Supporting the transition from HND Social Sciences into BPS accredited second year psychology degrees
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Executive Summary Under the auspices of the Higher Education Academy Psychology Network, and supported by the Scottish Funding Council, a small Colleges/ HEI working group was set up with the objective of investigating any pedagogical objections which could be a barrier to transition for students with a HND in Social Sciences articulating to second year BPS accredited degrees in Psychology. To investigate possible gaps in curriculum between Psychology content in the newly validated HND Social Sciences and that of first year undergraduate in HEIs, a survey of the course content, delivery and assessment methodology of undergraduate Psychology courses were undertaken. The findings were then compared to those in the Psychology component delivered in the newly validated (May 2006) HND Social Sciences. The survey showed that there was a communality of curriculum between the Psychology content of the HND and the first year undergraduate in Scottish HEIs, and that the delivery and assessment methods needed for the successful completion of the HND were comparable. To order to assess the likely consistency of delivery between Scotland’s Colleges and the HEI sector a comparison of the main Quality Assessment procedures were undertaken with the parallel processes in place for colleges by the SQA and HMIE. Information from the following four areas was examined. • • • Provision of SPSS Licence and tutor training across the Scotland’s Colleges Matching of optional topics by Course Leaders in colleges to those widely used in Universities Wide distribution of this report to all interested parties • • • • Resource review Content review Assignments – setting, undertaking and grading Recording processes The exercise showed clearly that there were rigorous Quality Assurance mechanisms in place in colleges which compared well to those present in HEIs. The report concludes that there are no pedagogical barriers to second year entry to Psychology courses for HND Social Science students qualified under the newly validated format. Several recommendations to improve HND/HEI transition into second year Psychology degrees, including; To assist greater transparency and clarity with regard to UCAS applications and admission to HEIs, a number of short advice/recommendation documents to assist students, college tutors and HEI admission officers are attached.