PSYC542-22X (HAM)

Professional Issues in Community Psychology

20 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Psychology


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Paper Description

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The aim of this paper is to provide the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in the professional practice of psychology, both generally and specifically in relation to community psychology. Of particular concern are issues relating to cultural competence and bicultural practice and understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi in the professional practice of psychology in Aotearoa New Zealand. Students who have completed this paeper will have developed an in-depth understanding of ethical principles and other professional issues relevant to the practice of community psychology.

For the duration of their enrolment in the paper, students must maintain a Weekly Practice Log, in which students note their activities performed over the last week and the professional and ethical issues related to those activities. The Practice Log is intended to form the basis of supervision meetings, in which students and their supervisors discuss how they have addresed issues arising in their practice, alternative responses that might have been taken, and how relevant psychological theory and research can be used to address these issues.

Full-time students are required to complete 40 weekly practice log entries. The Weekly Practice Log forms the basis of, and is included in, the Project/Casework Folio (requied for assessment in PSYCH543). As noted elsewhere, the Project Casework Folio is submitted for the final examination. Students enrol in this paper (PSYCH542) concurrently with PSYCH541 and PSYCH543. Combined with these, PSYCH542 involves regular supervision meetings.

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Paper Structure

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This paper (PSYCH542) is taken concurrently with PSYCH541 and PSYCH543. Combined with these, PSYCH542 involves regular coursework/supervision meetings. This paper (PSYCH542) has a particular focus on coursework.The meetings will cover material relevant for the practice of community psychology and will helpt to develop rofessional skills and knowledge, as well as aid in the writing of the case studies.

The material for this paper will be covered in three ways:

  1. Students will negotiate with their supervisor nomination of appropriate reading(s) that will inform their practice and some of which will be relevant to their learning plan and case studies;
  2. Professional practice issues will be raised and discussed at the regular meetings; and
  3. Some of the regular meetings will be designated for covering specific topics of relevance (as identified in the learning plan) and there will be a lecture or workshop presentation or discussion of specifically designated readings at this session(s)

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Understand the cultural, legal and organisational contexts of Community Psychology in Aotearoa

    Engage in reflexive work that demonstrates considered understanding of your own personal values in relation to working as a community psychologist in community and institutional settings

    Demonstrate understanding of the principles of culturally safe practice

    Linked to the following assessments:
    Completion of Weekly Practice Log (4)
  • Familiarity with the Code of Ethics for Psychologists working in Aotearao New Zealand

    Te demonstrate understanding of and familiarity with the Code of Ethics for Psychologists working in Aotearoa New Zealand and to increase awareness of the ethical considerations which may arise when working as a community psychologist
    Linked to the following assessments:
    Attendance at Supervision meetings (1)
    Discussion of ongoing internship work progress (3)
  • Analysis of complex situations

    To assist you to develop the ability to analyse complex situations, as relevant to the practice of commnity psychology and to plan appropriate actions, and

    To help you set professional devlopment goals which you can purse to acquire skills relevant to the professional practice of community psychology

    Linked to the following assessments:
    Attendance at Supervision meetings (1)
    Setting tasks/goals for follow-up at next session (2)
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All assessment for the PGDipPracPsych(Comm) is on a pass/fail basis. A final oral examination is undertaken in which a formally convened panel reviews assessment across all three papers and examines the student's competence in relation to the Community Psychology core competencies. To be eligible to proceed to examination, students will need to have:

  • regularly attended coursework/supervision meetings, and
  • undertaken the pre-examination review meeting, and
  • submitted all of the following:
    • 5 case studies (3 of which have been externally reviewed; PSYCH541)
    • their completed weekly practice logs(PSYCH542)
    • their case work folio (PSYCH543)
    • all supervisor assessments
    • stakeholder feedback
All work submitted to the examination panel must have been reviewed and approved as appropriate for examination by the University supervisor.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Attendance at Supervision meetings
  • In Class: In Lab
2. Setting tasks/goals for follow-up at next session
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Discussion of ongoing internship work progress
  • Online: Moodle Forum Discussion
  • Presentation: In Class
4. Completion of Weekly Practice Log
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Community Psychology PGDiPracPsych(Comm) Internship Handbook - this document is updated regularly and is available via the University of Waikato website:
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Recommended Readings

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Access to an online version of the latest/current handbook can be found here.
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Online Support

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Information related to the PGDipPracPsych(Comm) is located in the Community Psychology Moodle Page
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To complete this paper, students must be in appropriate (40 weeks full-time or 80 weeks part-time) employment, that can be either paid or unpaid, in an organisation that provides them with the opportunity to practice significantly in community psychology. This position will serve as the basis for the internship. Students must complete a minimum of 1500 hours of appropriate practical experience, with appropriate supervision to complete this paper.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Students are expected to enrol in PSYCH541, PSYCH542 and PSYCH543 concurrently. This means that each paper is directly relevant to the other and should be considered as a programme of learning.

Part way through the enrolment, a mid-internship review will take place. The mid-internship review is an opportunity to take stock of your progress and identify areas you need to work on in the time remaining before the final oral examination. It is also an important milestone for updating your learning plan (see Internship Handbook p 15). It will be conducted at the mid-point of your internship (after six months for full-time students; twelve months for part-time students) or as soon thereafter as possible. At least two, but preferably three, of your case studies should have been completed before the review. These case studies will be madeavailable to the people conducting your review.

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Restricted papers: PSYC722

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