Exploring the Theory and Practice of Psychological Trauma

Key facts

  • Module codeADPP025
  • Start date 12 Oct 2020
  • Application deadline14 Sep 2020
  • Duration15 weeks
  • Days on campus0
  • Credit value SCQFSCQF 11 20
  • Fees Home: £667 Overseas: £ 1732
  • Study mode Part-time

Module overview

Psychological trauma describes the effect on our social, psychological and neurophysiological capacities as a consequence of single or multiple traumatic events. Examples of such events may be a sudden illness, assault, childhood neglect, but there are many more. This module will enable you to become ‘trauma informed’ and contribute to the creation of a trauma informed responsive services, communities and individuals.

Module learning is applicable to health, allied health and social care professionals working in a wide range of settings as part of the MSc Advancing Practice or as a standalone CPD module. However, this learning is also offered as a CPD module for teachers, police officers and those working within the prison service or similar areas.

Becoming trauma-informed is a process that involves striving towards a new way of understanding people and providing services and support. This process involves a gradual integration of trauma concepts and trauma-sensitive responses into daily practice.

The concept of exposure to a traumatic event(s) is now recognised as a contributory factor to the development of a variety of mental health conditions. It is not confined to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The development of recent guidelines and recommendations from  influential bodies as  NICE, World Health Organization, NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Government in addressing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or trauma related clinical presentations provides political, social and community context to the module learning.

The development of this module is the first of its kind in Scotland and reflects the growing awareness of the impact of psychological trauma and its influence on the lives of many individuals. This influence may present as difficulty in making and sustaining relationships, problem solving and regulating emotions.

This module will enable you to:

  • develop theoretical and practice related knowledge and understanding of the nature and impact of psychological trauma
  • examine the impact of psychological trauma systemically and individually
  • consider the influence of psychological trauma on individuals and develop skills that enable safety, trust and therapeutic support

The module can be completed as a single credit based module. Alternatively, it may be used as credit towards the MSc Advancing Practice.

Information on fees and funding.

A flexible payment scheme is operated by the University for students who are self-funding.

The broad aims of the module are to:

  • Develop your skills, knowledge and advance clinical practise in this area;
  • Enable you to develop, extend and deepen your knowledge and understanding of theory, paradigms and practice in the area of psychological trauma;
  • Develop clinical expertise in the ability to recognise and/or assess for trauma symptoms across a spectrum of presentations and disorders;
  • Develop a fundamental understanding of the role trauma plays and the impact it has on psychological health and wellbeing throughout the lifespan;
  • Develop practitioners who are Trauma Informed and who can help shape, develop and uphold the principles of a robust Trauma Informed Service within which there are trauma-focused services.


Participation in this module enables you to gain knowledge in a range of activities associated with advancing your professional practice:

  • exploring professional roles;
  • service development;
  • models of care;
  • interpreting and influencing the political agenda, and
  • the opportunity for inter-professional learning /working.

The expectation is that you will:

  • draw on experiences from your own working environment
  • apply the principles and teachings of this module to reflect on existing practise
  • develop a Trauma-Informed approaches with individuals and organisations.

Specific context will include:

  • introduction to theoretical concepts of psychological trauma
  • identification of trauma informed practice skills
  • discussion relating to therapeutic intervention and approaches in a range of scenarios

This module is distance learning based using online learning which includes Canvas Collaborate, podcasts, self-directed activities and reading material.

Assessment will comprise of a 4,000 word assessment.

Margaret Conlon

Participation in this module will enable you to gain knowledge in a range of activities associated with advancing your professional practice:

  • exploring professional roles;
  • service development;
  • models of care;
  • interpreting and influencing the political agenda;
  • the opportunity for inter-professional learning/working

All modules can be linked to specific professional capability/competency frameworks within your practice area. You are encouraged to view your participation within the Masters of Advancing Practice programme as a means of supporting your professional development plans (PDP) and career progression.

This module may be completed as a single credit-based module. Alternatively you can use it as credit towards the MSc Advancing Practice.

Modules will be offered subject to demand and need to meet a minimum class size of eight students.

Career opportunities

Completion of the Advancing Practice course provides opportunity to develop transferable skills. This will optimise the ability of each student to impact on the experience of individuals, families and service providers within a range of clinical, social and pastoral settings within the UK and internationally.

All modules are related to NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF), enabling you to clearly identify the core and specific dimensions within the KSF which can be achieved when you successfully complete your module/programme.