence within differing paradigms and approaches.

It is assumed that development in professional competence and expertise is an evolving process throughout students’ theory and practice integration and synthesis – which is influenced by factors such as competence, experience, context and personal choice.

The programme is also based on the following premises and beliefs:

  • The relationship within the clinical supervisory engagement is of fundamental importance as a medium for change.
  • The belief that clinical supervision can be discipline specific or interdisciplinary in nature.
  • Open and supportive professional dialogue and exploration is essential in clinical supervision.
  • The fact that respect for difference and an ability to work with diversity are inherent aspects of positive clinical supervision.
  • A belief in the transpersonal dimension to an individual’s life and professional practice as well as the individual’s sovereignty and autonomous responsibility for self and professional judgements and actions.
  • A belief in the significance of social relationships in setting the framework in which individuals operate in professional practice.
  • An appreciation of the importance of socio-political awareness and an understanding of the practitioner’s experience, personal beliefs and values in professional practice settings.

The programme is aimed at learners who wish to develop their professional competence in clinical supervision of professional practitioners, most, if not all of who will be members of graduate professions and through the professional placements within the programme as well as the emphasis on evidence-based practice, will develop personal capacity and collaborative problem solving, underpinned by reflective practice.

Structure of Course

On acceptance of their place on the course, learners  would be required to  attend  for induction day. This covers all aspects of the programme content, delivery, assessment and requirements. Induction provides the learner with an opportunity to become familiar with the environment, peers and faculty members.

Learners  can complete this course on a  full time basis over 1 year and a part-time basis over 2 years. . Attendance would normally require attendance in person (either in class or on Zoom) on 1  evening per week (6pm to 10pm) and Saturdays (9.30am to 4.30pm)  in the academic year. The timetable has been structured to optimise the utilisation of online learning via Zoom where this allows,  but skills based components do require  a certain amount of in person attendance and it is taught using a combination of classroom based and blended learning techniques via Zoom. This allows the learner to access classes in person or using on-line facilities. In certain skill  based modules attendance will be a mandatory requirement.

Each learner on the full-time route would study and submit for assessment 3 Modules in Semester 1 (30 ECTS), while those on the Part-time Route would submit 2 Modules (20 ECTS) in Semester 1. The focus of these modules are designed to provide learners with a fundamental understanding of the Principles and Practices of Clinical Supervision approaches In Semester 1, learners are also taught a 10 ECTS Module on Research Methodologies and Design to support them with their Dissertation Module. On the Part-time route, this Research Module is taken in Semester 4. The Dissertation Module commences in Semester 1 and is due for completion and submission in Semester 3 for Full-time Students and Semester 5 for Part-time Students. In Semester 2, learners on both the Full and Part-time options will complete a total of 20 ECTS of Topic focussed learning as well as completing their Practicum module (10ECTS) and are assessed on this body of work by the end of the same Semester. In the Practicum (Work Based Learning) module, learners are required to engage in 100 hours of clinically supervised supervision work. This linear module (10 ECTS) and assessment of this occurs on a continuous basis until the end of Semester 3 on the full-time programme and Semester 5 on the Part-time programme. Learners engage in structured individual clinical supervision for their practice as trainee Clinical Supervisors across this period and are also supported through internal group supervision. In semesters 4 and 5 on the Part-time route, students will continue their Practicum learning, where it is expected students will integrate both theoretical and competency based learning. Those students who exit the programme without completion of their Dissertation will be eligible for an Exit Award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice, while the Embedded Minor Award of Certificate in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice will be completed in the first 2 Semesters on the full-time option. The structure of both the Full and Part-time options are presented below as well as the Exit Award of PG Diploma in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice and the Embedded Minor Award of Certificate in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice.

The following are the modules that have to be completed on this course which means a total of 90 ECTS have to completed for the Award of MA in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice

Name of Programme Mandatory/ Elective ECTS/ Credits
Principles of Clinical Supervision In Professional Practice M 10
Research Methodologies & Design M 10
The Practice & Process of Clinical Supervision M 10
Integrative Models of Clinical Supervision M 5
Developmental Models Of Clinical Supervision M 5
Psychotherapeutic Models of Clinical Supervision M 5
Clinical Governance & Clinical Supervision M 5
Clinical Supervision Practicum M 10
Dissertation M 30
Total ECTS/ Credits 90

How are learners assessed on this course?

This programme has been designed to enable learners to demonstrate their academic and reflective learning in appropriate ways.The  assessment strategy comprises a range of assessment tools and approaches to allow for valid assessment of differing learning outcomes as well as for valid assessment of differing learning styles and situations.   The range of assessment tools or approaches are also chosen to complement the proposed teaching strategies that jointly best allow inference of learner attainment of the learning outcomes as evidenced in demonstration of relevant knowledge, skill or competence.  Assessment tasks normally include:

  • Written Assignments (e.g. Essay, Written Report, Research Proposal)
  • Projects (Individual and Group)
  • Practical Assignments
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Terminal Examinations
  • Learning Journals or Portfolios

At the start of each academic year, learners also receive a Programme Handbook, which supplements the Student Handbook.  The Programme Handbook contains the specific academic information relevant to the individual’s programme, notably module descriptors, learning outcomes, associated assessment strategies, booklists, and academic calendars are published on the Learning Management System.  The academic calendar details lecture commencement and conclusion dates, as well as assignment submission dates and examination week dates.  Additionally, modular content on the Learning Management System includes details on the assessment strategy derived from the validated programme document.  Within the first week of each module, learners receive relevant assignment briefs for the modules being completed in that semester.  The assignment briefs provide learners with details of the assessment tools being employed, the learning outcome(s) which have been designed to measure their knowledge acquisition and what criteria will be applied to assess performance, and the deadline and means of submission.

