Can I study the MAPP entirely at a distance/online? Or is some attendance required?
There is no mandatory attendance on campus; the course can be done entirely online. Pre-Covid, we ran one attendance workshop a month over a weekend, but it was never mandatory to attend, and the workshops were audio-recorded so that you could listen in afterwards. We also run a monthly evening webinar for anyone who may find that more useful – but again, this too is recorded. There are also online materials and discussion boards and peer action learning set groups so that you can study entirely at a distance if that is most convenient for you.
At the moment, the weekend workshops are all held online because of Covid. Once we return to wider on-campus teaching, we may introduce a new form of blended learning, where we continue to hold the weekend workshops online, but also provide a classroom and a facilitator for those wishing to study together, so that we can maximise ‘live’ attendance, even if geographically far away, but also giving people who want to/can attend in person the opportunity to do so alongside those online. This is still being discussed and in the planning stages however.
What is the difference between the 2 and 3 year track?
You have a choice of completing the course over 2 years (part-time) or 3 years (part-time). There is no full time option. The difference between the 2 and 3 year ‘tracks’ has to do with the MSc dissertation project. There are 8 ‘taught’ modules, 2 modules each of the 4 semesters of the 2 year course (4 in Year 1, 4 in Year 2). Alongside the 4 Year 2 taught modules, there is a year-long Dissertation module. If you choose to complete the MAPP over 2 years, you will be doing your 4 taught modules at the same time as your dissertation research project. This means that year 2 can be quite a busy year. If this is a concern to you, you have the option to spread out the MAPP over three years by doing the dissertation module separately, in a third year, after you have completed all the taught modules. There may be some slight fee implications, with the 3 year track being slightly more expensive – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I don’t have a first degree (or it’s been a long time since I’ve been in education); am I still eligible to apply?
Generally, we would like applicants to either have at least a 2.1 previous undergraduate degree (in any discipline), or show evidence of roughly equivalent professional experience. This is to ensure writing and studying standards likely to succeed at Masters level. Many of our students do not have psychology or previous degree experience, but brought rich professional and personal backgrounds with them that had prepared them for the diligence of a postgraduate course. Many have also been out of education for a while and have felt a bit insecure at the beginning. Rest assured, you will be given academic guidance to help refresh your study skills memory, learn how to write for an academic audience/standard, and use critical thinking skills. The university also provides guidance through our Learning Development Unit, should you need additional support. We also aim to support special needs through working closely with our Disability Service. If you have a disability and are concerned about studying on the MAPP, please contact email@example.com to inquire further about what support structures are in place to ensure you have a good experience on the course. As with many postgraduate courses, we tend to have a more mature age-range, with a varied background, so if you haven’t been in education for a while or maybe don’t even have a degree, don’t let that put you off applying.
Will this course entitle me to Chartered Psychologist status with the British Psychological Society (BPS)? Is it accredited by the BPS?
The Bucks MAPP programme is BPS-approved. This means that the course has been reviewed by the BPS and found to fulfill its standards for CPD (continuing professional development) education. However, please note that this is different to BPS-accreditation, which is what is required to be eligible for Graduate Chartered Psychologist status (aka GCP). Currently, the BPS does not accredit any Positive Psychology courses; they only accredit traditional areas of psychology which does not yet include Positive Psychology, sadly. It’s something we hope will one day change.
What is the difference in fees if I am an international student vs. a UK-based student?
Currently, because the course is considered an FDL (flexible & distributed learning) course, and there are no mandatory attendance components, the course fees are the same for domestic and international students. Current fees can be seen on our course website here: https://www.bucks.ac.uk/mapp
Will this course entitle me to a Tier 4 student visa so that I can live in the UK?
As there are no mandatory attendance components, and the course can be done completely at a distance, this course will not entitle you to a residential student visa. If you are international and would like to attend the weekend workshops in-person once they resume, you may need to look into the appropriate travel visa required for a study trip, as opposed to a tourist visa. If you have questions about this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, who can answer these kinds of questions.
What is the time commitment?
The estimated time commitment is 10 hours of study time per credit (including both independent study and structured, formal teaching time like the workshops and evening webinars) . Each semester-long module (with the exception of the dissertation module, which is worth 60 credits and runs for a whole year) is worth 15 credits, and you would be taking 2 modules per semester, meaning 30 credits each semester in year 1, and, depending on if you are on the 2 or 3 year track, 60 credits per semester in Year 2 (or 30 credits each semester in both Year 2 and 3). Each semester runs for approximately 4 months. This means that each 30-credit semester would require approximately 300 hours of study time. Split over 4 months, that means about 75 hours/month, or about 18-19 hours a week. If you are doing the 2 year track, the second semester is likely to be your busiest as that is usually when dissertation work is at its heaviest alongside the taught modules. This is only an estimate, however, and it is up to you how you work best. Times right before assignments are due are likely to be busiest, and it is up to you how you manage your time around your other commitments, and your preferences. Some people prefer to devote large chunks of time to do all their studying, while others like to do a little each day – this is up to you and the flexibility of the course allows you to study in the way that works best for you.
