Exploring the Theory and Practice of Psychological Trauma

Learn how to critique the practice and theory of trauma informed care within a range of health contexts and appraise the concept of psychological trauma and adversity in relationship to identity and development.

Key facts

  • Module codeADPP025
  • Start date The next intake will be confirmed in March 2024.
  • Duration11 weeks
  • Credit value SCQF 20
  • SCQF level Level 11
  • Fees 2023-24: Home: £844; International: £1,975.
  • Mode of study part time
  • Delivery online


The concept of exposure to a traumatic event(s) is now recognised as a contributing factor to the development of a range of significant health issues. Psychological trauma is understood also as a concept beyond the diagnostic specifications of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Becoming trauma-informed is a process that involves a new way of understanding people and providing services that support care through a ‘trauma lens’. The process involves a gradual integration of trauma concepts and trauma sensitive responses into daily practice.

Flexible learning

This short course forms part of the MSc Advancing Practice. You can study other stand-alone continuing professional development (CPD) short courses from this degree:

If you’re interested in studying more than one module from this course, please email our Admissions team at postgraduate.admissions@stir.ac.uk to discuss your course of study.

Entrance requirements

Current professional registration with NMC, HCPC, GPC or SSSC is required for entry to this module. Applicants are required to have a degree qualification.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with 60 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 80 overall with 18 in reading, 23 in writing, 19 in listening and 21 in speaking.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.


The objectives of the module are to:

  • Critique the practice and theory of trauma informed care within a range of health contexts.
  • Critically appraise the concept of psychological trauma and adversity in relationship to, identity and development.
  • Critically evaluate the impact of trauma on physical and psychological wellbeing.
  • Critique and appraise the skills or realising, recognising and responding to the psychological needs of individuals who have experienced trauma and adversity.
  • Critique a range of psychological approaches and therapeutic interventions that support stability in short, medium and long term trauma recovery.
  • Identify, conceptualise and inform trauma-informed approaches in order to resist and prevent re-traumatisation


Structure and content

The module will examine the concept of psychological trauma and adverse childhood experiences from a multifactorial perspective. From an initial introduction to the understanding and definitions of the terms, to an exploration and developing an understanding of the emerging and increasingly compelling evidence base of neurobiological impact, physiological morbidity, psychological impact, and sociological dimensions.


Delivery and assessment

The module is fully online and provides a range of teaching and learning approaches that supports both relative novices to the online learning as well as those more experienced. There are both synchronous (live lecture/tutorials) and asynchronous (pre-recorded lectures; discussion activities, visual as well as text based) resources.

The module has two elements to the assignment. The first is a 3000 word essay (85%) and the second is assessed contributions to Discussion Forum activities (15%).

Module coordinator

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 an opportunity to develop transferable skills. This will optimise the ability of each student to impact 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.

What next?

Contact us

If you have any questions about entry requirements for our continuing professional development and short courses, contact our Admissions team.

For all other questions, please use our enquiry form.