The completion of a research based dissertation is a central part of the Masters programme and each learner is supported by an academic supervisor for the entire period of their dissertation.

Assessment and Standards (Revised 2013) refers to the use of either complete programme stages or modules as Capstone entities, specifically stating “Capstone modules and stages are designed to provide an opportunity for learners to integrate learning attained in other modules and stages. They are always necessary. An example of a capstone module is the process by which a learner produces a dissertation under supervision.”

Within that context, the Dissertation Module is identified as an appropriate capstone module for the MA in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice programme.  This module will afford learners the opportunity to draw upon personal, aesthetic, empirical and other patterns of knowing and forms of learning and integrate these with theoretical components of their learning across the full programme.  It will afford learners the opportunity to demonstrate a synthesis of such learning. In this module learners will be assessed by means of a completed Dissertation.

What supports are available to learners

At ICHAS, every lecturer and member of staff is committed to excellence in education and professional practice. Each Module has a Module Leader who works with learners to enhance their learning and will provide formative and summative feedback throughout every module. Each programme has a Programme Co-ordinator and in addition you will have direct access to the Programme Leader and the Director of Graduate Studies.

The Dissertation and Practicum are central elements of the Masters programme. Each learner will undertake these modules under the direction of an Academic and Practicum supervisor respectively for these modules.

Who Awards My Qualification?

On successful completion of the programme, your qualification is awarded by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). QQI is one of the principal Irish awarding body for 3rd level education in Ireland and sets the standards for awards on the NFQ. Because this programme is both validated and awarded by QQI, the Award you receive is recognised in Ireland and internationally. See www.qqi.ie for further information.

Where Can I progress to on completion of the course?

On successful completion of the MA in Clinical Supervsion in Professional Practice, learners will be qualified  to access  Level 10 Programmes  on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).

The knowledge, skills and competence required to successfully participate in and complete this Level 9 programme will normally require applicants to have successfully achieved a Level 2:2 award in a relevant Level 8 degree.

Those who have completed other relevant educational programmes or have relevant professional experience etc., where Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Acquired Prior Learning (APL) can be applied to the programme by submission of programme content, qualification and assignments equivalent to an appropriate Level 8 award at an Honours 2:2 standard, can also be considered.

Applicants will normally have a minimum of two years of experience in areas of relevant practice such as a helping or caring role, or related leadership or teamwork role. This could include experience gained in helping roles within undergraduate studies.

All applicants are required to be over 23 years of age and will be required to complete the Garda vetting procedure and all applicants will be subject to the College’s ‘Fitness to Practice’ policy, which is set out in detail in the Programme Handbook and on the website. These arrangements are in accordance with the National Vetting Bureau Acts 2012-2016 which species a statutory requirement for all learners on programmes that include placements.

All applicants will be required to attend for interview to ascertain their suitability for the programme.

International Students will be free to apply, but such applicants will have to provide certification of competency in English, so as to reasonably demonstrate that they will be able to participate in a Masters programme delivered through English. In the case applicants who are living in Ireland – evidence of Irish Leaving Certificate English at Ordinary Level Grade D or above. In the case of overseas applications, whose first language is not English, applicants will have to provide either certification of completion of a primary degree through the medium of English or submit the official results of English Language competency demonstrated through the completion of English language proficiency tests indicating a minimum score of to B2+ in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). Certification may be evidenced through production of a certificate of IELTS Level 6.5 or equivalent) or equivalent competency tests, if applicable .

All international applicants must meet the Visa Requirements for study on Ireland and it the case of International students, they will be asked to submit an original Police Clearance Certificate/Criminal History Check from every country in which they have lived for more than six months since over the age of 16 years.

  • This Masters in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice is congruent with the objective of providing accessible and flexible programmes to adult learners and has been designed with particular emphasis on the use of blended learning technologies to support traditional classroom learning
  • This programme supports learners to develop personally & professionally to enable them to achieve a Masters Degree in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice
  • Develop learners knowledge, skills & competence to an appropriate level of ‘Higher Order Practice’
  • Modules within the programme are designed to build personal capacity, collaborative problem-solving skills and an understanding of the systems and context within which individuals may be best supported.
  • The programme will facilitate graduates of programmes in relevant disciplinary areas who wish to study towards and meet professional accreditation requirements for clinical supervision as well as provide leaders in professional practice who are capable of engaging with and initiating necessary professional discourse at policy levels.
  • This Masters in Clinical Supervision in Professional Practice contribute to the academic advancement of those who wish to and demonstrate the competence to commence academic careers in the study and teaching of Clinical Supervision to doctoral level

This programme is offered on a full time  (1 Year) or part basis (2 Years) and there are options around the payment of tuition fees with payment plans  available to learners.

A central component of the ICHAS vision is the provision of flexible and affordable education for all.

The tuition fees for the programme are €6.200 for the Full time (1 Year) programme and €7,200 for the part time (2 Years) programme  (this includes 2% PEL levy). In addition, students who opt for monthly instalments will incur an extra fee of €100 to avail of this facility. All fees are fully protected under our Protection of Enrolled Learners’ Policy.

International Students

To be updated

Protection of Enrolled Learners’ Policy. All QQI accredited programmes of education and training of 3 months or longer duration are covered by arrangements under section 65 (4) of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 whereby, in the event of the provider ceasing to provide the programme for any reason, enrolled learners may transfer to a similar programme at another provider, or, in the event that this is not practicable, the fees most recently paid will be refunded.

Click to apply for this programme

Available at our Dublin and Limerick Campuses

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