Do we have to ‘attend’ every workshop or webinar?
No. We know most of our students are likely to have many other commitments – e.g. full time work and families – and the course is designed to be customizable to your own schedule. You are offered a variety of ‘route’ options into your learning – including the monthly weekend workshop, the monthly evening webinar, discussion boards online, peer action learning set study groups, online materials you can dip in and out of at your own pace, and many other more informal routes students often set up amongst themselves. All the ‘live’ events like the workshops and webinars are recorded and the recording uploaded afterwards so that you can listen to the recordings later if you are unable to be there at a specified time. You can join one workshop or all, or none – it’s all up to you and what you need at any given time. If something unexpected comes up, we offer fairly (within reason) generous extensions, so that you can fit studying around the unplanned things that come up in life – just talk to your module leaders if you are struggling, we’re here to help.
I’m not very good with technology; how much do I need to know for this course, and who can help me?
As this is a flexible & distributed learning programme, we rely heavily on technology and this is only increasing in the current climate. The course is run via a virtual learning environment (VLE) called Blackboard. At induction, you will be given an overview of how to navigate this system. We use a video platform through Blackboard called Collaborate Ultra for our workshops and webinars. Occasionally we use Microsoft Teams. We are investigating other platforms but currently these are the two the university endorses. We try to offer reminders and tutorials on how to use new technology useful as part of the course. However, if you require further assistance beyond this, you can contact the IT helpdesk at email@example.com or the Learning Development Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I would like to attend an in-person weekend workshop, are things like my travel, accommodation and meals covered by the course fees?
You will need to arrange and pay for your own travel, accommodation and most meals. The exception is that a nice buffet lunch is provided at the weekend workshop when we are running it at Missenden Abbey in Great Missenden. Occasionally we run the workshops from other campuses, such as High Wycombe or Aylesbury, where unfortunately we do not have catering, although we are sometimes able to provide teas/coffees, and the campuses are close and convenient to cafes and restaurants. Missenden Abbey is also a hotel, and we often have some rooms blocked off to protect them from other events that may be going on at the same time there, such as weddings. When booking a room at the Abbey, please mention you are a MAPP student to ensure that you have access to these rooms if they are available. Booking is first come, first served, so book early to avoid disappointment. There are nearby chain hotels and B&Bs available at our High Wycombe and Aylesbury campuses, such as Premier Inn and Travelodge.
What are the scheduled dates for weekend workshops and evening webinars?
We have not yet booked these for 2021-22, but the current year’s dates can be seen on our course website: https://www.bucks.ac.uk/mapp and we usually choose dates around the same time each year (venue availability dependent). The evening webinars are held about a week and a half after a weekend workshop, on either a Tues or Thurs evening, from 7-8.30pm (UK time). The weekend workshops run Saturday and Sunday from 9:30-4:30pm (UK time), with each day devoted to one of the two modules you are studying that semester.
What if I don’t want to/can’t continue after the first year? Do I get any kind of qualification?
Yes, there are three ‘step-off’ points on the course: PgCert, PgDip and the MSc. Completing and passing all 4 modules in Year 1 will earn you a PgCert. If you continue and do the next 4 taught modules in Year 2, but not the dissertation module, you can earn a PgDip. However, if you do both years of taught modules and the dissertation module (either across 2 or 3 years) this will earn you a full Masters degree. You also have the option to interrupt your studies and defer your place so that you can continue with the course at a later time, up to 2 years.
I’m really interested but need financial assistance. What scholarships, bursaries or student loans are available to me?
We as the course team don’t generally deal with the financial side of the programme – please contact email@example.com to ask finance-related questions.
What is/are the start date(s) for the course?
There is only one entry-point onto the course currently, which is in late September/early October each year. It begins with an induction, which will help you with any difficulties you might be having with enrollment, introduce you to the course team and the pattern of delivery, and the technology platforms we use. Our first weekend workshop is usually one of the first weekends in October.
Who are the lecturers/tutors?
You can find out more information about us on the About Us page.
I still have questions – where can I get more information?
Please have a look at our current year’s (2020-21) Programme Handbook and our university course page to get a better idea of the detailed way the course is run. If afterwards you still have questions, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.